Tips to Negotiating With Your Builder

When you are ready to build your own home, a lot of things run through your mind. It may start with price, trying to fit everything you want into your budget. But very quickly it moves to possibilities – to the excitement that builds as you realize you get to select every piece of your new home.

     • Why not create the gourmet kitchen you’ve been dreaming about?
     • Why not install beautiful hardwood floors throughout?
     • Upgrade to better fixtures and appliances? Yes, please!

This is when excitement can turn to frustration. And when building your home can become a lot less fun.

We see this a lot. And we have a lot of strategies to help remove this frustration long before it sets in. Think of this as the process of negotiating with your builder. This is where we can help you settle in and make the right choices, to ensure the process maintains its fun.

Do Your Homework

Nothing can be more frustrating than to have your heart set on something only to find out later that it’s way above your budget. Yes, you may have been dreaming of a double oven; but the price tag adds a significant amount to your bottom line.

tips-to-negotiating-with-your-builderThe internet is both a curse and a blessing. It allows us to dream big. With a quick search, you can find photos of the most beautiful homes in the world. You can quickly see your “I have to have it” items appear and add them to your wish list.

And while it’s easy to find pictures, even add them to your Pinterest boards, what’s not always as easy is putting price tags to the items. If you have things at the top of your wish list, do another search and start pricing them out.

Be honest with yourself; do they fit well within your budget?

Agree on a Budget

Which brings us to our next tip of agreeing on a budget. Only you can decide how much you’ll spend on your home building project. Only you can decide on how much you’ll spend on individual upgrades throughout your home.

When you come to the table to negotiate with your builder, keep in mind that we’re a neutral party. We can’t negotiate price because that’s a fixed cost. Where we can negotiate is by offering you solutions.

If you had your heart set on that double oven, we can show you other more budget-friendly solutions. We can hear what you truly want in your home design and offer you alternatives and give you choices that do fit within your real range.

Settle With Your Partner Before You Make Decisions

If you’re building a house with your partner, do you have the same priorities, the same goals and wishes? We often find this can cause huge fights and dilemmas.

We have over 11,000 options and upgrades and for some, it can become a little overwhelming. One might really want one item, while the other starts planning in a completely different direction. And when dreams don’t align, it can take away a lot of the fun.

tips-to-negotiating-with-your-builderBefore you visit us at our design center, take some time and discuss your options with your partner and all other parties involved in the decision-making process. Where are your priorities? Where will you give and where won’t you budge?

While you still might come to the table with different priorities, it won’t be a surprise. You’ll already have had conversations about that and may even have ideas on how to agree. That makes our job much easier when offering solutions and finding ways so everyone is delighted with the finished product.

Consider Your Priorities Carefully

One of the most common questions we get during the design process is: what would you do? After all, we’re the experts. We help design houses every day.

Our answer is always the same. The larger the item, the more difficult it is to replace, the more time and money you should spend on the solution.

For example, installing hardwood flooring throughout your home is a big decision. It’s also a costly one. But it’s not one you can do later as a simple weekend project. It takes a lot of time and attention to detail to ensure it’s done right. This is a great example of where to invest.

Now compare that to upgrading a faucet on your kitchen sink. Faucets are easier to replace. They are less expensive and they make a much easier do-it-yourself project down the road.

If given a choice, lean toward prioritizing your biggest impact items above ones that are easier to do later on.

If it impacts the structure of your home, put your focus on including those items early on. If it’s more design than function, consider those as areas you can hold back on if needed.

Be Open to Change

When building a house, every step impacts future steps. Your builder is in constant need of making selections for what comes next.

If you have trouble making a decision, it puts the building process on hold. If your builder can’t get in touch with you, the project comes to a halt.

Realize that building your new home will take several months of your time. We’re not saying you have to be available 24/7. But you should check in and make sure you follow up with messages regularly so you can settle questions and make decisions.

Discuss Expectations

Some of the worst words you can use at the end of a project are: But I thought …

tips-to-negotiating-with-your-builderIf you see a problem arise in the work that is currently being done, head in and start negotiating with your builder right away to ensure your questions are addressed.

Often it’s miscommunication that makes things go temporarily awry, or just simply seem awry when everything is actually going along as planned. But if you don’t bring your concern up in a timely manner, you risk falling deeper into not getting what you truly had in mind.

Are You Ready to Build Your Own Home?

Have you been dreaming about your three bedroom dream home on the perfect piece of property you’ve found?

That’s what we do best. We have lots of ideas, dozens of floorplans to use as your starting point, and more than 11,000 options and upgrades to make your home uniquely your own.

Want to start negotiating with a builder for your perfect home? Give us a call today.