Should I have representation when building a home?

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My name is Tom Taulbee. I’m a full time real estate agent in Cincinnati, Ohio.

If you’re anything like me and my family you were in love with the idea of building a home. No matter what pre-existing home was on the market, nothing measured up to the idea or even the possibility of building a home.

We came from a typical midwestern starter home. It was 3 bed, 2 bath money pit. One problem after another. Welcome to home ownership at 25. I cursed that house several hundred times. However it was our home and we did everything to make it that and more for the 10 years we lived there.

When the possibility came about that we could afford something bigger and better, we fell in love with the idea of building. We looked at several existing homes, but with all the problems we had in our first home, we didn’t want any pre-existing conditions.

This was a different market in Cincinnati at the time. Builders were giving away options at a furious pace to get people to build their home. At this time, I never imagined I would be a Real Estate agent. We thought we were smart and we did okay, but the salesman was so nice…

The sales reps are just that “Sales” Representative. The majority of them are very good at what they do, and I’m sure the majority of them are very nice people. However…

Guess who they work for. Guess who they “represent”. Guess who’s interest they are looking out for…The builder. It is in the builder and the rep’s best interest if you do not have a licensed agent representing you. If you’re not represented, they don’t have to pay a commission.

Well maybe they will give me the commission amount off in options or a credit, right?…

Nope, that goes right to their bottom line. It’s a business, they build houses to make money.

So in answering the above question, the answer is…

YES. Have your own licensed agent represent you. I recommend an agent that has experience in the process of building a home or homes. There are things that agents know and deal with in real estate on a daily basis. There are items that the representative do not want you to know. They are good at the job they do, however building a home isn’t only about free stuff and free options. Look into items, like HOA’s, neighborhood connections, social media, taxes, plans, among many other things.

Using a realtor to purchase a home or build a home is typically free to the buyer, but you are the employer. We work for your best interests. It is our job to provide you with the best value for your purchase. That doesn’t always mean price. Most people wouldn’t consider buying an existing home without a Realtor, so why would anyone consider a more complicated process without someone looking out for their best interests?

The bottom line of this post is to simply inform you that building a home can be very tedious, detail oriented with many updates and changes. Many times you can avoid surprises with quality representation. The process works best when the builder, the representative, buyer and buyers agent are on the same page. Your experience will be better and you will appreciate the task and the value you received in your purchase.