When we started looking photos of the Porter Davis homes on their website, we were very interested in what they had to offer. I don’t know if it was the way the homes were styled or just the same vanilla air freshener they use in all of their displays, but once we saw their homes, we knew we had to build with them.
But given that we were new to the sales process (our last home with JG King was very basic in comparison), we had a to learn to get the process right.
Reading in some of the forums and Facebook groups, there has been a lot of mixed views about the role of the sales consultant. Some people think that sales consultant is the person you liaise with throughout the whole building process – they are not, however they do have an important part to play. Their role is to help you:
- Find a house, floorplan and facade which you like,
- Understand an indicative cost of the floorplan, upgrades and site costs by walking through the display with you and informing you that pretty much everything is an upgrade, then preparing a quote,
- Know about any sales incentives available,
- Understand how Porter Davis’ sales process works, i.e. time until your build starts, what you pay when etc.
- Signing you up and taking a $2,000 deposit.
Once we went through this process, the sales consultant compiled the information they have shown/explained to us, got us to sign everything, made copies for us, and sent it through to the head office for processing and for a building coordinator to take over.
At this point, the relationship with the sales consultant is pretty much over – and we have communicated with the building coordinator ever since.
Image from the Porter Davis “Procedure of Purchase” document showing their explanation of the first step of the process.
We had an interesting experience here. We had been looking at the Porter Davis displays for some time, however, we had to sell our current house first, so we were somewhat in ‘dream-mode’. We were being followed up every now and again over a period of 12 months by an amazing consultant, and then right before we sold our house and decided we were ready to go, she went on maternity leave. We had emailed her replacement but because we had not heard back from her, we decided to go to a display nearby and engage someone else. The problem we had was that the person we got was horrible and wasn’t helpful at all. If we weren’t already committed to the floorplan and design we would have found another builder. I mean, this guy was a pig. There were specific things that we wanted to get an idea of pricing on, however, he determined that either we didn’t need them, couldn’t afford them (not sure how he worked that our), or outright failed to put them into the quote.
Luckily for us, we managed to get in contact with the other replacement sales consultant, and found out that she had emailed us back, but it went to junk mail. Although the sales consultants are not able to take other consultant’s clients, you do have the option of changing if you do not like the one you got. We did this and managed to get our quote based on what we wanted.
As I said, the role of the sales consultant is relatively limited, however, they are still quite important. If you are someone who needs to get a relatively good idea of the costs involved with what you want early on, it is very important that they are competent in their role. The general floor plan is easily the most important decision regarding your house (and the most expensive), so you need to make sure you are either trust them enough to help you through it or are experienced enough to lead the process yourself.
A final word of advice: our sales consultant (the good one) advised us about their ‘builder’s bonus’ promotion, a $15,000 post contract variation discount on the home. This was very good considering we were signing anyways – however, there was the pressure put on us that this could end at any moment, and apparently there was word that it was. 4 months later, the promotion is still running – so do not be pressured into signing on straight away because of what they say. On the other hand, Porter Davis do regularly increase the price of their homes, so if there is a good promotion going and you are comfortable/able to put $2,000 down – do it. The base price of ours has gone up almost $9,000 since we signed.
Image from the Porter Davis Promotion – that was apparently about to end when we were signing up.