Can You Negotiate Pre Construction Prices?

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Yes, you can negotiate pre-construction prices, often leveraging factors such as market conditions, developer’s financial needs, and your deposit size or payment terms.

Understanding the Market

Research Thoroughly

When entering the realm of pre-construction real estate, your strongest asset is comprehensive market research. This phase involves diving deep into the historical and current trends of property prices within the area of interest. It’s crucial to track these trends over time to understand the natural ebb and flow of the market. Alongside this, conducting a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is invaluable. This analysis compares the target property with similar properties, considering aspects like size, location, and amenities to establish a baseline for value.

Another significant factor is future developments in the area. Upcoming infrastructural projects, like new public transportation routes or commercial hubs, can greatly influence future property values. Lastly, keeping an eye on broader economic indicators, such as interest rates, employment rates, and overall economic growth, is essential. These indicators can sway the real estate market, impacting both pricing and demand.

Supply and Demand Dynamics

Start by assessing the inventory levels in the area — the number of properties available can directly impact pricing strategies. A higher inventory often leads to more competitive pricing, providing more room for negotiation. Conversely, low inventory levels typically indicate a seller’s market, where negotiation leverage may be limited. 

Alongside this, it’s important to gauge buyer interest in the area. High demand from buyers can quickly diminish your negotiating power, whereas lower interest levels can work in your favour. By understanding these dynamics, you can better position yourself in negotiations, tailoring your approach to the current state of the market. This understanding not only aids in negotiating prices but also in making a well-informed decision about the investment’s potential.

Did you know?

Total investment in building construction in Canada was worth $20.6 billion in February 2023.

Knowing the Developer

Reputation and Past Projects

A developer with a solid track record is often synonymous with reliability and quality. To gauge this, start by examining their completion record. A history of completed projects, especially those finished on time, strongly indicates a dependable developer. Next, consider the quality of their past constructions.

 This involves looking at reviews or testimonials regarding the build quality, from the materials used to their projects’ overall design and functionality.

Additionally, customer satisfaction plays a crucial role. Feedback from previous buyers can give you insights into their experience with the developer, especially post-completion issues and how they were addressed. Lastly, any industry awards or recognitions can further validate the developer’s commitment to excellence and standing.

Did you know?

Canada has a long history of using prefabricated construction, and current market and societal conditions are driving a greater push toward industrialization and prefabrication across the country.

Financial Stability

The financial health of a developer is a critical aspect that influences the risk involved in a pre-construction investment. A financially stable developer is less likely to encounter project delays or cancellations due to funding problems. To assess their financial stability, consider the project’s funding sources. Developments backed by reputable financial institutions or solid investors typically offer more security. Also, review the developer’s sales record for their past projects. 

A strong sales record can be indicative of market trust and financial robustness. For publicly listed developers, scrutinize their financial statements for a clearer picture of their financial status. For private developers, seek out public records or news articles that might reveal information about their financial situation. Pay particular attention to their liquidity and debt levels, as these factors can significantly impact their ability to manage market fluctuations and unexpected expenses. Understanding a developer’s financial standing is not just about negotiating a better deal; it’s also about ensuring the security and success of your investment.

Timing is Key

Early Bird Advantage

In pre-construction real estate, timing can be a critical factor in securing the best deal, and one of the most advantageous strategies is to get in early. Developers often offer initial discounts and incentives to early buyers to kickstart their sales and secure funding for the project. These early bird offers can be attractive, often translating to lower purchase prices or more favourable payment terms than what is available later in the sales cycle. Moreover, early investors typically have a wider selection of units, allowing for choices with better locations or views within the development. However, it’s important to balance the benefits of early investment with the risks, such as potential delays in construction or changes in market conditions.

End-of-Phase Opportunities

Another strategic window for negotiation is towards the end of a sales phase. Developers are often pressured to hit sales targets at these stages, which may lead them to offer discounts or favourable terms to close deals quickly. This can be especially true when the developer needs to demonstrate a certain level of sales to secure further financing for the project. While the choices in terms of units might be more limited compared to the early stages, the potential for price negotiation can be greater. However, it’s crucial to understand why units are still available at this stage — is it due to pricing, location within the development, or other factors? A thorough evaluation is necessary to ensure that the investment is sound.

Leverage the Power of a Deposit

How you handle your deposit in pre-construction real estate can significantly influence the negotiation process. Here are two key strategies:

Larger Deposits

Offering a larger deposit than typically required can be a strong negotiating tool. A sizable deposit demonstrates your serious commitment to the project and reduces the financial risk for the developer. This increased sense of security for the developer can open up room for negotiations on your end, potentially leading to a lower purchase price or more favourable terms. It’s a show of good faith that you are invested in the project, which can make the developer more inclined to accommodate your requests.

Flexible Payment Plans

If a larger upfront deposit isn’t feasible, proposing a flexible payment plan can be an effective alternative. This approach involves negotiating the structure of the deposit payments, perhaps spreading them over a longer period or aligning them with certain project milestones. For developers, especially those in the early stages of a project, having a consistent cash flow can be crucial. By offering a structured payment plan, you’re addressing the developer’s need for financial stability while aligning the payments with your financial capabilities. This method can be particularly appealing to developers looking to maintain a steady stream of funding throughout the construction phase.


Negotiating pre-construction prices is a multifaceted process that requires a well-rounded approach. It starts with a thorough market understanding, including research into historical and current pricing trends, future area developments, and the supply-demand dynamics. Equally important is a deep dive into the developer’s background, focusing on their reputation, past projects, and financial stability. 

Timing your investment correctly, either by capitalizing on the early bird advantages or end-of-phase opportunities, can also significantly influence the terms of the deal. Lastly, how you handle your deposit, whether through larger upfront payments or flexible payment plans, can greatly impact the negotiation dynamics. By combining these strategies, you can position yourself effectively in negotiations, potentially leading to a more favourable deal that aligns with your investment goals and financial capabilities.

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