No doubt, if you are buying a new construction home, it’s one of the most exciting things you have ever done. That means making sure you don’t spoil the ride by flying blind; and that means finding a quality real estate agent to guide you to your destination.

Why? Primarily because local agents know their turf, and they know where you should and shouldn’t want to live. Floodplains, poor drainage, foundation and soil issues—a good agent knows what parts of town suffer from these and other setbacks that will nickel-and-dime even the most prepared homeowner to death.

In addition, because they know their turf, good agents know which builders to embrace and which to avoid. Builders have reputations written in brick and mortar, and your agent will be able to tell you which builders construct homes that last and retain their value. Nothing, but nothing, will dismay you more than buying a house that’s falling apart the minute you move in. Preventing that heartache should be very high on the list of any new construction buyer.

Finally, a good agent can advise on the little things (kitchens, bathrooms, room size) that will maximize resale value. With the average stay in a new home dropping all the time in our mobile society, resale value should always be front-of-mind, even for new construction home buyers.

New home? Have a blast, and have an agent by your side for the ride.