How negotiable are brand new homes from builders?

Asked by Jan M., Washington, DC Thu Apr 12, 2012

Looking to buy a townhome and am quite sure the amount of upgrades I want will be around $45-50K above the base price of $250K. I know this is an economy that dictates sellers be open to negotiating, but I was curious about builders' sales offices and their typical openness to negotiating.

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Gordon Haraway’s answer
Gordon Haraw…, Home Buyer, Upper Marlboro, MD
Sat Apr 14, 2012
Without a dought, use a realtor, do not deal directly with the builder. Back in the day when the market was screamming builder would dictate the market and in some cases did not even want to deal with a buyers agent and insisted you only deal with
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The Roskelly…, Agent, Gambrills, MD
Fri Apr 13, 2012
Hi Janvier,

This is an excellent question. And an excellent illustration of why you need your own buyer's agent to representy you AT NO CHARGE! Local agents are familiar with builders, what if any incentives they are offering and how to get them. For instance, we recently received an e-mail that was only sent to Realtors who had worked with this specific builder before. They were offering commission incentives (which is great) but also offering our repeat clients over $20,000 in options at no charge including a fully finished sunroom. The friendly agent that you meet at the new home sales office WORKS FOR THE BUILDER. And while they can legally and ethically provide you with all the paperwork you need to buy the home, you are unrepresented.

Many new home buyers mistakenly think that dealing directly with the builder (without representation) will get them additional cost savings. That simply is not true. Builders are expecting and already have the cost of a buyer agent's commission worked into their numbers. So the only person benefiting financially if you come in unrepresented is the builder.

And who will assist you if there is a dispute in the construction phase? Who can recommend the best inspectors to check on your properties progress...and YES you should have a new home inspected at least twice during the construction process to make sure it is built to plan.

All of the above will vary by builder, location and property. Arm yourself with some great representation and get yourself the best options at the best prices on your new home!
0 votes
Greg Myers, Agent, Gaitherburg, MD
Thu Apr 12, 2012
You will have more negotiating leverage on a "Spec" home that is already built VS. contracting a home to be built.. Your option is to negotiate on price or free options. Use a Realtor for the process, you will be glad you did.

Greg Myers
RE/MAX Realty Group
0 votes
, ,
Thu Apr 12, 2012
It really depends on where the home is. DC and VA are stronger markets than MD But some parts of MD might be stronger, there are pockets of good and bad all over the DMV. They will bargin to a point though. You need a good realtor. Make sure you get one on your side to help if you don't already. If you need some names of good realtors let me know and I can give you a few that can help. If you already have one then you should be in good shape. Hope this helps.


Brent Mendelson
Senior Loan Officer
1ST Mariner Mortgage
Lending in
0 votes
Robert McArt…, Agent, Fallston, MD
Thu Apr 12, 2012
The best way to negotiate is through a REALTOR...they will have your best interests at heart...period. Builders offer many incentives that will appear out of nowhere when a Realtor is at your representation....and by the way....the Builder pays the Realtor their commissions!!
0 votes
Cameron Novak, Agent, Corona, CA
Thu Apr 12, 2012
That depends on...

Your agent
The home's location
The market in the area
Whether you utilize their lender
How the inventory looks (do they have sitting inventory?)

Your competent real estate agent can help you.

In Corona, we're able to negotiate some terrific deals for our clients (sometimes up to $60,000 off the listed price). Corona though, is different from from DC. Talk to your agent.

Good luck,
Corona, California
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