Yes, you can insult a builder.

Real Estate Broker/Owner with ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors

No deal Recently, I received an offer for one of our well-priced new construction ENERGY STAR homes located in a gated neighborhood The offer, from another agent, was on behalf of a buyer who still needs to get his current house closed. The time-line for contingencies was not to begin until that house passes appraisal. His pre-approval letter gave the address of the listing, but there was not a monetary amount included. I considered it worthless.

In addition, the offer was priced $10,000 below list and included another $12,000 in concessions. The agent called and encouraged me to get the builder to sign it asap, as he was heading to Hawaii in the morning. Really? You send a lousy, incomplete, and sloppy offer, and I'm supposed to get this one turned around in a hurry to meet your vacation schedule?  This was not the way to get a transaction off on the right foot. 

Naturally, the builder turned it down. We did write a new offer, on our builder forms, for full-price and it included a couple of concessions requested by the buyer. Our new offer reflected the current marketplace - and the price per square foot was in line with recent sales. This home sits on one of the best lots in the subdivision with private green ways in the back, and no neighbor on one side.

The agent and his buyer sent us a counter.  The new deal was still below list and they asked for $8,700 in closing fees. Plus some custom changes to the interior finishes. At this point, the builder is starting to get frustrated. Believe it or not, you can insult builders, just as you can private sellers. In addition, I was getting frustrated as I explained to the agent what it would likely take to get the offer approved.

Finally, the agent did send another verbal, with a more reasonable net for the builder. However, by the time I communicated that offer to the builder, he was so fed up with the game, that he turned it down. It seems the only way this buyer is going to get this house is by offering full price, with no concessions. The buyer, and his agent, set themselves up for failure - not a smart move if you want a home.

Yes, you can insult a builder.

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ViewHomes™ grew out of our passion for nature, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful environments. Starting together in an urban environment, over the years we've gravitated towards areas with smaller populations and less density. We now enjoy our lifestyle in a rural environment, but with close proximity to metropolitan areas where we appreciate all the amenities of fine restaurants, shopping, and an easy drive to an international airport.
Living in ViewHomes™ is like having “elbowroom for the soul”.






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Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407

Approaching all real estate transactions (with ALL involved parties) from a human-perspective will typically result in an outcome that enhances ALL relationships. In this case, it seems the builder was not treated with the respect a human being should be treated with, but rather looked at as an entity. Relationship building is the business we are really in.

Jul 30, 2013 03:23 PM #18
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Debb:  It sounds to me like this other agent and her buyer just were not used to selling builder's homes.  And... to include a contingency in the sale just proves that very point.

Also, if you are going to ask a seller to pay closing costs as a concession, you surely do NOT do that in addition to asking for a laundry list of other things.  I don't blame the builder one bit.

Jul 30, 2013 03:27 PM #19
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Debb - Yes builders are people too. :)

Can you sign off on that deck that I'm building? It's not quite done but I need to be done before going on vacation.

Enjoy this day!

Jul 30, 2013 04:30 PM #20
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836
A few years ago one could negotiate a good deal with the Builders in our area. However, THE TIMES THEY ARE A-Changin' . Now days Builders are raising prices of newly constructed homes as they build.
Jul 30, 2013 07:22 PM #21
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
Sometimes when they see unreasonable expectations they also see the EXIT door. Unreasonable becomes unreasonable about many things not just one!
Jul 30, 2013 08:36 PM #22
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Geneva Financial, Llc. - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance
Debbie, I love it! A buyer that got a valuable lesson. Perhaps next time he as a chance to buy, he'll understand it is no longer a Buyers' Market. Talk about being 'behind the curve'! Kudos to the builder!
Jul 30, 2013 09:26 PM #23
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Typical response from any seller .. when the tide is on their favor. 

good offer. .bad timing

Jul 30, 2013 10:14 PM #24
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

I hope the buyers like their new rental home!

Jul 30, 2013 11:23 PM #25
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

Someone has spent too much time watching real estate TV shows and not enough familiarixing themselves with the locaal market.

Jul 30, 2013 11:59 PM #26
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Debb, when the market is hot, builders do not need to "give away" their homes either.   Good for the builder to get fed up, there will be another MUCH BETTER buyer!

Jul 31, 2013 12:03 AM #27
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

So true Joanna. You really need to take the pulse of the market - and act accordingly. Furthermore, we need to be respectful and when a property is priced farily - treat it so...

Dick, very much so. And they have the same things going on as regular sellers - often more so when it comes to needing  a certain net.

Kathleen - he was pretty pleasant when I talked to him on the phone - after the initial offer. However, the follow up offers wouldn't match our discussions.

Jul 31, 2013 12:23 AM #28
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Debb.... builders in our area will not take anything less than full price.... and the prices continue to go up slightly after every every few accepted offers....agents learn quickly how each builder works....

Jul 31, 2013 12:23 AM #29
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Debbie, yes, there is certainly that perception at times.

Ah Ralph, you hit the nail on the head.   :) Good for you - that is the heart of the issue.

Jul 31, 2013 12:33 AM #30
Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

Oh, the back and forth, back and forth.  I almost wish someone would show up and buy it for over asking!

Jul 31, 2013 12:56 AM #31
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Debb - Builders are a different breed and you just have to know how to work with them.

WOW! I learned a lot just by reading your post and all the comments.

I always shake my head when people do not use a REALTOR and go directly to a builder without representation. Being licensed pulls a lot of weight (except of course to the builder).

I really appreciated this post of your!

Jul 31, 2013 09:11 AM #32
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Probably the buyer's agent sold their services to that buyer as being "a great negotiator".

HA!  Making low offers is not negotiating. 

Jul 31, 2013 09:17 PM #33
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Yes Debb, these buyers likely learned a lesson here, that you can only push so far.

If you want to buy at a great price, it doesn't pay to complicate the offer in any way, especially with a corporate entity where complications often involve a board meeting to get approved.

Aug 01, 2013 03:39 AM #34
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Hey all, I have read each of you comments and always appreciate your advice and/or perspective. I'll be visiting each of you soon, Thanks so much for taking time to read this post -

Aug 01, 2013 11:34 PM #35
Jack O'Neal
HomeSmart Elite Group - Gilbert, AZ

They come out of the woodwork on some days


Aug 02, 2013 02:36 PM #36
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Unrealistic buyers and agents are much less likely to have a successful transaction. Most of us do not have the patience to deal with them.

Aug 03, 2013 09:11 AM #37
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD

REALTORS® in Clark County, WA
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