You’ve found the property you want to buy, but now you need to get it for the right price.
Haggling on the property price can be tricky. Some sellers will be happy to negotiate, whereas others may be determined not to drop below the asking price, so it’s not always easy to know how far you can push it.
Here are our top tips to help you buy a property at the best possible price:
• Don’t give away your budget.
If an estate agent asks how much you’ve got to spend, don’t tell them your maximum, as this will be the amount they’ll then want you to pay. Give a lower estimate, so that they won’t think you can afford more.
• Keep your cool when looking round.
You might have found the property of your dreams, but try not to be too over-enthusiastic when you’re being shown round, as the agent will then know you really want it. Stay calm and don’t give too much away.
• Find out how long the property’s been up for sale.
Ask the agent whether the property is new to the market, or if it’s been up for sale for a while. If it’s been on their books for several months, this could put you in a stronger negotiating position, as the seller may be willing to accept a lower price to speed things along.
• Do your research.
Before making an offer, check what similar properties in the area have gone for. This can help you decide whether the offer you are considering putting in is realistic, or if it’s too much or too little.
• Don’t be unrealistic.
While most sellers might anticipate offers for 5%-10% less than the property value, putting in a ‘silly’ offer for much less than this could work against you by annoying the seller.
• Sell yourself.
When putting in an offer for less than the asking price, let the agent know why the seller might want to go with your offer rather than someone else’s. For example, are you chain-free, a cash buyer, or already have a mortgage in place? If any of these apply to you, it may persuade the seller to accept your offer because you’ll be able to proceed more quickly than other prospective buyers.
• Remember you may still be able to negotiate once your offer is accepted.
If you’ve ended up offering more than you’d like to have paid, remember that the survey could give you another opportunity to negotiate a lower price. If, for example, the survey highlights the fact the property needs lots of repairs, you may be able to reduce your offer to reflect the cost of the necessary work.