The biggest purchase most people ever make is buying a house. If you find a dream home for you and your family, it’s tempting to accept that you’re going to be spending a large sum and get on with it – even though you make significant savings by opening a dialogue with the seller.
It’s always worth looking into ways you can bring the price of a house down with offers and counter offers; if you’re willing to be open and negotiate with the agency selling a house, chances are they’ll be willing to be a bit flexible on its price. Below are a few negotiating tips to help you pay less for your next home:
1. Do your research
Look into what other houses have sold for in the area and understand the national housing market – that way you can kick off the whole process of looking for a new home with a realistic budget in mind and a clear idea of what you’re expecting for your money.
2. Always undercut the asking price
Obviously, offers that are too low will be dismissed out of hand – but there’s no reason not to try your luck: you can always push the price up if you get a ‘no’ and you may very well receive a counter-offer to compromise. Almost every house that goes on the market will have an optimistic price tag – it gives the seller room to negotiate. Chances are they’re prepared not to get the amount they initially ask for.
3. Get a discount for defects
After you and your surveyor have inspected the property, you need to reconsider the offer you’ve made – you don’t want to have to pay twice for old drains to faulty wiring. Ask about the structural integrity of the house and make sure you know about any problems – a seller is obliged by law to tell you if they’re aware of something that’ll affect your living conditions should you buy. So: is there any significant damage to the house? Will you need to renovate it to make it habitable, or will you want to change its outlay?
Take these costs into consideration and try to get the price lowered accordingly by submitting an itinerary of the work that needs doing with your offer. Also, look into what fittings are coming with the house – if they’re contributing to the house’s cost and you’re just going to be replacing them, ask for their worth to be deducted from the asking price.
4. Keep communicating
Don’t let the dialogue break down between you and the seller – you don’t want them to think you’re not serious about the property. Check in, make sure offers are always being exchanged and considered and, most importantly, try and build up a rapport – they’re much more likely to sell you their property at a good price if they feel they know you.
5. But – keep calm
Don’t be too enthusiastic to settle the deal. If you let on that you’re in a hurry to buy or reveal the real scale of your budget, the seller could use either as leverage to jack up the price. Likewise, the agent will exploit it if they know you’re in love with the house – so act like you’re prepared to walk away, that you have other houses you’re considering and that you’re not emotionally attached – even if you’re head-over-heels with a property.