Why a coach when buying new construction!

Supply and demand may prohibit negotiating well beyond what a builder offers.

While pure supply and demand may prohibit you from negotiating well beyond what a builder provides, knowing how to handle the process lets you save some cash whenever you can. In the current climate of growing costs and dwindling inventories, saving money on new construction can look difficult, if not almost impossible. The resale stock is poor and is a seller’s market across many regions.

If you purchase a new construction, I want you to understand, you can enter into an agreement and stop paying for certain things on the new build. Here are some suggestions and ways to make it possible for you. To know what communities are being launched before the public gets the word. For example, Ponte Vedra, Nocatee I am a “Certified Nocatee Realtor” and have the privilege to these communities. The floor plans, availability and price choices are important matters that I have availability to. I may even have the site agent’s contact information.⠀

Builders do not list each home for sale in the MLS and certainly will not list what is available and move in ready. It is extremely important to find a realtor you are familiar with and in areas you might be unfamiliar with. I can show you more often than not who the real site agents are in different communities and will direct you to the specialist in the field you are interested in. My staff and I know if you need to contact them directly or whether I can arrange appointments in a more efficient manner. Every construction manager functions a bit differently. Site supervisors are frequently linked to appointments and dealing with current buyers following their homes process. Supervisors cannot respond in a timely manner. In any case, you should have someone like myself that can direct you to key individuals that will run down necessary details quickly. 

2. Buying new construction? Knowing when a new community pulls the trigger.

At the beginning of selling a new neighborhood, a large part of the savings of new development usually occurs, when you are one of the first buyers to write an agreement. The moment the builder starts sales, rates are at their lowest on lots and floor plans, and they only have one direction to go from there, up.

The best offers are the first deals, and indecisiveness can and will cost a buyer cash and probably their lot and floor plan option if there are limits on how many homes can be constructed around each other on a street or unique portion of one model (so that every home is not the same). This also applies to how much heated Square footage is allowable on any specific lot.

After you close, you may find out the home you built, knowing it’s 2500 square feet, is recorded on record as 2100 square feet. A potential nightmare becomes real! Buyers looking for the stunning view of the elusive cul-de-sac lot or the highly desirable lot with no one next door or across from them? They are best equipped to leap out of a parachute or available to come in on Zoom, Skype or other video conferencing software that anyone can use to make this happen.

Waiting a couple of days could change the whole scenario. The response to “we’re not quite ready yet, but we can check it out next time we’re in town in a couple of weeks” may result in a huge price rise on both lots and home base prices. Not to mention, the home you want may not be available at all by that time.

It is important to have a Realtor help you understand the mentality of “should, could have, would have!” Having a coach on board is like the captain of the ship. It’s importance of instantly acting can most likely be a game changer. In a matter of days, prices can adjust, and site agents often do not know when their management may be responsible for a price rise. A few days later, the same lot and home that you were contemplating over the weekend would suddenly cost $20,000 more.

3. Options, benefits, and costs for closing—oh my!

It can be possible to get distracted by hearing numerous deals being bantered around, such as: the builder is currently providing an incentive sum that you can use to minimize the price or options and improvements, and if you use one of “THEIR CHOSEN LENDERS,” a certain amount may go against closing costs. Based on supply and demand, offerings wax and wane, and if the rate of sales is brisk, the builder would possibly step back on incentives and boost prices at the same time.

At the start of a new community, and an attempt to get some signed contracts, builders can give more generous incentives, however this may also offer the opportunity to increase prices rapidly! It is likely that when you visited a week ago, the $25,000 reward the builder was providing could no longer be available now. If you use their chosen lender with respect to closing costs, more often than not will save some cash out of pocket for closing costs that you would otherwise have to come up with.

Bear in mind that by using a builder’s preferred lender, the interest rate will be marginally higher compared to lending through the bank of your choice, and they can save more out-of-pocket expenses in the short term. Compared to saving on closing costs, home buyers must weigh the gap in the mortgage payments between the builder and an outside lender to see how long it will take them to recover the out-of-pocket costs. In my opinion you should take all of the benefits you can to prevent a pause in making a decision while working with a builder. Otherwise, not only may the price rise, but there might not be any incentives to benefit from it.

4. Controlling the unexpected!

This is where you can quickly tip the final purchase price well above where it was supposed to be when it comes to options and improvements. If possible, preview the design center well ahead of time before the actual appointment to get a summary and understanding of the various levels of finishes and features. Believe when a design appointment is normally just a few hours (or can be completed in a few meetings), but in a limited period a buyer more than likely is under a time crunch to determine several important finishes and color schemes for their home. To succumb to the pressure of the moment and select items that are needless extras and may very well “more often than not” drive you over your allocated budget very quick.

My experience and Via the builder, some things are better off being finished, and other items are best completed outside the builder. Often having a seasoned Realtor to prepare you for the journey makes sense to when committing to spending money on cabinetry and countertops at the time of the deal, as well as structural improvements such as expanding a covered lanai under the roof line or adding some additional square footage to the garage.


Going with tile in the kitchen through the builder may make sense depending on the type of flooring you are interested in. However, if you choose to splurge on wood floors, engineered wood flooring, premium vinyl plank or other flooring of choice. Having carpet installed in the living, dining and bedrooms could be a better alternative and you want to be able to shop outside of building options to find a material and installer that fits your budget best. Our last build, the design studio said we had NO OPTIONS but to use this suggestion will win you more happiness and less grief knowing you may not be able to remove the choices the builder offered.

There is usually an important markup with builders on certain types of flooring, particularly when it comes to wood floors, and you can find better prices outside the design core of the builder. That said, after closure, there is generally some difficulty getting this completed instead of just being able to step straight in, so as a buyer, you may need to decide if that’s feasible with your current situation and timetable. Going through vendors of your choice after closing would likely be more cost-effective for products such as tile backsplash, crown molding, built-ins, custom window treatments such as plantation shutters, curtains, gutters, fencing and front door glass inserts. Same for fixtures with illumination. Go with the simple ones if provided, and after closing, do your shopping on your own for preferred models. The same goes for getting a paver patio, fire pit or summer kitchen added by the design center. These assistants work on commissions and may not always be your best option.

Pools through a builder, there is always a bit of a markup. However, for the convenience of doing it during the building process, you may choose this option opposed to getting your yard dug up after closing, permit issues, and attempting to supervise it all yourself, which can often be a massive mess. A thing like too much icing on a cake can be there, and the same applies to putting improvements into a home. This is where you a buyer will be properly directed by an advisor versed in new construction as to how best to invest your money and what to spend it on.

5. Timing is Key!

Though the real estate market hasn’t slowed down a great deal, there are usually busier and slower periods in each market under more natural post-pandemic circumstances. Determine when those are, and if possible, try to schedule the transaction around a slower time. Typically, the end of the year has always been a timelier time to purchase new builds, particularly inventory homes, as builders are more driven to clear current inventory off their plates to free up capital to build new homes.

When a builder is a publicly traded business, as their end of quarter or calendar year comes, they are always more driven as there may be some sales targets they have to reach for each zone. During these times, offers are always sweetened, but the option of available homes and lots can be small.

6.The Leftovers

There are a few remaining lots in every new neighborhood, which are usually some of the last to go. If they have not been sold to a buyer to build a home, they will generally be speculating on them.The house may be magnificent and highly sought-after, but the lot may be a challenge to deal with in some way. It could be in or out of the neighborhood on a busy corner with heavy traffic. It may lack confidentiality, or have no views. With little outdoor space to do something with, like adding a pool, a patio area, a fire pit or a summer kitchen, it could also be small. You will be able to negotiate a better price on anything like this if you can see beyond those things, against a lot that may be more conforming and in the neighborhood in extremely limited supply. In other words, to sweeten the deal, reduce the asking price and provide more options and incentives to get this property off his or her plate, the builder can bend over backwards.

7.Title and closing fees and elements of surprise!

When possible, and the builder allows, buyers who select the closing and/or title insurance agent, it may be possible to bargain if they do not choose the chosen lender of the builder. That said, it can be difficult to do this. Usually, builders connect the benefits they provide with the condition that their own closing and title services are used. While they will encourage buyers to choose their own, it is likely to negate closing costs charged on their behalf, which may potentially cost them more cash.

There may be some closing costs that are usually charged by a vendor on a resale that a buyer needs to pick up on new development, depending on what is customary in the local real estate market, but a contractors closing cost incentives tend to compensate them. A builder can agree to cover some closing costs, even with a cash purchase, that are linked to the use of their closing and title services. As your Realtor it’s possible for me to direct you to closing agencies that perhaps may get you some competitive quotes. We may be able to receive the closing and title vendors of the builder to see if they can fit the fees you present. By doing perhaps we can save on closing costs, title insurance, as well as a survey.

Although pure supply and demand makes it impossible to negotiate well beyond what a builder offers, knowing how to manage the process will help you, “the consumer,” better time your purchase and save some cash wherever possible.