I frequent a great web site called City-Data.com. They have fabulous message board where you can go ask questions about different cities and people who live in those cities will help you/give their opinions/sometimes be snarky. The information you can get there can be incredibly helpful.
I love it because a lot of people who are relocating to the area will write their questions and you all know how much I love helping people. I like it even more when those people decide to let me help them with their real estate needs in person. Some of my most favorite clients have come to me through those forums.
A couple of stories though, about people who chose NOT to use a REALTOR® (a little vague to protect the posters, although they did post on a forum that is publicly available for all to see)
- One thing that makes me really crazy is the type of person who doesn’t want to use an agent but then asks a zillion questions on the site that their agent could answer better than a bunch of strangers can. Your agent will know your personal story, your needs, your builder, your home wayyy better than random helpful people on the web. Even though you are not required to use an agent when you build, we can answer all those questions about homestead exemptions, comps, commute times, best routes, final walk through, inspections, local utility providers, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum. Your REALTOR® is an invaluable source of great information and could easily answer all of these questions. Your agent is there to be the neighborhood expert, your trusted adviser, and help you with these exact things. I can even help you find a great hair stylist!
- Another recent story is that of a buyer who didn’t use a REALTOR® for their new build and had a problem. The builder had to make a change because the manufacturer changed, and the builder promised that the change would be just as good as the previous choice. But guess what? Nobody put it in writing. Now the buyer is finding that the change is not nearly as good as the original choice, and he’s upset. He wants to know what he can do. Well, that’s a tough one because the promise was not put into writing, and as every REALTOR® knows, it MUST be in writing to be enforceable. That’s real estate 101. The REALTOR® would have made sure that the details were in writing to help protect their client. I truly hope that this buyer is able to get the builder to fix the issues he’s having.
My point is, you do NOT help yourself by not bringing a REALTOR® with you to the new home builder. Many people on that forum will tell you that you can save money by asking the builder to refund the commission fees to you but I can’t understand why anyone would want to make possibly the largest transaction, their biggest investment, without someone to help.
If you want to build a home, call a REALTOR®.