Have you noticed in life that every job looks easy until you actually get involved...many people think that Realtors have an easy job, or worse don't do much for what they get paid...BUT, the truth is, a good Realtor IS an excellent negotiator, networks well with key people in the associated industries ( contractors, builders, plembers, etc.), can photograph property to maximize customer interest, can assist in "staging" a property, in other words, is superior in all areas or has the sense to ask the questions of the right people when necessary.
I am a local Realtor and would be glad to help. These types of situations are why all home buyers need a Realtor, especially on new construction.
While the answer to your question is likely complicated and would need a thorough detailed review, my first advice to any buyer is to make sure that you love the lot and house FIRST and foremost. Despite whatever deal you might make, you'll have to live in and look at the property for potentially quite a long time and the money will fade over time. That being said, despite the advertised list price of the home most builders in this market are willing to negotiate on virtually any aspect of the deal, if its the difference between keeping or losing a sale. A key component in this real-life scenario is how much of an earnest money deposit is at stake and what is the language surrounding that in the contract. Of course, with Zip Realty, you'd get back 20% of our commission as part of the Buyers Rebate, clawing back some of any potentially lost funds. Bottom line, get the lot that you like (and a professional in your corner)!
It sounds like you desperately need the advice of a local Realtor in your area. Visit http://www.realtor.com and search for an agent in your zip code. You can read thru their profiles and find one that is both experienced and knowledgeable. They can advise you as to current market conditions, etc. It won't cost you a thing to call and speak wtih a professional and hopefully they can shed some light. Best Wishes!