Unknown Costs – Builder Myths

Mar 15, 2019

A lot of new home buyers are concerned that their builder is going to surprise them with a bunch of unknown costs.  This simply is not true (of all builders, anyway).

Here at Overstreet Builders, it is our goal to cover as much as we possibly can up front.  Using the models, past photos and the internet, buyers can absolutely understand what they are purchasing.  As you head into your custom building contract make sure you have total clarity.  It’s always better to address questions before you sign your contract.

Your salesperson – no matter how good – cannot read your mind.  (However, it is a skill that we would really love to have!)  The hardest thing for a salesperson is to know is what you know and what you don’t know.  If you have questions, PLEASE ask.  Working with buyers who have never built a home is very different from working with those who have built several times.  Some people don’t like over-explaining and others want to hear everything that you can possibly say.

We occasionally hear buyers say, “everything is an upgrade”.  Certainly, based on your level of taste, everything you want could be an upgrade.  Many of us have “expensive taste” (self included!)  Know how many options you get before you sign.  A builder should be transparent about their standard inclusions:  how many stain colors they include for cabinets, how many styles of faucets, brick colors, etc.  If they are not willing to show you, run!

Builders may offer different levels of inclusions too.  If you choose the most economical package, understand that you are paying less for less options and, depending on the builder, possibly less quality.  Understand where the differences are BEFORE signing on the dotted line.  Double check to make sure that you’re not confused about which package you are purchasing or what is included. This may be the biggest point of confusion that we see.

Customer:  “What??  I thought that was included?!”

Salesperson: “Ahh.. no, I’m sorry, that’s included in the other series, not this one.”

Customer:  “I’m going to find it in the paperwork.”

Awkward silence…

Salesperson bashfully takes out the amenity list for the other series and points it out, waiting for the wrath of the customer.

We can only speak for staff at Overstreet, but misunderstandings are as uncomfortable for the salesperson as they are for the buyer.  Our sales team is hopeful to make your custom build experience as pleasant as possible, so make sure that when they ask if you understand everything that you really do before saying “yes”!

Once a contract is signed, there are opportunities to make changes and to upgrade.  It is the buyer’s responsibility to take control of the reigns.  Just because your builder is offering options doesn’t mean you have to take them.  We do our best to offer popular upgrades so that we don’t hear the dreaded “why didn’t you tell us you could do that” after closing.  Your salesperson is going to do the best they can to find a balance for each customer of offering things that they might be interested in, without showing them too much.  And it can be a tough balance when you have only recently met your buyers and are still learning their personalities.

Check out our blog on How to Be Prepared for Your Pricing Appointments HERE for more incite!

*Helpful tip!

Remember that your salesperson is not trying to waste your time, there is a lot to cover and they understand that you want to finish up selections and get your home built as quickly as possible.  If they know that you are on a tight budget, they are not going to keep offering you expensive options.  In fact, you would probably think they were being rude if they did.

We’ve heard “why didn’t you tell us we could do that?” a handful of times.  It’s extremely hard to know what each customer might want.  The options with custom building are endless.  If we see you leaning toward certain types of details, we’re going to help you with ideas in that realm, but we cannot possibly offer you every idea that is available.  If you think you’re looking for specific ideas, please bring us pictures, drawings and other helpful tools.  We promise that we will help you achieve your goals… if we know what they are!