Advertising/Marketing of House

From: Marina .

Our builder has asked us that he wants to take professional photos of our house to show clients and for their office and who knows what other purposes.
He had also stated that the company wants to out the house in Home Beautiful magazine and enter it into a House Industry awards.

My question is what value do I place on the above knowing full well all this will increase the Goodwill of the business, their reputation and will get an increase in clientele.

They expect and want to give us nothing in return.

We have allowed them to take prospective clients through the house whenever they want, but doing all of the above at no benefit to us is an entirely different matter.

We have had a stressful and nerve breaking experience with the building of this house to say the least. A lot of bad experiences, and it has put us off building another house with a builder for life. Yes, it was really that bad.

Now that you all know how I feel, can you tell my why I should just hand over my house to the builder for free, and let him do whatever he wants with it.??

This is no ordinary house and I know because of the response we have had to it. It has been overwhelming and something we did not anticipate. It has taken a lot of sweat and tears (yes I did cry from stress) to get it to this stage.
Sure the shell of it was the builders design, but every single detail came from hubby and myself.

If we let the builder do all of the above, his business, sales people and all of the workers will profit, but what about us??

They are putting a guilt trip on us after we said give us an offer / proposal.

"We did not know you were like this"
"After everything we have done for you"
"Look at the capital gain you have made"
"We underquoted you on the house, we lost money on your house"

We are not high income earners and we decided to do something for ourselves and our future. We got out of our comfort zone, and went into huge debt for all of our IPs.
It was a risk we were prepared to take and we got alot of negativity from all around us.
But we soldiered on and slowly but surely things are working out and now we are hooked like everyone on this forum.
It has not been an easy road at all, we had to make a lot of sacrifices, and we both worked 2 jobs for 10 years to get to where we are.

Just so you are aware this is our dream home, but we are leasing it out ( more negativity from people) and in the meantime we are living in an old 15 square home. This is a sacrifice in itself.
We are also raising 2 small children as well on an average income.

So it really annoys me that the builder can say how lucky we are, how unreasonable and selfish we are, etc etc. to ask for some form of renumeration or gift.


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Reply: 1
From: Robert Forward

They are putting a guilt trip on us after we said give us an offer / proposal.

>>>> Marina, you can only feel guilt if you choose to let yourself get that way.

"We did not know you were like this"

>>>> That is their problem not yours

"After everything we have done for you"

>>>> That is their problem not yours

"Look at the capital gain you have made"

>>>> Reply with and "Thankyou very much but you only did your job that you were paid to do".

"We underquoted you on the house, we lost money on your house"

>>>> I wouldn't believe this statement at all, as you've said above they're trying the guilt trip.

Now for a few ideas etc. How about telling them to furnish the place if they want the access rights for what they want. And you want the garden landscaped to your taste (not theirs). You also want this all in a written contract, and only provide access to them with 7 days notice and only on certain days so it doesn't disrupt your new lifestyle.

If they don't come to the party on the above have you lost anything? NO

If they don't come to the party on the above have they lost anything? YES

They want the use of YOUR house so get what you can out of it. Well that is my thoughts on your situation anyway Marina. I do hope that you get what ever it is you want, either for them to leave you alone or the above conditions thrown in for their access rights.


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Reply: 1.1
From: Troy J

I agree wholeheartedly with Robert here. The way I see it, your contract with the builder to construct the house has been completed. Yes they did a good job and you have a great place to show for it, but as you are treating this place as an investment I believe that it should be treated the same by the builder. If they want to use the property, then they have to pay for it (in one way, shape or form). I'm sure you would not rent it our for free, even to a friend, so why should you do the same to the builder.

I like Robert's idea of the landscaping and furnishings. Or maybe get them to build you a pergola for the trouble.

Good luck and let us know what you decide.

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Reply: 2
From: Michael G


Get them to discount building an investment property?

Or if ya like doodads, if they want you out of the house at certain times, get them to buy you a nice convertable, that you can drive, while the house is looked at :)

By the way, insurance will be an issue, just like any open home.

One thing you need to weigh up. Consider what's in it for them?.

Basically, how much promotional value are they getting out of this?, your home isnt going into Home Beautiful to promote your business, its in there to promote theirs. If you house is never in HB mag, its not going to affect you one bit, but it may generate leads for them, that will return $$$ of sales.

You could always do some research and contact Home Beautiful, and ask what sort of business such homes generate for builders in their mags.

If you choose, what you are actually entering into is a negotiation. Let's see, the builder wants...

- photos of house (both in and out) (is this a security issue?, would photos reveal interior for theives?

- access to home (insurance and security issue)

- free publicity for their business

You want?

- (you fill in the blank)

Now as for whats fair or not, you asked builder to build home, they quoted you. Contract completed, was there anything said at the BEGINNING, about you getting a discount on cost, if your home was displayed? (check the contract?)

Also if you choose to negotiate, sit down prior and write down all the hassles and problems and hardships you suffered during construction, point out, the builder didnt compenstate you for living elsewhere (unless they put you up in a hotel for free?)

This is my view only, but, if you say no, you're not going to lose I think. Even if you start to negotiate you can always walk away if you dont like it. And it would be a great exercise in negotiations and confidence builder.

Just a thought.

There are more experienced negotiators on this forum than I, ask their views too.

Michael G
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Reply: 2.1
From: Michele B

Nice to have you back MG!! Liked your suggestion of a discounted build. Marina, if you're not ready for another IP, why not have the builder do a basic extension, carport or whatever on one of your existing IPs or your current 15sq house? Real value to you at minimal cost to him.

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Reply: 2.1.1
From: DB Bear

Hi Marina

Myself, I like cold hard cash. :)

I'd think about a number and tell him that this would be what you would be happy to rent your house out for the advertising shoot etc. If he comes back with "but we don't usually pay", it is probably for two reasons (1) he's trying to bluff you so that he can get it for free (2) those who ask, get some compensation. He's going to get a lot out of it in leads and sales so it is worth something to you. You are going to get lots of inconvenience and reduced security. You don't care if your house doesn't get into the magazine. Seems to me like you're in the driver's seat, Marina!

Bottom line is, as with all negotiations, don't have an emotional attachment to the deal (which you haven't) and be firm. Don't blink or flinch but stick to your plan. They may want to negotiate to a lower price, but you've already won then haven't you? You've gone from getting paid nix to getting something.

Best of luck with this. I would love to know how it turns out.

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Reply: 2.1.2
From: Pamela Richardson

Dear Marina

I'm not sure how the builder's can argue "after all they have done for you" when from what I gather but may be wrong, they have caused so much trouble for you - or was it something else that caused the stress during the building of the house and how have they gone out of their way for you? It's not clear. I'm not sure what circumstance has allowed you to agree to the builder to take clients through the house and made to feel pressured to agree to their request to marketing the house when it upsets you.

In the end a building arrangement is a business deal - or should be - no special non-contractual arrangements.

I am not a legal expert but from the facts that you have passed on in your posting I would be hesitant about continuing with further agreements with the builder if they are responsible for the stress. If you have had so much trouble with them it seems a risk to make protracted arrangements for extensions to achieve a your just reward for allowing them to market the house. If your contract is completed you have no obligation to go beyond it - as Troy mentioned. You should not even have to argue the case for rejecting their proposal but to allow for a civilized release from them make a calm and reasoned rejection - list your reasons for not going ahead with marketing your house first for your own clear understanding of where you stand and if you are really feeling pressured, speak to a solicitor for guidance if not moral support if this helps. An objective and calm rejection may come after this.

Yes they have helped produce a beautiful house but in the end they were only asked to fulfill a building contract - if they added little touches and didn't charge that's nice for you or did you ask for extras and they haven't been rewarded? Even small changes should have been included in the contract.

if they argue:

they underquoted - this was their responsibility but worth checking with a solicitor to see if they have recourse. Perhaps the building contract didn't allow for variations where the builder could make additional charges to you for additional, unforeseen work. Still their problem I believe.

you've made a capital gain - this is of course irrelevant to your contract with them to build the house

All the best. It sounds like the experience has been distressing and hard to stand back from.


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Reply: 3
From: Kristine .


Perhaps your prayers have been answered? In your post of 27 March, when asking for advice on the extreme lateness of the building program (4 months over), you said:

'The builder just sent me an email to say he will only pay us for 30 days, which is $1000 instead of around $4000.'

So, perhaps now, he may be more amenable to paying you the full late payment oh! and I nearly forgot the unconnected spa bath hose on Good Friday, which resulted in ruined plaster, paintwork and carpet, not to mention stress and angst.

Maybe the 'win win' here is the full $4,000 in return for a specific amount of good will, in writing, on your part. eg ten (or six, or twenty, whatever) inspections with at least 24 hours notice only on weekdays and ONLY until the tenants move in, etc etc.

Good luck


PS Pamela - an excellent post. You get an elephant stamp for that one!
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Subject: Advertising/Marketing of House

From: Ross Sondergeld

Hi Marina,

Subject: Advertising/Marketing of House

Personally, i'd just say thank you.

And i'd move on...

P.S. Don't forget, I'm a laid back almost falling over, type of guy.

Ross on the Gold Coast
Buyerside Real Estate

MSN Photos is the easiest way to share and print your photos:
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Reply: 3.1
From: .watto .

Hi Marina,

Congratulations on the house, sorry about the stress thou...breathe in, breathe out, breathe in....

Go the cash, think of a figure that it is worth, for you to put up with the inconvenience, then double it.

When builder says "that's a bit rich", put it back on him to offer a reasonable figure and then negotiate to a fair middle ground.

Always remember if you have met your contractual agreements and have not been too unreasonable during construction, you owe the builder ZIP...if you don't get to a price you feel comfortable with then say Thanks but NO THANKS and walk away and get on with enjoying your new house....

Just my 2 cents worth....

Melb Freestyler
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