Yes, You Do Need A Real Estate Agent To Purchase New Construction

condo model

Fueled by demand for the Florida Lifestyle, there has been a surge of builders and developers bringing new construction homes and condominiums to the market here in Sarasota.  In addition, the healthy economy and hot real estate market are other factors supporting the number of homes for sale.  New construction is an attractive choice. They are designed for the modern lifestyle, featuring the latest innovations and gadgets.  But when considering a new build, it’s important to remember that there are pitfalls to avoid. 

If you are interested in buying new construction, the builder’s agent will be ready to help you with the process.   I believe that it is essential to have an experienced Realtor representing your interests when considering any new build project.  The developer actually bears the cost of the Realtor. You won’t have to pay anything, and when it comes to getting that peace of mind, you can’t afford not to use one.

How Can a Real Estate Agent Help Me with a New Build Project?

A new build contract usually has significant differences from a regular residential contract.  Most standard residential real estate contracts in Florida are designed to protect the interests of both buyer and seller.  The contracts used by most developers and builders are designed specifically to protect their interests. You might be surprised at what may – and may not be negotiated on a new build.

An appraisal or inspection can cause a re-negotiation of the purchase price of a resale home. In addition, the builder escalation clause can greatly impact the final price of a new home. An escalation clause protects the builder in the event of rapidly increasing materials costs so they don’t lose money. In a builder escalation clause, if the prices of specific materials increase while your home is under contract, you’re on the hook for a portion or all of the cost.  You want to be aware that you could end up paying more than you bargained for that new home. An experienced agent can help a buyer recognize and understand the financial ramifications of an escalation clause. They can also help negotiate ways to minimize your risk. Including requesting an option to void the contract if the total price exceeds the original price by a certain percentage.

Other items you need to address with the builder include financing options, timing, and materials standards. In addition to upgrades, dispute resolution processes, inspections, and contingencies.  It’s a lot to consider and get right.

Builders view commissions to real estate agents as part of their cost of doing business.  In fact, they rely on outside agents to bring clients to them.  Builders will not credit buyers the commission they would otherwise pay to a Realtor.  If they were to do so, Realtors would no longer bring clients through the builder’s doors. As a result, it would impact their future sales. Therefore, there is no downside and no cost on your end to have an outside agent represent you.

New Construction Projects

Most real estate agents should know the reputation and quality of the local and national builders in the area. In addition to being able to educate you on the location and unique features.  I have worked with buyers on many new construction projects. Including, Aria on Longboat Key, to now representing a new construction residence in Arlington Park, a beautiful home designed by the renowned architect, Mark Sultana.  One of the hottest new construction projects now underway is the St. Regis Longboat Key, which is just breaking ground this October. 

Many of these residences are already under contract, but opportunities do still exist. Many of the 69 private residences are under contract, but the opportunity to purchase still exists.  These exceptional residences feature dramatic open floor plans, breathtaking Gulf views, garden views, and expansive terraces. They also boast secured private elevator access opening directly into their home. A limited number of select residences will also enjoy spectacular infinity-edge plunge pools located directly on their 16 ft. wide terraces.  Prices range from $2M to $14M. 

Download the brochure here Contact me soon if you’d like to explore ownership of one of these exclusive residences.

Just announced on Lido Beach, the Rosewood Residences Lido Key located at 930 and 1008 Benjamin Franklin Drive will be accepting sales reservations in December.  This building will feature 65-units as well as a full range of exclusive amenities including a private restaurant and chef services, a world-class fitness center, outdoor pools, massage rooms, and a 24-hour concierge all managed by Rosewood. The average unit for sale in the building will be 4,200 square feet and “showcase state of the art finishes and features.”  Contact me if you’d like to learn more about this exciting new project!

Register with an Agent from the Start

We have a lot of builders in the area, and at this point, they’re inundated with contracts to build homes 18 months to two years out.  A year ago it was nine months. When you walk into a new homes sales office, they’ll typically ask you to register. They’ll ask for your contact information, how you found them, the agent’s name (if you have one), etc. Hopefully, by now, you’re convinced that you do need your own representation and if so, also know that you need to put your agent’s name down during this registration process.

While many builders may not have a problem with you doing so at some point down the road, others do have an issue with it. A few builders have a rule that if you don’t register your agent at the first visit, they’ll refuse to compensate them leaving you the option of paying your Realtor yourself or going in with no representation. 

In conclusion, if you’re thinking of buying new construction, I would suggest that you reach out to me as early as possible.  You want an agent who will represent you and be your advocate to assure the best purchase experience.