Do I need a Realtor when working with a Builder?


It used to be that purchasing a pre-existing home was significantly more affordable than going the new construction route.  However,  due to the serious shortage of affordable entry-level homes and Utah's growing population, that is no longer the case. 


It is a unique and potentially fleeting window of time that has many buyers considering the allure of a brand new home.  It's just as affordable and so simple.  I mean, how hard can it be?  You go in, meet with the build rep, pick your floor plan, and your off to the races right?  Not so fast.  There are many reasons why you want a Realtor involved and on YOUR side of the table. 


The first thing to understand is that when you walk into the model home and speak with the sales rep there, you are speaking to the agent representing the builder.  That means that they have a contractual obligation to represent the needs and interest of the builder, not you.  How concerned do you think they will really be regarding your time schedules and and financial situation?  

Secondly, and maybe most importantly, you need a Realtor for their experience in purchase contracts.  You see,  most builders will require you to use their own purchase contract and not the standard REPC that you might be used to with pre-existing homes.  In the REPC, many fail-safes are built right into the contract to protect the buyer.  When a builder designs their own contact, and in order to protect their own interests and reduce liability, many of those fail-safes are removed.  A Realtor experienced in new construction can help to identify potential pitfalls in the contract and help to protect you and your finances against hidden stipulations or unseen requirements.  They can also negotiate on your behalf when it comes to upgrades, timeframes, and inspection related concerns.  


Finally, remember that most builders are already willing to work with Realtors.  They understand your desire for exclusive representation and know that Realtors bring them business.  So, before meeting with a builder, speak with a Realtor.  There are a lot of moving parts involved with new construction. A Realtor can point you towards a reputable Builder and protect you in the process of getting your dream home.