Never a truer statement has been uttered. But there are still several red flags you need to see within the flurry of contract documents that the homebuilder’s sale staff will be pushing. Many of those contract documents have legal consequences from the moment you walk through the door. For example, it is standard for homebuilders to make it a condition of the new home construction contract that, unless a real estate broker walks through the door with you, then there is no chance for a buyer’s commission. What does that mean? You could be making this major purchase on your own, because no broker is going to assist you on a deal for nothing.
What can you do?
Step 1. Map out the deadlines within the contract documents. Either by design, ignorance, or sloppy drafting, many homebuilders require important design decisions to be made after the deadline to back out of the deal. Further, many homebuilders use outside vendors and showrooms for their design decisions. Thereby shifting the risk to you that certain showrooms and vendors are not available within the deadlines. As the homebuyer, you can’t take on that risk without some push back and flexibility. And if the homebuilder insists, then by stretching out the design decision deadlines, you can make sure that the deal doesn’t come back to haunt you or your marriage.
Step 2. Grow a backbone. I know, sounds harsh. But if you cannot back out of the deal, the homebuilder has zero incentive to provide you the flexibility to get the home you want, or for you to discover this homebuilder doesn’t build the home you want. Regardless of what the homebuilder tells you, the lot, or something identical to it, will be available, either in his development or another homebuilder’s development. At the first mention of the lot possibly becoming “unavailable,” simply state that you don’t want to hold them back from making a sale, and you’ll explore other options with a different homebuilder with more time to spare.
Step 3. Close the deal within a comfort zone for your bank. Banks are much more particular than they have been in the past. Speak with a financial advisor to consider purchasing a home that is significantly less than what you qualify for to allow maximum personal financial flexibility. Because there is no use spending all that time, effort, and money on a purchase that may continue to stress you for years to come.
In the end, try to remain calm, and know that help is available.