How to negotiate house asking prices like a pro

Do your research before viewing

Before viewing any properties, do your research into the local housing market to give yourself an accurate idea of what prices are like for the area. This includes looking at how much houses actually sold for compared to the asking price which indicate how much of a reduction people are willing to take, a very handy piece of information when it comes to making your own offer.

Once you’ve booked a viewing, take a look on online property websites such as Zoopla and Rightmove to see how much the current owners paid for the property. If they bought it 10 years ago, they’re likely to have made quite a bit of money on it while benefitting from a small mortgage. This could mean they can be more flexible on what they’re willing to accept. If the property was only purchased recently, the reverse may be true, and they may need to get as much from the sale as possible.

Ask questions during the viewing

So, you’ve arrived at the property and it’s everything you’ve dreamed of. Use the viewing to ask the estate agent about the vendor’s situation, their reasons for moving, how long the property has been on the market, do they need to move quickly etc. If you find they have got a new job out of town, for instance, they may need a quick sale in order to have moved and settled in another area before their start date. Whereas if the sellers are a retired couple simply looking to move to a quieter area, they may be more willing to hang around for better offers. Don’t be afraid to ask directly how much they are willing to accept.

This is also a good time to show off your advantageous situation. For example, if you’re a first time buyer, the success of the sale won’t be dependant on your chain, which makes for a more certain situation, not least in terms of finance. Often, people get attached to their homes so make sure to tug on the heart strings of the seller by complimenting the decor or commenting on what a great family home it is.

Making the offer

Before calling the estate agent to make your offer, combine everything you have learned about the property market, the house itself and the owners’ situation to give you a realistic first bid. It’s also a good idea to set yourself a top limit for what you would be happy to pay.

When making that initial offer, start low. Sellers expect a first offer to be under the asking price and don’t be afraid to be a little cheeky – after all, if you don’t ask you don’t get. If this is turned down, ask for a counteroffer and then go back with a figure somewhere between that price and your first bid. Don’t use a round number but something specific, such as £259,450, as this suggests you’re at your maximum mortgage limit and can’t go any higher. This is also the time to add other things into the mix, such as white goods and other appliances, which could help sweeten the deal.

If the seller still doesn’t accept your offer and you are willing to pay more, make another bid but make it clear that the price you state now is the final price. You may have to be prepared to walk away if the seller still doesn’t budge. If the seller comes back to you in the next few days or even weeks, remember that the tables have now turned and they are trying to sell to you, rather than you buying from them, so be confident in the following negotiations.

The experienced estate agents at Chimneypots are highly skilled at negotiation and ensure the very best price for buyers and sellers alike. So, if you’re looking to sell your property or are searching for that dream home in Hampshire and Dorset, get in touch today on 01489 584298 to discuss your needs.

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