16 October 2019

8 tips for negotiating with selling agents

Adrian Atelj
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Negotiating price with a selling agent can be very intimidating for buyers. After all, they are the professionals – what do you know compared to them?

The good news is there are some simple things you can do to improve your chances of getting the best outcome from a negotiation. Here, we have put together our best 8 tips to help you come out on top.

1. Be prepared Before entering into a negotiation, it’s worth preparing. This means researching, brainstorming, mentally preparing and planning the steps you will take, as much as possible. This will give you the skills and confidence you need to succeed in buying your property.

1. Know what you want If you are unsure about what you want from a negotiation, it’s easy to get knocked off course.

“Clearly identifying what you want, not just in relation to price but also selling terms, will help you stay on track,” said homes.com.au Founder & Managing Director, Pat Carbone.

1. Get your finances in order Getting pre-approval for your home loan will put you in a strong negotiating position. It will mean you are ready to take the next step right away if everything falls into place.
However, this does not mean rushing your buying decision. Being ready can give you leverage, but it also means you have the flexibility to say ‘no’ if the negotiation does not go your way.

1. Know the market Having good knowledge of market conditions and property values will give you credibility when negotiating with an agent. Spend some time watching the market to understand when prices increase, decrease or stabilise, and why. You will then be equipped to use this knowledge to your advantage.

1. Identify the property’s drawbacks Brainstorming a list of the negative aspects of the property before the negotiation will allow you to use them to your advantage. Is there an issue with the property’s interiors or exteriors that the seller is underplaying? Is there something about the home that you are willing to accept but other buyers might not?

1. Understand the seller To make ground in a negotiation, it helps to understand the seller. Always ask the agent why they are selling. If you can find out the seller’s motivation, you can potentially offer favourable terms to sweeten the deal. For example, if you know the seller has bought elsewhere, then offering a shorter settlement in exchange for a slightly lower price might work in your favour.

1. Be willing to walk away When negotiating, you should always be willing to walk away. If you are not prepared to do this, you cannot negotiate from a strong position and you are at risk of settling for an outcome that falls short of your goals.

1. Get support from a buyer’s agent The advice of a quality buyer’s agent can be invaluable when buying. You might be unaware that some buyer’s agents offer a negotiation-only service. They don’t find the property for you, they simply do the negotiating with the selling agent for a fee. Buyer’s agents are experienced negotiators who can take this stress off your shoulders if you’d like their help.

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