Many years ago, I was doing online research as we prepared for a new home purchase. I found a website for a community of newly built homes that checked most of the boxes on our must-haves list. An appointment was set to meet with the builders listing agent to tour the property. (This happens most often when people are out driving around and see those Model Open signs.)
The listing agent couldnt have been nicer very personable, excellent communication skills and follow through, thorough knowledge of the development and the community a true professional. We went home, slept on it, and asked to meet again as a next step. During that visit, the agent walked through the entire process and timeline. It all sounded reasonable and simple. Fortunately, my husband and I had a sudden reality check. No matter how perfect the property, location, price, features, etc. this agent was not working for us. They worked for the seller. (Who happens to be the builder.) Heres what this equation looks like:
Builder + listing agent = seller representation
Buyer + listing agent = seller representation
You quickly get a sense of the imbalance here. In this story, we were happy with the property, so made the decision to move forward. But, our next step was to find a Buyers Agent to join us on this transaction. Looking back, we realize it was one of our better business decisions. And now as a Realtor®, I strive to educate my clients on the benefits of having their own agent on a new construction home. Ive assembled 5 key insights from the YouInParkCity.com team, as well as publications that include Zillow.com, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and realtor message boards.
1. Whos on your side? Bottom line - every transaction should have equal fiduciary representation. When you sign an Exclusive Buyers Agent Agreement your agent now works for you. They will advise you on every step of the purchase from vetting reputable builders, reviewing contracts, negotiating on your behalf, monitoring deadline dates, advising on which upgrades will get you the best resale value, and help to ensure you stay within your target budget and not jeopardize your appraisal value before closing.
2. Wont I save money if I just work with the selling agent? Yes, we asked this question, too. The answer is always NO. Every builder has a listing agreement with a selling agent. So, whether you bring an agent to represent you or not does nothing to change their agreement. The builder isnt going to discount the selling price by the amount of the commission theyd be paying, since doing so would drive down the posted sold price and thus the comparative value of the properties. But wait they offered me free upgrades! Sorry to be a buzzkill, but the truth is that builders can have huge mark-ups on their upgrades. So those may not translate into a return on your investment when it comes time to sell. The full commission will be paid, but when you dont have an agent representing you that means the builder just received more money.
3. Understanding HOA and CC&Rs Full Disclosure agents are not expected to be experts on HOAs and CCRs. They are however, experts on knowing where to guide, advise and educate their clients. Every Homeowners Association has its own set of rules and regulations. In my example above the CC&Rs were 90 pages long (no joke). We were fortunate to have an agent who was a lawyer in a past life, so he actually read the entire document. Then he went over it with us to point out what was most critical, what was standard, and what was worth asking about. He encouraged us to also read the entire document so we did. Weve been in our home for over 2 years, and still meet neighbors that dont know nearly as much about the CC&Rs as we do.
4. Warranties Most builders want to build not just homes, but good reputations. Most of the time they do, but there are exceptions. As part of our buyer due diligence task list, our agent advised us to Go talk to the neighbors. Ask them what they liked and didnt like about working with the builder. So we did! It was incredibly helpful. We crafted a list of issues to address and have the builder sign off of before we agreed to move forward. We saved potentially thousands of dollars and future aggravation simply by having this valuable representation by our agent.
5. What else is out there? Your agent is a networking ninja! They are dialed into the community, so they know whats happening with the property youre looking at from more than just the value standpoint. They will know what the long-view planning and activities are of the community. Once you show them your list of must-haves, let them go to work to either validate the value of your find, or even to show you options you hadnt considered, but are absolutely open to once you see them. Thats the magic of a really good buyer agent!
Now you know That was one of many buying experiences where I learned to never enter into a transaction without a real estate professional in my corner. I hope youll see the value as well. Its our promise that when you hire a YouInParkCity agent you can expect more than just real estate representation. You can expect partnership, customer service and expertise on the unique needs of buying and selling in Park City, Deer Valley, and the surrounding Heber Valley by the entire team.