New construction. Know BEFORE you go
Old man giving a thumbs up because he was just approved for a loan

Written by Brian Johnson

Engineer, investor, REALTOR®, and Ten Properties owner, I help new investors use data to build their real estate empire. Connect with me today to start building your ten.

February 12, 2019

You’re driving around one day and notice a new subdivision going up that looks like a great new place to live. Out of curiosity you go inside, meet the on-site sales agent, and fall in love with the homes and subdivision. The agent seems really nice, gives you some information, and passes you their business card. Before leaving, they ask you to sign their Customer Contact card so that they can “keep you updated and send you more information”. You later decide you want to make an offer on a home and you contact that nice agent you met at the sales office. They offer to help write up a purchase contract and pass your offer on to the builder. All sounds great, right?

What they didn’t tell you is that by signing that seemingly benign Customer Contact card, you ALSO just signed away your rights to have your own agent representation for anything you purchase from them. Why does this matter? You want to pay the lowest price you can on that home. The builder wants to get the highest price they can. Knowing that the sales agent works for the builder, can you guess what price the agent wants to sell the home for? This is where a buyer’s agent comes in. This agent represents YOU in the transaction, including getting you the best price on that home. The best part about it… in nearly all cases, buyer’s agents are paid for by the builder! Translation… it doesn’t cost you a dime.

The correct way to approach a builder’s sales agent is to tell them up front that you’re working with a real estate agent. I like to do it simply in my introduction. “Hi, I’m Brian. I’m working with a real estate agent and wanted to check out your community”. You won’t get any different treatment, it just establishes the relationship correctly. But most importantly, don’t forget to fill out your agent’s name in the contact card that they love to make you sign when you leave.

If you didn’t do it all by the book, it may not be too late. Contact the sales agent ASAP and let them know that in all the excitement you completely forgot to tell them that you will be represented by a real estate agent and pass them their contact information. I’ve seen that oftentimes builders will be OK with it, as ultimately this leads to future sales and marketing from that agent. It definitely doesn’t hurt to ask.

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