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How to be a confident negotiator when buying a house

Posted by Matt Munns on February 23, 2017
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You’ve found it. The one. The house you see yourself living in for the next chapter of your life. You’ve seen the property inside and out, now it just comes down to making an offer. Do you swoop in with a high price to beat off any competition and secure a deal, or do you lowball and risk rejection? At iSell we have a few tricks up our sleeves when it comes to the fine art of negotiation.

Know the market

Nothing will get you the best hand at the negotiating table than knowing the local property market. If you only know the value of the property you want to buy, you’ll have no bargaining power. Look at the surrounding areas and similarly sized properties to get an idea how much they’re going for. Do they need renovations, are the new builds? There are a lot of variables when it comes to house condition but generally number of bedrooms, location to local amenities and ‘extras’ like a garden and allocated parking will all have an influence on house price.

Decide on a budget – and stick to it

Everyone loves a good deal, but it is easy to get carried away if you find a property that you love. The fact is you have to draw the line somewhere, and standing firm can be an advantage. You have to go in to a negotiation knowing your budget and your walkaway terms (compromises that you cannot ignore or buy into). Often buyers offer 5-10% less than an asking price, and sellers may very well counter this by inflating the asking price. Know your numbers and what the ‘final’ price is.

Appear serious

Not looking serious – but showing a seller you’re serious as a buyer. You’re more attractive as a first time buyer or someone without a chain. The way people who are selling houses can get around this is buy putting their property on the market, showing the seller they’re completely on board with getting things moving. Having an Agreement in Principle or Decision in Principle from a mortgage lender is also useful for a buyer. This is reassuring for both parties and can be mutually beneficial when it comes to bidding.

Survey the property

Employing a licensed surveyor to look over the property may save you thousands in a negotiation if anything does turn out to be wrong with the house. Basic surveys lack advice or valuation – the one you’ll want is a HomeBuyer Report. Here the surveyor will check for things like damp or structural damage, or if any repairs need to be made the property. Beyond this there’s a full Structural Survey that is best used for older or period properties.

At iSell, we are there to help you every step of the way, taking the stress out of negotiation with our friendly team of dedicated experts.

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