It sounds like you are not represented by a Realtor in the transaction and the builder, aka the home seller, is taking advantage of the situation. With all due respect, it's clear youâ€™re not comfortable with the negotiating aspect and the builder senses that.
Buyers of new construction often, and I mean very often, do not realize that buying from a builder is the same as buying from a regular home seller. The builder does not have your best interest at heart â€“ only his own best interests to concern himself with.
Hardwood floors typically cost more than carpet and when you spread the cost out over 30 years, if I were presenting you, I would try to get the builder to lower the cost and still install hardwood floors. The builder is trying to remain within his profit margin to keep his profits as high as possible. And when you start asking him to change things, this alters his plans and lowers his profits.
If you have not yet signed a contract, then the ball is in your court. Stand strong on your demands and if he doesnâ€™t budge, simply walk away. Donâ€™t be afraid, but donâ€™t say you wonâ€™t buy from him. And donâ€™t say youâ€™re going to think it over either! Just say youâ€™re going to look at some other homes in the area.
Then when you return, return with a Realtor who is an Accredited Buyer Representative, and let the agent begin to negotiate the terms for and with you. Chances are, the builder wants and needs your sale â€“ especially in todayâ€™s slower economy. Your Realtor should be able to negotiate the best terms in your favor, and they may also get the builder to pay for most of your closing costs too!!!
I hope this helps, and good luck!
Frank Biganski, Realtor ABR