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Why Choose a New Home Sales Career vs. Resale

By Keith McKinney 9 min read

Whether you’re in the market for something new or simply learning about what’s out there, we’ve put together a guide for those in home sales (or looking to go into it) to better understand the common, hefty career question: should I go into new home sales or resale? 

It can be complicated to sift through what makes the most sense for your personal career, experience, lifestyle, and goals. 

This guide will provide you:

  • An overview of new home sales vs. resale positions
  • The reasons to explore a new home sales career
  • The benefits of a resale career
  • Career path opportunities in new home sales 
  • Why new home sales is an excellent career for the right person

Let’s dive in 🏠

Selling New Homes vs. Resale

What is a new home sales career?

A career in new home sales involves selling newly constructed residential properties to potential buyers. Generally, those who go into new home sales are part of a sales management firm or work directly with a home builder.

To be successful, new home sales professionals must have a deep understanding of the properties they’re selling, have strong marketing skills, possess strong people and negotiation skills, attend a number of community events, and be up-to-date on the latest market research.

A career in new home sales provides a stable salary (not all based on commission) and typically follows a regimented workday schedule. As you sell homes, you will work out of a model home, and as you progress into senior leadership roles, you will mostly be on the road and in the office.

What is a resale career in real estate?

Home resale involves both the buying and selling of existing homes or properties that have been previously owned. You run your own operation as a small business that includes sales, marketing, and finance. Additionally, there is support from the brokerage you are part of, but it is often limited regarding new prospects.

Professionals working in home resale must be experts at assessing property value, creating listings, and developing marketing strategies to attract potential buyers. They must also be people-oriented, as they will interact with a number of parties, including sellers, potential buyers, and lawyers. 

Those in resale careers typically exclusively earn commissions based on sales of properties. They often also need to work a flexible schedule, as showing times and locations accommodate the client's needs.

Is New Home Sales a Good Career?

A home is at the center of our lives. It’s the backbone of our country’s economy. It’s where families create experiences that will last a lifetime. It’s the American Dream. A career in new home sales allows you to have an impact on the very moment that defines one of the most exciting chapters in so many lives — homeownership. It also has many personal advantages!

The reasons to explore a new home sales career.

1. Higher Average Compensation vs Resale

According to ZipRecruiter, the average resale real estate agent made $85,793 per year in 2023. In the same period, a new home sales consultant made $119,439 — a 39% increase.

Why is compensation for new home sales careers so much higher? Operations. At a home builder, you specialize in just selling new homes. You have contract coordinators, project managers, and marketing teams building your sales pipeline and supporting you every step of the way. In resale, you have to do all of this on your own. 

2. Employee Status Benefits Offer Essential Perks

Common employee status benefits include health insurance coverage that provides medical, dental, and vision plans. There is also paid time off to promote work-life balance, as well as retirement savings plans to help employees plan for their future financial security. Some companies also provide life insurance, disability coverage, and wellness programs to support the overall well-being of their employees. Additionally, professional development opportunities, such as training programs and tuition assistance, may be offered to help employees enhance their skills and advance in their careers.

3. It Provides Daily Structure to Create Balance

Unlike resale careers, which require flexibility to meet clients on their schedule, new home sales careers are often more structured and have set hours. Those who prefer going into a single location at the model home and seeing colleagues regularly in the office will benefit from a new home sales job versus a resale job, where you’re more on your own and have to constantly drive to different locations.

4. The Team Feels Like a Community

While some resale brokerages collaborate with peers, at the end of the day, you are responsible for your success alone. With new home sales, this changes since you are part of a division with monthly, quarterly, and annual goals. You are a member of a team that is working to achieve a common goal. That camaraderie can drive confidence and motivation. 

As one New Home Star employee states, “I love not only helping people realize their dream of building a brand new home for their family but getting to do this over and over with a team, and eventually seeing an entire neighborhood take shape and knowing I was a part of that. It is just surreal.”

Employees of New Home Star describe it as “an amazing culture and fun job experience.” We do sales contests, sales rallies, webinars, support calls, and so much more. We celebrate each other's wins and overcome challenges together. We also get to share all this with the builder partners and succeed as an even greater team. Those working here describe the sense of community as a constant source of fulfillment. “It makes me feel like this is a career and a passion, not just a job.”

5. More Extensive Training Opportunities for Continued Development

Most home builders and specialized brokerages have training and development budgets for their sales teams. Sales is at the core of their business, and if the sales team does not succeed, the entire organization fails. That is why there are typically extensive resources dedicated to this front, and often the main reason why many New Home Star professionals join our team. 

Additionally, New Home Star, like most builders, has a structured approach to sales training and a process that combines in-person workshops, leadership coaching, and online video modules — all to drive sustained results.

6. There is a Clear Career Path to Provide Progression

Careers in new home sales offer plenty of pathways for advancement into senior leadership roles. There are numerous training programs and mentoring opportunities to push your career further. 

At New Home Star, we break out our employees into the following career path and progression, which is fairly typical across the whole industry. 

Sales Trainees: Must successfully advance through the new hire training and development program.

Sales Associate: Upon completion of the new hire training program, a Trainee will take on the role of Sales Associate and will be given the green light to sell homes.

Community Sales Manager: To become a CSM, a Sales Associate must demonstrate mastery of the sales training program.

Sales Manager: Once a proven track record of success and competency has been demonstrated, individuals may qualify for a position as sales manager and oversee a sales division.

Sales Director: Proven leaders will have the opportunity to hold director-level positions that can manage sales and other essential departments.

Senior Sales Director: In most cases, a Senior Sales Director will still be responsible for their local division while also directly managing other divisions.

Vice President of Sales: An executive role that oversees advanced functions within the organization. This level will require leaders to oversee people, processes, and systems on a local or regional scale.

President: The President’s role is the pinnacle position in a new home sales career path. This role works closely alongside VPs, Directors, and builder operators to ensure overall success.

7. Overcoming Challenges Becomes Rewarding

In new home sales, you can see so much more than with resale because you typically deal with 30-100 sales per year. Each prospect and experience brings different challenges.

Seeing the new home sales process from start to finish is a great chance to build strong relationships with customers and realtors. It is also a more specialized field, allowing professionals to be more involved in the process and helping decide what plans and options best fit the client's needs.

8. Resources are Ample

Being part of an organization means you have access to many resources that will help you market and sell new homes. Overall, you have less out-of-pocket expenses for marketing and advertisements than those in resale careers. 

The benefits of a resale career.

1. Flexible Work Environment

If you don’t want an in-office environment or a team of colleagues and prefer to work on your own time, resale might be a better career path selection. You’re your own boss, and you make your own schedule, and that can be good, but that also means maintaining diligence and determination to manage your workload effectively. 

2. Networking Lifestyle 

Since you’re mostly on your own once you get your real estate license, you need to build strong contacts and network in the community. There are many ways to do this — join a trade association, attend a conference or a webinar for new agents, etc. – but you need to stay committed to it. Otherwise you risk alienating yourself from peers and mentors who will help you excel and build a strong reputation. 

3. Business Tax Advantage

The ability to deduct business-related expenses, such as marketing, advertising, travel, and professional development costs, which can reduce taxable income, is one of the biggest advantages of this career path. You may also qualify for the home office deduction if you use part of your home exclusively for business purposes.

Career Path that Leads to Business Ownership

Careers in resale often do not offer funded learning pathways, and those opportunities must be explored on one’s own time. One option is to take on the additional risk of opening a brokerage. This requires establishing a strong brand in the market and differentiating. The career path can be rewarding and fruitful, but it also comes with a level of uncertainty. 

Make sure you’re taking the time to thoughtfully weigh your career path options, thinking through both short- and long-term growth to discover which is best for you.

New home sales is an excellent career for the right person

For someone looking for a collaborative, supportive, dynamic field that offers plentiful learning and growth opportunities, new home sales is an obvious choice. Best-in-class training opportunities can provide you with a launchpad to steer your career in the desired direction. A strong culture makes work fun and drives you to produce the best results. 

Want to learn more about New Home Star’s career opportunities? Explore open positions for new home sales consultant jobs across the country.

Originally published Jan 23, 2024 under Explore the latest topics, updated February 8, 2024

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