Don't Step Foot into a New Construction Model!!!
I've said this many times before but when my own sister did it, I realized I had to write about it. Just in case you're wondering, I was not her Realtor because she lives in Florida and I live in Maryland. However, the Realtor she was working with is someone I've referred to my family a couple years ago.
When my sister told me what happened I gasped and yelled, "Don't you read anything I put on Facebook!" I was just kidding, kinda :-) After this conversation I realized it is worth talking about again and again. I know when you are looking for a house it is a really exciting time. Buyers just want to get out there and help by locating their own properties online, going to open houses and visiting new construction models.
As a Realtor, I can say I love the proactive Buyer who is motivated and looking to find their dream home as soon as possible. However, we must discuss the "Rules of Engagement." If you would like to visit an open house or new construction site, it is best to discuss it with your Realtor first. Your Realtor will be able to schedule an appointment to go to the open house or new construction model with you. If your Realtor is not available for the showing, they can call the site sales person ahead of time and let them know you will be stopping by and you are working with a Realtor.
Some people think, "What's the Big Deal?" The big deal is with new home construction, the builder will pay the Buyer Agents commission. It is already built into the cost of the home you are buying. The caveat, you must have your Agent with you on your very first visit to the site. If you do not have your Agent with you, then the builder WILL NOT pay your Agent's commission which will leave you without representation and you will have to negotiating your contract on your own! If you chose to continue working with your Agent to represent you, then you will have to pay your Realtors commission out of pocket in addition to your down payment and closing cost expenses. If that does not sound good to you, then make sure you have your Realtor with you on your first visit.
Open houses are a little different. They do not follow the same rules as new construction. An open house is held by the Listing Agent or another Agent from that same office. The purpose of an Open House is to attract Buyers to visit the home in hopes they would like to purchase it. Agent's also hold Open Houses to attract Buyers who may not already be working with a Realtor with the hope they will be able to get a new client. If you do attend an Open House, I would recommend not filling out anything and advising the Agent you are already working with a Realtor. Also keep in mind, if the Listing Agent is holding the Open House, they are working for the SELLER. Any information you may provide by accident or on purpose will be shared with the Seller and can affect your negotiating position if you decide to submit an offer on the property.
Your Realtor understand your wants and needs and is working on your behalf to help you find the home of your choice. Make sure you are working together with your Realtor and they are aware of the houses you are interested in. Their job is to negotiate for you to get the best price on the home, the maximum seller help with closing cost with the least amount of out of pocket expenses. Help your Realtor help you!