“RETAINING WALL REQUIRED… but let’s close anyway!”
~Builder (will remain unnamed)

Retaining Wall THIS IS A TRUE STORY.  I share it only to educate the next buyer who wishes to build their next home.

The buyers of this property (right of the fence) are my clients.  They live so close to this subdivision, that they drive by their soon-to-be home frequently.

On a recent visit, the Sales Associate (with instruction from the Builder), told my clients the following:

BUILDER’S SALES ASSOCIATE: [paraphrased] We are scheduled to close you next week.  The only things that won’t be complete is the landscaping (sod/grass) and the retaining wall.  But don’t worry, buyers agree to do this all the time.

MY CLIENT’S RESPONSE:  I don’t think we should close before the house is done.

BUILDER’S SALES ASSOCIATE:  The retaining wall and landscaping are NOT part of the house.  If you don’t close, there’s a chance the builder will put your house back on the market.  “I’ve seen it happen,” she tells them.

MY CLIENTS NEXT MOVE:  They immediately called to inform me.  I am their hired, “Buyer’s Agent.”  My job is to represent my Buyer’s best interest during their home purchase.

MY MOVE:  I contacted the Builder’s main office and got a hold of the Owner.  I let him know the situation and how my clients felt about being pushed to close with an incomplete project.  Before he could try to sell me the idea that the retaining wall and sod were not a part of the house, I reminded him that if we had inclement weather, before the retaining wall was completed, the result could affect the foundation; therefore, it IS a part of the house.

The builder/owner was (and is) very understanding and has agreed to postpone closing until the entire project is complete.  My clients are relieved.

UNFORTUNATELY, THIS TYPE OF SITUATION does happen often.  And TOO often, buyers build their new homes without the assistance of a REALTOR®.  Builder’s Sales Associates are convincing, that’s why they have that job.  It’s their duty to sell on behalf of the builder.  If my clients would have gone with the flow, just to close, who knows when that retaining wall would have been completed.  After closing, my clients wouldn’t have been priority anymore.  The builder and their staff would have redirected their attention to the next buyer waiting to close.  This could have been one sloppy mess.

You know what I’m wondering, now?  I wonder if the buyer on the left side of that fence has protection and representation from a REALTOR®.  Will they close with their yard looking like that?  I wonder.

Builder and Clients will remain unnamed for privacy.  This post is not to bash builders and their associates.  Not all builders push to close an unfinished house.  This post is to help buyers understand the purpose of hiring a REALTOR®.  Building a home without a REALTOR®, is like going to court without an attorney.  No, REALTORS® are NOT attorneys and cannot offer legal advice.  REALTORS® are a Buyer’s secret weapon!




Texas law requires all real estate license holders to provide the Information About Brokerage Services to all prospective clients. TREC’s Consumer Protection Notice.


Published by AgentVal

Val's architectural studies, military background, and love for teaching became the pathway to her real estate career. From day one, she realized that the grand world of real estate was more than just closing deals, that it was about building relationships, building trust, and building opportunities for everyone to become a homeowner. Since 1998, Val has dedicated herself to coaching home buyers, home sellers, and home investors with integrity, honesty, experience, and resourcefulness. Whether buying or selling a small tract of land or a luxury estate, Val believes every client deserves eXtraordinary first-class service.

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