Why You Need a Buyer’s Agent When Buying New Construction

 We’ve been talking about new construction on the blog lately and discussed the pros and cons of resale homes as well as new construction.

That’s probably started you thinking about the type of home that’s right for you.

Maybe you’ve weighed the pros and cons … and you’ve decided the new construction is right for you.



Now what?

Too many buyers make the assumption that they don’t need to have an agent represent them when they purchase a newly built home. They hop in the car, drive to own or more plats, tour model homes, and find the home of their dreams.

All too often, that means having the agent on site help them with their contract. And that’s where the problems begin.



Purchasing new construction is usually more complicated than buying a resale home (and it can be a bit intimidating too!). It’s critical that you have top-notch representation for your purchase. Here’s why:


  1. Builder contracts are usually different than typical buyer contract forms.

By “different” we mean much longer, far more complicated, and slanted in favor of the builder/seller. The site agent isn’t going to spend the time to help you understand the nuances of the contracts, and the potential risks you run with a builder-friendly contract.


  1. The site agent represents the seller.

The agent sitting at the plat, touring homes, and answering your question is hired by the seller. That means they have the seller’s best interest in mind – not yours.


  1. Your outside buyer’s agent can help you research the builder.

Not all builders are equally reputable. While many are good, some are great, even fewer are outstanding – and some are just plain awful. Your buyer’s agent should have knowledge of local builders and can share his or her experiences with you.


  1. Finding opportunities.

If there is an opportunity for wiggle room in the buying experience, your agent will help you uncover it. Maybe it’s a reduced amount of earnest money, or the opportunity to write a contingent offer. Most builders are notorious for having no flexibility when it comes to your offer, but a good agent will help you make the most of opportunities that exist. That can translate into money saved, or reduced risk on your part.


  1. Oversee the inspection and walk-through.

Although new homes are built to code and have been inspected by experts in various areas of specialty (plumbers, electricians, etc.) it’s important that you have a final inspection of the home, as well as a walk-through with the builder or their representative. Your agent can be a strong advocate for you in both situations.


  1. Help you with upgrade choices.

Usually the model home you tour is loaded with pricey upgrades. These upgrades are a substantial form of revenue for builders, which is why the model homes are created to be so appealing. Your buyer’s agent can help you navigate these choices, helping you determine which ones are wise investments, and which ones to pass on and handle yourself after you own the home.


  1. Having your own buyer’s agent won’t cost you a dime.

Builders know that many buyers will demand representation of their own. In Washington State, commissions for both the buyer’s agent and the listing agent are paid by the seller – in this case, the builder. Since the builder is covering the cost, and can’t dictate who you use as an agent, why would you not get your own expert buyer’s agent?


It is, however, critical that you have your agent with you when you visit a plat of new homes. Many of them have registration policies which require you to either identify your agent and/or have your agent with you at the first visit (at a minimum). Going on your own could mean that your agent wouldn’t be compensated by the builder for representing you if you want to purchase a home there.


Some buyers think that if they use the site agent as their agent the buyer will credit them (or reduce the price of the home) as a result. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you choose not to use your own outside agent the builder/seller will not credit you any of the commission that would have been paid to your agent. They’ll simply pocket that money – leaving you with no independent representation.




Ready to purchase your new construction home? We’re here to help. We’ve got many years of experience selling new construction under our belt, and we’d love to help you buy your “new” new home. Get in touch today and let’s put a plan together to find the new home of your dreams.




Marti Reeder, Realtor, Managing Broker