New Construction in Sarasota and Manatee Counties

With all of the new construction homes going up in Sarasota and Manatee Counties across Lakewood Ranch, Palmer Ranch, areas along the Legacy Trail and many places in between, you may wonder if you need a REALTOR® to buy a new construction home or condo. 

Even if you’ve bought new construction recently, understand the negotiations, the contracts, the building process, and have the time to visit the construction site frequently, you’ll still benefit from having your own real estate agent.

Keep in mind, the builder’s representative is just that – a person employed by the builder, who puts the builder’s interests first. It’s what they’re paid to do. Keep in mind also, that when you hire a real estate agent to represent you in the building process, it usually doesn’t cost you anything. 

There are a number of reasons for using your own real estate agent when purchasing a new construction home from the builder. Agents are your resource, and a good agent will provide quite a few key benefits to you, such as:

1) Negotiate: a good agent that is familiar with the local builders will be able to guide you through the contract process and negotiate on things such as price, options, closing costs where possible. They’ll help you understand the items that are likely to be negotiable and which are not.  

2) Explain Contracts: an agent will insist that all terms verbalized by the builder’s representative are put into writing so that they are enforceable later on. Your agent can also go through the builder’s multi-page contract with you and point out important terms that you may miss or not fully realize how significant they are. They will also help you go through your final list of builder upgrades to make sure everything you want is there and the extra costs associated with them are clear. Most agents also have business relationships with real estate attorneys and can refer you to a trusted professional if you’d like to have your contract reviewed by an attorney before you sign with a builder. 

3) Keep Your Builder Accountable: generally we have great builders here in Sarasota and Manatee counties. They are extremely busy though, and having your own agent tends to make the builder more accountable and gives you an extra pair of eyes and ears to ensure all goes smoothly. Mistakes happen during the building process; an agent will work with you to make sure mistakes are corrected. 

4) Research Builder History: an agent who deals with new construction purchases will generally have better knowledge of the local builders reputations, their strengths and weaknesses, and will know where to look to understand a builder’s history for satisfied (or not-so-satisfied) customers. 

5) Crunching Numbers on New vs. Resale: an agent should run the numbers for you comparing a new construction home in a neighborhood or area versus comparable homes that are just a few years old. Sometimes the best deal for a buyer is not a brand new home, but rather one that was built within the past few years. This also comes in handy if you find yourself suddenly in a situation where you need to be in a new home quickly and don’t have time to wait for a new construction home to be built. 

6) Your Local Connection: if you’re going to be out of town during the construction process, or you’re local and working full time during the day, your agent can and should stop by the construction site each week to check on things, take photos for you, make inquiries on your behalf and follow up with you. Many builders have their own sales reps take photos every couple of weeks for buyers during the construction process, but they tend to focus on the positive. Your own agent can be mindful of potential red flag items. 

7) Assistance Comparing New Build Communities: when you’re visiting communities and thinking of building a home there, the on-site builder’s representative will point out all the positive aspects of the community and the builder (after all, it’s their job!) however a real estate agent will also help you compare aspects of different communities and make you aware of alternatives to be sure the community, builder and model you choose are the best fit for you and your lifestyle.

Builders recognize real estate agents as a significant source of potential new homeowners. The commission they pay to real estate agents normally comes from their marketing budget and is not considered an extra expense and is not added to buyer costs. Builders and developers are accustomed to working with real estate agents and understand the value we provide. 

When you hire a REALTOR® to help you through the process, be sure you are both on the same page with what you expect from them. Not all agents provide the level of service outlined above. Be sure to ask them what they’ll do for you.

If you’re considering new construction as an option for your next home, please contact me. Often these opportunities are not listed in popular real estate search sites. Contact me and I’ll get you the list of currently available, brand new move-in ready homes and buildable lots.

I look forward to working with you!