David Alex Wright
Rick Beals, Realtor
That said, you should make sure that there is a loan contingency built into the contract (unless you are paying all cash) so that if the loan falls through then you get your deposit returned to you. Additionally, sometimes it is beneficial to consider using their lender. Although they can not legally require you to do that, they will often offer incentives such as upgrade allowances and/or closing costs if you allow their in house financing company/department to earn your loan business.
Feel free to call me if you have any other questions, or if you need a sounding board.
Branch Manager - Coldwell Banker Beachside - NOC
So, it would be in your best interest to try and get a real estate agent involved. Not only would you get the assistance you need, but it also "could" mean extra money in your pocket that you wouldn't otherwise receive.
I understand you wanting to save as much money if you are the buyer and wanting to get as much as you can net if you are the seller. If you have an agent that you truly feel comfortable with and can work together, you more than likely will end up getting a better price and ending up with a better deal if you are buying, and ending up with a higher sales price if you are selling.
We do work hard at what we do and do a lot of negotiating of terms you might not be familiar with. You have to be careful.
You can do it without an agent, you want to make sure you are protected and I would make sure you have someone who knows the contracts and procedures go over everything before you sign it.
Your leverage is quite simply - "Allow me to add XYZ to the contract or I won't buy the house". The builder will either agree, or let you walk away from the purchase.
Hope this helps!
Bottom line is you need contingencies for your loan and inspection of the property. Expect an incremental payment schedule as the different phases finish. Also beware that association dues are subject to change and often do later (becoming more expensive)
The builder contracts are pretty firm with regard to these issues and penalties for backing out can be harsh. I like to have an attorney review all new home contracts as they differ greatly from the standard Association of REALTORS form and almost nobody except the builders agent is really familiar with the agreement for that particular builder. There is a lot of fine print and design guidelines so there is no quick "bullet points" answer that will truly protect your interests.