The fact that you have an agent is really good news. A neutral third party negotiator will gain mileage. Additionally, the builder will be cognizant of the potential domino affect of their decisions. The builder would not want negative reports flooding the gates of that Realtors network of other buyer clients and brokers.
You might encounter more obstacle in gaining a refund of earnest monies as compared to a transfer of the monies to another property. The builder want to complete sales. If you work with the builder (through your agent) to accomplish his/her goal, you will gain cooperation and support in meeting yours.
Best of luck to you. Keep us posted.
Builders in California often have a caveat at the bottom of their marketing pieces in small print With *** next to it stating that the "builder reserves the right to alter floorplans, elevations, lot placement, etc... as necessary and at their sole discretion," and I have also seen this disclosure clause in builder purchase contracts.
This doesn't mean the builder will not let you out of the deal or negotiate with you but if it is published somewhere they could use it to hold you to the contract.
WOW What build are you working with? That's a lot of issues that you had to deal with!
Did you seek Realtor consultation when signing the contract in March? If so, they will be able to help you.
If not, have you documented all this? Having a paper trial proving your side of the story is always helpful.
You need to let them know that you are not happy with what they have promised time and time again. If the builder sales rep isn't willing to help you get your money back, go to the sales manager, thier manager, etc. if necessary. If you have been promised something that they can no longer provide you should be able to receive your earnest money back. Paperwork, persistence and patience will be extremly helpful in all of this. Hopefully you have a realtor, they can help you with all of this.
"I spoke with her (builder's broker) yesterday and explained your situation. She understood perfectly your issues about the home not being your dream home.
I never did tell her about keeping your money (towards future home with them), but I did emphasize that you all want to buy a home from them in the next year or two. She would like to keep you happy.
She said that she needed to just do some research to find out how much money they have already spent on your behalf. This would be for plot plans, etc."
Thanks all - I'll let you know what happens as things unfold. Guess we're in the negotiation stage. Any further advice or comments are welcome. Looks like we're on the home stretch and it was a lot easier than I thought. But - we'll see what they think they should keep. They have $19,000 of our money. $2500 of it was in excess of what I needed to send them which was $15,750.
Thanks for the vote! It sounds like you have a well thought out plan. The builder actually has the oppty to build good will with your agent here, and the positive spin could result in exposure to other Reatlors and their clients. Knowing which builders are honorable and fair is important to Realtors. You stated that your agent is new to AZ. Her past experience, and developed skills, from real estate or other walks of business will be helpful in her ability to convey to the builder why it is in his/her best interest to find a solution that is acceptable to you.
Please do keep us posted. I speak for all of us when I state that your feedback and updates are greatly appreciated and an incentive for us all to participate on Trulia.
PS Tks, too, to Ed to for his support to all Trulians!
First of all - Thank you all so much for your input. I do have an agent, and although somewhat new to Arizona, she is also a friend and I feel she has my best interest at heart. She plans to speak with the head broker/salesperson today. I have plan A and plan B. First being that she ask for a portion of the money back and account in writing for exactly what they feel they "spent" and therefore deserve from the deposit. If, for instance, they put down cost for obtaining a variance.. no go. The variance's were due to their mistake, not mine. No materials have been bought nor concrete poured but I can see some money going towards the design center. I won't be happy with money going towards the salesperson for the builder because she is totally useless and I do have emails that provide a paper trail.
If that doesn't work - I will speak with them or have my agent speak to them about putting money towards a future house or let them take the earnest money and write up an agreement where X dollars go towards upgrades at the prices I have today. Prices won't increase much in 2-3 years.
If that doesn't work, I will write to the president of the company who touts in all their materials about how important it is to make their customers happy. If that doesn't work - I'm going to get a lawyer. I'm one to use a lawyer as a last resort.
In any case I will certainly come back here to let you know how it worked out. I've given my agent all the info you guys have given me. Thanks again!!
I wish you the best and hope it works out for you! Let us now how things turn out.