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POSTED 05 February 2016 General

How to Negotiate House Price

Buying a new home will probably be the most expensive purchase you ever make. While it is unlikely you’ll buy outright, instead getting a mortgage and paying it off over time, getting the best possible price is still going to be desirable as house prices continue to rise.

There are a number of techniques used when negotiating house price that can lower the agreed amount. It may save a few thousand pounds, which considering you are likely to be paying in the hundreds of thousands may not seem much, but it still makes a good difference.

If you want to know how to negotiate house price before making an offer on a porperty then the following steps will help.  

Dealing with estate agents

If you’re looking at houses and buying through an estate agent, always remember that they are working for the seller and will have their best interests in mind.

At the start of your search inform the estate agent that your budget is around £20,000 less than it actually is, which will help in later negotiations as they’re likely to show you homes above that amount.

Don’t make it obvious if you need to buy quickly as this strengthens their house price negotiation position. Instead, say that value is your main focus and if you come across a property you love keep calm, giving away that you want it will let them know you’re willing to pay more. The estate agent will know how to negotiate a price best for the seller.

Doing prior research

Once you’ve found your dream home there are a few key areas to research that will help with negotiating house price when you make an offer. Things to research are:

  • Similar properties: Look at the going rate for similar houses in the area to see if the sellers are asking for too much. If others in the area have gone for cheaper, this is a great negotiation point for a reduced price.
  • House history: Ask how many viewings the house has received or previous offers. None or a low number will be more likely to help you make a lower offer. Check online for any previous listings too, as if they’ve been trying to sell for a while they’re more likely to accept a lower offer. 
  • Energy efficiency: Check the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which all homes must issue and see where there are improvements to be made. The costs for making these can be incorporated into the offered price.

Appeal as a buyer

For a property that has a lot of interest and competition the seller will often go with the buyer who offers the highest amount. A few other factors will be considered that can make you the most appealing option though:
  • No chain: Complications involving waiting to sell your existing home before fully committing will put off sellers. First time buyers benefit by having no lengthy chain to go through which can help in house price negotiation.
  • Demonstrate seriousness: Prove you’re serious about buying even if you aren’t a first time buyer. Show that your existing home is on the market, in the process of being sold or you have a mortgage in principle secured.
  • Be flexible: Where the seller may be part of a chain, waiting to secure their next home, be willing to wait as long as necessary. Don’t imply that you need to move in quickly as this may put them off.

Negotiating house price after a survey

Having a professional inspect the property before making your first offer is vital for successfully negotiating house price after the survey is completed. This could bring up certain areas that need improvement and provide great bargaining points where extra work needs doing.

The money spent on organising a professional to conduct a survey can save you thousands, or if it brings up many faults put you off buying. You then need to be aware of how to negotiate the house price after the survey using these points to reduce the price.

Making a well calculated offer

Use all the results of your research, surveys and any other information to make a well calculated first offer. Always start a lot lower than you’re willing to pay and the seller is asking. Provide all the evidence for your offer and if they refuse it at least when you up the offer it will still be within budget.

If they are unwilling to budge on their listed price at all ask for cover of extras such as the survey, valuation, legal and other fees. These should all make negotiating house price a successful operation