Do You Need a Realtor for New Construction?

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|10 min read

Many homebuyers love the idea of purchasing a new construction property. They want to know that their house is in good condition, will be clean when they move in, and will come with new appliances and features.

However, there is a common myth that you don’t need a Realtor for a new construction home. Buying a new construction property is just like any other home purchase. You still need a real estate agent to help you through the purchase process. 

Learn why a good real estate agent is so valuable throughout the new construction process. If you are committed to buying a house without one, this guide will also provide tips for working directly with builder’s agents.

Advantages of Hiring a Real Estate Agent for New Construction

There are very few risks and countless advantages to hiring a real estate agent to buy your new construction home. The professional you hire can guide you through the real estate transaction and streamline otherwise complicated processes.

Here are a few reasons to hire a Realtor.

The Builder Has Representation

Builders and development companies work with real estate agents to market their new properties. A new construction Realtor is often known as a builder’s agent. Developers expect to pay commissions to these agents and to the buyer’s agents that bring in clients. These costs are built into their overall budgets. 

Builders know that if they stop working with buyer’s agents and other Realtors, they won’t get as many interested buyers for their homes. The houses will take longer to sell and the process will be harder as the builder and buyer work together. A construction Realtor will drum up excitement for the new homes and work with buyer’s agents to sell them.

You Aren’t Responsible for Paying the Commission Fees

One of the best reasons to hire a buyer’s agent if you are interested in new construction homes is that you won’t be the one to pay them. In almost every case, the seller pays the commission for the buyer’s agent and listing agent during the closing appointment. The buyer doesn’t pay their real estate agent directly. 

This means you can hire a Realtor without having to worry about affording their services. They will get paid in the end. You can enjoy the benefits of their expertise as you navigate the home-buying process.

You Can Tap Into Your Agent’s Expertise

Experienced agents know how to work with development companies and advocate for their clients. The right real estate agent will make sure you get the best possible house in the condition you expect. 

For example, new developments often feature a model home that is larger and has more features than most of the properties. These sell buyers on the dream of living in the area. An experienced agent will make sure that your house has the same quality as the model home and the features you expect. 

Quality real estate agents are also tough negotiators. They aren’t afraid to advocate for their buyers and put up a fight. This is a valuable trait when working with development companies who want to protect their profits first and foremost. 

Let Them Guide You Through the Building Process 

As you interview Realtors, look for a construction real estate agent who understands how developers work and what the buying process is like.

Purchasing a new construction home isn’t always as straightforward as buying an existing property. You might have to wait for your house to be completed – which means there could be building delays.

Bad weather, supply chain issues, and labor shortages can all keep you out of your house for months longer than you expect. Your Realtor can keep up with developers and help you set a moving timeline.

Real Estate Agents Can Assist with Purchase Paperwork

Real estate transactions are complicated, no matter the type of property you are buying. There are several papers to sign, mortgage applications to complete, and closing costs to review. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through this alone. Your real estate agent can explain the various documents you need to sign and why they are important. 

A good Realtor will also look out for your best interests. While many companies that build new construction homes are ethical, every industry has its bad apples. An experienced agent will catch poor craftsmanship, questionable fees, and other red flags that the average homebuyer might not know to look for. This is why it is so important for you to trust your real estate agent. You need to know that they will do their best to keep you from making a mistake.

They Can Take Over Some of the Steps for You

Some buyers want to be as hands-on as possible when looking for homes, while others don’t have time to deal with every single detail. Real estate agents can take over for their clients who want new construction homes. They can meet with builders, review the properties, and negotiate deals for key features. Some agents will even attend the home inspection for you if you cannot attend. 

A Realtor is a great person to have on hand if you are a busy homebuyer or trying to purchase a new construction home in another state. They will advocate for your best interests with the builder’s agent and make sure you get the home you need.

Are Realtor Commissions the Same for New Construction?

It doesn’t matter whether the property is a new construction or a resale home, the commission rates are the same in the vast majority of cases. When property developers set a budget for the homes they plan to build, they set aside a certain amount of money for real estate agent commissions.

Most builders will pay six percent of the home’s value in Realtor commission as part of their closing costs. Of this, three percent will go to the builder’s agent and three percent will go to the buyer’s agent. 

It’s highly unlikely that the builder will give you a discount on the property if you work directly with them instead of hiring a buyer’s agent. You will still pay full price for the house and the builder will have to pay the commission to their sales agent.

Plus, without a real estate agent to help, you will have to navigate all of the purchase paperwork and builder contracts on your own. This is not advisable unless you understand real estate and the legal documents that come with a home purchase. 

Hiring a real estate agent doesn’t cost a buyer money and self-representation likely won’t save the buyer money. This means hiring a Realtor is low risk while not hiring an agent is high risk. You can save time and enjoy a lower-stress buying experience by hiring a Realtor to help you buy your new construction home. 

They Might Know Local Builders

One way to benefit from the purchase process is to hire a Realtor who has already worked with some of the builders in your area. They might know which companies are reputable and which ones offer great deals to buyers.

A seasoned agent might be able to take you to existing properties that the builder constructed in the past so you can see the quality of their work. 

Real estate is all about making good connections. The sale process could go smoother if everyone in the deal respects and knows each other.

Tips for Working with a Realtor on New Construction

Once you decide to hire a real estate agent to help with your new construction purchase, you can take steps to hire the best person and work with them effectively. Here are a few things to keep in mind during the purchase process. 

  • Find an agent with new construction experience. They will know what to expect with construction sales and can connect you with local builders. 
  • Interview multiple Realtors for the job. Make sure your agent understands the local market and is a good personal fit for your needs. Draft a list of interview questions before the meeting. 
  • Discuss your purchase timeline. New construction purchases can be tricky if you are waiting for the home to be built. Make sure your agent knows when you need to move into your new property. They can recommend houses that are close to completion if you have a tight timeline. 
  • Review your essential features. Your real estate agent is your advocate. Their job is to make sure your new construction home has the building features you need. Whether you require a two-car garage or a home office, your agent needs to know.
  • Provide feedback on the houses they show you. Whether you look at completed new construction houses or model homes, tell your agent what you like and dislike about each property. A knowledgeable agent will respond to this feedback and adjust the houses they plan to show you based on your needs. 

Additionally, make sure you and your real estate agent are on the same page regarding communication, budget, and location. The more details you provide the better. This can empower your real estate agent to successfully represent you.

Tips for Buying New Construction Without a Realtor

It’s possible to move forward with your new construction home purchase without an agent. Use these tips to navigate the process to the best of your ability and successfully buy your future home. 

  • Hire a real estate attorney. If you don’t want to work with a Realtor, you need a real estate attorney to look over any agreements or contracts. Even a builder’s standard contract should be reviewed by a lawyer you keep on hand. 
  • Meet with a builder’s representative as soon as possible. Some properties start selling as soon as the model home is complete. Start talking with the sales representative early so your name is on the list with other potential buyers. Otherwise, the homes might be sold by the time you express interest in them. 
  • Discuss your financing options with a trusted lender. Work with a mortgage company or local bank that understands loans to buy new construction properties. Get your finances in order so you are ready to start the loan application. 
  • Review housing prices early on. Make sure the houses will fall within your budget and your lender is willing to approve a loan to cover the amount you need. 

Don’t let the other agent prevent you from exercising your rights as a buyer. You should still be able to schedule a home inspection to review the house you plan to buy. This ensures the home builder did a good job constructing the property and it is safe to live in. While using a Realtor is an easier way to purchase a property, you can still make smart choices under your own representation.

Hire a Professional to Help With Your Real Estate Transaction

It’s time to bust the myth that you don’t need to hire a real estate agent to buy a new construction home.

Most builders hire agents, which means you need representation as well. A quality new construction Realtor will help you identify potential properties in your area that would be a good fit for your needs.

They can review important documents and take steps to make the purchase process smoother. Plus, because sellers pay Realtor commissions, the burden doesn’t fall on you to pay your agent. 

To find new construction Realtors who can help you find your dream home, turn to FastExpert. Each of the agents we recommend has a detailed profile that reviews their experience and expertise. This can help you find a partner you can trust to navigate the purchase process.

Try FastExpert today and take the first steps toward becoming a new construction homeowner.

Amanda Dodge

Amanda Dodge is a real estate writer and expert. She has worked in the field for more than eight years. She spends her time writing and researching trends in real estate, finance, and business. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Communications from Florida State University.

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