How to Negotiate a Price-drop
Haggling isn’t terribly British, but when you’re making a huge purchase like a house, overcoming that queasiness can save you thousands of pounds.
Do your homework
Look at when the property was first listed – if it’s not had much interest and no offers, you’re quite justified in making a low offer. If there’s been lots of viewings and still no offers, find out why and adjust your offer.
Look at other houses
If there are properties of the same standard with higher asking prices, your vendors might be in a hurry. See if they’ll come down another notch. If there are similar properties with lower prices, think about them instead. You need to understand the area’s going rate, as it’s the biggest negotiation tool.
It’s easy to fall for a property and overlook flaws, but they may represent an opportunity to knock off a few grand. Any work that will need doing should come off your offer. You also need to know if there are any big expenses looming, like the boiler, the roof or the double-glazing. If any of these need work in the next two years, factor it in.
Let the vendors know if you can move pretty quickly – chains are just that…
Think about energy
All properties must issue an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and if the place you’re looking at needs to improve its rating you can ask for a reduction to cover some of the expenses.
Go in low
Start off with a low offer (below your actual budget) before you work out whether the vendor is flexible – you can always increase it if necessary. Explain your offer – you’re knocking £6,000 off because the downstairs windows need to be replaced – you’re not giving an arbitrary figure.
Ask for a sweetener
Buying a house is expensive – at least £5,000 in legal fees, surveys and so on – so ask if the vendor could help. Alternatively you could ask them to leave certain appliances or furnishings behind to save you money.
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