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    Should You Hire an Agent to Purchase a New Construction Home?

    Buying a brand-new, pristine new construction home is so exciting! You get new shiny appliances, do not have to worry about inheriting someone else’s old carpet, and it is completely move-in ready! However, there can also be downfalls to buying directly from a builder. The myth that you can get a better deal on a brand-new home by not using a real estate agent is completely untrue. There are multiple reasons why it would be beneficial for you to use a professional and experienced real estate agent to help you buy a new construction home. 

    An Agent Will Advocate for Your Best Interests

    You do not HAVE to use a real estate agent to buy new construction but, it is helpful to have someone looking out for your best interests. Keep in mind, the builder’s real estate agent can be a good resource in the new construction process, however, they are representing the builder in the sale. At the end of the day, they will prioritize the builder’s interests over yours and it does not cost you anything as a buyer to hire an agent. 

    Michele Harmon Team can help you consider items such as your budget and the cost of upgrades. In addition, if the builder asks for a delay in construction, we will push back and try to keep the builder on schedule. Our first priority is your priorities.

    Buying a New Construction Home can be Complex

    Do not allow a brand-new, beautiful home to deceive you. Buying a new construction home can be just as complex as any other real estate transaction, if not more. You will need to navigate the fine print of builder-friendly contracts, resist upgrades out of your budget, and trust that your home will become a suitable place to live at the accurate time. Builder contracts are written to favor the builder.  

    Some things to consider include:

    • Contingencies and Cancellation Rights: Will you be allowed a home inspection and under what conditions can you cancel the contract? An agent will ensure you understand your liability and commitments.
    • Health Risks: An experienced real estate agent should notice if the builder has used any chemicals that can be hazardous to your health and can point out if a contract contains a warning about health issues.
    • Warranties: Most builders will provide warranties for their work. An agent can help you understand what your builder covers and how long the policy lasts.
    • Construction Delays with no End in Sight: A builder should complete your home in a reasonable amount of time. However, some builders will not include a completion date in their contract. In this case, buyers may face challenges with holding their builders to a time frame.
    • Building Materials: Signing a contract without an understanding of material quality can be a nightmare. According to ABC News, one of the largest home building companies set aside over $400 million for buyer legal claims around poor craftsmanship and construction, even when the materials were clearly outlined in the contracts. Michele Harmon Team can request more detail on building materials, which may be something you may not be trained in to spot.

    Michele Harmon Team has reviewed thousands of transactions and we see contracts on a daily basis. We have expert knowledge of the market, local neighborhoods, schools, pricing, upgrades, and lot sizes. We review our contracts as a team and consult each other.  We are a team of Realtors…MHT clients do not work with one Realtor, they work with a team!

    Lender Recommendations

    Builders will often recommend their preferred mortgage lenders to help reduce their costs and keep them in business. Your builder may even offer special deals and discounts for using their preferred lender. However, do not jump the gun by choosing their lender. The savings your builder’s lender offers may not be the best deal. To be safe, Michele Harmon Team can recommend lenders that can help you get the best quote for your home. According to Freddie Mac, The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, shopping for a better mortgage rate could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Freddie Mac’s research shows that “comparing multiple loan offers can save you serious money over the life of the loan: $1,500 from just one additional rate quote and an average of about $3,000 for five quotes.”

    Special Incentives

    Michele Harmon Team is extremely experienced and over the years, we have built several relationships with people in the home business. We have relationships with builders all over Texas and some of them offer special programs to our clients to make homes more affordable. In addition, we have created special relationships with inspectors, insurance agents, and title companies. Our long term relationships can help you have a smoother transactional experience

    Frequent Communication with Builder

    Staying in contact with your builder can be a full-time job. Michele Harmon Team can give you valuable insight during the building process. Michele Harmon Team will be sure to stay in touch with the builder and to advocate for your needs as a buyer.

    Help with Overseeing a Home Inspection

    You may think that a new construction home will be completely flawless. However, that may not always be true. It is extremely important to have a home inspection prior to buying whether the home is brand new or centuries old. 

    A builder will have the home inspected throughout the process-but they are the client to the inspector and they own the inspection report.  The buyer rarely sees the report, finds out what was repaired, replaced, or skipped and looked over.  Let the Michele Harmon Team refer you to our preferred list of inspectors where YOU are the client to the Inspector, and YOU own the report.  

    An inspection will give you a third-party assessment of your home’s systems and structure so that you can be sure your home is safe, hazard-free, and a good investment. If your inspection reveals any issues or problems, we can ask them to make repairs before you close on the home or, the builder may be willing to lower the sales price rather than making the repairs. 

    Comparable Data and Knowledge of the Area

    Michele Harmon Team comes to the new construction process with key knowledge. We know how much homes cost in each area and the going rate for different new construction projects. We will know if the sales price is too high or if you are being overcharged on granite countertops. Michele Harmon Team will negotiate on your behalf. 

    In addition, we know how to spot a deal. Builders do not lower the base price of a home often. This does not mean there is not space to negotiate for free upgrades or financial incentives. Michele Harmon Team knows the dance around new build negotiations and when it is the right time to ask for deals.

     

    It is extremely simple to secure representation for your new construction home. When you are viewing new homes, make sure to fill out the registration form with Michele Harmon Team as your agent. If you are interested in buying or selling a new home or have any real estate questions, call Michele Harmon Team at 713-818-1330. We would love to hear from you and help you with anything you may need.

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