Thinking of building a new home in Tampa or one of our many surrounding communities? New homes are in high demand, and you’ll want to read this before you start visiting model homes or talking to custom builders. We often speak to people who are unsure why they should consult a real estate agent prior to visiting model home and talking with the new home builder’s agents. They often think it will cost them more money to use an agent, or they just don’t see the point in working with an agent. There are also some misconceptions regarding commissions. Some potential new home buyers have been told that the builder will give them an “incentive” or the purchase price will be lower if they do not use outside representation. This is simply not true in most cases.
6 reasons to use an experienced real estate agent when building your new home:
1 – The Sales Representative Works for the Builder
This is the most important reason. The sales representative works for the builder and their best interests. While they do work to complete the sale and earn their commission, they do not represent you or your best interests. Engaging the services of an experienced real estate agent is the only way to guarantee that your best interests are being served. In nearly every transaction, your agent will be paid by the builder and you will incur little to no cost for our services.
2 – Builder Reputation
Nobody knows the craftsmanship and dependability of a builder better than an experienced Realtor and their broker’s team. Typically, experienced realtors have sold a builder’s product multiple times, possibly even the same floor plan. This allows a Realtor to examine how well the product of a builder survives the warranty period and beyond. A Realtor can share the experiences from multiple homeowners regarding how well they were treated by the builder during the building process and after closing.
3 – Experience Counts
An experienced real estate agent knows the value of communities, lot locations, home styles and amenities. We can help you decide what upgrades offer the best return on your investment and suggest additional options to help you create your ideal home. Experienced Realtors will agree the most important addendum in a builder’s contract is the standard features page. It is the page which describes the minimum level of building materials to be used in the completion of your new home. Many builders will attempt to complete a contract package without having the standard features written into the contract. Under no circumstances should you have a home built until there is a legal agreement signed which describes the material used by all tradesmen who work on your home. Verbal agreements and promises are not valid or enforceable.
4 – Industry Inspections
An experienced Realtor will advise you not to sign a contract without written agreements to inspections made available to you during certain build-out points. Standards in the building industry should allow a home-to-be-built purchaser to have blueprints inspected and initialed as part of the contract package, as well as site plans. Physical inspections should include a site inspection (including the approval of house location), framing inspection, pre-drywall inspection for approval of outlet locations and any special wiring agreements, trade inspections, initial and final walk through inspections. The likelihood of the use of change orders during the inspection process is another reason for utilizing a Realtor. Hire a home inspector to examine the workmanship of your home. The local jurisdiction where your home is built will conduct several coordinated inspections with the site superintendent after all building permits are issued. These inspections are only to satisfy building code requirements and may not address craftsmanship standards.
5 – Financing vs In House Lending
An experienced Realtor will have a reliable network of lenders with various loan programs which best meet their clients needs. Larger builders will require purchasers to prequalify with preferred lenders (which the builder has part or complete ownership) who are trying to capture your business. This is an acceptable practice by the builder as he determines if a potential buyer is credit worthy enough to enter into an agreement. Additionally, there are often incentives given by the builder for using a preferred lender such as closing cost assistance and/or upgrade options for financing the home. But buyers beware. There are often hidden fees with many builder’s lenders, as well as points associated with these loans. In many cases the loan option by the preferred lender is offered at a higher rate. An agent can suggest lenders to review your financing package, and attempt to find a program which may provide greater financial benefit.
6 – Closing
You need the eyes of an experienced real estate agent to review the settlement statement before you go to closing. A Realtor will maintain contact with the lender to make sure all documents needed for a completed loan package are forwarded. Communication will also continue with the builder to make sure all change order requirements are completed. Additionally, the title agency will work directly with the Realtor to get possession of all outstanding documents from the buyer necessary for a successful closing.
The Argabrite Group is recognized as one of KW’s top selling Teams. If you would like a no-cost, no pressure consultation, call Tricia today at (813) 992-6110 or email at tricia@AGtampaHomes.com. We can help with any questions you have regarding new home building (custom or model) and market trends in the Tampa Bay area. We can also arrange a new construction home tour for you in most communities around the Tampa area.