It is the time of year when several of the major New Home Builders in the Fort Worth/Dallas area see the end of their Fiscal Year approaching... and let the word out that they will pretty much do just about anything to squeeze in "one more closing" before their fiscal time-clock runs out.
What will they do ? Well, it all depends. First, it depends on how many completed homes the builder has "sitting" at that time. It also varies depending on the specific model or floorplan. They may only have one or two of a floorplan that sells well, so in that case... they are less likely to negotiate, although many things are still possible. They may replace carpet with tile, replace carpet with hardwood, upgrade appliances, or include a washer, dryer and refrigerator at no cost.
If the floorplan you happen to like is one that the builder has a pretty good "overstock" on... even more may be possible.
What kinds of things do Home Builders NOT like to negotiate on? Pricing is probably the touchiest item for a builder when a buyer wants to negotiate. And... there's a reason or that. Let's say a home is listed for a certain price, perhaps $225,900. The buyer wants the builder to drop the price, for example's sake, by $20,000. Even if the builder were inclined to accept the buyer's offer, the main reason they would prefer to negotiate making other types of concessions is that reducing the price on any particular floorplan makes it all that much more difficult to get an appraisal for the NEXT home of that floorplan that sells.
So... if a buyer really insists on "making an offer"... the builder is much more inclined to include free options, appliance upgrades, install hardwood or ceramic tile at no charge, install Corian-type counter-tops at no-charge, pay closing costs and pre-paids, pay for an interest rate buy-down, give down payment assistance (such as paying the FHA 3% downpayment for the buyer), or other such concessions rather than lowering the price.
Also... sometimes some Realtors are hesitant to bring clients to New Home Builders... because the builders usually have their "own" contracts rather than use a standard Realtor contract. But remember... you are much more likely to be in the "driver's seat" if your agent happens to have extensive experience working with New Home Builders.
This is the time New Home Builders are most anxious to reduce their "standing inventory." I have seen this for the past eight years that I have been a Realtor in Tarrant County, and for the Nine previous years when I worked for several National New Home Builders here in Tarrant County.
It is unusual for a Realtor to also have had experience working for New Home Builders. With that in mind, I give my "buyers" a real edge in their negotiations when purchasing their New Home from a Builder.
It is such a great feeling for me to have helped so many families in the past accomplish what they had thought was the impossible. Home Ownership... The American Dream. This is one of the better times for me to make their New Home Dreams Come True. It's Time for the "End Of The Fiscal Year" party to start.