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As seen in the Houston Chronicle “Sound Off” section.

Q. I want to build a new home. How can a real estate agent help me?

A. An agent acting on your behalf will represent you and your interests, not those of the builder. Not that there is an adversarial relationship between the builders and agents, usually the opposite is true. Builders recognize that most home buyers have already obtained the services of an agent. Therefore they want the agents to show their product to the buyers. Builders aggressively market to agents, offering “how they build it” seminars, agent open houses, direct contact letting the agents know when changes are happening in neighborhoods, close outs, discounts, incentives and that’s just to name a few. Builders even pay the agents to represent you.

When you walk into a builders sales office you will meet a knowledgeable, well trained and very friendly sales representative. Their job is to sell their builders homes and upgrades and that is as it should be. Just be aware, the sales rep works for the interests of the builder.

When you have an agent on your side you level the playing field. An agent representing you will work to protect your best interest. Take advantage of the agents knowledge gained from working with the builders and put it to work for you. Meet with your agent before you ever go to a builder to discuss the home, upgrades and price range you desire. From there you will visit the different builders and neighborhoods that best fit your parameters. Once you have chosen your favorite design your agent will help you negotiate the best price and guide you through the contract and associated addenda. You also have an ally as the home is being built. Someone who can get to the site to make sure construction is progressing as promised and bring objections to the builders attention. When the builder lets you know the home is completed you get to walk through the home to make sure everything is satisfactory. At the walk though your agent brings another set of trained eyes looking for mistakes and uncompleted items. Finally at closing an agent will be there to address any questions you may have about the closing documents.

But it does not end there. It’s true, agents are in the business to make a living. Because most agents depend on referrals they will want to stay in touch with you after closing. They can be a very valuable resource for you, by keeping you up to date with the current real estate market and it’s related industries.

Jay Richardson
Register Real Estate Advisors

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