How to Bargain on a New Home: Best Tactics for Real Estate Negotiations

We Brits are a reserved bunch. Our default position is to keep our heads down and avoid making a fuss.

Therefore, when negotiating the price of a property, bargaining may be a little uncomfortable.

However, given the money involved and because our home is likely to be our most expensive possession, we shouldn’t back away from haggling to get the best deal. It’s all about tactics…

High Risk: Given the money involved and because our home is likely to be our most expensive possession, we shouldn't be holding back to haggle to get the best deal.

High Risk: Given the money involved and because our home is likely to be our most expensive possession, we shouldn’t be holding back to haggle to get the best deal.

Do your own research

Read about similar properties in the area and find out their selling price so you get an accurate comparison and a realistic reference number.

“Use property sites like Rightmove, they are a goldmine of understanding How much is the property worth? By looking at what’s sold near you.

“They will also tell you how much the seller bought the property for,” says Jonathan Bone, principal mortgage adviser at online broker Better.co.uk.

“Decide the maximum amount you are willing to pay for the property and begin negotiations by proposing a price that is below your budget.”

If your offer is rejected, politely point out any problems or repairs the home may need when you bid higher, to help the seller understand why your first offer was lower.

If your potential new home needs some repairs or maintenance, a survey can help you negotiate a price.

But be careful not to over-offer as this may upset the seller and risk your credibility with the real estate agent.

Instead, rely on research to make your case, adds Cliff Gardiner, head of sales at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices London.

“Ask your real estate agent about any similar sales they’ve had in the past six months. The market a year ago was different than it is today. Historical sales dating back a year or 18 months ago are largely irrelevant.

Ask the right questions

Before you get into the bargain, write down your non-negotiables so you have a clear list of what you won’t budge on and the areas you’re happy to offer less.

“If you can make some concessions on less important factors, this will build some goodwill with the seller,” advises Alex Oliver, director of buying agency Prime Buy.

Targeted questions will also help you plan your negotiation strategy, adds Jerome Lartaud, co-founder and director of property buying agency Domus Holmes Property Finder.

Don't reveal your budget, as the seller or agent will always try to push it to the limit

Don’t reveal your budget, as the seller or agent will always try to push it to the limit

This may include asking the seller’s reasons for selling, relocation plans, and number of viewings or offers made.

“Realizing that not all sellers have the same reasons or level of motivation to sell highlights the need for a personalized approach when negotiating.

“For example, a family moving to a new area or sellers who haven’t found their next purchase may be open to flexibility regarding timelines.

“Offering some elements of flexibility, such as delaying completion, can enhance the appeal and thoughtfulness of your offer.”

Be calm and flexible

There is often a difference between the value of the property and its selling price. So, don’t reveal your budget because the seller or agent will always try to push it to the limit. And be conservative – if you are visibly too keen, it will reveal that you are willing to pay more.

Staying silent in the middle of a conversation can be very powerful

‘Silence is golden. Staying silent in the middle of a conversation can be very powerful.

“Many real estate agents are people pleasers, often filling uncomfortable silences by over-sharing information or making concessions,” says Edward Heaton, founder of Heaton & Partners.

“The occasional suggestion that you’re looking at other properties in the area may make it more likely that the seller will accept your bargain offer for fear of losing the sale,” adds Terry Fisher of We Buy Any Home.

Timing is everything

Find out how long the property has been on the market – if it’s been a long time, there’s a good chance the seller will want a quick sale, giving you room to bargain.

“The timeline is a big one in the current market where transaction times are already long,” says Philip Daigle, area director at Gascoigne Hallman Estate Agency.

“If the property is attracting a lot of interest but you can complete the deal quickly, state a suggested timeline in your offer. This could mean you stand out from the competition.

usually, More time the property spends on the marketThe more likely the seller is to accept lower offers.

Jonathan Boon adds that this should also make you cautious before rushing.

“If the drug has been available for more than two months, there may be a reason.

“Issues such as noisy roads, poor transport links, or noisy neighbors may be contributing factors, so it is important to conduct research to determine whether settling on a lower-priced property is a worthwhile trade-off given its potential disadvantages.”

Play to your strengths

Determine what makes you an attractive buyer and then use it to your advantage when you start bargaining.

“You may get away with your offer if you find a seller who needs to move quickly and you position yourself as an attractive buyer, backed by a good lawyer,” says Jason Corbett of Rowallan Buying Agents.

It may be the case that you don’t have any chain – so you don’t have to wait to sell your property to buy theirs. Cash buyers are also more attractive than others, as you can move faster. Likewise, having a mortgage agreement in principle and a deposit will stand you in good stead.

And look the part too. Presenting yourself as a confident and reliable buyer can help you bargain down the price of the home.

Showing flexibility in moving dates is worth a lot to the seller, says Jonathan Rowland of the National Association of Real Estate Buyers. It also shows that you are cool and professional.

‘Don’t get caught up in small issues. Many offers fail because the buyer and seller can’t agree on the price of carpets and curtains – don’t sweat the small stuff.’

(tags for translation) Daily Mail

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