Answering a Few Recent Questions

AvatarThis morning I received a message from a listing agent’s coordinator letting me know that my clients were supposed to sign their loan documents today ahead of a Monday close. The AAR Residential Purchase Contract does call for loan docs to be signed three days before the close – but this call came five days in advance.

The reason? The listing agent’s office assumed that the contractual requirement was for loan documents to be signed three business days in advance. It seems logical given that title offices and banks are closed on weekends. However, that’s not what the contract says.

Section 8h: All references to days in this Contract shall be construed as calendar days …

I guess it does help to teach the contract-writing class.

Our second question this week came from a buyer I’ve been working with throughout the weekend, asking what to offer a builder when purchasing a new build. In essence, if the base is xx dollars then what should we offer?

This one’s a fairly easy answer inasmuch as builders don’t negotiate their prices. There are exceptions to the rule, primarily with spec homes where the builder is anxious to unload some of its completed inventory. The incentives offered, hefty as they may be, often can be only the starting point if a builder’s sufficiently motivated.

Another exception can be the lot premiums builders attach to parcels in the subdivision on the basis of size, views, etc. While not usually negotiable, it’s possible to have these either reduced or waived in the interest of completing a sale.

Of course, if you walk into a new build without representation, it’s probably less likely you will see any movement in the price – at least nothing that wasn’t already pre-meditated in true “what’s it going to take to get you off the lot in this new house” fashion. But if you’re reading this blog all along, you already new to bring your own agent on your first visit to a new build.


The buyers’ other question was the easiest of all to answer. They were asking if they’d have some additional leverage in that they’re not purchasing contingent upon the sale of their current home. The answer: nope. And that’s because builders generally won’t accept a contingency offer.

In fact, if someone’s seen one who will, feel free to add the name and subdivision in the comments as it’s something the rest of us ought to know.

[tags]Phoenix real estate, real estate negotiations[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at