By Dayv Morgan
Maricopa has seen a recent surge in new home construction. Many people find it enjoyable to tour model homes, and soon find themselves contemplating an upgrade to a brand-new house. If you’re looking, perhaps it’s time to contact a Realtor.
Commonly, people believe there is a financial penalty to using a Realtor when buying a new home. That is not the case. It’s cost-free to use your own agent. The commission is paid by the builder. Also, it’s wise to take your Realtor along when you begin looking at models, because typically a builder will not allow you to have an agent once you have completed a registration form.
The seller will not give a lower base price simply because a buyer purchases without an agent. Often with completed spec homes, the opposite is true. Your Realtor can research how long a home has been on the market and help negotiate a reduced price or additional upgrades, such as appliances or landscape packages.
Another misconception is that it’s not necessary to have a Realtor when you buy a brand-new home. Here, it’s important to keep in mind the sales agents at the model homes are employees for the builder. They represent the builder’s best interests, not the buyer’s. A local agent can help point out things about the community, its location, and details such as HOA fees, amenities offered, the home’s orientation and exposure to the sun or proximity to the train tracks, road noise, etc.
Your Realtor may recommend you have a licensed home inspector view the home before closing; another practice that occurs with resales but is often overlooked with new homes.
When I moved to Maricopa in 2006, it was a housing boom and a strong seller’s market. When I decided to buy a new home, I was at the mercy of the builder, and had to agree to all their terms. Waiving a home inspection was one of the requirements. The sales representative convinced me, because the home came with a builder’s warranty, everything would be fine. Twelve months later, the builder was bankrupt, corporate offices were closed, and any possibility of making a warranty claim was gone.
Fortunately, the house had no structural issues. I have heard many examples, however, of home inspectors finding major problems such as missing insulation in walls or attic, disconnected AC ducts, or missing roof tiles. Even national builders and licensed contractors can make mistakes. It is important not to assume everything will be done perfectly. Anything that was installed incorrectly, if not caught during the warranty period, could end up costing hundreds or thousands of dollars when you plan to sell. The average home inspection costs about $350. It is certainly worth the peace of mind to have it done.
Dayv Morgan is a Maricopa Realtor and owner of HomeSmart Success. He can be reached at DayvMorgan@gmail.com.