Williamson County Real Estate: Did You Want Windows

Did You Want Windows

New HomeThis past weekend I was assisting a client with ordering a new home, and this was one of the options. I had to keep myself from laughing, because when the agent representing the builder asked that question, my client had a look of disbelief. Do you mean it doesn't have windows? What kind of house doesn't have windows?

To be fair, the house did have some windows, just not as many as some people would like. They also give you the option to put in windows where no logical people would ever want one, but  we know that some people make strange choices.

 The contracts they use are completely one sided, and place no liability on the builder to meet any deadlines. But the buyer on the other hand has lots of liability. When the onsite agent was reading through the details like he was reading a book, I stopped him, and had a short discussion with my client about what the contract says.

If for some reason you cannot close at a time they determine that you should, they can keep your 5% down payment and sell the house to someone else, probably for more than your contract price. But if they don't complete the home in the time frame that they are saying they will, you can't do a thing about it.

I thought the agent was going to have a heart attack.

The first thing out of his mouth was "that would never happen".

But it does happen, their estimate was 6 months to build the home, but it could take longer. A lot can happen during that period of time. You could lose your job. interest rates could increase, loan requirements could change and you may not qualify.

I wasn't trying to scare my clients, I just wanted them to understand what they were getting into. Agents representing builders don't want to talk about this, and it's not their jobs to assist the buyer.

By law they represent the  seller, buyer beware.



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Comment balloon 33 commentsLarry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc • December 08 2014 07:02AM


Buying new home can be very inticing. Getting to choose finishes, and I guess window locations too.  Thats a new one for me.  But you do a great job at pointing out the risks that we tend to want to over look.

Thanks for the post.


Posted by Adam Hamalian, Walking with you on your journey home. (Hamalian Properties Group) about 4 years ago

Builder contracts are generally one-sided and as you said, a lot of things, many outside of the buyer's control, can change during the "build time".  Having a competent buyer's agent representing you during a new construction purchase is VERY IMPORTANT!  Nice job taking care of your clients purchasing new construction in Nashville, TN Larry Brewer!

Posted by Jenna Dixon, Empowers You With a Better Real Estate Experience (DRA Homes | Cobb County Real Estate ) about 4 years ago

Hi Adam  - buyers are taking a considerable risk when they are having a home built. It's not nearly as risky when they buy a spec home, but right now Spec homes are not available in Franklin Tennessee.


Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) about 4 years ago

Hi Jenna - I understand why the contracts are one sided, and I don't have a problem with it, I just want my clients to understand what they are agreeing to do. It's still hard for me to believe that buyers walk into these agreements without a buyers agent. I was able to same my client thousands of dollars on things that the agent had included in the purchase price that were not useful, or need by my client. By the end of the process, they were exhausted and didn't even know what they had signed. That's why it was important for me to be there, I'm used to this process, so it was easy for me to noticed details that slipped right by them.

Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) about 4 years ago

Which is exactly why NO ONE should ever buy direct from a builder with no representation.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 4 years ago

It is nice to have a contract that is totally one sided.  Really I would be countering all that out. 

Posted by Elite Home Sales Team, A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team (Elite Home Sales Team OC) about 4 years ago

Great post Larry. There is a lot of new building going on in the Denver Metro area and the majority of my experiences have been positive. However, I always bring this matter to light with buyers, as well as the importance of independent inspections along the way.

Posted by Becky Gregory (Keller Williams Realty DTC) about 4 years ago

And they wonder why I like to sell older and historic homes!  Will these new subdivision homes still be standing in 200 years?  My listings are!

Posted by Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS (Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate) about 4 years ago

Hello Larry,
I went in a totally different direction with your title.  Thought you were talking Windows software.  It is amazing how one-sided builder contracts can be.

Posted by Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate, Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs (Kelly Right Real Estate) about 4 years ago

So glad you went with your client to the builder. Most people do not realize those friendly, helpful salespeople are...salespeople. They work for the seller, not the buyer.

Posted by Liane Thomas -Top Listing Agent, Bringing you Home! (BROKER Allison James Estates & Homes BRE 01885684) about 4 years ago

There is a particular builder where everything is ala carte. You want a garage exit door? That costs X amount, so I can see wanting more windows will cost more. I've seen some great deals with builder standing inventory, ready for move-in. Home buyers might want to consider that as an option, since they won't have to wait. I agree, builder contracts favor the seller and good thing you pointed out your buyer could risk losing their down payment. 

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) about 4 years ago

Buyer's agent, buyer's agent, buyer's agent.

As a buyer, if you choose to work directly with the seller's agent, you are not likely to come out ahead!

Posted by Jeanne Dufort, Madison and Lake Oconee GA (Coldwell Banker Lake Country) about 4 years ago

Very true. A lot can happen while a home is being built. 120 days out from framing I believe is the rule here & there still could be weather problems.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) about 4 years ago

In this business nothing is final or sure until you have the keys and go through the door.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 4 years ago

It's ashamed buyers don't realize the importance of buyer representation.  So many get caught up in the moment, not realizing who the builder rep actually works for.  

Posted by Bette Gottwald, "Bet"on Central PA Real Estate! (UNITED REAL ESTATE | Central PA) about 4 years ago

Those contracts are actually part of the negotiation package. The buyer is entitled to accept, reject or counter the builder's "standard" boilerplate contract.

Having provisions printed as part of a standard contract gives them more power than writing them in by hand. Builders understand this, and will put in whatever they think they can get away with.

The buyer's agent understands this and can help her client avoid being run over by builders and their "standard" contracts.


Posted by Thomas McCombs (Century 21 HomeStar) about 4 years ago

Larry Brewer

The  sales contract for a new home Sun City Texas is 70 + pages long and and gives the builder absolute power.  Since the only way to buy a new home is to sign the contract, 20 people a month sign and pray for success.

Posted by Brian Rugg, Sun City TX Real Estate - Georgetown, TX Real Est (Rugg Realty LLC Sun City Texas 512-966-3200) about 4 years ago

All buyers need representation when buying a new home.  I just met someone who is building a new home.  At this time, they are six months beyond the closing date and the buyer must renegotiate her lease. I have had clients who had issues with the quality of finish-out, builder bankruptcy and on and on.  The good news is that there are wonderful builders who perform by the terms of their contract and go out of their way to do everything possible to satisfy the buyer.

Posted by Sharon Parisi, Dallas Homes (United Real Estate Dallas ) about 4 years ago

My husband used to build custom homes - one at a time. I always worked closely with the customers and their lenders. One couple had a budget of so much and it came down to a choice - a basement or the highest priced windows. I couldn't believe it, but they opted for the windows. That was almost 20 years ago and she's now my best friend - I should ask her some time if she wishes they'd opted for the basement. 

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) about 4 years ago

 Good morning Larry. I know that we are living in an age where sustainable growth forests and engineered lumber products are the in thing. I do wonder how long these building materials are going to last.

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) about 4 years ago

This is why buyers would benefit from a buyer's agent, even with new construction.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) about 4 years ago

I do quite a bit of new construction and the very first thing I tell my buyer clients is that the builder's contract is always written to protect the builder. They really need to know that going in. The good news in our market is that the builders do deliver the home on time if not early 98% of the time.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | Charlotte, NC) about 4 years ago

Tammy Lankford - It always make you wonder why people act with so little intelligence.

Becky Gregory - I'm sure Denver is even worse than Nashville


Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) about 4 years ago

Caroline - some of these homes will still be standing, but none will have the character of a well build historic home. They will probably be more energy efficient.

Gretchen - I rarely talk about Windows software anymore. As much as I dislike the need to change, it looks like windows 8 is a lot more stable and faster than windows 7. But I was talking about the house. Thanks for stopping by.

Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) about 4 years ago

Liane - yes they are truly sales people, and the will take your order and ask if you want fries with it. It always helps to have someone who can interpret what you are signing before you sign it. In that case it was me.

Pamela Seley - I think it's a growing trend for builders to advertise a really low price, without some of the things you would normally expect in a not so affordable house. Like a fireplace, more than 2 windows in the master bedroom, a deck or patio, and more than one sink in the upstairs bath that services 3 bedrooms.


Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) about 4 years ago

Jeanne - The sellers agent is stacking the deck in their favor.

Lyn - 120 days after framing is what we expect with this home. Unfortunately the wait for a permit is up to 10 weeks, and will be trying to start in the worst weather of the year. Good luck getting done in 6 months.

Gene - it may not be final, but they do intend to get your money

Bette - It's obvious that most buyers don't really understand the risk they are taking by going it alone.



Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) about 4 years ago

Thomas and Brian - experience on what you can and cannot do as part of the contract negotiation is a big deal. Buyers have no experience at this.

Sharon - most of the time buyers never even ask about the reputation of the builder or the financial condition of the company. I remember 2008 and a lot of people were stuck with houses that were not completed, and builders who had no money to finish it.

Marte - I'm guessing that the basement would have added more value to the home than custom windows.



Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) about 4 years ago

Michael - according to my tree farmer friend who keeps up with these things, we have more trees now than we had before the white men showed up. I suspect that some day soon, we will be shipping a lot of the lumber to China and India, along with our oil and natural gas.


Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) about 4 years ago

Kat - a buyers agent is free here, and most builders welcome them, but some buyers are not so smart.

Nina - builders have been keeping up to this point, but I'm expecting that next year they will hit the wall, and deliver dates will be pushed out. They just don't have the qualified people to expand.

Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) about 4 years ago

Would any buyer invest several hundred thousand dollars without an adviser, surely not a wise buyer, yet many new home buyers do, don't they? Better informed than surprised, wouldn't you say?

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) about 4 years ago

Hi Kimo - It does make you wonder, doesn't it. But in reality, a lot of people do invest without an adviser, and sometimes they lose everything.

Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) about 4 years ago

I think we have some of the best reads out there on Active Rain. Thanks for sharing

Posted by Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA (Winston Realty, Inc.) over 3 years ago

Winston - we have so much data here, it's hard to find the great stuff because of all the average stuff.

Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) over 3 years ago

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