Recently I was talking with a couple of agents about the substantial increase in new construction permits being pulled in both Collier & Lee Counties (more in Lee). I mean, we can see dirt being moved all over the place – both in new home developments and also on individual custom construction lots… it’s been that way for nearly 3 years now.
The question came up… “What’s my value as a Realtor to a buyer going to shop new construction? Do they really need me?” Excellent question! It’s important to examine this and know how to answer it powerfully, especially since nearly 28% of all home sales last year were builder sales. The answers are somewhat obvious, yet – like all GREAT sales professionals – you want to be able to handle this objection powerfully, or maybe even eclipse the objection before it happens by having a strong conversation with your buyers.
Here’s what a top agent might say:
“You see, Mr. and Mrs. Buyer, walking into a developer/builder’s office without your own representation is like walking into a courtroom, without representation, and paying the attorney for the OTHER party.”
Would that make sense? <<no, of course not>>
Right! Typically, the agents that work for the builder/developer represent them exclusively. They may not be transaction agents or buyer agents. They most often have a fiduciary responsibility, by contract, to the builder/developer, and limited – if any – responsibility to you. Should you trust that? <<probably not>>
Here are a few things, among many, that a Realtor can do to assist with a new construction transaction:
- We have relationships with sales associates on site. We know who the good ones are. Therefore, we will schedule an appointment for you, and have a strong associate’s attention on your goals, rather than just walking in and having “the luck of the draw.”
- My relationship with the sales associate is long-term. He/she knows I have the ability to bring them many more customers. Certainly if I have the potential of significant business for the sales associate, they will want to keep me happy – which means keeping my customers happy.
- Sales associates leave developers all the time… it’s usually more like a “job” for them. Conversely, Real Estate is typically a CAREER for your Realtor. Therefore, even if the new home sales associate leaves in the middle of your home’s progress, I’ll be there with all the notes and promises to help protect your interests and provide continuity.
- I understand that new home construction contracts can be tricky. I have the local Real Estate attorney relationship(s) you may want to review contracts so you can fully & completely understand your obligations, independent of the sales associate’s explanation.
- I pride myself on knowing spec property appraisal values and comps. Often, on homes that are already in progress or built, negotiation can take place. I may be aware of locally advertised incentives or incentives other buyers received, which the sales associate may or may not mention to you.
- Keeping you engaged in the process is important. As appropriate, I will check in with the community during the construction period. Often I may walk the property and send you updates, photographs and local information on the development, developer/builder and other local statistics/happenings that could affect your new property’s value.
All this value is FREE to you. Wouldn’t you want to take advantage of that? <<we should! >> Absolutely, this is likely going to be one of your largest assets, correct? <<yes it is>> So let’s do this the right way!