Weird house buying experience

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starguru
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Weird house buying experience

Post by starguru »

Seeking advice from internet strangers.

We are interested in a new construction home. As part of the process you configure your home with a bunch of options. There are dozens. We get down to making an offer. Let's say the price for all configured options is $50k. We negotiate to, say, $48k.

Then we find out that the pricing on the configured options was incorrect, and the real configured price was $49.9k (one option that costed $100 was included as part of another option we selected). Is it reasonable to expect the final price to be adjusted to $47.9k? We negotiated a 2k discount, not a 1.9k credit.

We are a bit surprised because the builder will not adjust the final price even though we were misled and were negotiating off a higher price than the actual price. We do not believe the misleading was intentional, but are shocked that they won't adjust. I will note that we never once had an accurate price sheet until the end. I'm wondering if the builder is breaking any laws with this practice.

In real numbers this a 1k issue on a 1million+ home. I hate to let this fall thru over <.1% of the purchase price, but my confidence in this builder is shaken.
livesoft
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by livesoft »

They are betting that you have put so much effort and time into this that you won't walk away for a mere $100 (or $1,000) extra.
Last edited by livesoft on Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jack FFR1846
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Depends how much this means to you. Are you willing to walk away from the deal over this amount? If you are, phrase it that way....that you'll walk over this. If they don't budge, move on to the next builder. If not, then pay the extra money.
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Topic Author
starguru
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by starguru »

No-one thinks this is an underhand practice? Presenting the price as X, making buyer negotiate of X, then in the final paperwork buyer finds out they should have been negotiating off X-1k?
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ResearchMed
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by ResearchMed »

starguru wrote:No-one thinks this is an underhand practice? Presenting the price as X, making buyer negotiate of X, then in the final paperwork buyer finds out they should have been negotiating off X-1k?
It sounds like you've been dealing with the builder for some time.
How have they been in general, from the first contact, to choice of home, to all the options?

If that has been okay, then is this something you want to fight over? Or really walk from a desired home over?

Yes, the matter of principle is there and you feel it.

Offer to split it?

RM
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bottlecap
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by bottlecap »

if it was a mistake it's not underhanded. Nonetheless, the builder should eat the mistake.

If you don't trust them anymore, $1,000 is not the issue. How they will perform on the rest of the project is.

JT
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KlingKlang
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by KlingKlang »

I'm surprised that they let you negotiate on new construction at all. When we did ours everything was "that's the price", plus they ended up charging us triple because we wanted two sinks in the main bath which wasn't one of their standard options. Don't expect your real estate agent to be any help either.

As others have said, your only choice now is to take the deal or threaten to walk away. Don't be surprised if there are more unexpected costs later. You may even end up having to pay out of your own pocket to have shoddy work torn out and redone properly. We ended up doing that for our living room carpeting.
Last edited by KlingKlang on Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
starguru
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by starguru »

ResearchMed wrote:
starguru wrote:No-one thinks this is an underhand practice? Presenting the price as X, making buyer negotiate of X, then in the final paperwork buyer finds out they should have been negotiating off X-1k?
It sounds like you've been dealing with the builder for some time.
How have they been in general, from the first contact, to choice of home, to all the options?

If that has been okay, then is this something you want to fight over? Or really walk from a desired home over?

Yes, the matter of principle is there and you feel it.

Offer to split it?

RM
The builder has been fine. They build a lot of homes. Nice models. Friendly people. Our particular rep is the least friendly of them all, but he is not unfriendly, is quirky, and has grown on us quite a bit.

You are right, its the principle of the thing. We don't know what to expect going forward.
sport
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by sport »

Our builder was much nicer. We had an allowance for lighting and fans, flooring, cabinets, and plumbing. He sent us to his vendors and told us that we could get the allowed items at no extra cost. We could also select more expensive options, and the vendor would tell us how much more, at builders prices. The builder was not getting anything more, and did not care whether or not we did any of the upgrades. We also upgraded the HVAC at builder cost.
NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

You claim you were negotiating a discount off the list price, they claim you were negotiating a total package price. It's possible to look at it two different ways without either of you being wrong or dishonest. How would you feel if they claimed you were cheating them by claiming that you were talking about a discount instead of a bottom line price?

It's a small difference in a negotiation process. Haggle over it or don't, but don't call them cheaters for having a different way of looking at the same thing. Good grief.
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starguru
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by starguru »

NotWhoYouThink wrote:You claim you were negotiating a discount off the list price, they claim you were negotiating a total package price. It's possible to look at it two different ways without either of you being wrong or dishonest. How would you feel if they claimed you were cheating them by claiming that you were talking about a discount instead of a bottom line price?

It's a small difference in a negotiation process. Haggle over it or don't, but don't call them cheaters for having a different way of looking at the same thing. Good grief.
Whaaaat? Numbers and words don't mean anything? Lets say the real price is 800k. They make a mistake and the sheet lists 900k as a price. We negotiate to 850k. Then they correct their mistake. We would end up paying 50k more than the house would cost if we didn't negotiate at all, but that's ok because we were just negotiating the package price and that's all that matters?
Silk McCue
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by Silk McCue »

If being right (and I'm not suggesting you aren't) is that important to you then tell them you will walk if they don't adjust the price. Personally I wouldn't be happy but if I had found the place I wanted I wouldn't walk away. Sometimes you just have to decide that you have already won but realize the score wasn't as good as you would have liked.
IngognitoUSA
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by IngognitoUSA »

If you like the house, negotiate as much as you can and buy it. In the larger scheme of things it's not a lot of money and house you like are not easy to find.

If they don't budge on numbers then get other upgrades or landscaping thrown in. Might be easier for builder to do that.
Last edited by IngognitoUSA on Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
NotWhoYouThink
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

Sure words mean something. But that's now what negotiation is about. You are negotiating based on what the house is worth to you, regardless of the cost. What do you care about someone else's cost? Once you negotiate a price, are you going to pay more because he experiences an overrun? Of course not, you have an agreed-to price. Is he going to reduce your price because he gets a bargain on some materials? Of course not, he has an agreed-to price.

You pay what it is worth to you to get something, or you decide to walk away. He sells at a price that gives him an acceptable profit, or else he walks away. Cost, or in this case list price (which is somewhat arbitrary anyway) has little to do with it.

You may not look at it this way, but many people do, and it's a good idea for you to learn that other people have a different way of looking at negotiations. And in your example, yes. If you are willing to pay $850K for the house, why would they not let you? Is it worth that much to you or not?
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starguru
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by starguru »

IngognitoUSA wrote:If you like the house, negotiate as much as you can and buy it. In the larger scheme of things it's not a lot of money and house you like are not easy to find.

If they don't budge on numbers then get other upgrades or landscaping thrown in. Might be easier for builder to do that.
We did ask for a credit instead and they refused.
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Kosmo
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by Kosmo »

starguru wrote:
NotWhoYouThink wrote:You claim you were negotiating a discount off the list price, they claim you were negotiating a total package price. It's possible to look at it two different ways without either of you being wrong or dishonest. How would you feel if they claimed you were cheating them by claiming that you were talking about a discount instead of a bottom line price?

It's a small difference in a negotiation process. Haggle over it or don't, but don't call them cheaters for having a different way of looking at the same thing. Good grief.
Whaaaat? Numbers and words don't mean anything? Lets say the real price is 800k. They make a mistake and the sheet lists 900k as a price. We negotiate to 850k. Then they correct their mistake. We would end up paying 50k more than the house would cost if we didn't negotiate at all, but that's ok because we were just negotiating the package price and that's all that matters?
In this example you thought $850k was a fair price. It doesn't matter if it cost the builder $800k or $900k, you valued it at $850k. You negotiated a price to pay, not a price discount.
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8foot7
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by 8foot7 »

Having built one house and being in the process of building another, I can tell you that if you are seriously this concerned over $1000 you don't have to pay anyway on a million dollar home, you're going to have a poor experience.
FedGuy
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by FedGuy »

I've had things like this happen to me. Sometimes, I walked away, on the theory that my trust had been betrayed, I no longer had confidence in the vendor, I wanted to punish them, and/or that the product or service I was buying would forever be tarnished by the memory of what had happened. Other times, I went ahead with it, on the theory that it was an honest mistake, it was still a good deal, and/or that it wouldn't be worth the hassle for me to start over with another vendor. The rest of us may or may not share your outrage at the situation, but you need to decide which category this falls into for you.
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by Katietsu »

Is it possible that they do not normally negotiate at all on the upgrades? If so, then they probably feel they already have given you something that no one else gets just to keep things going and as a matter of good will. Now you are still not happy. They may be refusing to give you the credit at this point as a matter of principle.
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starguru
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by starguru »

NotWhoYouThink wrote:Sure words mean something. But that's now what negotiation is about. You are negotiating based on what the house is worth to you, regardless of the cost. What do you care about someone else's cost? Once you negotiate a price, are you going to pay more because he experiences an overrun? Of course not, you have an agreed-to price. Is he going to reduce your price because he gets a bargain on some materials? Of course not, he has an agreed-to price.

You pay what it is worth to you to get something, or you decide to walk away. He sells at a price that gives him an acceptable profit, or else he walks away. Cost, or in this case list price (which is somewhat arbitrary anyway) has little to do with it.

You may not look at it this way, but many people do, and it's a good idea for you to learn that other people have a different way of looking at negotiations. And in your example, yes. If you are willing to pay $850K for the house, why would they not let you? Is it worth that much to you or not?
Im sorry, but no. This is a legal contract we are talking about. In this example, we offer 850 *based on the belief that the cost is 900k*. We negotiated a 50k discount. If we then find out the cost is really 800k, we want our 50k discount either way. I appreciate your opinion, but I think it is fundamentally flawed. You are not going to convince me; we don't need to keep going.
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starguru
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by starguru »

FedGuy wrote:I've had things like this happen to me. Sometimes, I walked away, on the theory that my trust had been betrayed, I no longer had confidence in the vendor, I wanted to punish them, and/or that the product or service I was buying would forever be tarnished by the memory of what had happened. Other times, I went ahead with it, on the theory that it was an honest mistake, it was still a good deal, and/or that it wouldn't be worth the hassle for me to start over with another vendor. The rest of us may or may not share your outrage at the situation, but you need to decide which category this falls into for you.
Yup this is fundamentally the question. Not sure I trust these people. We did not see a correct price sheet until after the negotiation. It's a little suspect. Im still curious if they broke some sort of law. Just like a car dealer can't represent a car has a 6 cylinder engine if it really has a 4 cylinder, can this builder represent a line item in a legal contract, get a negotiation, then say that line item never applied.
letsgobobby
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by letsgobobby »

starguru wrote:Seeking advice from internet strangers.

We are interested in a new construction home. As part of the process you configure your home with a bunch of options. There are dozens. We get down to making an offer. Let's say the price for all configured options is $50k. We negotiate to, say, $48k.

Then we find out that the pricing on the configured options was incorrect, and the real configured price was $49.9k (one option that costed $100 was included as part of another option we selected). Is it reasonable to expect the final price to be adjusted to $47.9k? We negotiated a 2k discount, not a 1.9k credit.

We are a bit surprised because the builder will not adjust the final price even though we were misled and were negotiating off a higher price than the actual price. We do not believe the misleading was intentional, but are shocked that they won't adjust. I will note that we never once had an accurate price sheet until the end. I'm wondering if the builder is breaking any laws with this practice.

In real numbers this a 1k issue on a 1million+ home. I hate to let this fall thru over <.1% of the purchase price, but my confidence in this builder is shaken.
I don't agree with your perspective. you felt $48k was a fair price for the options. who cares what the original made up list price was?
Dottie57
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by Dottie57 »

letsgobobby wrote:
starguru wrote:Seeking advice from internet strangers.

We are interested in a new construction home. As part of the process you configure your home with a bunch of options. There are dozens. We get down to making an offer. Let's say the price for all configured options is $50k. We negotiate to, say, $48k.

Then we find out that the pricing on the configured options was incorrect, and the real configured price was $49.9k (one option that costed $100 was included as part of another option we selected). Is it reasonable to expect the final price to be adjusted to $47.9k? We negotiated a 2k discount, not a 1.9k credit.

We are a bit surprised because the builder will not adjust the final price even though we were misled and were negotiating off a higher price than the actual price. We do not believe the misleading was intentional, but are shocked that they won't adjust. I will note that we never once had an accurate price sheet until the end. I'm wondering if the builder is breaking any laws with this practice.

In real numbers this a 1k issue on a 1million+ home. I hate to let this fall thru over <.1% of the purchase price, but my confidence in this builder is shaken.
I don't agree with your perspective. you felt $48k was a fair price for the options. who cares what the original made up list price was?

+1
dbr
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by dbr »

I agree with the position that you negotiated $48K for what you wanted and the builder agreed. End of story.

Now, to reopen the can of worms, as you negotiated did you or did you not understand what was in the package you were discussing? If you thought you were getting a gold wincher in the package and found out the gold wincher is actually part of a different package, then you might expect the adjustment you are asking for if the misunderstanding was caused by the builder. If the misunderstanding is your lack of diligence, then forget it. In any case it has nothing to do with somebody's list price.

I also don't credit for a second that someone is goosing you around over $100. More likely they just want to move forward and waste no more time and energy over haggling.
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starguru
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by starguru »

dbr wrote:I agree with the position that you negotiated $48K for what you wanted and the builder agreed. End of story.

Now, to reopen the can of worms, as you negotiated did you or did you not understand what was in the package you were discussing? If you thought you were getting a gold wincher in the package and found out the gold wincher is actually part of a different package, then you might expect the adjustment you are asking for if the misunderstanding was caused by the builder. If the misunderstanding is your lack of diligence, then forget it. In any case it has nothing to do with somebody's list price.

I also don't credit for a second that someone is goosing you around over $100. More likely they just want to move forward and waste no more time and energy over haggling.

If I go to buy a car, and I want the turbocharge option, and the car salesman says the base price of the car is 10k and your option is 1k extra. And we negotiate the 11k represented price down to 10k, only to find out there was a mistake and the turbocharge option actually came with the car, you would be ok with the 10k price? Oh well, I was willing to pay 10k anyway, with no regard to the fact the price was misrepresented and that you negotiated a 1k discount? Seriously? You wouldn't question the ethics of the salesperson?

Man I should go into sales....
Afty
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by Afty »

Anytime you think, "It's the principle of the thing," that's a good sign it's probably not a fight worth fighting.
Dottie57
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by Dottie57 »

Either you want the house or don't. The $100 represents .01% of the cost. Make a choice and move on.
anoop
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by anoop »

Sadly, these practices are not at all uncommon when buying things like houses and cars.

There is so much room for them to cheat (with respect to materials they use and fit and finish) that I wouldn't sweat over a small amount.
letsgobobby
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by letsgobobby »

starguru wrote:
dbr wrote:I agree with the position that you negotiated $48K for what you wanted and the builder agreed. End of story.

Now, to reopen the can of worms, as you negotiated did you or did you not understand what was in the package you were discussing? If you thought you were getting a gold wincher in the package and found out the gold wincher is actually part of a different package, then you might expect the adjustment you are asking for if the misunderstanding was caused by the builder. If the misunderstanding is your lack of diligence, then forget it. In any case it has nothing to do with somebody's list price.

I also don't credit for a second that someone is goosing you around over $100. More likely they just want to move forward and waste no more time and energy over haggling.

If I go to buy a car, and I want the turbocharge option, and the car salesman says the base price of the car is 10k and your option is 1k extra. And we negotiate the 11k represented price down to 10k, only to find out there was a mistake and the turbocharge option actually came with the car, you would be ok with the 10k price? Oh well, I was willing to pay 10k anyway, with no regard to the fact the price was misrepresented and that you negotiated a 1k discount? Seriously? You wouldn't question the ethics of the salesperson?

Man I should go into sales....
In a case of material misrepresentation of 10% of the purchase price, I'd be peeved. that's not what happened here.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by cheese_breath »

Have you ever built a house before? If your confidence in this builder is shaken because of a $100 disagreement just wait until you get into construction. Regardless of who you select to build your home there will be issues that come up during construction you and your builder will have to deal with. It's not a perfect world, and sometimes compromises may be necessary.
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starguru
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by starguru »

letsgobobby wrote:
starguru wrote:
dbr wrote:I agree with the position that you negotiated $48K for what you wanted and the builder agreed. End of story.

Now, to reopen the can of worms, as you negotiated did you or did you not understand what was in the package you were discussing? If you thought you were getting a gold wincher in the package and found out the gold wincher is actually part of a different package, then you might expect the adjustment you are asking for if the misunderstanding was caused by the builder. If the misunderstanding is your lack of diligence, then forget it. In any case it has nothing to do with somebody's list price.

I also don't credit for a second that someone is goosing you around over $100. More likely they just want to move forward and waste no more time and energy over haggling.

If I go to buy a car, and I want the turbocharge option, and the car salesman says the base price of the car is 10k and your option is 1k extra. And we negotiate the 11k represented price down to 10k, only to find out there was a mistake and the turbocharge option actually came with the car, you would be ok with the 10k price? Oh well, I was willing to pay 10k anyway, with no regard to the fact the price was misrepresented and that you negotiated a 1k discount? Seriously? You wouldn't question the ethics of the salesperson?

Man I should go into sales....
In a case of material misrepresentation of 10% of the purchase price, I'd be peeved. that's not what happened here.
Wait, no, all that matters is that you would be willing to pay 10k for a car with the options you wanted. You were happy with the negotiated price when you thought the real price was 11k. The price on the sheet doesn't matter, right? What's changed?

Fundamentally it is what happened here, just with a lower percent. Now, in the car case, would you not expect the dealer to honor the 1k discount you negotiated? In this case, should I just "let it go" or should the seller recognize the error and give the credit?
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ResearchMed
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by ResearchMed »

starguru wrote:
ResearchMed wrote:
starguru wrote:No-one thinks this is an underhand practice? Presenting the price as X, making buyer negotiate of X, then in the final paperwork buyer finds out they should have been negotiating off X-1k?
It sounds like you've been dealing with the builder for some time.
How have they been in general, from the first contact, to choice of home, to all the options?

If that has been okay, then is this something you want to fight over? Or really walk from a desired home over?

Yes, the matter of principle is there and you feel it.

Offer to split it?

RM
The builder has been fine. They build a lot of homes. Nice models. Friendly people. Our particular rep is the least friendly of them all, but he is not unfriendly, is quirky, and has grown on us quite a bit.

You are right, its the principle of the thing. We don't know what to expect going forward.
This is *very* important: "The builder has been fine" prior to this.
In other words, you haven't been dealing with a scumbag, and it's unlikely that they suddenly morphed into one.

You like the home, right? This matters. A lot.

The actual number of dollars is... ____ ? The percentage of total price is... ____ ?

"Pick your battles."

This probably shouldn't be one of them.

Either grind your teeth, briefly (!), and move on with the purchase, and -->> let it go so you can ENJOY your new home, from Day 1.

... Or... "Show them!" and walk away. They'll sell the house, with or without same options to someone else. You'll start from square one.
Does the builder know this? SURE! It happens all the time.

We had something similar happen about a decade ago. It really irked me/us.
DH is much better at "letting things go", and I've been trying to do it sooner and more easily, when it doesn't really matter.
Sometimes the view gets cloudy in the heat of the moment.

Does this amount, GIVEN THE BUILDER HAS BEEN "FINE" UNTIL NOW, really make that much difference?
If you still really feel it in your gut, then move on.
But be sure to do your best to think where you'll be in a few weeks (+/-). Will you be so sorry you don't have this house? Or will you be glad you let the scumbag know how you felt, etc.?
From the perspective of reading what you've written, it doesn't seem like the latter is the most likely outcome, but only you know how you feel, and can guess how you'll feel when a few more suns have risen.

Good luck.
And enjoy your new home, whichever one it is.

RM
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CFM300
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by CFM300 »

starguru wrote:We negotiated a 50k discount. If we then find out the cost is really 800k, we want our 50k discount either way.
Would you feel the same way if the error were in the other direction?

If the actual cost were $100 more than originally presented, would you accept their adjusting your final price UP by $100?

You'd still be getting the discount that you negotiated, after all.

I suspect that in this revised case you'd be arguing that you negotiated a set price, not a set discount.
researcher
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by researcher »

starguru wrote:We negotiate to, say, $48k. Then we find out that the pricing on the configured options was incorrect (one option that costed $100 was included as part of another option we selected). Is it reasonable to expect the final price to be adjusted to $47.9k? We negotiated a 2k discount, not a 1.9k credit.

In real numbers this a 1k issue on a 1million+ home. I hate to let this fall thru over <.1% of the purchase price, but my confidence in this builder is shaken.
I'm at a complete loss on this one...

Your confidence in the builder is "shaken" over a ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR ($100.00) discrepancy in the price of an option on a house costing more than ONE MILLION DOLLARS ($1,000,000.00)?
anoop
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by anoop »

starguru wrote: Wait, no, all that matters is that you would be willing to pay 10k for a car with the options you wanted. You were happy with the negotiated price when you thought the real price was 11k. The price on the sheet doesn't matter, right? What's changed?

Fundamentally it is what happened here, just with a lower percent. Now, in the car case, would you not expect the dealer to honor the 1k discount you negotiated? In this case, should I just "let it go" or should the seller recognize the error and give the credit?
My guess is that if you were to fight it (diplomatically, of course), they would give you that credit because it's also a pain for them to find a new buyer if you happen to walk. You could do your part and explain your expectation to them and see how they respond. I have been in such situations and I know how it feels.

At the end of the day, you would have to decide whether walking away from the deal is worth it. You are fully justified in asking for what you want. Keep in mind sales people are experts at processing and manipulating emotions--their people skills are what make them successful. So you have to be prepared to feel bad while going through this...while it may appear they are going through the same turmoil, for them it is business as usual.
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8foot7
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by 8foot7 »

Again you are arguing about money you don't even have to pay. They're not charging you more than you agreed on. Your price is the same price it was. You are upset over an invisible list price you were never going to pay anyway.

Maybe you indeed should move on because I guarantee in building a million dollar house there are going to be things that come up with a value far higher than a phantom $1k that you're going to need to lean on the builder and your relationship for.
dbr
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by dbr »

starguru wrote:
dbr wrote:I agree with the position that you negotiated $48K for what you wanted and the builder agreed. End of story.

Now, to reopen the can of worms, as you negotiated did you or did you not understand what was in the package you were discussing? If you thought you were getting a gold wincher in the package and found out the gold wincher is actually part of a different package, then you might expect the adjustment you are asking for if the misunderstanding was caused by the builder. If the misunderstanding is your lack of diligence, then forget it. In any case it has nothing to do with somebody's list price.

I also don't credit for a second that someone is goosing you around over $100. More likely they just want to move forward and waste no more time and energy over haggling.

If I go to buy a car, and I want the turbocharge option, and the car salesman says the base price of the car is 10k and your option is 1k extra. And we negotiate the 11k represented price down to 10k, only to find out there was a mistake and the turbocharge option actually came with the car, you would be ok with the 10k price? Oh well, I was willing to pay 10k anyway, with no regard to the fact the price was misrepresented and that you negotiated a 1k discount? Seriously? You wouldn't question the ethics of the salesperson?
Misrepresenting the inclusion or exclusion of $1K out of $10K is a serious problem. If this was a mistake and the dealer wouldn't correct it that would be a big problem. It is a big problem because the car is really only worth $9K and paying $10K for it matters. The ethics of the situation depends on whether the salesperson intentionally misrepresented the price, which would be unethical, or made a mistake, which is not unethical. If the miss-pricing was a mistake and the dealer will not renegotiate the price you are not harmed because you can walk. I guess I don't know what I think about the ethics of not renegotiating when the mistake has been corrected. It would seem that not renegotiating is in no one's interest as you don't buy a car at your price point and the dealer does not sell the car, but no one is harmed. Does that mean that the presumption is that the misrepresentation was intentional with the idea you would just roll if they could wear you out? Yes, that would be unethical.

In the case of the house, the builder evidently made a mistake but was not intentionally misleading. No ethical problem there. So again what is the ethics of refusing to correct the mistake? Do we really think the builder is just trying to take advantage of a chance occurrence to cheat the buyer out of $100 on maybe a $1M house? Maybe what is really going in is that the builder is tired of the buyer continually consuming time and energy niggling over every last item. What does that say about the ethics of the buyer?
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starguru
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by starguru »

CFM300 wrote:
starguru wrote:We negotiated a 50k discount. If we then find out the cost is really 800k, we want our 50k discount either way.
Would you feel the same way if the error were in the other direction?

If the actual cost were $100 more than originally presented, would you accept their adjusting your final price UP by $100?

You'd still be getting the discount that you negotiated, after all.

I suspect that in this revised case you'd be arguing that you negotiated a set price, not a set discount.
Fair question. In the end though I think the seller has the obligation on honoring their own pricing sheet, and being competent enough to price the options correctly. Its my understanding that usually if there is a question of cost they build it into the price (by overestimating) or calling out specifically that something might cost more in the contract.
Topic Author
starguru
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by starguru »

8foot7 wrote:Again you are arguing about money you don't even have to pay. They're not charging you more than you agreed on. Your price is the same price it was. You are upset over an invisible list price you were never going to pay anyway.

Maybe you indeed should move on because I guarantee in building a million dollar house there are going to be things that come up with a value far higher than a phantom $1k that you're going to need to lean on the builder and your relationship for.
So I pose this scenario to you

If I go to buy a car, and I want the turbocharge option, and the car salesman says the base price of the car is 10k and your option is 1k extra. And we negotiate the 11k represented price down to 10k, only to find out there was a mistake and the turbocharge option actually came with the car, you would be ok with the 10k price? Oh well, I was willing to pay 10k anyway, with no regard to the fact the price was misrepresented and that you negotiated a 1k discount? Seriously? You wouldn't expect your discount to apply to the proper cost of the vehicle?

You are going to tell me with a straight face you'd be ok with that?
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starguru
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by starguru »

dbr wrote:
In the case of the house, the builder evidently made a mistake but was not intentionally misleading. No ethical problem there. So again what is the ethics of refusing to correct the mistake? Do we really think the builder is just trying to take advantage of a chance occurrence to cheat the buyer out of $100 on maybe a $1M house? Maybe what is really going in is that the builder is tired of the buyer continually consuming time and energy niggling over every last item. What does that say about the ethics of the buyer?
And I agree it was probably a mistake, so Im not really questioning their ethics on the mistake. I questioning their unwillingness to just correct the problem by eating the 1k, since it is their mistake. Again, we never saw a correct pricing list until after the negotiation and price was agreed on. If there are future misunderstandings caused by them, are we always going to be the party that eats the cost?

Im not buying your last 2 sentences. It is common practice to negotiate the price of a house. We spent maybe a total of 2 hours going back and forth. We are not trying to niggle them out of $1k dollars; we simply want them to correct their pricing mistake.
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starguru
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by starguru »

researcher wrote:
starguru wrote:We negotiate to, say, $48k. Then we find out that the pricing on the configured options was incorrect (one option that costed $100 was included as part of another option we selected). Is it reasonable to expect the final price to be adjusted to $47.9k? We negotiated a 2k discount, not a 1.9k credit.

In real numbers this a 1k issue on a 1million+ home. I hate to let this fall thru over <.1% of the purchase price, but my confidence in this builder is shaken.
I'm at a complete loss on this one...

Your confidence in the builder is "shaken" over a ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR ($100.00) discrepancy in the price of an option on a house costing more than ONE MILLION DOLLARS ($1,000,000.00)?
See above. Its not the $1k, its the question of are we going to be paying for their mistakes forward.
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cheese_breath
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by cheese_breath »

Why did you start this thread? Your OP said you were seeking advice from Internet strangers, but it appears you already have your mind made up. By my last count you've made eleven posts including the original, and six of them were arguing with advice you received.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
jackholloway
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by jackholloway »

Part of what went into the original price was the builder list price. Finding out that the provided data was off by a hundred bucks is a change, and deserves appropriate consideration. I would consider it 100:50,000, and act accordingly.

If the OP is like most buyers, they got a pretty good sample of what the extras cost, even if the prices were fantasy prices nobody paid. They can still be compared - the 3k countertop that actually always discounted to $1k is best compared to other 3k counters that are similarly discounted, but not to $30k counters usually discounted to 10k. So, is $100 material? Only the OP can say, but based on recent remodel experience, it does not seem so to me.

I walked away from a 25k car because of a$10 bottle of touch up paint, because the guy was enough of a jerk to tempt me to do so anyway, but did not over a a $100 difference on a a 30k car because that sales guy and dealership had not ticked me off. In this case, I would ask if they can throw a hundred dollar extra in, but would not walk away because of it, but I am not the OP.
letsgobobby
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by letsgobobby »

starguru wrote:
letsgobobby wrote:
starguru wrote:
dbr wrote:I agree with the position that you negotiated $48K for what you wanted and the builder agreed. End of story.

Now, to reopen the can of worms, as you negotiated did you or did you not understand what was in the package you were discussing? If you thought you were getting a gold wincher in the package and found out the gold wincher is actually part of a different package, then you might expect the adjustment you are asking for if the misunderstanding was caused by the builder. If the misunderstanding is your lack of diligence, then forget it. In any case it has nothing to do with somebody's list price.

I also don't credit for a second that someone is goosing you around over $100. More likely they just want to move forward and waste no more time and energy over haggling.

If I go to buy a car, and I want the turbocharge option, and the car salesman says the base price of the car is 10k and your option is 1k extra. And we negotiate the 11k represented price down to 10k, only to find out there was a mistake and the turbocharge option actually came with the car, you would be ok with the 10k price? Oh well, I was willing to pay 10k anyway, with no regard to the fact the price was misrepresented and that you negotiated a 1k discount? Seriously? You wouldn't question the ethics of the salesperson?

Man I should go into sales....
In a case of material misrepresentation of 10% of the purchase price, I'd be peeved. that's not what happened here.
Wait, no, all that matters is that you would be willing to pay 10k for a car with the options you wanted. You were happy with the negotiated price when you thought the real price was 11k. The price on the sheet doesn't matter, right? What's changed?

Fundamentally it is what happened here, just with a lower percent. Now, in the car case, would you not expect the dealer to honor the 1k discount you negotiated? In this case, should I just "let it go" or should the seller recognize the error and give the credit?
based on the information you provided, I do not agree that the builder materially misrepresented.

If it were me, I would let it go.

If I felt the builder were materially misrepresenting, I would walk away without a second thought.

Those are your choices.
researcher
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by researcher »

starguru wrote:See above. Its not the $1k, its the question of are we going to be paying for their mistakes forward.
Given your very strong belief that a $100 discrepancy (one option that costed $100 was included as part of another option we selected) is an indication that you will be "paying for their mistakes going forward", then you definitely need to end your relationship with the builder immediately.

There will be many other issues that will come up during the building process, costing much more than $100, that you will perceive as the builder trying to screw you. I see nothing good coming from proceeding with this build.
WildBill
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by WildBill »

Howdy.

Here is a thought.

Since your reaction to a very minor typo/misunderstanding or something similar with the builder is completely over the top and ludicrously disproportionate to the issue, is it possible you may be using it , consciously or not, as a way to kill a deal you have gotten cold feet about?
"Through chances various, through all vicissitudes, we make our way." Virgil, The Aeneid
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Raybo
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by Raybo »

Was your negotiation based on getting a discount or on what you think the options were "worth?" That is, you appear focused on "getting a discount" versus "paying what you think it is worth."

It reminds of something that happened to me when I was in business. I had a guy (from New York, if it matters) call me and say that he "needed to get a discount because he never paid retail." I offered a $5 courtesy discount, which seemed to satisfy him. I have always thought this guy was a jerk. I've always wondered if he ever gave people a discount?

Some people need to feel they got the better end of "the deal." I'd prefer to pay what I think something is worth to me. If I am cheated, so be it.
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.
sandramjet
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by sandramjet »

I'm reminded of the old saying "Anytime someone says it's not the money, its the principle ... its really the money". You need to decide if it is the money, and whether that matters. If it is, drop the house and move on. If not, forget it.
neilpilot
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by neilpilot »

If the OP can make this much of an issue out of $100 on a $1,000,000 purchase, then I suggest they probably could not handle the inevitable issues of home construction. I suggest you drop the idea of having a new home built, and purchase from existing inventory. You don't have the mindset to go through new home construction.
bluebolt
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Re: Weird house buying experience

Post by bluebolt »

I'm here to deliver the news you really want to hear:

OP - you are 100% correct in your moral indignation. Walk away from the deal and delete the builder from your contacts.
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