Do you know that if you register on a new home community website (think Compass Pointe, Bald Head Island, Saint James Plantation, Figure Eight Island, Brunswick Forest, etc.) before you select an agent who will watch out for your best interests, you may lose the ability to have an agent work for you?
Generally speaking, in North Carolina, it’s the agent who introduces you to a property who is legally entitled to the commission paid to the buyer’s agent, even if that agent isn’t working for you!
Perhaps you’re thinking, “No problem, why do I want a buyer’s agent, anyway?”
The better question may be, “Why wouldn’t you want a buyer’s agent?” Consider this:
– Using a buyer’s agent doesn’t cost you any more than dealing directly with the developer or builder. If you thought you’d save money because they’re not paying your agent’s commission, we are sorry to report that’s not the case. The on-site agent’s contract with the builder has already set the commission. The only thing that hasn’t been decided is whether or not that agent will keep all of it or split it with someone who represents you and has your back.
– While the on-site agents are extremely nice and genuinely want to be helpful, they ultimately work for the builder and are legally and morally obligated to protect the builder’s best interest. They are not advocating for you. In fact, on your first visit to the neighborhood, they’ll ask you to sign a form that says they’re representing the seller, not you.
– You may have found a neighborhood that seems perfect and may, indeed, be perfect; but what do you know about the other options in the area? Our exclusive buyer’s agents will help you learn about the possible alternatives before you commit to purchasing a home.
– Do you know which points which builders are likely to negotiate and which ones s/he is not?
– The on-site agent will tell you about the incentive the builder will offer if you use a particular lender and closing attorney. Who will help you figure out if that’s a better deal than you might get if you used another lender or closing attorney?
The builder has an experienced real estate professional looking out for his best interests. Why wouldn’t you want the same, especially if it cost you no more to get that help and direction? A challenge occurs, however, if you register on a community’s online website or allow the on-site agent to show you properties. Both actions can be viewed as contributing to the reason you decide to buy a home in that neighborhood, the on-site agent may refuse to recognize nor agree to split their commission with your agent. With no compensation, your agent will either expect you to pay his fee or you will be forced to forego the right to have an agent working for you.