Can You Negotiate with Home Builders on Price?

Agent and Client Shaking HandsBuilding a home is an exciting, scary, and important decision, and can be a wonderful way to get your dream home for a price that suits you. Savvy homeowners know when to purchase land, whether to build or buy and if you’re at the stage of receiving quotes based on your blueprints and house plans, chances are you’re money smart and budget-conscious. If your quote has come back higher than you anticipated, or if you’re wondering where the costs are accumulating, you should feel free to speak with your builder and ask for a rundown of the costs. Your home builder will become a very important person in the months it will take to construct your house, so they need to be someone you feel confident enough to be transparent with.

Reputable builders will spend time formulating your quote, and it will be set at that price for a multitude of reasons. You can certainly enquire if the price is negotiable, or if there would be ways to lower the cost, but many builders won’t lower the price without significant changes to the plans, based on several factors, including:

  • Their reputation – if the price is too low, the next build will follow suit and the prior clients may feel ripped off.
  • Their output – the costs of materials and goods increases often, along with supply and demand impacting availability, and a builder needs to incorporate this into the quote to ensure they don’t experience loss.
  • Business longevity – builders don’t usually charge their prices based on an emotional connection, and they must consider the housing market, cost of inflation and scarce inventory when deciding their quote.

Your builder is unlikely to alter the price without significant changes to your house plan and will usually be happy to discuss cost-saving options with you to lower their labour and output along with the price on your bill. When considering this, remember that generally, anything that adds to the square footage of the home will impact the builder’s future jobs and the final price point.

Some money-saving tips to lower your final quote include:

  1. Size matters.

Choosing the right piece of land and designing the layout of the property on the land strategically can make a huge difference to your quote price. The flatter the block the better and building on a flat block could save you thousands in excavation costs. Additionally, carefully considering how much space is needed in your home and designing for outdoor living space can lower costs, minimising the square footage of your build.

  1. Choose your finishes carefully.

Instead of having your dream tile cover the floor to ceiling in wet areas, have it as a feature on the flooring or a backsplash in the kitchen. There are usually cheaper options to bring style and stability to your walls, roofs and floors, and your builder can suggest the best options for your needs and your budget. The finishes of your cabinets, draws and doorknobs can add a few hundred dollars to your quote and are another aspect that can usually be done for cheaper.

  1. Do it yourself…

There may be parts of your home that you can fix or renovate yourself post-build. If you’re a handy person or wish to leave your mark on your home, ask your builder for ideas and inspiration about things you can handle yourself. The outdoor entertaining area or landscaping can often be done by yourself and a few handy friends, and aspects like the painting, tiling and even flooring can be easily learned and applied by a keen new homeowner.

A professional builder won’t often negotiate on price, and their prices aren’t there for superfluous reasons. Your builder is far more likely to negotiate upgrades, DIY options, different flooring and finishing types and outdoor ideas to lower your quote price.

To discuss options for your new build, and more, with one of our friendly, approachable, and talented builders, call us on (02) 4934 6666 or get in touch.

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