Dear Builder, Please Respect My Role

Dear Builder, Please Respect My Role

New Home

This post is in response to the home builders out there who flippantly try and cut real estate agents out of their hard-earned paychecks. Yes, this is being written in response to having to time and again fight for what is right in this business. And why on earth should we ever have fight for this?


We as real estate agents who are working tirelessly with our clients, don't work for free. There are many, many hours behind the scenes consulting, preparing, sending out market data, seeking the perfect home, and making appointments, that many do not see. When we make our job look effortless, it is only because of the immense amount of work behind the scenes that we are doing.


Today, I met a good friend of whom I had been consulting, sending properties to, and scheduled an entire day of homes to see.  After arriving at the first home early on a Saturday morning with 8 more homes scheduled to see, I am informed they have cut a deal with a home builder who will only do the deal without the real estate agent.


I stand there dumbfounded and feeling in a quandary. Of course I want my friend to get a good deal but are they really? How will they know if they do not have their own representation? Who will provide the comparable properties to them among the many other things they need to know?


I am angry that builders continue to pull these stunts. Sure I could create a fuss and call the builder, show them, my buyers representation, to no avail. This builder clearly does not see the value in clients having their own professional to represent them.


Buyers, you need your own representation. The builder is looking out for his own needs. Don't accept this from them. 


OK, I have this off of my chest. Please note that there are many great builders that I work with and would never do this. Thank you. This hopefully reaches those builders who are missing the big picture! When we all work together as a team, we all win. 


Breathe, release, forge ahead!

Beam & Branch Realty       

"Have you fully lived today?"

   Paula L. McDonald ~ REALTOR®, 

        Granbury, Texas 

 936-203-0279 Direct

Selling Hood County and surrounding areas! 



 John Maxwell

Farm & Ranch


          ABR                 Institute for Luxury Marketing                Institute for Luxury Home Marketing


Graduate Realtor InstituteC2EX


Copyright 2020 Paula McDonald

Comment balloon 27 commentsPaula McDonald, Ph.D. • February 17 2018 06:11PM


Why wouldn't these buyers contact you BEFORE seeing new construction?  That's the deal when you have an agent.  Because they waltzed in without an agent they probably heard the same thing I've heard buyers told by buliders.  They can get a better deal if they ditch you.  

Either way, completely annoying.  I'd probably cut bait and move on.  Not worth enforcing the Buyer Agency Agreement on the buyers.  If they call and need advice during the process, I would decline helping.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 2 years ago

So very frustrating. I try to educate my buyers that we should see new construction together, or at the very least, it they stop by they should tell the sales office, and sign in, as being represented by me. However, no matter how diligent we are, some get lost.

Sorry, Paula.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 2 years ago

We rarely have builders represent themselves, but we do have experience with an agent for a builder cutting us out of a deal far to frequently. Again, claiming free upgrades or a better price point. It's lousy. 

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) over 2 years ago

I'm sorry you had this experience, Paula. The builder isn't "saving" the buyer money, or selling the house at a discount. He is making more on his side of the transaction. I have worked with many reputable builders who value our contribution, but occasionally there will be those builders who are after the "one and done" type sale, who doesn't care about reputation or future business. The buyer client rarely understands the builders motives until it's too late. 

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Some years back we had an agent trying this and the word got around and agents didn't show his properties unless a last ditch effort.

He is no longer in business

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 2 years ago

This happens with us as lenders as well. Our buyers decide to build in a community and the builder requires them to use their in house lender. They say they will do thousands of dollars worth of upgrades in exchange, They also want them to use their title company. Buyers need to wake up and make sure they have trusted third party representation that will keep the buyer's interests at heart.    

Posted by JoAnn Moore, Home Loans in Delaware (The Mortgage Market of Delaware) over 2 years ago

We have found in recent deals where the builders press for closing and the driveway, landscaping, grading and seeding and even the deck aren't finished. Who wants to move into their new home without everything completed? Plus, the builder had in the contract that they had eight months to finish after closing. Definitely not a good way to do business.  


Posted by JoAnn Moore, Home Loans in Delaware (The Mortgage Market of Delaware) over 2 years ago

For the most part I have been lucky when working with builders.  However, I do know it isn't uncommon for agents to be edged out.  I agree with you when you say that buyers need their own representation.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 2 years ago

Good evening Paula McDonald ,

I'm so sorry this happened to you!! I do not find this here in Austin..the builders spend a lot of time and money courting Realtors® and will do everything not to cut us out! They often give us incentives 3% on the first sale 4% on the second and 5% on the third in the same year! we love out builders. This one needs to take a lesson..he could have way more sales by courting the Realtor®.

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) over 2 years ago

Morning Paula.

That builder would not last long in this area.  Especially the first time he gets sued for a variety of reasons.  

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 2 years ago


 So sorry this happened to you, most builders want the realtors to be on their side. Just so you know I have been with 3 different builders and you would be suprised how many clients say if I cut my realtor out what is the price? Most of us tell them the price is the price whether you have a realtor or not. If they are willing to cut out their friend what will they do to me without representation.

Posted by Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert over 2 years ago

Oh and by the way I have seen on a few occasions the same client come in with different realtors what do I do I call the realtors and let them know. 

Posted by Yolanda Cordova-Gilbert over 2 years ago

That happened to me when I was in real estate. I know how this feels, I lost about $7k in commission from my buyers who went around me directly to the builder even though I was procuring cause. Just my BIC would not want to fight the builder. You just have to move on! Real Estate is the hardest business out there that I know. 

Posted by Property Valuation Construction Home Tips, Full Time SEO, Local GMB Expert (PeterMarkSEO) over 2 years ago

To have a builder like that in the community is a disservice to all buyers - as well as their agents. Does he have other properties - I'd quietly get the word out to other agents so they can protect their clients.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) over 2 years ago

Paula McDonald I am so sorry that happened. As others have stated, best to move on.  I will never understand why (1) some builders do that and (2) why clients, despite numerous and repeated requests/warnings to no go to new construction without us, still waltz in there like they know what they are doing and getting into.

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 2 years ago

I am sorry this happened to you Paula McDonald.

During our Buyers market there were builders in our area who tried this trick but word got out in the Realtor Community pretty quickly which can hurt a builder and a good lesson to do a better job of educating our Buyers. 

Although there is no set buyers agency fee as we all know - but there is a builder currently in a sellers market who is offering a lower than average buyers agency  fee now.....We serve our buyers and wishes but it makes it hard to justify why this is a great builder when they are hurting their own reputation 

Posted by Sharon Kowitz, Cary, NC Relocation Specialist ~ Buying or Selling (CRS-SRES-ABR-GRI-E-Pro-CREN Fonville Morisey Cary, NC) over 2 years ago

I have come up against this myself, Paula.  I try to educate my buyers, but often the builder and the buyer refuse to look at anything but the bottom line. I always ask the buyer, "Would you use the same lawyer who represents someone you are suing"?

Posted by Gwen Banta (Sotheby's International Realty) over 2 years ago

Hi Paula

So sorry to hear that happened, and it sure is frustrating, but I suspect most of us have experienced it. Here, builders require the buyer agent to be there on the first visit, you can't come in after the fact nor can you register your buyers in advance if you know they are or will be interested (at least I haven't run across that). I try to educate buyers about having me with them if they want to explore new construction but it does not always happen.

And many buyers do not get that the builder's rep works for the builder, and not them no matter how nice they might seem!!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California) over 2 years ago

In the Twin Cities, builders hold luncheons celebrating agent who brought them clients. Many do require an agent to sign a buyer in as having a relationship. There are agents who drop a buyer at the builder's door and say, "See you at closing in 6 months."  Some have no clue about the process, make the builder the bad guy if there is a glitch. If we educate the buyer on the process, what to expect, and stay engaged in the process, we have a win/win.  If your buyer already signed a contract with a builder, they were there before without you. Why did they want to see another 7 homes? 

Posted by Mary Jo Quay, I Move You Home (EXP Realty ) over 2 years ago

It sounds like this buyer wasn’t your good friend after all.

I’m sorry to hear a builder and a buyer did this to you. :(

Posted by Bruce Brockmeier, Coached By Crouch (Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS®) over 2 years ago

Most builders understand that they really need a real estate agent to bring customers to them. They understand that if they "cut" the customer a deal for not having an agent, they, the builder, will lose the benefit.

It really is so important for the Consumer to have someone represent them in the transaction.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA over 2 years ago

This happens around here alot as well... worst scernio was an agent that met me at the first showing, and my clients drove back by the subdivision a few days later to take a look at the amenities and ran into the agent at the pool/playground area... she actually tried to get them to sign a contract on the spot and without me (she could cut them a beteer deal without an agent)...luckily I had Buyers Agent Agreement and that particular client would have no part of it...but really this stuff should not happen

Posted by Macy Babb ... North Georgia Realtor, Realtor, SFR, HUD/REO Certified (Re/Max Around Atlanta Realtor - 404-234-6166) over 2 years ago

It is unfortunate that this is a problem. People don't see how hard real estate agents work because we always try and make it seem effortless. Thank you for sharing. 

Posted by Corey Martin, Real Estate and Management Solutions (Martin Presence Group) over 2 years ago

Paula, I have had this happen a couple times, both with small builders and it's frustrating to say the least. Buyer and builder solely looked at the bottom line. That said, the large builders here I really love working with. They value us as much as we value them and it's a team effort to deliver the buyer with a smooth transaction.

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty) over 2 years ago

I'm not sure the builders actually get the whole buyers broker thing - oh, but wait they do! They don't want anyone asking questions of them or looking thru their one sided contracts.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 2 years ago

I'm sorry to hear this type of behavior still exists.  A buyer is NOT represented by a builder who is only looking at their bottom line when cutting agents out of the picture.  A buyer seeking an agent in Granbury should look no further than you as their agent!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) over 2 years ago

We have found in recent deals where the builders press for closing and the driveway, landscaping, grading and seeding and even the deck aren't finished. Who wants to move into their new home without everything completed? Plus, the builder had in the contract that they had eight months to finish after closing. Definitely not a good way to do business

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