By Ken Yee
When you walked into the sales office of a new housing development, you will most probably be greeted by a salesperson who wants you to fill out a ‘Visitor Form’ before she starts showing you around. Majority of people will just fill out the form thinking that it is just a simple ‘Get to Know You’ form. Before you fill out that form, be sure to tell the salesperson that you have a real estate agent representing you for the sales. Why? Well because it does not cost the Buyers anything and that the Buyers will be represented by someone with contract and real estate knowledge in the transaction. If a Buyer is represented by a real estate agent, the Builders will pay the commission of the real estate agents, and it will not affect the sales price at all.
Professional knowledge is the key reason why you should be represented by a real estate agent. Most people do not realize that the salesperson, who are usually real estate agents, do not represent the Buyers as their Client. Their sole objective is to help Builders sell the new houses and they are paid by the Builders. Hence they are not there to represent the Buyers. That being said, they will probably not tell the Buyers all the important information that the Buyers need to know, unless absolutely necessary. Don’t get me wrong, they will have to answer questions from Buyers, but their objective is to close the deals. So, unrepresented Buyers who do not ask the right questions may be surprised by things later on in the process. Why not be represented and leave it to the professionals to help and guide you for free?
Negotiation is another reason why you should be represented by a real estate agent. Negotiations can be with many different things. Many Buyers are fixated on the price they pay for the property, but most Builders these days do not negotiate on the price of their inventory. However, that does not mean other things are not open for negotiation. For example, contract term is one area that is very likely to be negotiable. A sharp real estate agent should be able to guide you through some of the things that are open for negotiations in a contract. It is also a lot easier for Buyers to negotiate things through their real estate agents instead of directly through the sales ladies. In addition, many unrepresented Buyers may just look past things that they did not know are negotiable.
Last but not least, buying a home may be a stressful process for some people. Having a real estate agent on your side is like having a friend you can talk to during that process, especially when you run into problems. I still remember we have this pleasant Client who was a first time homebuyer. In the middle of the buying process, she had some medical issues and was very stressed out. The Builder sent her emails giving her short notices for ‘opportunity’ to inspect the property before the next stage of construction. She was really excited about her new home but she was also very stressed with the entire process. Between her confusing loan process, medical appointments, her full time job and the builder scheduling last minute appointments for her to inspect the property, she felt overwhelmed. She broke down and called us one night to chat. We helped her with the builder’s inspection appointments and gave her suggestions on how to navigate the loan process. She was very appreciative of our help and we were glad we were able to use our expertise and knowledge to help her reduce her stress and help her navigate the entire process. In the end, we became good friends.
So, before you fill out that ‘Visitor Form’, always remember to tell the salesperson you have a real estate agent and you would like for them to be involved in your home buying process.
My name is Ken and my wife is Bee. I’m a Civil Engineer turned real estate investor and my wife is an IT Professional turned Realtor. Feel free to drop us your real estate questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
DISCLAIMER: This article is written based on our personal and professional opinions. We are not certified financial advisors and are not qualified to provide financial or legal advice.