Most people believe that they will save money by not using a Realtor in the purchase of a new home. They believe that the on-site agent will represent them, reduce the purchase price or offer free options if they do not use a Realtor.
· The builder's on-site agent only represents the interests of the seller/builder.
· Builders factor the costs of marketing and sales expenses including commissions into the cost of every home. These costs are spread over the total number of homes that they are building. Builders value the assistance that local real estate agents give them with the sale of their homes. A reputable builder could not afford to lose that support by offering one price if you use an agent and another if you don't. As far as 'free options' go, the reality is that most likely those options have been factored in the price to allow for negotiation with a Realtor.
· The Law in California states that all licensed real estate agents who work for builders must disclose at the initial meeting who they will be representing in a contract to purchase. Most new home developments have a sign posted that states that the agent represents the interests of the builder. Their main concern is looking out for their employer's interests and profitability. Some new home developments have sales representatives which work for the builder that are NOT licensed real estate agents and may not disclose who they work for until you are ready to sign a contract. The law provides the buyer with the option of securing the representation of a 'Buyers Agent' who is responsible for protecting the buyer's rights and interests in the purchase contract.
· Having a 'Buyers Agent' Realtor to represent you costs you nothing and is paid for by the builder. As stated before, this cost is already built into the price of every home whether you choose to have a Realtor represent you or not.
Some other things to consider are the builder's agent is not required to share with you any information except what is required by disclosure related to the property. They have little motivation to build repeat business, as they will probably never sell a home to the same people again.
The purpose of the 'Buyer Agency' law is to eliminate a source of problems related to the issue of buyer representation.
Remember, without a 'Buyers Agent' you have no one protecting your interests.
Most builders request that you notify them if you are planning to use a Buyers Agent at the first meeting. Please remember that you have the right to request this representation up to the time you sign the contract to purchase agreement regardless of what you may be told.
In addition to the ABR designation (Accredited Buyers Representative), I also have earned the CSP designation (Certified New Homes Sales Professional), the GRI designation (Graduate of the Realtor Institute) and the e-PRO designation (internet and technology certified).
As a Certified New Homes Sales Professional, I have been trained by the National Association of Home Builders, on how to represent and sell new construction. This is the same training that the builder's agent may have received.