Negotiating the purchase of a property can be a challenge, and emotion can often cloud sound financial judgement. Before making an offer consider the following tactics to help you secure the best deal.
Before making an offer
From the beginning, make sure you are in the best position for a purchase…
- Appoint a solicitor
- Get a mortgage offer in place
- Identify your negotiating strengths – if you are a cash buyer, or are chain-free, then these are points in your favour
- Have cash ready in an account to transfer when required, if possible
Communicate these points to the estate agent when placing your bid. Estate agents lose many offers before exchange of contracts so they may not recommend the highest offer to the seller if they don’t believe the offer will advance.
When you first meet the estate agent, provide a lower budget than what you are actually willing to pay, as estate agents tend to show you around homes that are slightly over your limit. This will put you in good stead when it comes to negotiation.
Maintain a close watch of the property market, and in particular, the amount similar properties are going for. Pay attention to how fast properties in the area are selling. If they are selling very slowly and going for below the asking price, then you are in a stronger position to put in a lower bid.
It is useful to understand early on the reason for the seller leaving the property; it may be that there have been lots of issues with the property so offering to take away these maintenance problems will increase the chance of the vendor accepting a lower price.
Making the offer
As with all negotiations, start small. A good rule to remember is to always offer 5% to 10% lower than the asking price. Don’t forget most sellers will take this into account and purposely put their home up for more than they expect to get.
Find properties similar to your desired home that have sold at a lower price. These can work in your favour when negotiating the price. The housing market is imperfect, and there will always be property sale evidence which could help you negotiate a lower deal.
Try and negotiate deductions for any imperfections and highlight these defects early in the offer process. A chartered surveyor can help to identify issues that are not obvious to a non-specialist. Sellers are more likely to agree to a lower price if you have mentioned early on that you are worried about, for example, the mould in the master bedroom.
e.surv Chartered Surveyors
At e.surv Chartered Surveyors, we’ve been helping people buy and sell houses for almost 30 years. We’ve answered just about every question and seen almost every property style.
Today, with our network of over 400 surveyors, we offer residential surveying expertise across the UK, combining national coverage with invaluable local expertise.
To book a survey please contact one of our advisers today.