When you're thinking of buying a home, visiting builder's model homes is fun, but beware. If you're serious about finding a home, it's best to take a knowledgeable buyer's agent with you on those visits.
At the very least, you should already have a buyer's agent and should let the builder's representative know immediately. Give that representative your agent's card so there can be no mistake.
Why? Because there's more to buying a new home than you might realize. Unless you are a construction expert yourself, you do need someone with experience safeguarding your interests. If you visit a model home without letting the representative know that you're working with an agent, you may not be able to bring in your own representation later. Different builders have different policies.
The builder's on-site representative will be friendly and helpful. He or she will write your purchase agreement and suggest upgrades to the basic home. You may want or even need some of those upgrades, but you don't need to spend the top price for them. An experienced buyer's agent will help you choose which upgrades to include and will help you negotiate the prices.
Then there's the contract. Does it include financial safeguards for you if the builder fails to complete the house on time? Does it provide for adjustments / consequences if the house fails to pass inspection at any point during the build? Does it even allow you to have a home inspector checking in as the house is being built?
Financing is another tricky area. Some builders have lenders that they suggest to buyers. Using them may or may not be to your advantage. Your buyer's agent will recommend checking with more than one lender before making a choice, because rates and fees do vary, and construction loans are somewhat different from straight purchase loans.
Yes, you can go straight to the builder's in-house agent to purchase a new home. They'll be happy to help you. But it's not a wise decision.
Want to know more? Get in touch. I'll be happy to explain.