Do you Need a REALTOR When You Build a House?

This is a really frustrating market for buyers. So many people are making good offers on homes available for sale, but they’re getting turned down. The market hasn’t been this tough in a while. The good news is that there is a workaround, if you’re willing to be open-minded.

If you’re a buyer that has been disappointed time and time again because you haven’t gotten the homes you wanted, have you considered looking into new builds?

“I can’t afford a new house” is the excuse I hear the most when I mention a new build. When you consider the cost of purchasing an already established home, however the cost of upgrading and remodeling it into what you want can put you back more than just building from scratch.

As of the writing of this post, there are 10 new communities being built in Ellis County. The price range varies depending on location and type of home, but some homes are starting out in the low $200’s.

I’ve never lived in a pre-existing home. My husband and I have had both of our primary residences built. We happened to stumble upon our dream home, but it was only a picture. The ground had not even been broken yet. Our first reaction was normal: we can’t afford it. But after we talked to a rep, we found it we COULD afford it. And, in the end, it was less expensive for us to build from the ground up than to buy an already existing house and fixing it up to what we wanted.

We have many regrets about building our first home: not spending a little more to get some of the upgrades, not asking the right questions, but the one we noticed immediately was that we didn’t have a REALTOR on our side. Our sales representative had a family tragedy occur days after we went under contract. We prayed for her that it would work out, but we were also overwhelmed with buying our first house. Most of our education came from watching “House Hunters” on HGTV, so that wasn’t much help. It was so bad that we didn’t even know what was included in our standard package and couldn’t get more information on it. Other sales representatives wouldn’t talk to us because we were not their clients. What should have been an enjoyable process became a frustrating time for us.

We didn’t know that having someone represent us was so important, even with a brand new house. There was so much to learn and we had no idea what we were doing, but it got done and we lived in it for five years (and learned things after the fact).

Then, we moved to TX and built another home. This time we had a REALTOR – the one that got me into Keller Williams, but that’s a story for a different day. While our experience with the builder was great, it was even better that we had someone that understood the Texas laws and how home buying works. The builder explained the features and building process and our REALTOR explained the paperwork and contracts. It was a much smoother transaction than our first experience. She helped us with what to look out for and was there to ask questions we didn’t think to ask.

As someone that has experienced building a home with and without a REALTOR, I can tell you that it is worth it to have a professional on your side. Here are some things to remember while you’re shopping around for a new build:

– You will never pay more for a REALTOR when you decide to build. The REALTOR will be paid through the builder in an agreed, pre-determined amount from the sales price. If your home will end up costing you $209,000, you will pay that amount.

– Your REALTOR shouldn’t leave you as soon as the contract is signed. She will be with you through the whole process. An agent experienced with new builds will be able to tell you the process and know when and how to followup with the builder as needed.

– A REALTOR is not representing the builder; she is representing you. If there is something that doesn’t seem right or if something is incorrect, she can represent you and have it fixed. Plus, you will have a professional that knows Texas Real Estate. Most Sales Representatives are helpful when it comes to their homes, but not when other factors are concerned.

Take it from me: building a home is exciting and fun if you have the right people on your side.


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