Who Protects You When You Buy From a Builder?
Everywhere you look it seems that there are new houses being built in and around Ottawa. Buying a new home may be more expensive in some cases but it is also a great way to ensure that you will not have to deal with any of the problems presented by an older home. New homes also tend to be built with energy efficiency in mind which can be cost-saving down the road. And best of all, you can often customize new homes to suit your own style and needs. However, buying a new build home comes with a few things you should be aware of as well but buying with a Realtor can ensure that this is a smooth process.
It is absolutely not necessary to hire a Realtor if you are buying a new home but it is highly recommended to ensure that you have someone with knowledge and experience in your corner.
The sales agent who works for the builder will still have the builder’s best interests at heart. Their main goal is to sell homes for the builder and they may use high-pressure tactics to push you into buying. A builder’s agent will also be less willing to discuss potential drawbacks about the home with you, and will not push as hard to save you money when it comes to negotiations. An agent who works for the builder may also pressure you into buying upgrades or additional options for your home that you may not want or need, since many builders make a large portion of their money on these upgrades.
In order to avoid these issues, you can hire a Realtor of your own to represent you. Most builders will pay the fees associated with your Realtor, so it will cost you nothing, but sometimes who pays may be up for discussion. Even if you must pay your Realtor’s commission yourself, you will be confident in understanding all aspects of the sale and in knowing that your best interests have been taken care of. One thing to note is that many builders will not allow you to hire a Realtor after visiting one of their sales offices without representation. This means it is important to have your Realtor hired before you approach the builder to search for your new home.
Hiring your own Realtor has other benefits as well, like finding other potential new-build homes with other builders to look at, guiding you through the process while ensuring that you understand all the terms of the agreement, and offering suggestions for lenders to handle your mortgage. Although prices are generally firm on new build homes, a Realtor may also be able to help you negotiate upgrades. A Realtor will ensure that you find the right home for you at the right price without the pressure of the builder’s salespeople.
In addition to the choice of agent, there are a few other steps you should always take when buying a new build home and a Realtor can assist you with these as well. The first step is to look into the builder’s reputation. Make sure that the builder you are buying from is known for quality and reliability. Second, even if the house is newly built you should still insist on a home inspection to make sure there are no potential issues. The builder will offer an inspection with someone from their team but it is advisable to hire a third-party professional to ensure there are no surprises. Having a Realtor to represent you can help with both of these steps, since your Realtor has knowledge of the local market and contacts with licensed and reliable home-inspectors.
Overall, although builders do have agents on staff to help homeowners, it is usually wise to have an agent of your own who is only interested only in your own best interest. You will be able to buy with confidence knowing that you have a professional on your team.