If you’re in the market for a Chicago new construction home, chances are you’ve been in a building’s or development’s sales center to check things out.
The sales center is a wealth of information—you can usually see renderings or models of properties that are available. You can learn about the building or take a tour. It may seem like a casual introduction—you may find yourself just “dropping by” if you’re in the neighborhood of a building you have your eye on.
But if you’re serious about a particular property, I encourage buyers to always bring a realtor with them, particularly when dealing with luxury new construction. Your Chicago real estate agent represents you and you only. The agents at the sales center represent the building. While they’re a great resource for information about your potential home, they aren’t being paid to get you a good deal. But a realtor who represents you only knows the right questions to ask, can negotiate on your behalf, and can walk you through the nuances of a building that you won’t get from the standard introduction.
Once you walk into a sales center without an agent, you can lose the opportunity to be represented by one down the line. The developer will not pay a commission to a broker you choose for negotiation, as the broker did not do the due diligence to lead you to purchase the property. Your options would then be to find an agent who will work for you without a commission (which is unlikely) or to go into a deal unrepresented by a professional—neither of which sound like a good plan for negotiating in your favor.
Your broker can also walk you through any required earnest money—some new construction buildings (2550 Lakeview is an example) require a certain percentage of the purchase price upfront with your offer. It’s extremely important to have a realtor who will discuss any potential issues with you that could put your earnest money at risk. You don’t want to just write a check to the sales center and walk away without knowing what could come up.
Avoiding Dual Agency in Chicago Real Estate
If you walk into a sales center without an experienced realtor by your side, you are effectively giving up representation. If you find yourself negotiating and working with the real estate broker from the sales center, you’re looking at a dual agency situation—this is when the same agent works with both the buyer and the seller. According to the law, it is required that you’re made aware of this important aspect of the sale.
In short, walking “blind” into a sales center rarely works in your favor. Even if you think you’re “just looking,” consult with a realtor you trust first. I would be happy to guide you through the various aspects that come with purchasing luxury real estate in Chicago and ensure you don’t end up in a dual agency or in a deal that doesn’t represent your needs.
For more information on purchasing new construction in Chicago, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at [email protected]