We sent off emails to both Builders telling them that they were really expensive and listed the features that the other Builder was beating them with. I also expressed some concern with Fowler Homes about their attention to detail after the tender fiasco.
Fowler Homes assured me the error was a one-off (a few pages got lost in the fax machine) and threw in for free a few of the things that Wisdom had in their upgrade package.
Wisdom Homes refused to negotiate. When I told them that we were going to walk they rang the wife and asked for a copy of Fowler Homes' tender so that they could be sure it was a fair comparison. They said that they would match Fowler's tender and take $1,000 off. She told them that we wanted their best offer, not just $1,000 better, and that we would not give it to them because then we were giving up our competitive position. They then rang me to see if I'd break but I held firm.
In the meantime we went back to Fowler Homes and told them that Wisdom Homes had given us more and dropped their price. Fowler gave us a few more things which gave them a couple of grand price benefit and some nicer features.
Our No 2 Tip to date - there is room to negotiate (with some!)
Wisdom Homes had presented very professionally and we felt confident that they would do a good job. Their unwillingness to negotiate lost them our business. I get the feeling that they are doing a lot of work already and didn't need to chase our work and blow their margin.
On the other hand, Fowler Homes presented less professionally and we knew we would need to ride them but we were going to get more for our dollar and for this we were prepared to do some hard yards.
Fowler Homes it is...