Are you hoping to get your next property for a bargain? Here’s our top tips for house haggling.

Updated 23 July 2023

With interest rates climbing in the past year, every penny you save on a property you purchase will stand you in good stead. Now is a good time to negotiate, according to Zoopla. The property website recently said there has been a rise in sellers accepting offers at more than 5% below the asking price. It went on to say that the UK housing market is seeing increased supply and more discounts than at any time during the past five years. So you could say it’s a buyer’s market. But how comfortable are you with negotiating? Here’s how to negotiate on a property purchase…

Know the prices in the area

How does the property you have in mind compare to other similar homes in the area? Keep an eye on the market so that you know whether or not it’s overpriced. Visit Rightmove or Zoopla for information on current house prices. Both sites will also show what the last sale price was for the property you have in mind.

Get the estate agent on your side

Make sure they know your situation – especially if you aren’t part of a big chain – and ensure they understand you have a mortgage offer agreed. Put your offer in writing (pointing out that it is subject to the valuation being consistent with your offer) and show that you mean business but don’t appear too keen. If you are first-time buyer be sure to let the agent know.

Make a realistic offer

If you are going to offer below the asking price then make it a fair offer. Research from Clear Score previously showed that 22% of vendors would take an offer 5% below the asking price if the buyer wasn’t part of a property chain.

Be specific if you have to keep negotiating

If your first offer is turned down, make a second offer but be specific – offering £304,550 rather than £305,000 is a good idea as this may indicate that you have a maximum limit on what you can borrow. Some vendors will agree to this rather than risk losing you.

Say why you’re negotiating

If you are negotiating to try and get a lower price rather than offering the asking price, say why you are doing it. Maybe the house you have in mind needs repairs that you will have to pay for when you move in, or perhaps it has an old boiler that could need replacing soon.

Play to your strengths

If you are in a strong position, i.e. you have a mortgage offer confirmed and you aren’t part of a chain, let the vendor know. If the vendor is keen to move quickly and you’re renting for instance, this puts you in a strong position.

Show that you’re serious

Make sure the vendor knows that you are keen to move forward and not just putting in a vague offer while viewing other properties. You can explain your current situation and explain that you’re keen to move quickly. You could even suggest a potential timeline for moving.

Ask about white goods

If you can’t get the house price down, you might be able to save money by asking your vendor to include white goods within the sale price. This can save first-time buyers a lot of money.

more news