If you struggle with the idea of negotiating, you’re not alone. While it can be awkward and time-consuming, brushing up on your skills could shave thousands of dollars off your purchase price. Here, Andrew Winter shares the most successful tactics buyer’s agents use to get what they want.
Assuming there's no auction involved and you're dealing with an agent, there are a few ticks of the trade you can apply. My recommended tactic is to be enthusiastic, yet calm. You need to tell an agent, 'We’re serious, we like this house... but we won’t die if we won’t buy it.' If you're too desperate, you're in a really weak position.
Find out why the seller is selling
Try asking the agent at the inspection to confirm why the owner is selling. The owners are in real trouble if the agent lies! It’s even better if you can confirm it in an email.
If the owners have already bought somewhere else, they are in a divorce situation, anything where it’s what I would call a motivated stroke for sale, they need to do the deal. You’re in a stronger position, than somebody that’s just selling up.
Know how long it's been on the market
In city areas something that’s been on the market for four to five weeks is a long time, in rural areas it could be six months - you’ve got to weigh it up compared to your local average. But if it’s been on the market longer than normal you’re also in a good position.
Make sure that your finances are in place so that you are able to tell the owners that you're ready to buy... right now.
Avoiding making two separate offers with different conditions
Be very concise and neat with your first offer. Never obviously putting your best one forward.
If you are in competition then it gets very different, you have to play the game. But as long as you know where your maximum is, so when it reaches that top end of your budget you can walk away.
Silence as a tactic
This can be tricky. You’ve got to know that nobody else is sniffing around that property and that the owners are very keen.
It’s all about knowing their position, because you’ll only get a deal if you’ve got the upper hand. If it is a seller's market and you haven’t got your finances, you’re going to have to pay more than everybody else to get your offer over the line.
Most buyers always do this. Just think about from the seller’s perspective, they want as much as they possibly get, so if you come in with a ridiculous offer, you’re just going to annoy them. If you come in with an educated, quantified figure and with reasoning behind it, they’re going to take it a lot better!
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