How to negotiate
“Please can you do this for me?”
“Oh. Er. Pretty please?”
That’s not negotiating. If they say no to you, what they’re really saying is “No, and what are you gonna do about it?” Negotiating, in simple terms, is about being able to answer them when they ask that question.
The problem for most new build home buyers is that housebuilders have rigged the game to prevent you from answering that question in a way that forces them to honour their commitments and treat you fairly. The means they give you to enforce your rights against them don’t impose any meaningful obligations on them (eg new home warranties), and they know that the thing that does have teeth - legal action - is too expensive and risky for most individuals to consider.
In other words, they already know what your answer is to their implicit question “what are you gonna do about it?”
The realisation of this powerlessness is why some disgruntled and frustrated owners take to hanging banners outside their homes, or going to the newspapers - anything to try and shame or put commercial pressure on the housebuilder to offer more than they are doing. Trouble is, these types of approaches are hit and miss at best and rarely if ever result in them giving you a full account of what you are entitled to or what you need to ensure things are put right properly. More often than not, if you get anything from this kind of action, they first make you sign a gagging order to stop you doing it again and probably also make you sign away your rights to bring a further claim later on if anything else goes wrong. Not good.
To get a proper outcome that doesn’t involve signing away your rights and freedoms means taking a more rigorous, planned approach that is backed up with predictable and defined consequences for them if they say no to you. And to be able to do this affordably and cost-effectively.
Coordinated legal action (or at least, the demonstrable willingness and ability to pursue it) is what allows you to achieve these outcomes, to get them to honour their commitments and treat you fairly, without signing away your rights and freedoms. Getting organised with other members through New Build Guru gives you the means and ability to take affordable, cost-effective action if they say no to you...with the common result being that you don’t even have to. You just negotiate what you want and need instead. Your bargaining power comes from your ability to answer their question “what are you gonna do about it?”
Now the conversation goes like this:
“Please can you do this for us? (Otherwise we can and will take action to force you to do it, and that will cost you multiples of what it will if you simply agree, and you know it...)
“Ok. We’ll be right there. How would you like it doing? Is there anything else we can do for you?”
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Simple. Accessible. Affordable. Effective. This is the New Build Guru way.