Remember who the salesperson works for
Reps at the model home or sales office are there for the builder
I’m looking to buy a newly built home. Should I still work with a real estate agent?
Buying a brand-new home or condo has never been so accessible or appealing.
As you visit presentation centres, you may find scale models and glossy brochures showing the planned development, a variety of floor plans, examples of fixtures and finishes, and friendly sales staff who are eager to help.
But it’s important to remember that the salesperson working at the presentation centre is representing the builder. While the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA 2002) mandates that registered real estate professionals treat all parties in a transaction with fairness, honesty and integrity, those folks will be working with the builder’s best interests in mind.
Additionally, if the representative is a full-time salaried employee of the builder, they may not be registered with RECO.
Much like a professionally staged resale home, it’s easy to get caught up in the beautiful features showcased at a presentation centre or model home. Before you start selecting floor plans and paint colours, consider working with a registered real estate agent during the buying process. Having a knowledgeable professional protecting your interests is a smart move.
When selecting your representative, interview several candidates and ask about their experience with new-build projects. Their expertise and knowledge of the new construction market can help you find and select an appropriate property, negotiate with the builder’s representative, navigate the paperwork, recommend other necessary professionals and ensure that your best interests are represented. Be aware that a builder may have their own policies about dealing with buyers’ representatives. And be sure to ask your prospective real estate professional about their fee arrangement before engaging their services.
It’s also a good idea to consult with a lawyer who has experience with new construction transactions. Ideally, have them review your Agreement of Purchase and Sale before signing the agreement. If buying a new condominium from a builder, you also have a 10-day cooling off periodto review your rights and obligations.
Buying a new construction property has some unique differences compared to buying a resale property, and another difference from a resale property is that your closing date may need to move based on construction schedules.
Regardless, my advice for home buyers is the same: be well-informed through the process, ask questions, do your due diligence, read all forms and contracts before signing and have the right professionals by your side.