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Do I Need a Real Estate Agent to Buy a New Home?

Bret Chance

Integrity, hard work, do the right thing, problem-solving, professionalism, driven, teacher. Those are words that describe Bret Chance...

Integrity, hard work, do the right thing, problem-solving, professionalism, driven, teacher. Those are words that describe Bret Chance...

Jan 21 6 minutes read

Do you need a real estate agent to buy a new home? Well, only if you want to save yourself time and money.

Let's walk through the benefits of hiring an experienced agent when buying a new home.


Represent Your Best Interests

First, when you hire a real estate agent, they are looking out for your best interests. By law, we are required to put our clients’s interests above our own. Unfortunately, not all real estate agents are created equal, just like in any profession, so do your homework before hiring an agent to represent you. Now, the sales counselor at the model home represents or works for the builder. They are a great resource for knowing everything that builder has to offer you. But at the end of the day, they don’t represent your best interests. Hiring a great real estate agent will ensure you don’t get taken advantage of. We’ll talk more about how your agent gets paid below.

Save You Time

Second, a real estate agent that has experience with new home builders can save you a ton of time by doing all the legwork for you. You could spend your nights and weekends driving around for hours and walking through model homes, visiting with the sales counselors. Which may be fun at first, but can get tiring. Your real estate agent will know where all the new home communities are, even the hidden ones you may not know about. They do the research to find which communities and builders have the type of home you’re looking for - based on the square footage, pricing, amenities, and anything else on your wishlist.

Builder Reputation

Third, experienced agents will know the reputation of the different builders, and can give you opinions and advice. Is this builder known for doing what they promise? What is the quality of their homes? Reputable builders will be around for any home warranty issues that could possibly arise later. 


Fourth, a great real estate agent will know how to negotiate for you. Negotiations will differ on a home to be built versus a home that has already been built, or an inventory home. Sometimes the sales price can be negotiated, and sometimes there are other upgrades that can be thrown in. Check out our video, Before Making an Offer on a New Construction Home to know more about negotiating.


Fifth, your real estate agent will be your advocate. They will help you in understanding the builder contracts, as well as mediate when things go sideways. Things rarely go as planned, and things do get messed up when there are a lot of different people involved. Your agent will go to bat for you to make sure things are done as they should be.


Sixth, an agent well-versed in new construction will know what you should expect in the process. Every builder works differently, and buying a new home is different from buying a pre-owned home. Your agent can help you in knowing if what is happening is ‘normal’ and expected or not.

Right Choices

Seventh, your agent will help you make choices on your new home that will keep money in your pocket. If you want to include upgrades, the agent will know if it’s more cost-effective to pay the builder for it, or have an outside contractor do it before you move in. They’ll also know things like whether you should pay extra for a premium lot, or pick that floorplan with the master bedroom upstairs. Your agent will be thinking about your current costs versus costs to you down the road. When you go to sell that home in the future, will your home sit longer on the market with an upstairs master? And will you make more money from that premium lot? You can have more confidence in your decisions when you have an experienced agent on your side.

Now for a few BONUS tips!

Bonus Tip #1

With most builders, if you don’t have your real estate agent with you on your first trip to the builder, the builder will not allow you to have an agent representing you. Some will allow your agent to call ahead to let them know you’re coming without them. We hear this regret from people after the fact. 

Bonus Tip #2

When you’re represented by an costs you nothing! Agents are compensated from a special marketing fund by the builder, so it does not raise the price of your new home. And builders don’t give you a discount for not having an agent either. As you can see from the things we’ve talked about, not having a real estate agent to represent you can only cost you money.

Bonus Tip #3

If you have a home to sell before you can close on our new home, make sure you hire an agent that is versed in knowing how to make that an easy transition for you. It’s usually not a good idea to use an agent that the builder is referring you to. Sometimes the sales counselor will refer an agent that does not have your best interest as a priority and will not advocate for you. So, be aware of that.

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