Call...don't visit...the builder and ask them what incentives they have available. They will typically give you a number which may or may not require their lender and title co. Use the number...throw the lender and title co. info out the window. Now, a typical builder gross profit margin is 15%. So the List Price on the sales sheet includes the 15%. If you can negotiate a Sales Price which leaves the builder a profit margin of half that or less, that will be a respectible deal. So, take 15% of the sheet price, reduce that by the incentive and the difference between that and say 5% profit margin will be the additional discount you want.
Also, make sure all of your change requests are documented up front. The builder will make mistakes and it will be up to you to identify them quickly. So you will need to be onsite on a regular basis. Also, any changes that have to be made during construction can be costly.
There are a lot of other little things that are relatively important...but these are the major ones.
Hope this helps.
Like NO ONE Else!
I am not able to tell you of any special deals, incentives, etc., however there are things you do need to know regarding buying a new home in Texas. To begin with all new homes are subject to the rules of the Texas Residential Construction Commission. You should navigate through this site and become familiar with the responsibilities of the builder and the buyer. There are many things that can cause you grief later if you are not aware of them today. The TRCC site is http://www.trcc.state.tx.us/default.asp.
Working with a RE Agent certainly can not hurt as they can provide some information that you may not be privy to such as discounts, comparable sales, etc., etc. I found Alan Wynn's advice below very informative and it does demonstrate what RE Agents know that the general public might not. (thumbs up to Alan for good advice). Before you visit a builder's site and speak with a builder I would highly recommend that you have a Real Estate Attorney picked out and available. Builder's contracts are very well written to protect themselves and leave the buyer little working room when issues arise. Before you sign any contract, or anything from a builder, have the RE Attorney review it and explain it to you. I'm sure Mr. Wynn will agree that a RE Agent can not provide any legal advice unless they are also an attorney. Also the attorney can help put the proper contingencies and demands in your contract to prevent a builder from denying you any due dilligence work such as phased inspections.
Of course I will recommend that you have phased inspections performed to protect your huge investment. However, many buyers do not realize what it costs to perform proper phased inspections and most do not plan that cost when searching for a new home. When they hear the price they gasped and choose not to have them thinking they will be covered by the builder's mandatory 10 year new home warranty. Do not count on that avenue as any hidden defects can stay there for years. Later when they begin to manifest themselves, unless they cause a habitability issue you are most likely going to be on the hook for their repair.
If you choose not to have phased inspections then be ready to visit the site very frequently, with a digital camera (even a digital movie camera). Take pictures of everything from the ground breaking, before they pour the cement for the foundation, framing, etc., etc. Take as many pictures as you can from as many angles. If a construction defect does occur at least you will have pictures showing what might have occurred or be the cause. If you do no other inspections at least have a final inspection performed prior to accepting the home. I can tell you horror stories of the things I've found on final inspections.
Good luck and if you ever have a question feel free to contact me.
Emmanuel J. Scanlan
PS Inspection & Property Services LLC
TREC License # 7593
International Code Council, Residential Combination Inspector #5247015-R5 (Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing and Building)
Certified Infrared Thermographer (ASNT-TC1A Standards)
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Third Party Warranty Inspector #1593
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Inspector, County Inspection Program
Texas Department Of Insurance, VIP Inspector # 08507061016
Hayman Residential Engineering Services, Field Technician
CMC Energy - Certified Energy Auditor
Knowledge is power, but sharing knowledge brings peace!!
Realtors jump at new construction because it's easy money and you have to do most of the work anyway (selecting upgrades, options and being there to sign the contract). Do some basic research on the Internet to find area price/sq. ft for other comprable homes. You can get any information that a realtor has access to online. Always, always get something else before signing the contract, such as a refrigerator, window treatments or upgrades. The builder will not flinch.
First, the builder will often only talk to the realtor regarding the price and they will leave you out of the negotiation process. Secondly, often the builders give incentives to realtors (trips/bonuses) and they will direct you to them even out of your best interest. Furthermore, the realtors that I've dealt with to sell homes (through my company), are not trained negotiators. In fact, I've had to step in a handle the transcations myself while the realtor watched. I realize that there are competent realtors who are extremely professional. However, it is certainly an industry where the 80/20 rule applies. 20% of the competent realtors cover for the 80% who are not.
Also, make certain that there are inspections conducted when the electrical, HVAC system etc.. are installed. Visit the building site frequently. I have seen carpet being laid over construction worker's trash and yelled.. stop right there!
Let me know if this has helped you or if you would like me to represent you with this transaction.
Best of luck to you!
I am curious, since buyer's agency is free and can literally save you thousands or even tens of thousands, why would you not use professional representation? Realtors would not facilitate 98% of transactions if we offered no value. Consider other ways of finding agents than yellow pages. The best source is a referral from a trusted friend or an experienced agent you personally feel comfortable with. Call if we can answer questions with no obligation. The Hollers Team 214-384-1169.
We address so many emails and phone calls a week where a buyer and builder did not see eye too eye or the buyer assume something that the builder should do. Allow a real estate agent to assist you and represent you. therefore if anything should happen you fall under the Dallas real estate agent errors and ommission insurance policy.
Excited you are purchasing a home !
Contact our office or visit our website, we look forward to working with you !
Once we have an idea of your plans we would guide and assist you from start to finish...
If you still feel that you must do it alone, you can still negotiate a price with a builder. Having comparable home sales data is a good place to start. Most realtors can give you this information as well.
Keep in mind, all real estate transactions are negotiable! Good luck!
Coldwell Banker Jane Henry Realtors
Start off on the right path. Work with a REALTOR.