Found a property you’d love to buy, but wish it was priced a little cheaper? Negotiating the price down could be an option.
While haggling isn’t something we’re used to in the Western world, it is something that is still expected with expensive assets like cars, holiday packages and houses. In other words, most buyers are likely to have a little wriggle room.
Of course, trying to barter the price right off the bat is not the way to do it. You need to take your time to assess the situation and then make your offer. Below are just a few tips on how to do this.
Get to know the seller and their intentions
Getting to know the seller and their intentions can help you to work out if there’s room to negotiate. This can be done by talking to the seller directly or by talking to the agent if the seller is not available to talk to.
If a seller is looking for a quick sale or has had the property on the market for a while, they may be more willing to bring the price down. A seller that is downsizing may also be willing to knock down the price.
A seller that is parting with a beloved family home or looking to upsize may be less willing to negotiate the price. Similarly, if they’ve had a lot of interest or are in no rush to sell, it could be a bad sign.
Look into other property prices in the area
It’s worth looking into other property prices in the area. Are they all a lot cheaper? If so the property is probably overpriced – and there could be room to negotiate.
This is something you can bring up with an agent as a potential motive for wanting a cheaper price. Again, don’t bring this up immediately.
Show that you’re keen and that you love the property
A seller is more likely to sell to someone that is enthusiastic about the property – especially when selling a beloved family home.
When viewing a property that seems promising, try to reserve negative judgements if the seller is present. If the previous occupant is present, you may even want to refrain from suggesting future home improvements. Comment instead on the existing features that you love.
When it comes to sellers looking for a quick sale, try to show that you’re keen to move things along. Buying while chain-free can sometimes be a great way of proving this (this is when you sell your old home before starting the buying process).
Get the agent on your side
The agent is likely to be on the buyer’s side – the more they can sell the property for, the more commission they can make. However, being keen could also win them over (especially when dealing with a property that has been on the market a while).
Agents also like a buyer that is organised. This could include already hiring a solicitor and getting a mortgage application started so that there are no delays.
Know how to ask – and how much to ask
Once you’ve viewed the property, gotten to know the seller and researched other property prices in the area, prepare to make your offer. If the seller is keen to make a sale, you may be able to ask for 10% off the price. With a more stubborn seller, ask for no more than 5% off.
If you’re using an agent, make sure to negotiate through them. Express your enthusiasm, but let them know that it’s just out your budget and you’d love it if they could bring it down a little. The seller may want to meet halfway, which is still a good sign as you can knock some of the price off. If they flat-out reject, don’t despair – if you then walk away, they may come around (although this can be risky if other buyers are interested, so be cautious). Never be too forceful, as this could make sellers defensive.