I wanted to cut my price down on a quote and the builder made it seem like I was being difficult. I wanted

Asked by Ronald, 20011 Sat Mar 22, 2008

to lower my cost for the house and eliminate some of the projects that I did not need right away. Putting carpet instead of wooden floors was one of the changes and for some reason the builder felt it was a change he did not want to do because it change the quote. I thought it was my choice to spend my money. Do I have that choice before a contract is signed.

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Tman, , 30642
Sun Mar 23, 2008

Builders think in quantities ... 20,000 sq ft of this and 15,000 lbs of that and 10,000 sq's of the blue stuff .. .. when you go basic, they go blind for a minute or so.

If you feel comfortable, then just sit down with the builder and contract what you want, it's simple and it's done every second of everyday ..

It's spring, and most builders have been sitting on their hands for the last 4 or 5 months and they "need" the business - bad.!

Also keep in mind, good real estate attorneys are only $700/$900 away ..... why pay an agent $10,000 to do what an experienced real estate attorney can do for $1,000 ...

Happy Easter and happy hunting.!

1 vote
Emily Erekuff, Home Owner, Menifee, CA
Tue Mar 25, 2008
Hi Everyone,

It looks like Ronald posted some additional information about this situation at the link below.

Best Wishes,

Emily Gibson
Customer Service Representative
0 votes
Linda Carroll…, , Lacey, WA
Sun Mar 23, 2008
"Do I have that choice before a contract is signed?" That is the single most important sentance in your question! Get it agreed in writing BEFORE the contract is signed, most definately.

If the Builder is being difficult now, imagine trying to handle changes with him AFTER he has your signature, earnest money, and upgrades deposit.

And yes, you should have a RE att'y or an agent help you with your docs. Which one you choose depends on how much you want guidance and representation in the transaction.

The agent gets a commission based on the purchase price of the sale. (Here in Washington State the Seller pays the commission--that is why many builders don't want agents involved-- they don't want to pay the 2.5% or 3% broker fee for the Buyer to have representation.)

So, no matter how many hours, how many phone calls, how many site visits, how many documents faxed or emailed or sent, the agent's fee remains the same. And if for some reason the sale doesn't close--for instance, if you change your mind, or your financing fails, or the builder goes out of business and never finishes the house--the agent receives nothing.

The RE lawyer will most likely bill by the hour. How much depends on the lawyer.

So consider the amount of representation or guidance you will most likely desire, and choose one or the other accordingly. If you do get an agent, shop for one who has lots of experience with new construction contracts, and try to find one who has experience with this particular builder.

Best wishes, and let me know how it works for you!
0 votes
Janet McAlli…, Agent, Ann Arbor, MI
Sun Mar 23, 2008
I worked for a builder for over 8 years. This is crazy! You are the client. Your are the one living in this home. Builders do make money off of upgrades like hardwood. Remember you are the client! If you are not using a realtor, make sure you have an ttorney review your paperwork. There are all sorts of variables between builders. Example, transfer tax. Some builders push that on the buyer. The builder is working for themselves as their contract will show, so make sure you take care of your best interest!
Web Reference:  http://mcallisterteam.info
0 votes
Frank Bigans…, Agent, Newport News, VA
Sun Mar 23, 2008

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 you’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 – 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.

Too bad.

If you have not yet signed a contract, then the ball is in your court. Stand strong on your demands and if he doesn’t budge, simply walk away. Don’t be afraid, but don’t say you won’t buy from him. And don’t say you’re going to think it over either! Just say you’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 – especially in today’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
0 votes
John the Bru…, Home Buyer, Connecticut
Sat Mar 22, 2008
There are lots of out-of-work, or under-worked, builders right now. Act accordingly.
0 votes
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