Do you need a realtor when buying new construction?

As a real estate agent who specializes in an area with a lot of new construction,buyers ask me all the time if they can use a real estate agent when they are purchasing new construction. The answer is yes. In general, builders' model homes are staffed by agents who work directly for and represent the builder. I've seen some really great builders but I've also seen some pretty bad builders. The contract and building record of the builder can really cost you if you're not up to date on the process. There are builders that I would recommend and builders I would say to stay completely away from. As a Realtor I help you throughout the entire project. Best of all buyer representation is free to you and paid by the seller or builder. 
Reputable builders will have a marketing budget setup for leads that are procured through Real Estate agents. 
Builder sales reps represent the builder. Often builders have their own agents on site to answer questions, assist people who walk in, and ultimately help with a purchase. Builder reps provide a valuable service: They can explain differences between models and floor plans and share information about financing options, upgrades and specials. But it's important to remember that builder reps represent the builder, as they are contractually obligated to do. "Realtors® are trusted resources for real estate information and can help home buyers navigate the increasingly complex home-buying process," said National Association of Realtors® President Gary Thomas. "The buyer agency agreement ensures the buyer that his or her Realtor® will represent the interests of the buyer alone and not the seller."
Fiduciary responsibility. One of the most important considerations for any buyer is fiduciary responsibility. When you retain the services of a Realtor®, their responsibility is to you. That means you have an expert who is looking out for your best financial interests, an expert who's contractually obligated to protect you. A Realtor® can help you navigate the new-construction contract; help you understand how specific clauses, riders and upgrade options affect you; and make sure you know what you need to before you sign on the dotted line.
Negotiating a better deal. Finding the right model and picking your upgrades is the fun part. Once you're ready to sign the contract, a Realtor® can work on your behalf to negotiate the terms, from upgrade options to financing and closing costs. In addition, a Realtor® can present other options for financing or might be able to work with the builder's lender directly to get you a better rate for your mortgage.
Shepherding your new home to closing. Signing a contract with a builder is just the beginning. You must also line up financing, work with title companies and attend numerous inspections throughout the construction. A Realtor® can manage that process and can accompany you on inspections to ensure you're not missing anything at each construction milestone.


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