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How to negotiate price when buying a new home (with best tips from a home builder)

“Always pick your yard based on your Summer lifetstyle.”


March 18, 2019 - Karl Yeh


There's nothing wrong with submitting an offer on a home, so usually the first step is meeting with your area manager. You come up with your list of options and all the inclusions in that home, and you come up with your price, so the builder will give you their price based on the lot premiums, the land price, and the home itself.

Planning to buy a new home? Can you negotiate the price? What are some negotiation tips to consider? In this episode, we discuss negotiating price on a new home, if you can negotiate on home upgrades and the lot itself. 


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Hi, everyone. I'm Karl, and welcome to another Homebuyer's School video, a channel where you get the latest strategies, tactics, and tips from homebuying experts, and remember, if this is your first time on this channel and you want to get the latest strategies from the experts, hit the subscription button below, hit the little notification bell so you don't miss anything. [00:00:30]

Today, I'm joined by Jessica McNabb, Area Manager with Brookfield Residential, and today, the question we're going to answer is:

How do you go about negotiating home price?

Jessica, I'm buying a home. How do I negotiate a price?

Jessica McNabb:              

That's a great question.

A lot of times, people will come through, and they're ready to submit their offer on the home.

There's nothing wrong with submitting an offer on a home, so usually the first step is meeting with your area manager.

You come up with your list of options and all the inclusions in that home, and you come up with your price, so the builder will give you their price based on the lot premiums, the land price, and the home itself.

From there, usually if people are going to be submitting an offer, we would recommend that they had a comparable of something that sold in the area, so those go hand in hand.

Jessica McNabb:              

If it is a new home, it is up to the builder on the final price of what it's going to be paid. With resale, typically, it's going to be a seller that they own that home, and it's up to them what they want to pay, so same thing.

If you [00:01:30] have a realtor working with you, they'll submit the offer on your behalf based on a comparable in the area.

Karl Yeh:                              Let's go talk about for a new home.

Can you negotiate on the upgrades?

Jessica McNabb:              

People too, it doesn't hurt to ask, like I said. Usually, let's say an example would be quartz.

If quartz is about $4,000, everything gets submitted to the price, there'll be a final price on that home, and it won't be necessarily the upgrade cost that you negotiate upon, but just the home price itself.

Karl Yeh: Yeah. Now, how about the actual [00:02:00] lot?

Can you negotiate on the lot itself?

Jessica McNabb:              

Yeah. Some people do negotiate on the lot itself.

There are some builders that could just sell you the lot, so you can bid on the price of that lot.

With our builders specifically, with Brookfield, it'll be the home and the lot that come together, and then you'd be submitting your offer based on just the price of that home and the lot together.

Karl Yeh:                              Are corner lots more expensive?

Jessica McNabb:              

They typically are, yep.

With a corner lot, you've got extra side treatments. You've got extra windows.

The lot's typically a little bit wider, so there's more land [00:02:30] value to it, so yes, corner lots typically do come at a higher price.

Karl Yeh:                             

How about zero-lot line homes? Are they more expensive, the same price, or are they actually cheaper?

Jessica McNabb:              

A zero-lot line typically is a little bit less in price.

What a zero-lot line is, is where you've got a piece of land, and you've got several homes sitting on that land.

Now, what we do is, we sit the home on actually the lot line itself on one side, so you've got one side yard, and the other side of your home is just sitting on the lot line itself, so essentially, you've [00:03:00] got half of a side yard, so it will be a little bit cheaper.

Karl Yeh:                             

If you want to know more about zero-lot line homes, watch our video above or our description below.

Let's go talk about upgrades, we talked about before, as,

How much do home upgrades actually cost?

Jessica McNabb:              

It varies.

If you're buying with a builder, sometimes all the home upgrades you're thinking of already come included in that home, so the average cost of a home in Alberta, if you're looking at a three-bedroom around 1,200 to 1,400 [00:03:30] square feet, is about 300,000.

This is going to come with your standard laminate flooring or vinyl plank flooring, quartz countertops.

Now, let's say you want to do the cabinets to the ceiling, for example. This is around $1,200.

If you want to have a fireplace, an electric fireplace, $2,600, so there could be a few costs associated that go beyond what a builder would have as a standard.

Karl Yeh:                             

Okay, and remember, if you want to know more about best home upgrades for resale value, watch our video above and in the [00:04:00] description below as well.


I think the last thing is, whether it's a resale or a new home build, should I get actually a home inspection for it?

Jessica McNabb:              

Yeah, it doesn't hurt to have an home inspection for either of them. For resale homes, people would always recommend to have a inspection done.

With a new home, necessarily, you wouldn't necessarily need to, because it does fall under a warranty, and to fall under Alberta New Home Warranty, it has to go through six points of an inspection for the city to actually pass, so [00:04:30] you don't necessarily need to have a home inspection, but some people just feel more comfortable with it.

Karl Yeh:                              Perfect. Do you have anything else to add?

Jessica McNabb:               No. I think we covered it.

Karl Yeh:                              Awesome.

Jessica McNabb:               Thanks.

Karl Yeh:                             

The question of the day for you is:

Did you negotiate your last home purchase, and what were some of your negotiation tips?

Let us know in the comment section below, and remember, if you enjoyed this video or found this video helpful, make sure to hit the thumbs up, comment, and remember to subscribe. Thank you, and we'll catch you next time.


Your turn:

Let us know if you have additional home buying questions that we can answer by submitting them in the comments section below. 

Homebuyer's School publishes new content weekly so subscribe or check back regularly for the latest information, strategies and tips from homebuying experts. 

About Jessica McNabb:

University of Alberta: Bachelor of Science in Registered Nursing 2011 McConnell Place North Alzheimers Care Centre 3 Years - Client Care Leader Brookfield Residential 6 Years - Area Sales Manager Sold over 200 Homes

While a career in Nursing was extremely fulfilling, I also wanted to explore a career in home sales. After 6 years of being in the New Home Sales Industry, I still feel the same sense of fulfillment through taking clients from start to finish building their home.

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