How To Negotiate With An Estate Agent

How To Negotiate With An Estate Agent

You may not want to haggle over price with an estate agent, but you need to be clear about what you want. And price you are willing to pay this will really help in achieving your goal…

The majority of properties sell for between 95% and 98% of their asking price.
The estate agent should ideally handle the negotiations since it can be a sensitive issue. With luck, the estate agent will be experienced and considerate of the needs of both parties – but don't forget that ultimately they do work for the seller.

  • Never look too keen. If the vendor sees how much you are in love with a home, they know you will be willing to pay more and will be reluctant to budge on the price. Be a little hard to get, and make sure they know you have seen a lot of properties.


  • Make sure you have gained enough knowledge and show them you know what you are talking about. Always let it be known that you have viewed plenty of homes and understand the property market in your area and how much the home should be worth. Asking well-informed questions is one way of showing you are not a customer who can be easily conned.


  • It is always best to negotiate in person, not over the phone or by sending an email. This way you can better gauge the estate agents or vendors reaction to what you say and respond accordingly.


  • Stay polite, however stressed or angry you might feel. Aggression won’t get you far at all. In fact, it might just have the opposite affect. Remember that if a seller has two equal offers, they will probably go for the buyers with whom they had a good feeling about.


  • Estate agents are hard-nosed professional negotiators – be prepared for their ruthless bargaining tactics and don't let yourself be bullied. Take what they say with a pinch of salt, and try to look and feel confident.


  • While it is good to play it cool, don't be overly cautious or evasive, especially if you know the seller has received other offers or needs to sell very quickly. Assess your own and the seller's positions and act accordingly – if your position is not that strong, worrying over a relatively small sum of money could lose you your dream home.

·         If the property is priced just beyond your reach, do try a lower offer. The seller just might say yes, especially if you have your financing in place and can move quickly.
Remember that it's easier to increase an offer than reduce it.


If you are offering to the limit of the price you can afford, then say so – but only if it's true. Equally, don't show your hand to the agent and say you are prepared to pay more (if you are) when you make the initial offer – wait for the response to your first one and then up it if necessary.

Be aware that if you make too low an offer the seller could be offended and not give you a second chance. Make what you feel is an appropriate offer – treat the seller with respect and hopefully they will act in the same way.

If your offer is turned down and you are reasonably confident there are no other offers on the table, wait a few days before increasing your offer by 3%-4%. You could also ask for some extra fittings to be included in the price.


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