We hear the questions above with relative frequency. For close to a decade, about half of our business consisted of representing buyers for brand-new homes. We know which Austin, Texas builders are worth considering, and (frankly) which ones to avoid.
First and foremost, although they are probably trustworthy, the salespeople who work in model homes do NOT represent you. They are employees of the builder, and their job is to protect the builder's interests. If you have a problem which surfaces during the construction process, or if there's a disagreement of some kind, it's best to have someone on your side.
Some buyers assume that they'll get a better deal if there is no agent involved. The builder is not obligated to give you any discount, and the reputable ones won't even consider this, partially because they typically prefer having an agent as a buffer, and partly because Realtors and brokers are responsible for a large percentage of their business most years.
Builder price lists already include our commission built in to the pricing structure. If you show up unrepresented, they will simply pocket the money that they would have paid out to your agent.
I have told many potential clients:
"Even if it turns out that you don't like me, I would highly encourage you to get an agent if you're buying a new home, because it costs you nothing, and it can also help to protect you in case there's a dispute later."
In a nutshell, yes, you can buy a home without an agent, but I wouldn't advise you to do so. Find a capable, knowledgeable agent to help.
If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com. Thanks!