“I am going to have a new custom home built, should I use a Realtor?”
Before I came into this industry, my answer would have been an unequivocal no. Now I say yes. The discerning reader would assume that this change of heart come from the fact that I would like to protect my industry and my own income. While there is an obvious desire to do just that, my reasons have more to do with some things I have learned about my own misconceptions about building since becoming a Realtor.
The first of these is that I assumed that it would cost me more to have a Realtor assist me.
As it turns out, the full cost of a Realtor for both the buy and sell side is built into the cost of the home. That’s right, not only does the builder charge you to sell you the home, they also charge you for the representation that you would receive from an agent who is legally bound to represent your interests…and you do not receive that representation from the sellers agent. Not only that, but the sellers agent is not typically a licensed Realtor, and they do not have the same legal requirements that our profession requires. They are employees of the builder and their loyalty lies with the seller.
So as it turns out, it not only doesn’t cost you anything to use a Realtor when having a home built, if you choose not to then you are paying for a service that you will not receive.
My next misconception was that I knew enough about different builders to select the one that was best suited to serve my needs.
For some people having a home built this may be true, but unless you work in the construction, inspection, insurance or home sales fields; it is far more likely that your knowledge of various builders is limited to paid advertisements and word of mouth referrals from 2 or 3 people you know who have experience with a particular builder.
We all know that there are enormous differences in quality of builders, but what most people don’t stop to think about, is that even amongst the premier builders there are significant differences in both price and what they do well. Sometimes those issues are intertwined. For instance, one builder may have a particular design that you like that can be modified to exactly what you want for little to no cost, where another builder may have to purchase (and pass the cost on to you) for an entirely different set of drawings.
While you could certainly wade through all of the builders in your area to find the one that fits your needs best, your time would be much better spent sitting down with a Realtor to explain exactly what you want, and allowing them to apply their knowledge of the industry to find the builder who best suits your wants and needs. Especially since you pay for the service when you have a home built anyway.
The last of my erroneous beliefs was that while some costs may be negotiable, that having a home built was a fixed cost situation.
Part of this for me was just being naïve. As I have grown I have found that everything is negotiable, and this is especially true in new home construction and sales.
Now I am sure that you the reader, are a more than competent negotiator. However, how much access do you have to unadvertised specials that builders frequently offer? How familiar are you with the various concessions that a builder is willing to make in order to sell a home? I am going to wager that the answer to both of those is not very.
While the availability of these conditions varies between builder and seasons, having a Realtor work with you to find them will save you time and money.
Knowledge of the housing market.
This isn’t based on my previous misconceptions, but it is an important factor in using a Realtor in any home purchase situation. This is even more true when you are considering building a new home.
Sometimes, when people decide to build it is because they have a preconceived notion that the home they want will not be on the market, or that they can save considerable amounts of money on the home.
Sometimes one or both of those things are true. Sometimes they are not.
When you use a Realtor in your home or home builder search, all of the information we have available to us is at your disposal to assist with your decision and it doesn’t cost you a dime.
In Summary, if you are thinking about building a home, it is still in your interest to use a Realtor. It doesn’t cost you one penny more, it will likely save you money, and it will absolutely make the process smoother and more transparent.
You can search new home builders in Indianapolis, Indiana here.