What do the house builders really mean?

New home buyers will come across the same phrases and statements used by house builders’ to market their homes and when dealing with distraught new home buyers.   But what are the house builders really telling you?

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On marketing:

“Attention to detail”
If we can save a few pennies by not doing something and we can get away with it, we will.

“An exciting development”
We hope to make a lot of money on this site

“All of our staff are trained”
We have told them what they can and cannot tell you

“Our friendly site team”
The site manager is always in the sales office chatting and drinking coffee.

“Spacious interiors”
Larger than the usual rabbit-hutch new homes we buildMirrors in show home“Our sales team are fully trained to offer you expert guidance and practical assistance throughout the buying process”
Our sales staff will try to sell you optional extras and force our choice of solicitor and mortgage broker on you.

“We can provide you with a list of recommended solicitors and/or financial advisors as necessary”
We will do everything we can to get you to use our preferred firms, so we can control every aspect to our own advantage and get commission.

“We are a national house builder with a local approach to building your new home”
We blame regional offices when things go wrong.

“Please note that all images are for illustrative purposes only”
Advertising images include upgrades and home specification varies. We hope to get on average, another £3,080 from each buyer upgrading.

“You are able to personalise your new home with a range of optional extras and upgrades”
Our homes are such a basic specification that we can make even more money from of you by overcharging for extras and upgrades which cost us very little to do.

“We are a five star-rated house builder”
Like nearly every house builder, we have an HBF 5 star rating from surveys sent to just a third of our home buyers.

“Customer surveys are sent out to all home buyers after 6 weeks”
Customer surveys are sent out to some buyers before they realise all the problems and experience our poor after sales service.

“Over 90% of our customers would recommend us to their friends and family”
Over 90% of buyers who we decide to send the survey to and who actually send it back, don’t like the people they know.

“We aim to take care of you, not just when you are buying but also after you have moved into your new home”
Once we have all your money, you are on your own.

“Should you wish to view your home we ask that you make an appointment so that we can ensure your health and safety during the visit”
We don’t want you sneaking about making snaglists and seeing things we don’t want you to see.

“During the two years, we’ll guarantee all the items supplied as part of your new home”
But only as required to by the NHBC warranty and relevant building regulations.

“Stamp duty paid”
We will give you 3% discount as the price is just over the stamp duty threshold.

Legal fees, removal costs and stamp duty paid
We are desperate for sales. Our year-end is approaching and our directors want their bonuses!

“Choice of finishes”
You can choose the colour of your toilet, wall tiles, kitchen units and worktops from a narrow set range.

“Your home is due to be finished in November”
You will move in on the Friday before Christmas, whether it is finished or not so we can achieve out year-end figures. It is not our fault – the weather is to blame and those nasty utility companies too!

“On selected plots”
On constructed stock plots that no one will buy that have an issue that is putting buyers off.

“Part exchange available”
We will buy your existing home at a market discount and subject to a raft of conditions all in our favour, but only if you buy one of the plots we are having trouble selling.

“We work in partnership with our suppliers and sub-contractors”
We screw their prices down in return for regular work and national agreements.

“We build using carefully sourced materials”
We find the cheapest materials available.

On quality:

“Homes of superior quality”
We think these new homes will be better than those we normally build.

“Quality is at the heart of everything we do”
We are here to make a profit for our shareholders – we don’t build perfect houses.

“All of our homes are constructed to the highest standard and inspected and approved by the independent NHBC”
Most of out homes are constructed to a minimum standard and may be inspected by the NHBC, who we pay large sums of money to every year.

“We work hard to ensure that your new home is of a high quality and is built safely, efficiently, cost effectively”
We are here to deliver profit for our shareholders – we don’t build perfect homes

“If something is wrong we put it right”
But only if the customer can prove it was done wrong in the first place!

“We build quality homes in a highly efficient way to ensure our prices are always realistic”
We build our new homes as quickly as possible and charge as much as the market and mortgage valuers let us get away with.

“All stages of the construction of your new home will be inspected by our experienced construction staff”
Our new homes are sometimes inspected by building control and the NHBC, perhaps once a month.

On awards:

“Housebuilder of the year”
It was our turn to win the industry’s ‘most prestigious’ annual award. Organised by The Housebuilder magazine and trade body, the Home Builders Federation.

“Award winning house builder”
We have received our share in the many awards given by the publications house builders support through advertising each year.

“Pride in the Job award-winning site manager”
The site manager that has a tidy site office, looks organised and has taken the NHBC inspector and his boss out to lunch a few times.

“Homeowners who buy a pride in the Job award winning home benefit from a high quality product”
The judging process does not however guarantee that every home on a site will be without issues or free from defects.

After sales and customer care:

“After legally completing and moving into your new home, a member of our team will make contact with you to ensure that all is well with your new home”
Our site staff will pester you to fill in and send the HBF survey and give us a good report.

“Customer care is a priority”
Each offcie has a customer care administrator who will log your complaints and fob you off.

“There are no failures in our quality assurance process”
This home is no worse than we normally build.

“It is company policy not to pay compensation
“We always pay compensation after being threatened with legal proceedings but only if you sign a confidentiality agreement.

“Bear with us until better weather”
We won’t be fixing it any time soon.

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