How many times have you driven by streamers flying on a sign that says : “Brand New Construction! Models Open Today!” Of course you want to see the model homes--they are always so beautifully decorated and you can get some great ideas. Plus, it is good to know what the home values are doing in your area. Why not stop in?
The one compelling reason not to go into a builder’s office in the Main Line area is that you will almost always be precluded from having your own agent throughout the process. Unless the builder has advertised to get customers through the local MLS, where they are required to state a compensation for the agents, most builders will refuse to pay your agent unless he or she is with you at the first visit. High pressure, unfair forms, hidden costs, and limited rights are common in new construction if you do not have your own advocate. This Main Line agent has seen all of these issues in one form or another. One client was told the agreement of sale could not be changed at all even though other agents had been given preprinted riders with more favorable terms in their deals with the same builder. Some builders try to require that the buyers use an affiliated title company who may not be willing to offer as comprehensive title coverages. Most builders control the deadlines so that buyers have no idea when they will actually be able to close, making loan applications and interest rate locks vey difficult. Many agreements have only general descriptions of what is included in the price and buyers then are being asked to pay extra for things they were sure were included when they went through the model.
Take your agent on that car ride and into those builder models! You will be glad you did.
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