In a seller’s market, terms and conditions generally favor the big builders, not consumers

The contract’s intent, builders say, is to ensure in writing that the house is delivered by the seller – and that the buyer pays on time. But the effect, critics say, is to leave the buyer with little or no recourse in the event of a problem with the house.

Barry Ansbacher, a Jacksonville attorney who often represents disgruntled home buyers, said the bottom line for new-construction contracts is this: “There’s more consumer protection in buying a car than for someone spending 10 times as much to buy a house.”

Custom builders, usually small locally owned operations, generally will permit the buyer to modify the sales contract. But production builders — large national companies such as Morrison that construct 80 percent of the new homes in greater Orlando — generally won’t.