HOMEBUILDERS HATE JURIES
It is extremely rare to see a homebuilder allow a jury trial of claims brought by a homebuyer.Why?Because a jury will hold them accountable and they would have to change their practices or suffer continuous and increasing judgments and penalties.
Just to demonstrate this fact, Perry Homes, a major home builder in Texas and probably the most influential donor in the Republican party, lost an arbitration case where the homeowner was awarded $800,000.The Texas Supreme Court, bought and paid for by the home construction industry, sent the case back for a jury trial.The jury then awarded $51,000,000.Homebuilders do not want to expose their practices to the public.The public will punish them.
In virtually every new home construction contract, the builder inserts an arbitration clause.That arbitration clause is meant to prevent the homebuyer from using the Court system in order to bring their complaints.It is doubtful that even one percent of home buyers have any clue that they are signing away their rights to a jury trial.The number of sales agents for the builders who even understand what an ?arbitration? is and that the homebuyer is signing away their rights to a jury are even less.
What can you do about it?Not much other than not buy the house.You can try to delete or ?x? out the terms of arbitration, but it is not likely a homebuilder will allow this and will probably make the contract a ?take it or leave it? proposition. But you can try.My suggestion would be to offer an additional $300 to remove the term, even more if necessary.Of course, at the time you are signing the contract, the idea you are going to even need the rights to a jury seems remote and unlikely.But if that day comes, you will be truly glad your options have not been destroyed.