As a real estate associate in Calgary, a lot of people ask me if I'm needed when purchasing a home from a builder. My answer is.....
No if you like to take chances with your money. I'm a proud member of the Calgary Real Estate Association. We are needed to help people sell their home and/or find a home while being liable for the information we provide to sellers and buyers. When we help you with property we have to do our due diligence. It's our duty to act honestly, disclose all defects that might be a health hazard or a great expense to fix, protect our clients information (i.e. their price or motivation for buying/selling), follow our clients lawful instruction, and more.
We are very educated in real estate transactions. Trying to get you a great deal for the sale or purchase of your home is just a small part of what we do. The main thing we do is, cover your ass. We make sure you are represented properly and do the best we can to cover all the details that might be an issue for the buy/sell of a home along the way. If you're buying a home that is not represented by a member of the CREA (Canadian Real Estate Association) you may be at risk for major issues and lawsuits. It's not always about money why people do not use a Real Estate associate. It could be that the property has a defect that as a licensed Realtor we HAVE to disclose; like a former grow op, foundation cracks/leaks, asbestos, industrial development across from the residential home, etc etc. We have the title of Realtor® because we have a standard practise that we must follow.
You still have to trust the Real Estate Associate that you put in charge of what might be one of the biggest investment in your life. It's always good business to interview a couple Realtor® and see who you can work with the best. Go by your guts. Your guts will always tell you if a associate is the right one to represent you. After all, you will get to know each other very well during the buying and selling process. In my years as a Realtor® I have become friends with the majority of my clients because we got to know each other so well.
The majority of New home builders are not member's of the MLS System but do hire Real Estate Associates to sell their product and get on the MLS system. Some have their own lawyers that you can use at the cost of the builder if you buy one of their homes. This is good and bad...great that you can save up to $1200 in lawyer fees but bad as it may be a conflict of interest should a problem arise. Same goes with the sales staff at the show home you are about to buy. They may have your best interest in mind but they are still employed by the builder/developer. Of course they want to help you out and for the most part do a great job. Most of these builders want to make you happy. To my experience, most of the big builders are great to work with and do what it takes to make you happy.
So why use a Realtor® when buying a new build home...because it's someone that is only looking after your best interest and getting you the best deal possible. Real Estate Associates are trained to negotiate for you. When making such a large purchase it's better to have a third party tell you whether or not the price is in line with todays market values and to make sure you ask all the right questions.
So no, you don't have to use a Realtor® when buying a new home but why wouldn't you. It costs you nothing. The builder will pay most or all the real estate buyers brokerage fee's. You should have an agreement signed with your real estate associate (Exclusive or Non-Exclusive Buyers Representation Agreement) that outlines what they charge for fee's and how they get paid. Make sure you are very clear on that. Not all builders offer what a buyers real estate associate charges. You want to know that before you write an offer, are you going to have to come up with the remaining balance if the builder does not cover all the fee's.
It doesn't make sense to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars without having someone watching your back. That's just bad business.
Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions. I promise, no obligation, no pressure, just the best answers I can give you to help you out.
Have a groovy day!
Jason (Excuse my bad grammar and sentence structure, I'm not a professional writer)