A Tender document is well worth the wait

26th February 2024

First Home Builders Tips & Tricks Before You Buy

Henley Properties Group was founded in 1989 by three friends Peter Hayes, Rob Bowen and John Harvey with a vision to make home ownership more affordable for Australian families. Since then, we have built over 58,000 homes across Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia under the brands Henley Homes, Plantation Homes and Edgewater Homes. This makes us the 6th largest detached home builder in Australia 2022/23.

Honesty and transparency are in our DNA

Before we started building new homes in 1989, it was the residential construction industry norm for customers to receive a high-level sales quote - with not much detail as to what was included. Customers were expected to commit to a builder without having all the information they needed – i.e. what they were getting (and not getting) and how much it would cost them.

Can you imagine how surprised (or disappointed) customers were back then, when they were then asked to sign a contract which included what they were actually getting. Reflective of the time, customers accepted it because it was the way ‘things were always done’.

This process didn’t sit right with our founding owners, and they wanted to do things differently. They dedicated their time to building a better paperwork process that would change the industry. It instigated a more transparent and honest purchase process, so that customers could decide what went into their homes, will full knowledge of what it was going to cost them before signing a Contract that committed them irreversibly to a builder.

Henley Tender Process

The Tender moment

Our owners recognised everyone has a budget, especially when building a new home, in addition to needing formal paperwork to manage the process with bank approvals, so when Henley was born so was the Tender.

The Tender is now a fundamental step in between receiving a sales quote and signing a contract. It is so helpful that it has become the industry standard. It means customers can build to their budget, and get their home loan approved, by knowing the full costs upfront, as early as possible and includes:

• All the costs of the house design you have chosen
• Any floorplan changes
• Façade allocations
• Internal and external selections
• Site costs and considerations for any developer requirements.

The document builds your financial confidence because there are no surprises when you get to signing a contract or for your bank approval. You know how much you’re spending with a builder before you commit to building with them.


Signing Contracts

A contract is a legally binding agreement. As it stands today, builders give customers two options when it comes to signing a contract.

a. Race to contract without all the costs, or
b. Sign a contract once you have all the costs.

We make it absolutely clear to our customers that they should ask us questions or get independent advice if they do not understand anything in their contract. Signing a contract before you have all the costs makes it difficult to stick to a budget. For example, choosing your internal and exterior selections after you sign a contract means you won’t have the final prices, but you are locked in with that builder (legally). It can prove costly to swap builders if you can’t stick to your budget once you’re ‘allowed’ into their design studios and discover the actual cost of the selections you love or want to upgrade. The bank also won’t approve your finances until you have the final contract price, so once again, you’re tied to a builder, potentially losing your contract deposit, with the unknown cost of selections or building a home where you face the compromised selections every day.


Making it easier for your bank to approve your finance

A detailed and systematic process of choosing what you want, reviewing costs against your budget and having a tender and contract that outlines your full costs makes it easier for your bank to approve your finance. Your bank simply can’t, and in our experience won’t, approve your finance if your contract doesn’t not include all costs. Littering a contract with ‘provisional sums’ that require ‘post-contract variations’ doesn’t fly with banks. This is because they need certainty on the final contract price.

Name one other thing you would buy without knowing the price?

You don’t even buy milk and bread without knowing the price, so how can you commit to possibly your largest financial investment without knowing all the costs? We recommend you make sure you are aware of all the costs before you sign a legally binding agreement.

If our way of doing business resonates with you, speak with one of our new home consultants, who help families just like yours achieve home ownership every single day, with honesty and transparency.

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