A retired couple recently contacted me and has been considering a move to the Delaware coast. The big motivator is of course resort living in a state where property tax is the fourth lowest in the country and sales tax is non-existent. Their question for me was very simple “Do we need a REALTOR ® to help us buy a home from a builder?” This is a question that many others have since majority of homes in our county are new construction and the honest answer is… No you don’t. But lets take a step back and consider this for a second. Is this answer not also true when deciding whether to hire an attorney to defend you in a legal case? You don’t need representation but you really should if you want the best chance of a fair outcome. You can go into that courtroom and go toe to toe with the other side but they have the advantage of knowing the system and will do whatever necessary to make sure their agenda prevails.
Consider a REALTOR® your defense in your transaction with a builder. They will serve as your advocate and will protect you if things start to go south. Here are my three P’s for why you should use a REALTOR® when working with a builder.
1. Professionalism- Builder agents (Sales agents acting on behalf of the builder) are usually not licensed which means they are not governed by rules and codes of the industry. Their sole goal is to sell you a house and not particularly to do what is right for you. Licensed realtors are held accountable to the standards of the profession. We make sure you get what you paid for within the time that was agreed because that is what we honor to do.
2. Perspective- Having a realtor’s insights during the transaction can prove to be very valuable. The builder wants to sell you a home but you need someone with local knowledge to help you see what else you should consider based on your personal needs. Is this area right for you? What kind of investment return will you get? Many people lose sight of this when looking at how shiny and new everything is but a realtor will provide an important perspective.
3. Protection- The greatest asset of working with a realtor is protection. A realtor is going to advocate for you at all times and defend your interest. If things are not working out between you and the builder i.e. delays, complaints then you have an experienced professional to intervene and go up against the builder for you. The builder is most likely not going to tell you about the smelly dairy farm or the proposed highway construction behind the neighborhood. Your realtor will be able to advise and help with the due diligence needed so that you can feel confident about your decision.
It is also worth noting that you would represent the buying party, which means the realtor that you work with will negotiate their commission from the seller (builder). This means you pay nothing for their service. They work hard for you and you owe them nothing but a good review (if they deserve it). With this in mind why would you not want to take advantage of the benefits of having a professional along side you?
I certainly do not want to paint a picture that all builders have hidden motives but I hear far too many stories of clients left stranded with no recourse when things don’t go well with their builder. Trust a REALTOR® like me to assist you and give you the piece of mind and the protection you need.
Written by Nitan Soni