Frank Dolski Blog

Top Reasons to Use a Buyer's Agent for New Construction

Posted: February 01, 2018 by Frank Dolski, Associate Broker

Most homeowners are familiar with hiring a real estate agent to buy an existing home, but they often go through the process of buying a new construction home from a builder without agent representation.  After all, the builder's selling agent will be able to walk them through the process and help them every step of the way, right?  Wrong.  What people tend to forget is that the builder's selling agent represents the builder's interests and is focused on making the sale happen.  The Pennsylvania Consumer Notice describes that the builder's agent only represents the builder and cannot be a dual agent.  While they can certainly help you with choosing different options and upgrades, are you going to get the best pricing and is the craftsmanship going to be up to your standards, or even up to the current building codes?

Here are my top reasons to use a Buyer's Agent when purchasing a new construction home:

1.  The builder pays your agent's commission.  As the buyer, you will not pay to be represented by an agent and since the cost is already built into the base price of each home, there's no reason not to take advantage of his or her expertise.
2.  The builder will have regularly scheduled inspections by the local municipalities, but would you know to schedule your own inspection too?  Your agent can help secure a reputable home inspector who is familiar with the newest building codes and will look at everything before the drywall is put into place.  There are many potential hazards ranging from structural supports to HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems that are difficult to detect once the home is completed.  These can be mitigated during a pre-drywall inspection.  The inspector can also verify that the ground around the foundation has been properly graded and the drainage is adequate, the roof has been properly flashed and shingled and that the windows and doors have been properly installed with tight seals and caulked trim.  I always recommend that my clients schedule an inspection prior to drywall finishing.
3.  Many real estate agents have an existing relationship with the local building companies and can negotiate better pricing on lot premiums, options and upgrades.  They also know the builder's reputation with respect to quality work, adhering to the agreed-upon schedule and providing solid warranties should any issues arise.
4.  Agents are also familiar with other current or future building projects in the area and can offer alternative options if necessary.
5. Your new home is one of your greatest investments, but do you know what it will be worth when you are ready to sell it in the future?  Your agent can help you estimate your return on investment and predict the potential resale value based on factors such as the current market in the area, your lot location, the school district and the upgrades and finishes in your home.
6.  The builder will offer financing to you, but an agent can provide a competitor's rates as an alternative and may be able to negotiate a better interest rate than a consumer alone.
7.  In terms of paperwork, you will receive most of the important documents relating to the home from the builder, such as the architectural drawings and plat plans, but your agent can proactively obtain copies of all inspection reports, warranties and building permits as well.  The other important service your agent can provide is navigating the Agreement of Sale provided by the builder, which is usually a standard contract in "legalese."  It is always an option for you to hire an attorney to review the contract, but it is not usually necessary as your Realtor is versed in these agreements.  Coldwell Banker Hearthside provides internal legal council for agents when there is a question about the terms in the Agreement of Sale.
8.  Finally, an agent who is experienced in new construction sales will schedule a pre-settlement walk-through (with or without an inspector) for Buyers to create a "punch-list" for the builder to complete items or correct defects before the closing date.

In my experience, hiring a Buyer's Agent for new construction purchases not only provides a higher level of confidence and security for the buyer, but also prevents issues that often arise post-settlement and are more difficult to remedy at that point.

If you are thinking of purchasing a new home in Bucks County and have any questions, please contact me today for help with the process.   If you are considering selling your home and would like a free, no-obligation Comparative Market Analysis to find out what your home is worth, please call me today.  Through my expertise and experience, I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to show you how I go "Above and Beyond the Sale."

Frank Dolski, Associate Broker and Relocation Specialist
Coldwell Banker Hearthside, Realtors
215-794-1070 x103

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