“The Builder didn’t tell me that!”
[updated: 09 Nov 2017]
First of all, this is by no means a post to bash home builders! I LOVE working with home builders. Unfortunately, the average Joe/Jane is not familiar with the partnerships between Builders and REALTORS®, so they walk into a model home blindly. They shake hands with the Sales Counselor, pick a house and then hit cruise control until the house is completed. It’s during the “cruise control” when things can go wrong.
The most common “The Builder didn’t tell me that!” complaint I hear is referencing mortgage payments. Some Builders will finance a home using the Real Estate Tax on the land BEFORE the house value is added to it. So, a year later, when the county adds the House to the Tax Value, the Tax Payment skyrockets and so does the mortgage payment. “OUCH! I can’t afford my mortgage!”
Another “The Builder didn’t tell me that!” topic is about Home Inspections and repairs. Always remember, the Sales Counselor is not a Buyer’s Representative. The Sales Counselor works for and represents the Builder at ALL TIMES. So… when a Buyer asks the Sales Counselor, “may I hire my own Inspector?” chances are the Sales guy/gal will say, “You can but you won’t have to. We have our own Inspector.” What’s wrong with that answer? Well, who do you think the Inspector works for? You may have guessed it – They work for the Builder!
We all know if we ended up in a courtroom for some reason, we’d want to hire our own Attorney, right? You wouldn’t want to use the other guy’s attorney, would you? Think about that when buying or building a home. Just as you’d walk into court with your own representation, you should walk into a home-buying scenario with your own REALTOR® who is bound to represent Y-O-U. Many REALTORS® do NOT charge fees to represent buyers. The Builder pays a REALTOR’S® commission at closing, and it won’t affect your purchase price.
The truth is, buying a home will probably be the BIGGEST financial investment in your lifetime. Let us help you protect your investment – it’s our duty!
P.S. A few Builders might make you believe that you’ll receive a discount if you don’t bring a REALTOR®. That’s not entirely true. They would simply keep the profit. The biggest benefit for a Builder when a Buyer does not have a REALTOR® is that the Builder can lead a buyer by the nose without the buyer knowing what questions to ask.
Why am I disclosing this to you? Because it’s important for consumers to know that the benefit of having a REALTOR® is even recognized by Builders. We are their LARGEST source of business; we educate our clients.
So, if having a REALTOR® won’t cost you a dime, wouldn’t you prefer to have one on your side?
Here’s one last example of, “The Builder Didn’t Tell Me That”: When your new home construction is complete, the builder will schedule a walk-through a few days before closing. During the walk-thru, you’ll have an opportunity to point out flaws and/or items in need of repair. Most flaws are cosmetic and easy to fix, but if you don’t know a lot about home construction, you may miss a lot of important details. HIRE YOUR OWN INSPECTOR. Most builders will not even suggest hiring a third-party inspector, I’m suggesting that you do! Yes, even in a brand new home, an Inspector will find more flaws than you think.
Just another example why a Builder wouldn’t want us to represent you!
The Builder (in most cases) will repair flaws reported by your Inspector. Just take caution… Some Builders will tell you, “don’t worry… we’ll fix it right after you move in.” DON’T DO IT! They want you to sign your closing documents and move you to the back of the line. If you delay closing to wait for repairs, trust me… THEY WILL MAKE THOSE REPAIRS QUICKLY!
If you decide to tour Model Homes without a REALTOR®, you are taking a risk. Builders will have you sign a registration card; and if you leave the REALTOR® section blank, they’ll know you have NO REPRESENTATION.
If you have a REALTOR®, but want to tour a model home on your own, be sure to add your REALTOR’S® name on the builder’s registration card, and tell your REALTOR® about your visit. This small step will protect you when you are ready to sign a contract. Your REALTOR® will have the authorization to represent you throughout the entire building process. THIS IS YOUR RIGHT AS A HOME BUYER!
Val Aranda, REALTOR®
Certified Home Marketing Specialist
Metro Realty – San Antonio, TX
“Coaching First Time Home Buyers & Sellers.”