Q & A: Can I negotiate prices with a home builder?

Published in the Florida Today newspaper:

Schuetz-2Realtor® Scott Schuetz of Dale Sorensen Real Estate of Brevard answers: “In Brevard County real estate, almost everything is negotiable, so it is certainly worth a try.” Now, this does not mean that the builder will go above and beyond to meet your needs.  It is very common for builders to claim that their prices are based on fixed construction costs.  Maybe, but timing is everything.  “Remember to explore financing with a builder and their recommended mortgage broker.  They may offer lower rates or the builder may offer incentives for down payments.”

A builder is more likely to be flexible on price at the very beginning and the very end of a project.  Early on, most developers want to move people in quickly so that the project builds momentum.  In the end, they may be more inclined to accept lower offers when only a few units are left.

If you are unable to negotiate on price, negotiate for a better lot location or amenities, such as a carpet upgrade or light fixtures.  A developer will rarely pass up a deal over a few hundred dollars’ worth of carpeting.  You may also negotiate a year’s worth of HOA fees or a sports club or golf membership.  Schuetz concludes, “Another amenity to negotiate for is landscaping.  A few beautiful palms or some small landscape lighting can definitely make your new home pop.”

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