Are you interested in buying a brand new condo from a developer? Whether you are an investor or buying a new condo for yourself, your first step should be to hire a real estate agent to help you through the process and act as your Buyer’s Agent.
Many people walk into a developer’s showroom and sign on the dotted line without knowing things like… what upgrades and incentives can be negotiated… what finishes and features will the condo really have… what happens if I decide to rent or sell the condo before it is finished… what will the closing costs be… and so many other fine details and critical legal issues.
REMEMBER: The salespeople in the showroom work in THE DEVELOPER’S best interests and NOT yours! Their legal obligation is ONLY to the Developer. Be smart and protect yourself!
In most places, hiring a real estate agent does not cost you a penny because the Developer pays commission to agents to bring them qualified buyers. One of the biggest myths associated with Buyer Agents is that buyers can get a better price without an agent. This is rarely, if ever, the case. The price you pay for a unit at the showroom will be the same if you are buying the unit with or without representation (and without representation, you are missing out on many other negotiable items besides unit price).
The majority of new condo Developers need and encourage the work of Buyer Agents to drive traffic through the site and to eliminate the liability of representing both parties during the transaction.
Also, many real estate agents get access to special VIP pricing BEFORE projects are released to the public. Generally speaking, if you can walk into a showroom and buy a condo without an agent, you are already too late. Prices have increased 2 or 3 times and all the best units have been sold. Buying in this market requires extensive knowledge of the market conditions, locations, and site specific information.
Using a Buyer’s Agent will help you to analyze and research important facts before making a purchase. Buying pre-construction requires an understanding of the cost per square foot, the current comparables in the marketplace, the best floor plan that suits your needs, the developer and their track record, and the quality of the finish work.
Bottom line–having someone in your corner to help educate you throughout this process will help to give you confidence in your decision. Having a Buyer’s Agent will also allow you to view many different projects. Agents are trained to be unemotional and at arm’s length and will handle the pressure from showroom sales agents.
A knowledgeable Buyer’s Agent can give you tons of great advice, will help you see through slick condo marketing and heavy sales strategies, AND will help you find and negotiate the right condo investment.
Carol Austin is a real estate agent in Toronto Canada and in Boca Raton Florida. She works with homebuyers and sellers, but also specializes in the condo market including resale and new condo developments. Read more about Carol and other members of her real estate team – The Kurt Diener Team at: