Good evening, Heather.
I just drove by Riviera this evening! We've successfully negotiated on spec homes for many clients. The builder has an incentive to keep prices stable/high so that they support strong future sales, but that they may give on extras. But they also may want to get inventory off their books before the end of the year - it's all about us asking the right questions and approaching the negotiations prepared with data on other properties that are selling in that community and area of South Charlotte. The pricing will also depend on assumptions we know appraiser will typically make about upgrades, total square footage, numbers of bathrooms and bedrooms, garage bays and unit location within the community. There are ways to Cut Excess Builder Profit when Buying a New Home (see Trulia blog in link below).
Everyone in the builder's model home works for the builder, not for you. Since the Builder pays your agent's commission, you really ought to take advantage of it and hire an Agent Advocate to represent you. If you have a full time agent with a Masters degree in Planning with Finance and over two decades of experience working for you, you will likely do better in negotiations. I'd be pleased to provide that service.
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