It’s a haggler’s market: As house prices stall, the climate is ripe for negotiating your dream home… at a bargain price

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  • The real estate market can cool down, so this is the perfect time to negotiate.
  • Research shows that one in ten home sellers lowers their price within 30 days.
  • We explain how to bargain when buying a property without offending the seller

No one is suggesting that buying a house or apartment is like buying a carpet from a Moroccan bazaar.

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But bargaining is now perfectly normal in both cases, especially as the real estate market continues to cool.

After all, one in ten home sellers lower their asking price within 30 days of going on the market to increase their chances of attracting a buyer, according to new research from the Home Buyers Bureau, a real estate buying firm.

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Buyer’s Market: One in 10 home sellers lowers their asking price within 30 days of going to market to increase the likelihood of attracting a buyer.

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The climate is clearly ripe for bargaining.

So, what is the best way to negotiate the purchase of your dream home? We asked the experts…

Should I make a very low offer?

Doing this for no apparent reason can ruin the relationship. So do your research weighing the condition of the property, the local market and potential demand.

Any small imperfections will give you some wiggle room – “I would say this is one of the most important things a home hunter can do, especially as a first step in the negotiation process,” says Simon Bath of real estate company iPlace Global .

If it then becomes clear that the price of real estate is too high, do not be afraid to make lower offers, recommends Jonathan Roland of the National Association of Home Buyers.

However, he advises avoiding too low prices, as you will annoy the seller and lose confidence.

“Remember that what you offer should not be based on the asking price, but on what you have estimated as the true cost, and then offer below that.”

What makes me an attractive trader?

“Cash is everything,” says Thomas Goodman of MyJobQuote. “Cash buyers represent the safest option for sellers as there is no chain.

If you can’t buy a property entirely with cash, try to get as close to being a cash buyer as possible.”

Otherwise, making it clear that you’ve set up a mortgage helps bargain. “Compose your budget, match all the paperwork you need, and be realistic about what you can achieve,” says Jon Jones, director of residential real estate at law firm Jackson Lees.

Can a real estate agent be trusted?

The real estate agent works for the seller, not for you. They are paid when real estate is sold.

And the higher the price, the greater their fee. “A real estate agent has no right to lie, but they may have an overwhelming need to make the highest and fastest bid as soon as possible.

“So no, don’t trust them – trust yourself,” says Jason Corbett of Rowallan Buying Agents.

Instead, says Jonathan Hopper, CEO of Garrington Property Finders, if you’re going to bargain, ask them if there were other offers.

“They should tell you if that’s the case, although not the amount, but it’s worth asking for numbers just in case.”

And consider using a purchasing agent to work with a sales agent, adds Hopper.

“Their efforts can often bring the price down significantly, which more than covers their fee.”

Can I bargain for fittings and fittings?

Fixings – that is, what is attached to the wall – must be included. Fittings such as furniture are open to negotiation.

“You could say I’ll pay you this if you turn it on,” says Corbett. It can also help you know where the seller is heading.

For example, if they’re moving from home to apartment or emigrating, ask if they’ll leave their garden furniture and tools behind—buying new ones is expensive.

Should I disclose my budget?

Never, ever state the maximum amount you are willing to pay a seller or agent.

“Agents like buyers who say, ‘I’ll offer £90,000 but if I have to, I’ll take £100,000’,” says Roland. “They work for the seller and are required by law to report all offers, so be careful what you say.”

Mentioning in conversation that you’re looking at a different property can also help move things forward.

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