Considering New Construction & Think You Don’t Need An Agent? THINK AGAIN!
By Kelly Rosen, REALTOR® & Accredited Buyer’s Representative
New neighborhoods are popping up all over the Alpharetta, Milton, Woodstock and Cumming suburbs of Atlanta. New homes come with all the latest and greatest design styles, energy efficiencies and the lure of being able to customize a home to your desires. While there are many pros regarding building a home in a new neighborhood, this huge undertaking should NOT be begun without an agent protecting your interests in this transaction. Below are some common misconceptions about building a new home:
I Can Get A Better Deal Without A Buyer’s Agent: Every family I work with who contemplates building a new home thinks they can negotiate a better price with the builder if they don’t have a buyer’s agent that would like a 3% commission. This is not true and probably the biggest misconception among buyers! Most builders do not include any commission in the price of their homes. If a buyer has an agent, builders are more than happy to pay the 3% broker fee, and it is NOT added or included in the sales price of the home. The fees paid to a buyer’s agent are allocated from a marketing budget in the corporate office. This means that the negotiated price will have nothing to do with whether or not you have buyer representation.
If The Builder Has An On-Site Agent, Why Do I Need One? First, refer to the paragraph above (having a knowledgeable REALTOR® guide you through this process won’t cost you a dime!). Second, the on-site agent is employed by and only loyal to the builder! Their sole job is to sell homes and do everything they can to keep the process moving forward (with little regard to holding contractors to a standard of quality). When things go wrong (and they always do!), their job is to protect the builder’s interest in the transaction, not yours. You must have an experienced agent who is familiar with the new construction process to guide you every step of the way; someone who will help you obtain timely independent inspections and work on your behalf with the builder to ensure all promises are in writing, appropriate progress is being made, confirm the quality of the workmanship, and negotiate through problems as they arise. A skilled agent can greatly help reduce the immense amount of stress that comes from building a new home.
Builders Always Leave Room For Negotiation In Their Pricing – I wish this were true; I have worked with many buyers who come away from the contract negotiation meeting with smoke coming out of their ears because the builder refused to negotiate on price! There are some builders who do negotiate their base prices but the majority of builders do not negotiate. If you are building a home from the ground up, choosing everything from the lot (location of your home), type of hardwood floors to the color of the paint and the specific granite you like for the kitchen, you are highly customizing a home. There is a line item price for every upgrade you choose, and usually those upgrade costs are not negotiable. It is common, however, for builders to offer incentives, such as 50% off upgrades or $15,000 toward upgrades. Every builder has different promotions and a skilled agent can uncover these promotions so you don’t miss out on them!
If you are considering building a new home or buying a spec home in a new neighborhood, please bring a REALTOR® with you who has experience in new construction. The knowledge and expertise we have is truly invaluable to the building process; I promise it will save you a lot of unnecessary stress and may even save you thousands of dollars!!
I have worked with some of the largest builders in metro Atlanta including Taylor Morrison, Dr. Horton, John Wieland, and Pulte. Please reach out to me if you are considering a new build; I would be more than happy to help you build your dream home!