Homebuilders’ Expectations of Brokers
Home buyers who work with a real estate agent specializing in new construction have a huge advantage.
An experienced agent can help a buyer determine whether bold backsplash tiling or a dedicated home office will add enough value to make the project worthwhile.
A builder’s seller’s agent works for the builder and, by law, must put the builder’s interests ahead of yours.
Home builders want to provide a quality experience for buyers and maintain excellent communication throughout the process. It means offering education to brokers on new construction, scheduling open houses and educating their sales associates on the new construction process.
New Home Star is also a great resource for clients during the build process because it can help them avoid making mistakes that could cost them later.
For example, signing an intake form at a showing or online can create confusion on who represents a client, so Clients have their agents sign an agency agreement only after they’ve selected the home they want to purchase.
A well-trained agent can help her clients navigate the many decisions of a new build, like whether bold backsplash tiling will stand out or fade in popularity or whether a dedicated home office is a worthwhile addition to resale value.
An experienced agent can also negotiate extras and perks like appliances and cabinets.
Access to Inventory
New-home sales often involve multiple homes at once, so builders need many agents to sell their inventory. That’s why it’s important to be on the builder’s list.
Builders increasingly offer broker incentives, including a 2-3% commission rate in some markets. Join a builder’s list and attend open houses to meet representatives and learn more about the community.
Request a single point of contact at the builder who can answer questions and help guide clients through the process.
Brokers should also get clear on the builder’s procuring policy, as some builders require buyers to sign with their agent at registration to receive a commission. Otherwise, the buyer could pay their agent’s fee, which could be costly for both parties.
Home builders want brokers to bring in buyer referrals. Referrals can be some of the best leads, especially when there isn’t much trust-building required.
They can also help build an agent’s business, which is why some builders are optimizing their referral programs.
Many home builders offer incentives to attract buyers, including free upgrades like granite counters and stainless appliances. Incentives can also include money to help with closing costs and interest rate buy-downs.
But these promotions can have catches that cost buyers more than they save. For example, if a buyer chooses to use an outside lender instead of the builder’s preferred loan officer, they may forfeit any financing incentive the builder offers.
Buyers should always get a loan quote from an outside lender before signing a contract to ensure that the builder’s financial incentives are the best deal. And brokers should disclose any builder-paid incentives to their buyer clients.
Failure to do so could result in an agent receiving extra compensation for directing a client to a specific property—without the buyer’s knowledge. It can lead to conflicts of interest and damage the broker’s reputation. It could cause distrust and hatred.