Why work with a Realtor when buying a new home?

Real Estate Agent with Plantation and Coventry Homes

We get asked a lot – why work with a Realtor when you‘re buying a new home from a builder? Here is a story that may help you with this question.


We had some clients hire us in July to buy a new home. We took them to look at several builders and they really liked the floor plan of Builder X, so we found a community for them where they could build this home and negotiated the contract and saved them $18k in pricing and other terms.


We were offered a lot at the front of the neighborhood and were told we could build the home there with the upstairs they wanted, the extended master bedroom, the extended outdoor living area and a 3-car garage. Then, they came back to us and said they couldn’t do this after all on this lot that we’d need to move lots. So, we got them moved to an upgraded lot at no charge.


Now the builder said they couldn’t do both the extended master and outdoor living and the 3 car garage. However, they could do the 3-car driveway. So, they opted for the extended master and outdoor living as that’s what “made the home” to them. The projected finish date they gave us was mid-November, so we proceeded ahead. Our clients have sold most of their furniture now and have gotten their job transfer to November.


Now, it’s late September and the builder comes back to our client saying they would have to shave some space here and there off the home, but offered them some options totaling $1500 and asked if they could just sign that change order and send it back to them, they’d get started. As this was the first time we were hearing of this, we investigated further as it seemed “off” to us.


In reality, the shaven space would now equate to 400 sq. ft.! They want to take off the extended master and extended living area because someone had made a mistake about the land variance. At this point, we’re back to square one. They would not be getting what they contracted for now. Additionally, since the home was not even started yet, they would have to wait until late December – hopefully - to move and their home has already been sold with the buyers to move in in December.


So, we started negotiating with the builder on behalf of our out-of-state buyers. They offered to build us this same home w/out the extended master and outdoor living on a different lot in the same community which would put us where we are now. The other offer made to our clients was to build them the home in a closer to their work, more upscale community. However, they wanted to add on $18k to the price.


What our clients wanted was for them to build the home that they want in the new community for the price we’ve contracted for. Additionally, since they are not going to be able to finish the home in November as originally promised, they needed some builder assistance with lodging for the month of December.

The wisdom and know how of builders work gained from years of working for one of the Top 20 Builders in the Nation and being Sales Counselor of the Year is invaluable. Our experience coupled with the bargaining power of the #1 RE sales office in Dallas allowed us to achieve phenomonal results!


In the end, we were able to get the home for them that they wanted in the more upscale community (with higher re-sale) for the same price as they had contracted for originally, including the $1500 in options, adding a 3rd car garage – now saving them $45+k – and the builder has put it on red alert and is going to finish the home by November as originally promised. Our clients said we could have never done this without you. This is the power of having an advocate on your side!

Comments (6)

Tom Burris
NMLS# 335055 - Baton Rouge, LA
Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience

Although I cannot say that I have ever had a problem with the many FSBO deals I have closed.... I ALWAYS recommend highly to anyone buying.... get a realtor.... whether this is your first or 5th house!!!


Oct 02, 2008 03:05 PM
Carole Lhuillier
Keller Williams Realty SunCoast - Saint Pete Beach, FL
Our Home Team SunCoast

I agree - Get a realtor who truly has your best interest at heart.  Thanks for sharing this experience.


Oct 06, 2008 03:15 AM
Terri Hayley
Plantation and Coventry Homes - Dallas, TX

Thanks Tom - we are working with some clients now who were FSBO's and they had 1 look throughout the entire time they had their home on the market and the deal fell through. We've been working with them for a few weeks and they've already had 6 showings plus 15 on the broker open house, so it's working out for them much better.

Appreciate your comments, Carole. Feel free to share with your clients, if you'd like.

Oct 06, 2008 10:30 AM
Barb Averell
ReMax Real Estate Solutions - Pittsburgh, PA
I strive to be a trusted real estate adviser

Thank you for sharing your story. New construction sales and marketing is something that I am very passionate about. But, I strongly agree that it is an area of real estate that does require a Real Estate Professional to get you from lot selection and deposit to closing smoothly.

Oct 11, 2008 02:57 AM
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Hi Teri

It's to the advantage of both the real estate professionals and the builders to work together. In the long run the biggest winners are the customers.

Good luck and success

Lou Ludwig

Oct 15, 2008 12:27 PM
Steve Graham
Inactive - Atlanta, GA

A home buyer is really very well served when they have their own agent who is focused on their best interests -- especially with new construction. There are too many details in the process that require experience to gain leverage for the buyer. Your blog post illustrates that perfectly.

Oct 23, 2008 10:24 AM