by Lee Keadle
The Keadle Group - Carolina One Real Estate
You’re in the market for a new home. You’ve decided you’d like to use a Realtor® to assist you with your search and negotiations. You research which real estate company is best suited to your needs and you’ve seen something about a Realtor® being a “Buyer’s Agent”. You thought a Realtor® is a just a Realtor®, right? Well, not exactly.
A general brokerage Realtor® is a designated licensed real estate professional who is authorized to represent individuals in both the buying and selling of real estate. A Realtor® who is a Buyer’s Agent chooses to specialize and represents only buyers of real estate and not the sellers.
Typically, when a home buyer visits a new home neighborhood they are met by the home builder’s sales agent. The Builder’s sales agent is considered a “Seller’s Agent” and acts on behalf of the home builder, a.k.a. the seller.
Home shoppers sometimes assume if they work directly with a builder’s sales agent, they don’t need a Buyer’s Agent. However, first -time buyers as well as experienced buyers may find having an agent who specializes in new construction can help with contract negotiations and to facilitate a smoother building process. There is no fee for the home buyer to use a Buyer’s Agent.
What should you look for in finding a Buyer’s Agent? Here is a list of important traits and experience you will want to look for:
Niche = Knowledge
If you’re considering buying a new home, it’s important to find a Buyer’s Agent who specializes in new construction communities. Most real estate agents have specializations or niches for certain areas (Mount Pleasant, Summerville, West Ashley) or types of properties (investments, vacation homes, luxury homes, new construction).
Look for an agent who can talk with you easily about the area builders in Charleston, the builders’ warranties, the differences in areas, property taxes and the differences between the many new home communities. An experienced, knowledgeable Buyer’s Agent will assist you so you can better hone in on which builder and community will give you the product and lifestyle you’re looking for.
Resale Value: Think of Real Estate as Your Biggest Investment
Your agent should have a good understanding of what typical buyers in your price range or area are looking for. The new construction route allows you to choose almost every aspect of your home, from homesite to floor plan layout to cabinet style to light fixtures.
Your Agent Should be a Resource
A good Buyer’s Agent should be able to provide you with additional reputable resources such as a selection of home insurance companies and mortgage lenders to consider. It is wise to shop mortgages. Typically, builders have ‘preferred’ lenders with favorable rates and closing incentives. Have the builder’s lender give you a quote though, it’s a good idea to shop around with at least one other mortgage company to make sure you’re getting competitive rates and fees. Being able to see a closing cost estimate/breakdown from two lenders lets you compare apples and apples since rates and fees vary drastically by loan product and company.
In addition to providing a trustworthy, third-party mortgage lender, your real estate agent should also be able to recommend good insurance agents, painters, or contractors.
Pros and Cons: Every Neighborhood Has Them
A significant factor to consider is by having your own Buyer’s Agent he/she can talk with you about both pros and cons of a neighborhood. Be wary of agents who seem pushy or are only looking for their own commission check. A good agent considers your needs, your budget and your best interest. They will take the time to visit multiple communities with you to make sure you find the best possible fit for you and your family. Being able to discuss the pros and cons is an important part of this process to make sure you’ll be happy in the home for years to come.
Another factor to consider is home buyers may not be as familiar with the surrounding area, market trends, you name it, but a Buyer’s Agents might shed light on an issue you wouldn’t have thought of or considered. Having a Buyer’s Agent’s point of view may help you determine whether a particular home meets your long term goals of homeownership.
About the Author
As the #1 New Homes Buyer’s Agent for Carolina One Real Estate, Lee Keadle has more than 12 years of experience with Charleston area new homes. Lee specializes in new home construction within Charleston County with an emphasis on Mt Pleasant though is also experienced with James Island, West Ashley, Johns Island, and Daniel Island. Be sure to read complete Bio on Lee and The Keadle Group.
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