Not so long ago builders would offer a pre-construction discount, offering to sell their house to you before it was completed for a discount from the price they intended to charge when it was done. This was usually a line of BS – if the guy was satisfied with one price in July, he’d usually be darn glad to get that same price in December – but sometimes, when the market was really zinging along, such discounts were real.
Today 264 Riverside Avenue, a building lot yet to be started on, cut its price $400,000 from $4.395 million to $3.999 which, in effect, means that a buyer would have paid a premium for the place had he agreed to the first price. Of course no one did, hence the reduction, but I find it interesting to observe – this is not the first spec house planned that has cut its price before the first bulldozer arrives. I suspect the builders know something.
My personal preference, if I were representing a buyer, is to grab a (very large) discount from a builder after he’s completed the house. That way, he’ll have already added in all the extra flourishes that he can no longer charge you for and you get them, in effect, for free. Hey buyers – you were stuck in a seller’s market for years – now’s your chance for payback. Go out and negotiate, hard.