New House Blues

I recently closed a new construction sale here in Cary that had some interesting twists at the end. I had made several offers for the Buyers over the Fall and Winter. It's a very hot market,  and we had gotten none accepted. Then we spotted an inventory/spec home that a large builder had. It was a great deal, but I had still negotiated a bit more. 

The home was nearly finished when we went under contract. It needed things like flooring, paint   and finishing touches. The problems came when the house wasn't finished to acceptable standards. This was a $500,000 home, and while it wasn't custom, the builder had done a vastly better job for me with another client only a few months earlier. Many items were unacceptable. Among the worst things was wavy sheetrock, imperfections in the mirrors, the tile grouts were mismatched due to repairs, paint and sheetrock that had been marked for repair in the walkthrough hadn't been redone, and the most unsightly thing was the stainless steel range vent that rises to the high ceiling was bent. This was after one repair attempt.

We had noted all these things along the way with the supervisor. We'd had an inspection done, and not all of those items had been finished.  As we noted repairs from Day One, he'd said that he would do what he could, but not to expect everything to be done. He had about six stock answers to say no to our requests that he rotated through. I nicely refused to agree.. one, two, three through six times. My theory is if you can't say yes, let me find the person who can say yes.

This went up to the minute of the final walk-through. There were too many items that were undone, dirty and just not right. There were paint flecks all over the floors, carpets were dirty, and the wife was unhappy. We all know the adage, "If Momma's Not Happy, Nobody's Happy." I must make her happy.

This wasn't OK. The Buyers and I discussed this with the supervisor well past our allotted walk-through time. I got as many concessions as I could from him and gave the Buyers their options. I went to the sales office, but the onsite agent wasn't there. The lender was, so I got him involved. I got the closing attorney involved. Then we went up the food chain to the main office. I sent pictures and said we may not be able to close. We went to the attorney's office unsure of what we would end up doing

I finally got an executive to put into writing that all the Buyers requests would be done. He gave us his word, and we closed. They got a new stainless steel range vent, new mirrors, fresh paint everywhere, a deep cleaning, and everything on our list done!

The Buyers asked what happens when other buyers have these problems. I'm not sure, but I can guess. How many times were they told that this is normal, just accept it? Dozens...each time. How long does it take to wear a Buyer down in a stressful situation where they don't know the rules? A lot less than that.

I was well rewarded for my effort, because the Buyers were really happy with my service. He even told my husband that he could never have talked to them like that. That means I did my job. "Clients Are Protected" is my motto and my mission.