Home Buying in Charlotte>Question Details

Kelly Smith, Home Buyer in Charlotte, NC

Can you make an offer on a new home construction?

Asked by Kelly Smith, Charlotte, NC Tue Aug 7, 2012

Im looking at to be built homes and I was wondering if you are able to make an offer or are there prices pretty much set and you just get any incentives they are offering. Also, I'm about 9 months out from when I want to buy so when would be a good time to enlisted a realtor?

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Most builders will not negotiate on PRICE unless it is the last home they are building in the neighborhood. The comps for the entire area will change if we have a “sale” thank the Obama administration for that! What you can negotiate is upgrades to finishes, better insulation and better appliances these are places builders can hide the money and not hurt the comps in the area. The system is now over regulated to the point where builders have little or no flexibility to run their business, the government aka the regulators have a gun to our head and dare us to have a “sale” by punishing us with lower future comps thus destroying our business. If a builder lowers the price dramatically this is a big warning sign that they may be leaving the area or going out of business. Ps when this happens it hurts every home in the subdivision.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 13, 2012
Hello Kelly,

When you are purchasing a new To Be Built home from a new builder, they are like a car dealer. They give you the "list" price of the home. When you get to the office you tell them what you want or like, they pull up the base model, then you build up your price from there say you want granite counter tops rather than the laminate, or you want tile flooring rather than vinyl then they "add" to the base price. Once you have reached a final price for the home then you make your offer based on that.

The cons to this is the builder sells their homes in a neighborhood at a certain price lets say their prices in there are $200,000 and all of the other models they sold have sold for that price, the neighborhood price is $200,000. You make an offer for $175,000 and they accept it, then the value of the neighborhood has gone down to $175,000. When they try to get an appraisal for the next home to sell the latest comps will show a decline in the area, more than likely and the other homes value has just gone down.

With that said, the builders sometimes will give you a lot of incentives to keep the price at the list in my example it was $200,000 but you want to pay the $175,000 tell them to upgrade your appliances for free, upgrade your carpeting, enclose and finish out the garage for you.. This would give you the extra $25,000 in value that you wanted and they home still sells for the $200k and the area value is saved.

As for engaging with a REALTOR, you should start around the 5-6 month out window. This gives them time to help you find what you are looking for, and the builder time to complete the project. Most track builders can complete the home in 120 days or so depending on the builders backlog and the weather permitting. Some can take 180 days some as little as 90 days... just beware... your REALTOR will be able to give you specific advice when the time comes.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012
Hi Kelly!

If you are talking about new construction that has already begun, or is a completed "inventory" home - absolutely, make the builder an offer. If, however, you are talking about a "to be built", most builders will give the price that they require to build the house for you. This is not to say that you may be able to negotiate your upgrades & certainly ask for seller paid closing costs.

No matter what builder you are thinking about working with, keep in mind that the builder's sale rep's loyalty is to the builder and not to the buyer. Their job is to secure the very best price & conditions for their boss - the builder. Please hire a buyer agent to represent you and your best interests! You need an experienced agent to negotiate for you.

Builders welcome buyer agents (we bring them a lot of business!) and consider buyer agent commissions to be part of their marketing costs. Having your own agent WILL NOT change the price of the house! The builder will charge you the same for the house, with or without a buyer agent. You WILL NOT get a lower price on the house if you choose to not have your own agent! Your buyer agent will ensure that you are getting the very best value & conditions for your hard-earned money!

Best success!
Kathleen Turner, ABR, CRS, ePro
Certified Paralegal
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012
That is not always correct. Since we are not working with an agent, they knocked an extra $2300 off the total price.
Great point, though, about the builder's rep is LOYAL to the builder. This is always true!
Flag Fri Jun 5, 2015
Hello Kelly!! It's a good time to get into contact with a real estate agent now to give them an opportunity to evaluate and compare all the new communities in the Charlotte area. Most builders will negotiate only on inventory homes because they are losing money on those homes however a "to be built" home, builders typically stick to the base price. The good thing about buying a "to be built" allows you to take part in the builders incentives i.e. free front load washing machine and dryer

Everything is negotiable therefore the agent that you select will be able to check the other properties selling in the area and advise you on a good offer price. Hope this helps and good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 14, 2012
I work with buyers who are buying a year out. Its helpful for you to get to know the process, sit down with us and learn as much as you can in advance, I can put you in touch with a lender to make sure your credit is ready to go etc. So talk to a Realtor now. Great question, I would love to work with you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 13, 2012
It is good to have a Realtor to evaluate communities prior to negotiating with a sales rep for a builder. A realtor has access to information about past sales and can better negotiate upgrades, features and amenities. A Realtor can also assist throughout the building process with any questions that might arise between you and the builder concerning any range of issues such as insulation, building codes etc. I am currently negotiating on behalf of a client in the Farm at Riverpointe and would be happy to do the same for you. call or text at 704.640.3001 or email at GaryMcCoy@kw.com if I can be of any assistance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
Good afternoon, Kelly.
If I were a new home buyer, I would be looking for a Buyer Agent Advocate for New Home Construction (see Trulia blog below). There are certain proven techniques for negotiating new home purchases. If the builder's rep tells your real estate broker "don't bring someone else in here and expect to get the same deal", you probably have a good deal and a good agent.

You want to be very careful about contacting new home builders or going by the office or registering a visit in person or online without your real estate broker. Builders generally include a commission in the price so that they can pay your real estate broker at the closing. But there is a concept called "procuring cause" that if your real estate broker does not introduce you to the builder in the right way and timing before you meet with the builder, the builder can keep your brokers commission as extra profit, thereby removing the potential for you to be independently represented by your own real estate broker.

Before you contact any agent or new home builder, you should review the North Carolina Real Estate Commission brochure about Working with Agents to understand agency http://www.ncrec.gov/pdf/brochures/WorkingwAgents.pdf .

If you are doing anything in the next 9 months, it should be focused on saving like crazy and getting your credit score into a range that a lender will be willing to make you a loan. Taking the right home buyer education class would also be a good move. Please consider me a resource and if you have any questions about real estate in general or a property in particular, please do not hesitate to contact me. If you appreciate an answer, please give "thumbs up". For the most helpful answer, please say thanks with a "best answer" click.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
Hi Kelly!
I work with primarily buyers and specialize in negotiation. Builders will negotiate and will actually give better deals to buyers with agents.

If you're looking at to be built and not inventory already built homes, expect 90 days for building time.

I'd love to help you as your agent and my services won't cost you anything extra in a transaction as a buyer.

Please feel free to call or email me directly with any questions!

Hoping to hear from you soon and to help you with the home buying process!

John Siddons
(704) 458-1843
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012
Hi Kelly,

Yes! Most builders are willing to negotiate. Keep in mind there are other things to negotiate besides price such as upgrades and appliances. I have a lot of experience with new construction and would love to help you out. Feel free to call or email if you have any other questions.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012
Hi Kelly,

There are different parts in an offer that are negotiable. The price of course, closing costs, upgrades, lot location. Your timing is just right. The services of a Realtor are without a cost to you and a builder will not give you a discound for going unrepresented.
I am a full time Realtor with many years of experience. I will be happy to guide you with your house
Ro Garcia, Reator
Easy Street Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012
Quick answer: Yes, all things are negotiable in real estate. (Although some builders tend to be more reluctant to accept prices that are much lower.) The sooner that you start working with a realtor, the better.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012
Hi Kelly,
Congrats on your decision to buy a new construction home! Pretty much the earlier the better to get the assistance of a Realtor. Every builder has differnet "build times". So even tho you are 9 months out, now would be a good time to start the process.
As far as making an offer..our experience is, if you are starting from the beginning, the builders have their prices set. They usually offer incentives, closing costs etc. However, if you find a home that the builder has started or a "Spec" home, they will entertain offers.
I'm glad you are planning to get the assistance of a Realtor. Most people do not understand that those very nice agents sitting in the Model homes, are working for the builder...not the buyer! Every buyer has the right to have their own representation. And statistics show that buyers that use a Realtor, get a bettter "deal" than those that don't'!
I would be happy to meet with you to discuss this in more detail! Just email me and let me know what time works for you.
Have a great day!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012
Hi Kelly,

Builders have great incentives in this market and often times have allowances for upgrades or add ons. In this market, everything is negotiable and builders are no exception. I would be happy to discuss with you further.

Sherrie Andrews
Helen Adams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012
Kelly, Yes you can make an offer less than the asking price with a builder. It is up to the individual builder as to what they will say. 9 months is a little far out as most houses take 4 to 6 months to build. I would love to help you with your purchase when you are ready. I am a Charlotte native and have been a Realtor for 16 years. I am an excellent negotiator and have sold many new construction homes.

April Crowder
Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012

You can most definitely make an offer on a house. Some builders are more flexible with discounting a house than otehrs are...But depending on yoru situation in regards to financing and other terms you can always make an offer on a house price. I have sold a few new construction homes and have not had anyone pay the builder price yet.....

In regards to when to get a Realtor the sooner the better. if you are none months away from buying; are you looking at being in a home in nine months or starting to build in nine months? With the average constrcution taking 3 to 4 months you may not be as far out as you think.

Feel free to e-mail me at ddicecco@cbunited.com ro call me at 704-519-7895. I would be happy to discuss your situation with you.

Dave diCecco
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012
Now is a great time to start working with a Realtor. If you are looking to build, it is the perfect time to start looking and narrowing down neighborhoods. Yes, I have made offers on to be built homes and inventory homes. Also I have made offers with builder to negotiate the amount of upgrades put into a home. Give me a call or email and let's chat.

Abby Nelson
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012
Yes, of course you can make an offer. The builder can also say NO. More than likely they will reply with "I Can" but then will tell you what they will cut out of the deal to make the offered price work. Builders think like this, if they reduce the price of your house they set a precedent for future homes and appraisers will ask why did you build it for him for that but now you want more for this house, so they like to keep the prices about the same. What you can ask for are upgrades to sweeten the deal in your favor, they will do that.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 7, 2012
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