A job — any job that pays the bills — is essential to our financial health. But should the real estate business be considered ‘life-sustaining’? And is the risk worth

Do I need a real estate agent if I buy a new constructed house?

I highly recommend having a Realtor represent you for any purchase or sale. On new homes, it may seem like there is little purpose to having representation unless you understand that builder representatives are working for the builder.

When I represent a buyer on a new home that is in construction, I make it a point to personally visit the build site and meet the site superintendent. There are several benchmark points during the construction process that make ommissions or changes to the final product irreversible so it is good practice, in my opinion, to check in the site at regular intervals and verify that my client is having their home built to the specifications that they contracted for.

I can think of more than one example where my watchful eye has kept a client of mine from being shortchanged on a transaction. One time, a client of mine had paid extra money to have 3/4 inch copper water lines run out to a detached garage. These lines were agreed upon at the time of the contract at a significant extra cost to the buyer. However, when I arrived on site minutes before the scheduled concrete pour, I realized the builder was about to bury much cheaper 1/2 lines where they would never be seen again in the driveway. They claimed this was a simple oversight, however, anywhere the lines remained visible they had 3/4 inch lines then down to reducers.

Even for completed spec homes, it makes sense to have an agent represent you because there is no difference in the price you will pay for the home and your agent can often get you some concessions that you would not have had going it alone. An example of this is a client that I had recently who we saved over 5% on the home purchase and we negotiated nearly $5,000 in upgrades simply because the subdivision was being closed out and I knew enough to press the right buttons and ask for concessions.

Very often builders will have an in-house lender or title operation that offers Buyer incentives for using their own people. However, it is not unusual for a well-connected Broker to have outside connections that are willing to meet or beat their pricing and deliver better service.

The best Realtors are informed and can guide you through the entire transaction at no cost to you. Considering the builder rarely if ever would be willing to pass the savings of not having to pay a Buyer’s Broker directly to a Buyer, it does not make sense to not be represented in your New Home Transaction.