What’s the Difference?
When you start on your journey of building a new home, you need to know that the designs you are considering fit both your needs and budget. Going to display homes is one way to get ideas; as well as limitless searches on the internet. It’s when you start to narrow down exactly what it is you want, and you start looking for a builder, that you need to make sure that you and the sales rep are in the same ballpark.
So, what is the difference between a Sales Estimate and a Letter of Proposal? Simply put, a Sales Estimate is really a “guesstimate”. It is generally a price that you will get from the sales rep based on a standard plan and specification with maybe one or two minor changes to customise your new home. Sales Rep’s can do this quickly, as these are volume designs that the builder has done multiple times before. They are also usually accompanied by the word ‘From’ and the use of an * to show that there are terms and conditions associated with the price they are giving you; such as paying for upgrades to get the specification to match what you wanted in the first place.
On the other hand, when you deal with a custom home builder, you are generally dealing directly with the builder; not a sales rep. One of the benefits of this is that your budget is not being spent on paying the middle man. However, the main benefits are that you will be getting a specific proposal based on exactly what you want. A great builder will spend the time to work with you to create your custom design and specification up front. You will get a detailed proposal that contains specific information unique to your home. It will also include all of the standard building requirements such as siteworks, retaining etc that are often not included in a sales estimate; as these items do not form a part of “the house”.
The benefit you get from dealing directly with a custom builder is that you know the true value of your new home up front. By dealing direct with the builder and their team, you also get to experience the high level of customer service that you can come to expect throughout the build and beyond.