Buyers of new construction are much less likely to use a Realtor to help them through the purchase process than buyers of resale homes. A sales rep for one local builder in a development of homes in the $900k price range said only around 50% of buyers come in with a Realtor. In her view buyers are under served by Realtors in the new construction market. A sales rep in a near by over 55 development said that only about 30% of buyers there use a Realtor.
Both sales reps felt that most Realtors aren't familiar with the new home market and don't make much effort to serve it. I wondered why more new home buyers don't seek out a Realtor and asked if it had to do with the fact that the builder would have to pay the Realtor a commission. The rep said that was a common question. In fact, she said, it does not impact the negotiation at all because that money comes from a market budget the builder has already set aside. Builders WANT Realtors to bring buyers and if the commission impacted the negotiation between the buyer and the builder Realtors wouldn't bring buyers and buyers wouldn't use Realtors.
The only chance you have to use a Realtor (buyers agent) in the purchase of new construction is if you are registered with the builder by the Realtor the first time you visit the development. If you go alone, you won't later be able to use a buyer agent to represent you unless you are prepared to pay the the agent out of your own pocket.
Copyright Paul Howard, All rights reserved.