Over the last few years, Saskatoon has grown at a torrid pace. As such, we have a lot of of builders throwing their hat in the ring, a very cutthroat and competitive ring. At times we've seen buyers purchase a house directly through the builder, under the impression it's a prudent move to remove the REALTOR® from the buying process, and that's simply not the case, quite the contrary actually.
In general, builder's homes are represented by salespeople who work directly for and represent the builder. This means that oftentimes there can be a conflict of interest in regards to working with an agent who has it in their own best interest to keep working with said builder, and keep them happy in regards to the bottom line. This is concerning to say the least. An agent working FOR you on the other hand, will defend and push for the best possible deal until their last breath (a good agent, anyways). This is the most important purchase of your life, it really can't be seen as wise to put yourself at the mercy of a builder and their salesperson who have an established relationship that is mutually beneficial.
A buyer could be great negotiator but without access to the research and data an agent can examine, it's hard to negotiate properly without knowing these things. A buyer might think they got a great deal, but without an agent who is aware of what similar properties have sold for, possible upgrades based on experience, etc, it's difficult to negotiate properly, as such the builder will always have the upper hand in negotiations with buyers who neglect to use a REALTOR®.
Finally, it's generally not accurate that a buyer will save any money by eschewing a REALTOR® in buying through a builder. Generally reputable builders will have factored in REALTOR® fees into the house price. Not using an agent just puts more money into the pockets of builders, and as we discussed before, loses the invaluable protection a REALTOR® can provide when representing a buyer.
It's just very alarming to see buyers go this route. We love buyers! They're (almost) always a complete joy to work with, and it's just scary for us to see them going down a perilous path that leads them to a spot where they aren't protected when making such an enormous purchase. As always, if you have any questions about this or anything else, give us at The TurnKey Group a call and we'll be happy to explain the process and what we can do for you further!
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