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Do I Need A Realtor When Building A Custom Home

By May 10, 2022Home Building
Realtor handing over keys.

Considering whether or not you need a realtor for anything related to building or buying a home is something that many homeowners debate. In fact, a lot of sellers debate this as well. All homeowners are looking to save as much money as they can in these processes. There are so many expenses such as appraisals, home inspections, and down payment deposits, that people are looking to save where they can. However, keep in mind that you are getting a lot of support from hiring a realtor. You want to hire someone who has experience and knowledge of the home building process. Do I need a realtor when building a custom home? Yes, if you want to have an advocate and someone who understands the builders contracts.

Let’s take a deeper look at how realtors can help.

What Is A Realtor

There are two terms that people generally use interchangeably. Realtor and real estate agent. Unfortunately, these terms often do not mean the same. Realtors often licensed registered agents who are held to a hire code of ethics. In addition, some realtors are also brokers. So, keep in mind that a realtor might be able to complete all tasks needed during the building process. Where as, a real estate agent, is simply someone who can show a home and be the intermediary between the buyer and seller.

Master plans of a new custom home build.
Master plans of a new custom home build.

Do I Really Need One

Hiring a realtor is a great choice and most people do not have time to micromanage a home building process. Even a custom home builder needs to be looked after. Anyone in the construction industry is looking to keep costs at a minimum so profits are higher. A realtor can help ensure that you get what you pay for. Let’s take a look:

  • Ability to negotiate – most custom builders will skimp on what they provide. A realtor can negotiate extra perks and amenities like higher quality counters, flooring, and appliances. Realtors can also help negotiate various color choices of your doors and walls, that might otherwise not be standard to the build.
  • Financing – most builders have a connection when it comes to financing. However, that usually does not help the buyer, but it helps the builder with a kickback for using their lender. A realtor can help you shop around for the best interest rates and financial terms. This ensures that you get a great deal and not over extend to what the builders mortgage company wants.
  • Home Inspection Assist – a realtor can also assist you during the home inspection. Most custom builders will not want an inspection because it is an added expense. However, to determine any building defects, you will need a home inspection completed. Realtors can help you identify a reputable home inspection team to assist you.
Visualizing a new custom home.
Visualizing a new custom home.

What Will A Realtor Do For Me

Believe it or not, it is worth paying the fee to a realtor to assist you with your custom home building process. Not every custom home builder is going to give you what they promise. Having a realtor holds the custom home builder accountable on many levels. Let’s take a look at the list of how realtors can help.

  • Advocate – a realtor can speak to the builders agent and ensure that you are getting what you planned for. Realtors can also review the pre-terms of a contract before you decide on which custom builder to use for your new home construction.
  • Professional contact – connections to the buying and building markets are key. Having a realtor gives you a professional contact to reach out and decide which custom builder can meet your planned needs. Once you have selected a custom builder a realtor can be with you every step of the building process to ensure that the builder is completing the project as they agreed to.
  • Builder contracts – realtors see building contracts on a regular basis. In most cases, a builders contract is pretty standard. Building contracts can have some hidden fees and terms that you might not want to commit to. Just because you see a beautiful model home, does not mean that it’s in your price range or what you wanted. Realtors can review the building contracts before you sign on the dotted line.
  • Money savers – having a professional realtor ensures that you do not get taken for extra costs. In many cases, the money set aside for a realtor commission is not returned if you don’t use one. The money not used just goes back to the custom builder. So, in order to save money, use a realtor or it could cost you as you sign an inflated contract.
  • Budgeting – a realtor can help you break down a budget to make sure that you are prioritizing your needs. Keep in mind that wants and needs are two very different terms. Making sure that your dream home has all of the needs first is key. A good realtor can help negotiate.
  • Negotiations and disputes – a realtor can negotiate with the builders’ agent and handle any disputes along the way. As a client, you don’t have a lot of time to deal with the ins and outs as you are at work. So, trusting a realtor to handle the details is a great way to go. There are always going to be mistakes or missed details by the builder and their subcontractors. Always remember that your realtor can handle the disputes for you.
  • Mistakes after closing – the realtor can handle any mistakes made by the builder even after you have moved in. Let’s face it, it can be exhausting and stressful when building a new home. The last thing you want to do is continue with a builder after you have moved in. Let your realtor work through those details for you and get the repairs done.

Other Recommended Ideas

Now that you have an understanding of hiring a realtor during a custom home build, take a look into why you should hire a realtor no matter the situation. Several homeowners look to leave out a realtor during the home selling process. Saving on a commission is a great thing, but only if you don’t get it wrong at the closing. Hiring a realtor can ensure that your home buying, building, or selling experience is smooth.

Next, you will want a realtor who understands the builders’ contracts. Once the home inspection has been completed, don’t think that everything is done. The key for the home inspection is to find any mistakes made by the builders’ team and get them fixed right away. So, hiring a realtor that knows how to negotiate after a home inspection is key.

Lastly, now that you have moved into your home it is a good idea to understand how your home will change over time. It is very natural for a home to shift and settle over the course of months and years. Always remember that the builders’ job is complete and everything looks great, but what’s underneath that beautiful new home will determine how long before any repairs might be needed.

New custom home being built.
New custom home being built.

When Do I Call A Professional

Calling on a professional is crucial in this case. You want to ensure that you have a realtor who is there to support you every step of the way. Most of the time a person looking to build a custom home has very little knowledge of the process and how it works.

Hiring a realtor can help alleviate any stress that you might have during the process. Also, if you aren’t sure who to hire, reach out to your local home inspection team. Not only will you need them during the building process but they can also recommend a reputable realtor.


Building a custom home can be very stressful. In some instances you feel like you are the only one that the builder is working for and in other instances, you feel as if the builder has taken on too many projects. This happens in any industry of custom building and having a realtor present to assist you is very helpful. Also, make sure to hire the right home inspection team. They can assist in recommending realtors who have experience with custom home building contracts, as well as relationships with the builders.

In addition, your local home inspection team can become another trusted group that is on your side and keeps the builder from cutting corners during the building process. Call on All Coast Home Inspections for a home inspection in Houston, TX.

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