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Nearly all residential builders in the Boulder and Denver Metro Area will pay commissions to real estate agents who bring buyers to their developments. Most list their homes and advertise the commissions offered in the local MLS systems so that real estate agents and home buyers are aware that these homes are on the market. But there are builders who don’t list their properties in the MLS databases, despite the fact that they are happy to pay commissions to agents working with potential buyers. As a result, when we are working with buyers who are interested in new homes, we routinely extend our searches beyond the MLS to make sure that we are locating all of the properties that these buyers might be interested in. Of course, given our experience in the local market, we’ll generally know most of the builders and developments where there may be new homes that match our clients’ search criteria. But there are also several web sites that provide information on new home developments, though none of them provide complete coverage of this market.

A note of caution: A good buyers agent will try to help the buyer negotiate price reductions from the builder, to warn the buyer away from problematic builders, and to protect the buyer’s interests throughout the process. From the builder’s point of view, however, commissions are paid to real estate agents to encourage them to bring their buyers to the builder’s development. As a consequence, if you first tour the builder’s model homes on your own, before establishing a relationship with a buyer agent, the builder may refuse to pay a commission to your agent if you later decide that you would like someone to help you through the purchase process.

The best approach is to establish a relationship with a good buyers agent before you begin looking at homes and visit any new home developments with your agent.

If you’re interested in buying a new home, you should read our notes on the risks associated with buying new homes (see New Construction).

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