Absolutely. First, when purchasing from a builder's sales associate, please understand, they represent the builder, not you. Charleston has many national builders that do not necessarily have sales forces that will keep the customer's best interest in mind.
Second: They only know their products, to include the builder's special finance programs, which may include 100% financing or closing costs. What the buyer doesn't know that these programs come with premium prices. A good example is a client I had that was purchasing new construction. The build was paying all closing costs and financing 97% of the loan, plus picking up closing costs. My client, got another quote, using my source. Bottom line, cash to close using the builder's mortgage company, she needed $9300, my lender, she only needed $6200. WOW! P.S the builders agent told me that was impossible....my response, Not if you know what you are doing....
But other than money, there are other factors to consider. An agent represents you. They know what the builders can legally do and what they are obligated to do. They know the industry standards so when you here "that's the way its done", you have a seasoned agent to say "no its not"....Believe me they will tell you all kinds of things.
Another reason are the appointments. Pre inspections, sheet rock inspections, pre walk throughs ect..ect. A full time real esate agent is there, representing you. So if you are out of town, late or need a second set of eyes, your agent is there.
So what is the cost to you to be represented. Zero Dollars. Your agent is compensated by the seller. Just like any other real estate transaction.
I guess the question is why wouldn't you want to hire a professional, if nothing else, to be a second set of eyes and ears.
If you are looking for someone to assist you with your build, please feel free to call me at 843.922.2003. I would appreciate the opportunity to earn your business and represent you.