Austin Texas Real Estate Blog

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"Can't I Just Go Buy a Home with a Builder? Do I Need an Agent?"

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!

Comment balloon 13 commentsJason Crouch • January 05 2014 10:08PM

Comments

The best point you mentioned Jason - Builder price point includes our commission. (And no, that is NOT passed on to the buyer if they go directly!)

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (eXp Realty) almost 4 years ago

Hey Jason,

I have represented several new construction buyers.  Excellent advice.  Best of GREAT success to you always!

Posted by Jordon Wheeler, J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service (The Jordon Wheeler Group) almost 4 years ago

The buyer needs an agent who is well versed with new construction Jason.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) almost 4 years ago

The buyer needs an agent who is well versed with new construction Jason.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) almost 4 years ago

Hi Jason - it is funny how some people think that if they buy a new house they do not need the expertise of a realtor. You explained many of the reasons very well above. One of the hings worth repeating is that builders build into their financial models our expected commission. They certainly do not refund or discount it back to the buyer if they do not have an agent. 

Posted by Jeff Fritzson: Frisco Real Estate Pro, Your Success is My Focus! (Jeff Fritzson Real Estate, Ebby Halliday Realtors) almost 4 years ago

Good advice as always...i know around here, builders usually are OK with the agent in the infancy stages, but then kind of take over afterward

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) almost 4 years ago

Not that all builders will take advantage of a newbie that is unrepresented, but we see and know things that most every else won't know of or thinnk of

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) almost 4 years ago

I chuckle when some accountant, social worker, teacher, etc... assumes they can "out negotiate" a builder.

Posted by Doug Rogers, Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent (Bayou Properties) almost 4 years ago

I just can't fathom why someone would think that the Builder would and could work on their own behalf ... and a Buyer's.  More and more Builders in the Chicagoland area are much more willing (than prior to the downturn) to work with Buyers' agents now.  Why not take advantage of the knowledge and negotiating power an agent offers?

Construction is on the upswing once again in our area ... I hope those considering a new home construction purchase are reading this ... and following your advice, Jason ...

Gene

Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) almost 4 years ago

Hi Jason,  very wise to have an agent represent you in any transaction.  Good advice!

Posted by Ricki Eichler McCallum, Broker,GRI,ABR, - Your Coastal Bend Home Source (CastNet Realty) almost 4 years ago

Great advice, Jason!!   Even when a buyer is represented, they may find the going hard, depending on the builder.   Some builders are great to work with, and others hope to slide things past the innocent buyer.

Posted by Dagny Eason, Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo (Dagny's Real Estate) almost 4 years ago

on such a high sales ticket best to get all the professional help and advice you can... higher your local Realtor.

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) almost 4 years ago

Jason:

Really good post. suggested. This is something that needs to be said over and over. 

Posted by Alan Kirkpatrick, Alan in Austin (Austin Texas Homes) almost 4 years ago

Participate