Southern Georgian Bay is booming, and it is impossible to drive around without seeing the signs for new developments. Buying a new construction home certainly has its appeal. Being able to choose your finishes and build a home specifically for you and your family is an amazing opportunity however buying a home is often an emotional decision and one of the largest financial decisions of your life. It is important to ensure you are getting the best deal possible.®
The process may go something like this. You innocently decide to pop into the sales showroom to see what the builder has to offer. You tell your partner/friend/family you have no intention of buying right now and just want to see the options available.
When you first walk into the showroom you are in awe of the high-end finishes and impeccably staged rooms. The builder’s sales representative greets you, offers you coffee and a doughnut and shows you around. You are shown all the available options such as property types, floor plans, prices, upgrades, community amenities ect. Wow, what an amazing place to live.
You are then shown the impressive site plan but told that only a few lots remain available in this phase of construction. You look at your partner/friend/family, how can you let this amazing opportunity pass you by?
Let’s say you decide that you are going to buy a home in this development. The Builders sales representative will have the paper work ready to go and will walk you through the process. The contract is explained to you and you sign the pages of the agreement and write out your deposit cheque. CONGRATULATIONS! You’re a home owner!
Do you really know what you have signed up for?
This scenario is of course is a dramatization. However, similar situations happen every day as potential buyers wander into various showrooms across Canada. The experience can certainly be overwhelming.
I’m not saying the builder’s sales representative isn’t reputable or is in any way incapable of taking you through the process of buying your home. In fact, they often have significant knowledge regarding new developments and their communities. They are hired by the builders to sell their homes. Of course, they should know all about this development and surrounding amenities.
The main thing to understand is that they are hired by the builder and represent the interests of the builder.
Bringing your own Realtor to represent you in the purchase of your home levels the playing field and allows for negotiations between the parties with each side represented.
Be sure to bring your Realtor with you on your first visit. Most Builders will not work with a Realtor if you’ve visited the showroom by your self initially and registered without representation.
There are numerous advantages to using your own Realtor. A few are listed below for your consideration.
Realtors can be builder sales representatives, but builder sales representatives don’t have to be Realtors. Although real estate agents may not be held in the highest regard by some members of the general public, we are held to a higher standard than regular sales people. Realtors are licensed and governed by the Real Estate Business Brokers Act, can be fined, or lose our licenses if we do something incorrect or unethical. Clients of a Realtor are ensured that their best interests are always put first. The act also states that the brokerage representing you must make reasonable effort to discover any material facts relating to the transaction and share these details with you. This will help you make the most informed decision when buying your home.
A COMPLETE MARKET COMPARISON
Visiting one showroom and finding an incredible home for a price you can afford is great! But, what other developments are in town? Can you get a similar home for a better price? Did you compromise on something that you may be able to get elsewhere? Is there a more reputable builder just down the road? If you are moving to a new area, are you sure you are in the right part of town?
A Realtor representing your best interests will work diligently to explore all possibilities available to you. Exploring all new developments, comparing prices, standard finishes, builders ect.
NEGOTIATING ON YOUR BEHALF
Typically, builders do not like to compromise on their home prices as it sets a precedent for future sales. They do however negotiate on upgrades and other incentives to sweeten the deal. This may include covering some of your closing costs, adding appliance packages or including other design upgrades that are not typically standard.
Every builder differs with regards to standard finishes. Something that may not be standard with one builder could be included by another. An example of this would be Granite Countertops, Hardwood floors ect.
Bringing a Realtor who is experienced in new construction is important to getting you the best deal possible. Some buyers believe that by not brining their own representation they will save the amount of commission paid to the buyer representative. This is not the case. Excluding your own representative from the deal will result in the builders representative being paid the full amount rather than sharing the commissions. Buyer representatives are paid a portion of the listing representatives commissions as detailed in the agreement.
Furthermore, the details of the contract that are not related to the tangible aspects of your home are a very important and often overlooked. One example is ensuring you find the right financing options rather than using the builders preferred lender because it is convenient. Your Realtor will be able to recommend finance professionals who are not tied directly to the builder and can provide you with various options for purchasing your new home. It is always beneficial to shop around for the best finance package applicable to your unique situation.
Ensuring that your agreement includes all the details mentioned verbally during negotiations is another important factor. If something notable is mentioned during negotiations it is crucial to ensure that it is put into writing. If a detail is not a part of the signed agreement, it is not enforceable.
By the same token, making sure all necessary conditions are in the offer is essential. An example of this is including a home inspection condition. Often, people think that because the home is new that there will be no issues with the construction. It is recommended to include an inspection clause in your agreement to ensure nothing is built improperly and all building practices are up to the standards set out by the Ontario Building Code. New homes are often covered by a Tarion Warranty but even this has its limits.
The benefits of bringing your own Realtor to represent you on your new construction purchase are substantial. It is always beneficial to have someone with your best interests in mind and who has the expertise to negotiate the best deal possible for you and your family.
If you are thinking of purchase a home in the Southern Georgian Bay area or have any questions, I would love to hear from you.
Andrew J Little – Sales Representative – Century 21 Millennium Wasaga Beach
AJL REALTY NETWORK.