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How does one purchase a new construction condo?

May 7, 2007

Is it necessary to have your own agent when purchasing a new construction condominium?

There are two options. You can work with the sales staff directly or you can work with your own buyer's agent.

If you are interested in purchasing a new construction condo, for example, a unit in one of Mission Bay or South Beach's new developments, you can go directly to the sales office. The sales staff is hired and paid by the developer to sell their units.

Or you can choose to hire your own agent to represent you in the sale. The developer would still pay your agent part of the sales commission so either way, you would not pay for the agent's service.

So which is better? It may depend on your circumstances. However, the biggest difference is that the sales staff is paid by the developer to sell only that development. Your own agent will be paid to sell you a unit anywhere.

Your own agent should be an inventory expert so they can help you put your desired condo in context with all of San Francisco's condominiums. For example, is this particular building a good value compared to all of the other buildings? Is this builder known for great construction or post-sale litigation? How will your condo fare in the resale market?

They should also be able to negotiate for you. The negotiation may be in terms of price, timelines or even fixture upgrades. Knowing the rest of the market should mean they will know if this developer is eager to sell or if his/her units are flying off the shelves.

Real estate attorney and Chronicle columnist, Bob Bruss, has the following to say about buyer's agents for new construction. Read the article here.

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