Anyone about to start property hunting dreams of striking a hard bargain and getting thousands knocked off the asking price. But, when push comes to shove, how do you actually turn the dream into reality?
Recent figures from property research company Hometrack show that buyers, on average, negotiated a discount of £10,822 last year. As that’s just the average, and with the market slow and sticky in many parts of the country at the moment, especially the South and South West, it should be possible to get even more off with the right tactics.
Here are ten top negotiating tips to help you get the home of your dreams at – hopefully! – a decent discount to the asking price:
- Do your research
Check how much similar properties nearby recently sold for. If they’re nowhere near the price you’re being asked to pay you can use this as a negotiating weapon for why you shouldn’t pay the asking price.
2. Don’t reveal your hand
You don’t have to tell the agent the maximum you can afford to pay. You might suddenly find that, once negotiations start, you’re told the seller ‘coincidentally’ wants around your maximum.
3. Keep cool
It could be a mistake to wander around on a viewing saying how much you love the place and simply must secure it. This will be passed on to the seller by the agent and could lead them to think you’re willing to pay more than you are.
4. The 5% to 10% rule
If a market is hot, and you can see that similar homes are flying off the shelf, you might have no choice but to go in at the asking price. If things are a bit cooler, or very slow indeed, you should think about starting around 5% to 10% lower.
5. Second viewings
Many homes need a bit of work, even if it’s just one or two new carpets and a cracked tile or two replacing. Make a note of any such ‘negatives’ on a detailed second viewing and use them in your negotiating arguments.
6. Price reductions
If a property has had its price reduced, it’s a clear sign it was over-priced and the seller might take a much lower offer. It might also indicate there are major problems with it, so tread carefully and ask lots of questions before agreeing a price. Remember, you can always renegotiate if the survey highlights any issues.
7. Can you act quickly?
It’s best to line all your ducks up as it makes you more attractive as a buyer; be able to show you have the deposit and a mortgage all teed up, as well as a solicitor. If you’re in a chain, get evidence the buyer of your home is ready to proceed.
8. Sellers nearly always start higher
In most cases, sellers expect to have to shave something off the price, so they often put the house on the market for more than they think it’s actually worth. Bear this in mind when you start bidding – remember, you can go up, but you can’t come down.
9. Stay polite and calm
It’s amazing how both sellers and buyers can become really entrenched over just a few hundred pounds. Stay calm and be polite, no matter how irrational others might seem – remember that a full-blown argument could mean you end up losing a home over what amounts to peanuts over the life of a mortgage.
10. New-build homes
If you’re buying a new-build, it’s a bit different. Building companies nearly always over-inflate the prices of new homes, especially when they first bring them to market.
Having said that, they can sometimes price low to get the first properties away to give the impression a development is selling well, so do you research very closely.
If a new-build on a recent development has been on the market for a while, and others around it aren’t selling either, think about going in even at 15% to 20% below asking and start from there.
Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us.
Published 25th June 2019