"If we buy direct from the builder, do we still need a realtor? "
Regardless whether their sales person is a licensed realtor, or an unlicensed sales associate, they are working for the builder, not you. They possess invaluable product knowledge, and should be able to answer all of your questions about the new build, but their best interests are those of the builder, not yours.
You need someone on your side, a partner in the purchase who will lead in negotiating price, upgrades, improvements, terms etc . And that’s just the beginning. Perusing and understanding a lengthy contract, specification sheets, Disclosure statements, amendments, building plans and lots more, is something that we specialize in.