Do you need a Realtor for New Construction in Tampa, FL?

Buying New Construction Home on your own can be detrimental to your wallet…

Do you need a Realtor for New Construction in Tampa, FL?

Everyone is happy with their new build until something goes wrong, and many times buyers do not even know what is wrong or how to handle it when it happens.   

You risk losing money if you go alone without a good realtor for your new construction home.  The new construction process is complex, and things can and do go wrong.  It’s easy to lose money on a new construction home when you don’t hire your own buyer broker.  

Local news reported that Lennar kept $40,000 of buyer’s deposit because the buyer did not understand the timelines in the contract. I felt bad for him because the buyer really had no clue…no one advised him. Losing that money could have been prevented.

How does a new construction home buyer even know what to look for? They don’t…which is why they need someone on their side who is an experienced buyer advocate. Builders salespeople are not allowed to explain the contract to you, and many are not even familiar with what their own 100 page contract really says.  

There have been occasions when we have contradicted what a builders rep stated so they have to go to their manager to verify the details…yes, we do listen closely and read the contracts carefully!Do you need a Realtor for New Construction in Tampa, FL?


There are countless stories of buyers losing deposits, or having construction issues: 

Tampa Bay New Construction Lawsuits

Owners said that he moved into a defective home with an array of construction issues as many lawsuits revealed over multiple counties.

Buyers construction home journey becomes a construction nightmare in Tampa.  

Building and Builders are not like they used to be before the pandemic.

The costs for building have dramatically gone up so that builders have changed vendors from their long-term relationships to products that cost less.  The ability to get products on time has drastically changed.  

Builders can no longer rely on suppliers and subcontractors that they have used for decades. The builders are tighter about spending money and less willing to make allowances for the buyer.  

New construction has also experienced a shortage of qualified subcontractors.  Buyers today must be even more vigilant about receiving everything they contracted for. 

Purchase contracts are more stringent.  Mattamy homes for example can cancel your contract, if they deem you a “problem buyer”.  Is that fair?  What if you have a legitimate concern?  Maybe they just don’t want to acknowledge any problem…

Supply chain issues have caused the sales process to change substantially.  Today, most builders are “inventory” building, which means the builder picks the lot, floor, plan and colors, instead of the buyer choosing. 

Years ago it was just the complete opposite.  Back then, buyers gravitated to new construction because they could have a choice of lot, floor plan, upgrades and color.  Builders that do allow customization are very few.  

In addition, deposits (most non-refundable, except during the financing contingency period) on new home construction have increased quite a bit over the past several years.

Still think you don’t need a buyer agent for a new construction home?  

An experienced buyer’s broker can keep a buyer grounded in the process.  It is so easy to be wooed by the model homes that showcase the “big bucks” upgrades and the nice personality of the salesperson. Do you need a Realtor for New Construction in Tampa, FL?

Did you know that a $500,000 base model home can have $300,000 in upgrades that no one mentions? 

It is easy to become friendly with the builder’s onsite salesperson who looks good, dresses well and makes you feel comfortable.  Yet the business details are what's most important behind this highly emotional purchase.  

Every new construction home buyer needs their own agent so they are aware of all the  nuances.  After all, not everything is as it seems when buying a new construction home.  

There is also the small print in the 50-100 page contract. Are you really going to read it? Or better yet do you think you will understand what you read and are expected to sign?

Should you hire an attorney to review the new construction contract?

There is no one better than an attorney trained in the legalese to uncover the important details you need to know in these contracts.  These contracts are considered “contracts of adhesion”, which means the builder more than likely will not change any of the terms.  

Terms of the Builders contract are always written to benefit the builder…never the buyer!  So, it’s important you know what the one-sided contract says before you sign.

Think the builder's salesperson is there to help you?  Think again…

Do you need a Realtor for New Construction in Tampa, FL?

The salesperson’s job in the new construction community is to make you fall in love with their community. This onsite salesperson is trained to smile and answer your questions about the process. 

Builders don’t want to lose your business to another builder down the street.

Their job is also to never tell you the negatives about the home or community.  They will not tell you about the pitfalls in the contract. They will also not remind you of timelines in the contract to stay compliant.  None of the sales representatives will tell a buyer that there is no appraisal contingency or no financing contingencies in the contract…or there is a landfill close by. One well known builder built a community on a former dump site.  

True Story #1: One time, I was sitting in the salesperson’s office, with the salesperson and buyers.  By the way, these buyers did not have a lot of cash.  The husband worked outside the home and the wife stayed home with a disability.  

The buyers were eager to buy and they insisted we sign the contract right then and there.  As the salesperson was preparing the contract to sign, I proceeded to explain a few issues that the buyer should be aware of before they sign on the dotted line; Like the lack of an appraisal contingency in the builder contract.  

The builder salesperson said “oh no, I do not want to talk about that”. 

Of course I brought it up anyway.  If the property doesn't appraise at the purchase price, the buyers are obligated to potentially pay thousands of dollars for the difference between the purchase price and appraisal value in order to close on the home. That can be more $ than the buyer has. 

This is one example of why you need a seasoned new construction buyer agent like me, that knows what questions to ask. Often the salesperson censors important information that the buyer needs to know.  There are many more stories and situations like that…

Just thinkWhat if the house doesn't appraise and you are short on cash needed  to make up the deficiency and can’t close…do you lose your escrow deposit?  Of course!  Think the builder will lower the price?  Of course not!  They will keep your deposit and sell the house to another buyer. Maybe even for more money which is why they will not care about your problem.

True story #2: Cash buyer buying 2 homes in the same community.  The new construction community was being built by the country's biggest builder. The buyer was an astute lady who lived close, so watched what was going on with the construction of her homes.  She caught most of the issues before they became a big problem…like the master bedroom wall that was so crooked, that they had to put another wall over it just to cover up the waves in the wall.

Before the start of building, the home buyer received a “feature sheet” of all extras that will be incorporated in the build.  About a couple of months before closing, the builder sent a new list….claiming that the old one had a “typo”.  I compared the old list with the revised list and WOW…there was no “typo”; the builder just decided to remove some upgrades. Can you believe it??

The driveway was not going to have brick pavers, the front door was changed from a fancy hurricane-rated glass door to a plain wood door, the back patio was no longer going to be screened and the dormer windows were non-existent...Builder actually removed and/or lowered the quality of add ons that they promised the buyer, some that the buyer paid extra for…like the bathroom that no longer had the size of tile ordered.

I called the builder about the fictional “typo” and their response simply was that they are no longer going to provide that.  We recommended a good attorney and buyer canceled the contract. Builder returned all the deposits ($60K) because it was cheaper to give it up than to lose a lawsuit. Besides, both houses were sold within one week for 10% more.

Can I save money if I don’t bring my realtor to buy new construction?

The answer is simply ‘’no”.  Builders do pay realtors to bring them a buyer as they know that realtors have 80% of the buyer market share.  The builders will never discount the home if a buyer comes alone to buy new construction. The reality is that without someone to guide you, chances are you will pay more and receive less.

As experienced Buyers Brokers this is what we do for you…

Do you need a Realtor for New Construction in Tampa, FL?

Read the Terms of the Contract:   Buyers Broker of Florida will review the contract for the buyer…regardless of how long or boring the contract may be…more importantly, we understand what it says.

We highlight any “buyer beware'’ issues and make sure the buyer understands the terms. Believe it or not, salespeople that work for the builder do not understand their own contracts.  They are not trained for that, and the builders keep it that way, so they do not have any responsibility for their reps stating something incorrectly.   

We do understand the various contracts and our unique knowledge always makes a difference to the buyer's  peace of mind. 

Compliance with terms and timelines:  New construction contracts are always one-sided for the builder.  It is important to discuss and monitor deadlines in the contract.  If home buyers are in breach of contract, they could be at risk of losing their deposits.    

Don’t think that if you use the builder's preferred lender or title company that they will watch your timelines…they don’t bother with your deadlines, but they do monitor closings for the builder. Some will even advise the builder of your confidential finances.

Tell you the Negatives (and Positives):  We make sure our buyer clients stay informed about positives and negatives even if it means buying later or in another community.  Do you need a Realtor for New Construction in Tampa, FL?

 I had a buyer select a lot based on the recommendation from the salesperson because the lot had privacy. The lot premium price was $8,000.  The lot backed up to not one, but two roads, with giant power lines in the backyard.  

I told the buyer to choose another lot, as power lines  and that location can be a“negative” for resale. They were happy to learn that and decided to pick a better lot.

Attend Meetings and Inspections on Your Behalf:   Many of our buyers are out of town and cannot attend construction or inspections meetings, we attend to make everything go smoothly so there are no surprises.  When you do not have your own agent to buy a new construction home some things will get overlooked.   

This is why it is important to have a home inspection even on a new build.  We have found missing hurricane straps in the attic, missing vents for the kitchen exhausts, keys and lights that don’t work and even found a toilet flushing with hot water. 

We do Resolve Problems:  When issues come up in transactions, buyers have us as their ally to help them deal with the builder.  Many times, buyers cannot fly down, or have no time, or feel uncomfortable dealing with problems.  You need a buyers broker that knows the ins and outs and is willing to actively mitigate issues in your best interest.

Buyers Broker will give you options:  Builder salesperson will not tell you about your options even small ones, such as getting a remote closer, or digital signatures, or making sure your termite bond and warranties are provided.  We always think of ways to make the new construction home transactions easier for our buyers. 

For example, we recommend putting your deposit money in an escrow account instead of the builders pocket to use.  Think that's not a problem?  I remember one builder who ran off with the escrow money to the Bahamas.  The community remained unfinished for years. These nuances are all defaults in the contracts which buyers overlook, and most agents don’t bother to read.

We Save Money:  There are times when builders are negotiable, and a buyer's broker can help a buyer seize those opportunities.  We know what to negotiate on a new construction home. Some homebuyers mistakenly think that if they come alone, the price will be reduced. Not a chance!  In fact, you probably will NOT get the best deal.

We Help with Financing and Title Company Issues:  The builders' salesperson are not educated on the finer details of financing, title or accurate closing figures, since they are not well versed in this. Mostly, it is not their job to help you.   Do you need a Realtor for New Construction in Tampa, FL?

A Buyers Broker routinely deals in this arena in both resales and new construction.  Just this year, I saved a buyer $1000 on missing tax prorations on a closing statement. We check to see if the charges to the home buyer are accurate, and you are not being overcharged.

Smart Home buyers always hire their own buyer broker. Check our 5* Reviews.  Read what the media says about us. 

Talk to Tampa Buyers Broker for a free consultation. Do not be one of those buyers that call our office for help after they signed a sales contract and are now stuck…yes, they sure do that.  Buyers Broker of Florida 727-202-9130.

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