Negotiating With New Home Builders

Buying East Cobb New Homes The Right Way – With Expert Help!

Many Home Buyers and Even Agents Believe Builders Won’t Negotiate

I can assure you from experience that is wrong! But you can’t just wing it, and blindly throw out some silly arbitrary number like many foreign cultures (and even locals) like to try – that is not a professional negotiation strategy. That wing it “strategy” is how you insult and even piss off the seller/builder and kill your chances permanently! You have to know what you’re doing and you have to know the inside market data on that individual development at that particular time  – this is data home buyers can not begin to access – most agents don’t even know how to. One caveat, if you have an ordinary low skilled agent/generalist, or worse, you’re an unrepresented buyer going up against the builders agents alone, you will find your ability to negotiate anything meaningful to be met with a “sorry, we can’t do that” in most every case. Some of the more clever builders agents know how to throw you a bone and make you think you got a concession, and then they get you elsewhere!

That wing it “strategy” is how you insult and even piss off the seller/builder and kill your chances permanently!

Before you talk to a builder or go into a new home community to chat with the builders agents, call or email me to discuss the proper way to do this and preserve your rights first. For those on a cell phone and already in route or on the site, let the site agent know that you’re represented by a Broker – but be careful, many builders are saying your agent has to be with you when you initially register in the sales office – if that is the case refuse to fill out the form, and don’t give details other than your first name. Otherwise, when they hand you the clipboard and ask you to fill out their visitor information form – list Robert Whitfield as your Buyers Broker. For those of you reading this on a smart phone, I own Advantage Realtors  4195 Edinburgh Trail Roswell, GA 30075   O: 678-585-9691,  24 Hr eFax: – they will want this info as well. Having me to take you to the site personally is a far better way to handle this!

Negotiating With Your New Home Builder

Even if we have not agreed to work together yet (because you did not call me first – but instead are going about things the wrong way – looking on your own “first” before hiring an expert) following this advice will preserve your right to have your own experienced representation. Did you already mess this up? Already visit a new home community and fill out the form saying you have no agent? Bad move – you derailed one of your own basic rights – the right to have your own representation (just as the builder certainly does) at no cost to you! Having to “fend for yourself” is bad enough, moreover for those who don’t know it, they won’t shave a dime off your homes price just because you don’t have a buyer’s broker. The ¹site agent will simply keep their entire listing commission!

Alas, all is not lost – even thought the builders agent will tell you if you choose to bring a Buyer Broker in to assist you, you must pay their fee – there is a way around that! That’s right – because you initially said (in writing) you didn’t have an agent – they will no longer share the listing commission to cover your buyers agent – as is customary when you hire a buyers agent. Builders agents want you to remain unrepresented so they have the upper hand, and they can keep their entire listing commission. Now you finally see they are not looking out for you – at all. They’re not evil – their job is to look out for the builder, and that is what they do. I have had to deal with buyers who got into the above predicament  before, and I know exactly how to handle it. Call me to discuss.

¹Contrary to the notion held by some inexperienced first time buyers, and recent immigrants who ended up coming to me for help after trying to be their own broker, (including two cases where they so offended a builders staff, they were asked to leave the subdivision and not return) you don’t save or get rebated a commission just because you try to buy a home by yourself! This may be the custom in Europe, New Delhi, or Buenos Aires, but it is not the practice in the US. Listing commissions are controlled by a separate agreement between the listing agent and seller/builder, and are NOT open to negotiation by a buyer – or anyone else. In fact, any discussion of a listing agents commission by a buyer is inappropriate – buyers have no right to even bring up the listing agents commission as part of their negotiation.

If you want to buy an existing new construction home or are planning to build a new home in East Cobb, then Call Robert at 678-585-9691 for experienced help with your new construction home. As a Broker who is also a new home construction expert and ICC Certified Building Inspector, I have many years of experience helping clients buy new homes, and build new homes from the ground up. I understand the builders language so to speak, and can help you intelligently deal with the myriad issues and choices involved with buying and building new construction homes, as well as advising on technical construction problems that often come up during construction. I can help you with negotiations and am experienced with and can advise you about the perils unique to some new home builder contracts, and how to deal with them. Unlike all ordinary agents and realtors, I have sat as an expert witness in construction disputes and have the qualifications to advocate for you if needed at any point in the process. This ability alone can be invaluable. I may well be able to save you thousands, I will inform you of all builder bonuses, and I definitely have the ability to prevent a lot of headaches, costly time delays, and covered up building errors or shoddy workmanship.

Negotiating East Cobb New Construction Homes

Buying a new construction home in East Cobb from a builder is much different than buying an East Cobb resale home when it comes to negotiating the contract price. In most circumstances, when a builder is building a house plan for you – as opposed to selling one already finished, they will not negotiate at all. They have deep pockets and will wait until a buyer comes along willing to pay their price for the plan. Why? Sometimes there are unknowns – like the builder has never built that plan before, or they feel the market may be turning. Another reason has to do with appraisals and what stage the subdivision is in – if they discount one house at the wrong stage that can set a precedent – they risk having to discount the entire community because their houses won’t appraise at their full price if they have been discounting prices on some homes.

The best time to negotiate with a builder is when a spec house is already finished, when they are closing out the community or when they have just started the community and need the first sale or two. Getting a price cut can require market insights a buyer working on their own is not going to have – that’s one of many reasons new home buyers need the best representation they can find.

If you’re building a house in East Cobb, asking for them to come off the price of the house (without having some competitive data and specific market and builder insight) is virtually 99% guaranteed to be turned down for the reasons discussed above.

Are there other ways to negotiate, besides price? Sure. If you’re building, consider some things you would like in the house and ask for them – but don’t be unreasonable. Upgrades in appliances, extra landscaping, surround sound, or tile in place of carpet are some examples. Your success will depend on the market, time of year, and many other factors.

Surprisingly, this question comes up more than a reasonable person might imagine – should I use a real estate agent to buy a new construction home? Clearly the folks asking that don’t know anything about new construction, but at least they are asking rather than barging ahead on their own! Yes! Even though most agents are weaker in new home sales, they are still stronger than you in real estate matters generally! Yes! Since being represented is free – having an emotionally neutral advisor “in your corner” (even with general real estate experience) is a no brainer. Yes – the answer is Yes!

The advantages of having an agent help you purchase a new home are the same as those for purchasing a resale home. Robert Whitfield adds significantly to the advantages of ordinary agents. We can provide you with valuable insight into the East Cobb new construction industry, help you find the perfect home quickly, and then provide you with expertise in contract writing, negotiation, and closing assistance. The builder has a professional real estate representative who watches out for HIS or HER best interests, and you deserve the same expert representation watching out for YOURS!

Buying a new construction home (whether spec home or semi-custom) is definitely more difficult and time-consuming than buying a resale home, and it comes with many more decisions, and twists and turns that can trip you up if you aren’t very experienced in this type transaction generally, and in Georgia specifically. Having experience with East Cobb home builders, I have a rapport with them and a database of information about subdivisions, floor plans, bonuses, etc. It is very important that your interests be professionally represented when you’re entering into a contract for a spec, semi-custom, or a build-to-suit home. These transactions are complex and the contract details must be exactly specified in order to protect you, and to ensure that you get exactly the home that you wanted!

Also see How To Choose A Lot

If you’re considering purchasing an existing new home or building a new construction home and want the assistance of an experienced Broker/Owner and New Home Construction Expert to assist and guide you efficiently through the entire process, and be there for you when the unexpected arises, Call Robert Whitfield now – 678-585-9691 or Email

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