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  • Writer's pictureRachel Gagnon

BUYERS: Why hire a Realtor to purchase a new build?

Have you ever viewed a re-sale home and thought: this isn't the best layout? I wish the home was across the street? I wish they had chosen different finishes? Why didn't they add a few upgrades during the original build that are now impossible to add?

Well, that all started when the first buyer built the home! There are many factors to consider to ensure you love your home, but there are also many items to consider for an eventual resale. A home remains an investment for most, and if you can make a substantially larger return by following expert advice in the early stages, why not?

Is there a cost: No. The Realtor is paid by the builder.

*There are very few builders in Ottawa who do not collaborate with Realtors, and you would be notified of this beforehand. The Rachel Gagnon Team does not charge a Buyer in these circumstances, we simply back out of the process and allow the buyer to approach the builder directly.

Can I get a better deal with the builder if a Realtor is not involved: No. In order to maintain fairness between buyers who have Realtors & those that do not, the large majority of the builders in Ottawa do not adjust their pricing whether a Realtor is involved or not.

How does the process work?

*** Do not email or call builders directly, or visit the sales centre until you have been signed in by your Realtor *** In order to respect the compensation agreements, buyers must have their first point of contact with a builder directly through their Realtor.

If you are interested in any new builds, your Realtor will find available options for you & can coordinate a single visit or a tour of many builders / sites to compare the options. Here, you will sign a "co-broke form", which allows you to then speak freely with the builder & visit sales centres, but the builder must respect the involvement of a Realtor in the process.

Your Realtor can advise you on why certain lots are better than others, ask the builder many questions you may not have thought of, and provide a comparative analysis of different floor plans, communities, etc.

When you are ready to submit an offer, your Realtor will guide you through the process alongside the builder, and will guide you through the conditional period (lawyers review & financing, typically.)

Your Realtor can also assist you with design centre choices. Knowing where your money will go farther, what choices have a positive or negative impact during the resale process & cohesion of the finished look are all items to consider.

Finally, guiding you through the possession process (i.e. should you bring a home inspector in?), Tarion & referring contacts (garage door opener technicians, appliance representatives, painters, etc) are all areas that a Realtor can be a part of.

What can a Realtor negotiate with a builder?

This is very case dependent. It depends on the builder, the desired lot, the market, the possession date of the property & more. The most frequent negotiations tend to be:

-Deposit structure

-Deposit amount


-Conditional period

The price is rarely negotiated with builders, due to their desire to keep things fair for other customers (i.e. everyone pays the same sticker price, unless there is a significant market swing.)

Speak with your Realtor to discuss your goals & desired house type, and they will be able to guide you on what trends they're seeing & how much space you might have to manoeuvre to the best outcome.

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