Home Buying in Indianapolis>Question Details

Marty, Home Buyer in Indianapolis, IN

Will a home builder negotiate on price?

Asked by Marty, Indianapolis, IN Thu May 10, 2012

I'm looking to build a home within the next year in Indianapolis and I'm not sure how to approach negotiations with builders or if they even negotiate. Any advice is much appreciated!

Help the community by answering this question:


My name is Jamelle Walker. I am a Realtor with Keller Williams. I would love to help you. I have done this before. Builders do negotiate. Please email me your information or give me a call.

Jamelle Walker, Realtor
Phone: 317-453-0917
Email: jamellewalker2002@yahoo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 25, 2013
Yes, but not that much. You will need an agent to work with you on this because if they are talking to you personally they will work you over.

My recommendation is Jamelle Walker, Realtor
Phone 317-453-0917
email jamellewalker2002@yahoo.com
website: jamellewalker.kwrealty.com

Best of luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 7, 2013

Are you still interested in building a new home? If so, I would be happy to discuss with you the different builder incentives, available spec homes, etc.

I look forward to your reply.

Mallorie Wilson
Associate Broker
Century 21 Diversified
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 25, 2013
Hi Marty,

How much a builder will negotiate is as changeable as the weather.
Sometimes. There are a few builders who are famous for their
refusal to negotiate. There are some communities that are just
so hot, the builder doesn't have to give up an inch or a dollar.

There are times when a builder will make some concessions
because he really wants to put another sale on his books by
the end of the quarter.

You posted this question a year ago and it just hit my inbox again.

If you haven't chosen a builder yet, call me so we can find the
one who is ready and willing to work WITH you.



0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 18, 2013
He'd better or you've got the wrong builder. Let us know how we can help http://www.pettycustomhomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 18, 2013
Hi Marty.

Like others that answered this question, I'd suggest you use a professional agent to represent you in transaction and not negotiate with builders (reps) on your own.

Besides upgrades listed in the answers, you can also ask that all of your closing costs are paid for up to a certain amount. You can be a little more creative in your requests, too. Your agent can try to get you a higher priced home for the same price of a lower priced home. I just represented a buyer that wanted a beautiful end townhome. We told the builder's rep (they are all trained to say NO to everything) that we don't have the funds to buy the end unit and want it for the price of the interior in-line townhome. They agreed. Between upgrades, closing costs paid, and the $12000 cost between models, the discount was substantial.

Just like you don't walk into a courtroom without representation, don't buy real estate without being represented, either. Find a PRO and use one.


Scott Miller
Realty Associates
Boca Raton, FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 10, 2012
Remford, your interpretation of the situation is right on. While there is a definite value added by a buyer's agent to represent you in the purchase of a home from a builder, you may or may not see that value directly translate to the commission paid by the builder to your buyer's agent. This is exactly the same situation as when a buyer approaches any seller without representation.

If you really know what you're doing, you're welcome to handle the purchase yourself. The builder would like nothing better. However, the builder has almost no incentive to credit you for any savings from not paying a commission to a buyer's agent. The payment of a commission is an incidental expense that's budgeted in. The absence of such a payment on certain sales is also budgeted. Most likely, you'd be able to get the builder to kick in a few hundred dollars in incentives for self-represented buyers, if you really know what you're doing and you're not in a very hot market.
Web Reference: http://www.archershomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 10, 2012
All the prior respondents may be correct. But Id REALLY like to see a recommendation from anybody who ISN'T a realtor about the tangible benefits they, as consumers, have received resulting from a buyer's agent.

Yes, I can appreciate how an experienced eye might help ensure important checklist items don't go overlooked. But, presuming an informed, diligent and resourceful consumer is capable of amassing and staying on-top of such things, fees paid by the builder to the buyer's agent would seem to be the easiest dollars to translate into additional upgrades or nonsensical fee waivers by creating a win/win for builder AND buyer - especially toward the higher end of the market where percentage points can equate to five figure sums.

Were I inclined toward a buyer's agent, I'd seek to do so on MY terms, with the net compensation being a percentage of concessions gained or costs saved.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 9, 2012
This is a great question Marty. The number of new properties being built over the past year has picked up tremendously. Every transaction is different and every builder is different. Most builders will offer you X amount towards free upgrades and at times, depending on how business is going, you may be able to negotiate a lower price on the home. In my experience, the most success I've found with builders was on the purchase of spec homes. The builder will build several homes in each community under the speculation a buyer may not have the 4-5 month timeline to wait to build the home, hence the term "spec home". You'll see some builders offering a large discount off these spec homes, especially if the home has been completed and still is without a signed contract. If you are mainly looking for a new home and aren't concerned with the customization part, this may be a great option for you. In addition to spec homes, builders at some point must list their model homes. The beautiful thing with model homes are all the bells and whistles the builder puts into these homes. They are known to upgrade extensively in these models to allow the potential buyers to really have that "wow" factor when viewing. Builders tend to discount these model homes tremendously, offering that potential buyer not only a great value but a beautiful home that's more than likely has been decorated by a professional stager and/or decorator.

When you do choose to begin the process of looking for the perfect neighborhood/builder to build your new home, I would look into hiring a real estate agent to represent you. Real estate agents account for a large number of sales for the builders and many agents deal solely in "new build" as we call it. These agents have developed a relationship with area builders and are familar with what to expect as far as buyer concessions, typical amount of price reduction to negotiate towards and neighborhoods that may offer you more value for your money. Keep in mind, working with a realtor to purchase your home is free to you. The seller (in this case the builder) assumes the cost of the buyers agent.

We receive emails on a weekly basis from builders, updating us on their newest promotions and available spec homes. If you'd like, I would be happy to take down information regarding what you are looking for and email you with those incentives and/or available spec homes as that information is made available to me.

I hope my response was helpful and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Mallorie Wilson
Associate Broker
Century 21 Diversified
317-509-3434 direct
317-585-7748 office
317-845-7726 fax
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 24, 2012
GREAT ANSWER! Contact us and let's find some projects to build for your great clients!
-Chris and Carrie Petty, Petty Custom Homes
Flag Thu Apr 18, 2013
You should always ask for a lower price. Most builders will either lower the price or give you extra "free" upgrades if you ask.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 10, 2012

Some builders do, some don't, in some communities they will, in others they won't. One
builder I know rarely negotiates on anything. Another local builder quit negotiating on price
because the people who had already bought in the neighborhood began filling the net
with complaints about the builder because he was hurting their home values.

Most builders will offer things like a finished basement, sun room, hardwood floors, paying
buyers' closing costs, etc. Some, at certain times, will drop the price. Two builders not only
dropped the price for my buyers, but gave them the staging furniture in the homes too.

One thing is always true: it's better to walk in with a Realtor, or give the builder a Realtor's
name to contact on your behalf. It doesn't cost you any money to use a Realtor, and I can not
count the times I have helped save a client money on the show room floor ( the design center )
or helped my client get everything addressed on the punch list prior to closing.

Feel free to call if you'd like to speak with me while you're looking for someone you want to work with, Marty.

Assoc Broker
Prudential Indiana Realty Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 10, 2012
Definitely can negotiate with the builder. I just got done negotiating a $325k new home build with a new home builder and they accepted $310k plus paid closing costs!

It helps if the agent you are working with has connections with each builder and has done business with them in the past. I've done quite a lot of new home sales. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 10, 2012

Builders may negotiate on the base price but they are more negotiable on the upgrades and extras. As mentioned before your best help would be to use a realtor when you start talking with builders. Using a realtor is no extra cost to you and it gives you another person on your side of the table. One more piece of advice is to have your new home inspected by an independent home inspector prior to closing. Yes, it may cost you a few hundred dollars but that extra set of eyes may find something missed in the building process. I'm available if you want help.

Scott Orich
RE/MAX Ability Plus
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 10, 2012
Thanks for the help Scott! Is there anything in particular that I should focus on in the negotiation phase?
Flag Thu May 10, 2012
Sure you can negotiate! Oftentimes builders run specials - sometimes with price and sometimes with perks. If business is slow they might negotiate both...it's all in timing and how you present your wants/needs/amount willing to pay/etc. You can partner with a Realtor to help with the process.

Good luck!
Feel free to call any time for further guidance.
Claire-Anne Aikman
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 10, 2012
Flag Thu May 10, 2012
Yes, you can negotiate price as well as upgrades. Also, you can have a realtor represent you in the transaction (many people do not realize this). Good luck with your search! I would be happy to answer any questions you have.

Julie Simnick, Realtor
Century 21 Scheetz
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 10, 2012
Thanks for reaching out! I appreciate the help. I understand how existing homes are valued, but how do I know if the quote is a fair price for building a home in a developing neighborhood?
Flag Thu May 10, 2012
Sure they will but mainly in the form of perks and items you want in the house. It also depends on the builder and their standards. Thats why its great to have realtor to mke sure you get exactly what you want and to make sure you get any specials or package deals they have. Sometimes they'll even throw in closing costs. If you have not found a realtor to help you. I would love to help you find the right builder for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 10, 2012
Thanks for the advice! So I should focus more on perks than the actual price?
Flag Thu May 10, 2012
Put yourself in the position of all ot the home owners that have purchased property in the community previously,

How would they feel about neighbors moving in that hat the opportunity to purchase discounted homes? Builders resist reducing home prices at all costa because it can contribute to the erosion of a solid value system for a community.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 10, 2012
Thank you for your input. Are you implying it's unethical to negotiate with home builders? How is that any different than bidding less than the asking price on an existing home? Also, How do I know if the asking price is a fair price? Keep in mind I'm a novice.
Flag Thu May 10, 2012
Builders typically throw in a few pre-planned items but do not negotiate price. We offer a rebate of up to 1.5% of the purchase price depending upon that price. That could be a sizeable savings. Visit NewHomesCashRebates.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 10, 2012
Good luck:) sorry sent my answer from my phone.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 10, 2012
I have negotiated many times with Beazer, Drees, Pulty, and a few other local builders. It is tough, my advise is find a pit bull Realtor before you go in to talk with a builder rep...those people are trained very well and will have you sign for a new home before you know what happened:) food luck, call or text me if I can help you...remember I'm free to use as a buyers agent!

Web Reference: http://TheVearusGroup.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 10, 2012
Thank you for the advice!
Flag Thu May 10, 2012
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