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Topic: Negotiating house prices  (Read 2901 times)

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  • Britannicaine
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Negotiating house prices
« on: March 21, 2018, 12:18:39 PM »
I am TERRIBLE at bargaining. I hate doing it. I want the price to be the price, and I'll either pay it or I won't. Trying to decide where to start with bargaining stresses me out immensely. Please help!

My husband and I are considering putting an offer on a house. The listing says "Offers over 175,000". I've read that "offers over" is just the estate agent's way of trying to push prices up. Is that true? We would ideally like to pay 175,000 or less. Would 170,000 be too low as a starting offer?

I hate this so much. Advice, anyone, please??!! 
On s'envolera du même quai
Les yeux dans les mêmes reflets,
Pour cette vie et celle d'après
Tu seras mon unique projet.

Je t'aimais, je t'aime, et je t'aimerai.

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Re: Negotiating house prices
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2018, 12:25:23 PM »
Oooo, exciting!

Lots to consider.

First and foremost - buying a home is a very emotional purchase.  And you know what?  It needs to be.   :)   The biggest question to ask is at what price are you willing to max out at?  Will you be shattered if you do not get the house?  Has it taken a long time to find a house that you like as much as this?  All things that are very important. 

I know the process is slightly different in Scotland, but I'll give my England experience.

Estate agents....  <sigh>.  It's so hard to know when they are lying and when they are being honest.  Keep that in mind.  They will likely tell you that lots of people are interested, etc., to create a false sense of urgency.  Granted... there could be a lot of people interested!

Okay, real questions:

How long has the house been listed for?
Have they had any price reductions?
Have any other properties nearby sold recently?  If so, what did they sell for?
Is there anything that needs "doing" to the property?  This can be anything from a new roof and windows to ugly carpeting. 

Questions to ask yourself but you don't need to disclose to me for privacy:
What is your financial position?  Are you already approved in principle for a mortgage or a cash buyer?  Are you putting down a solid down payment?  These are all parts of the offer that can make you appeal more to the seller.

To answer your question, I think offering £170k for a £175k house is quite generous!  BUT, it all goes back to that first paragraph of questions.  It should be a solid offer that they would be unlikely to turn down!

Exciting times!


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Re: Negotiating house prices
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2018, 01:05:38 PM »
The house hasn't been listed for long, and so no price reductions. Flats in the building next to it have gone for 155,000 to 175,000 with the last one selling about 2 years ago. This is technically a glorified flat, it's a bit hard to explain but it's a tiny one bed cottage separated from the street by the building with the flats. It's in good shape, recently renovated, but there's an open wall in the cellar that will probably need to be dealt with. Also, it's Grade II listed, so that will affect what can be done to it.

We had no plans to buy anything until we saw it, so we haven't spoken to a mortgage adviser yet. This has all been very spur-of-the-moment, which I know isn't the best thing for buying property, but we just never seriously considered that it might be possible. We think this place is our best chance of buying.

Do you really think that 5,000 below the asking price is too low to start?? I am sooo out of my depth with this sort of thing.
On s'envolera du même quai
Les yeux dans les mêmes reflets,
Pour cette vie et celle d'après
Tu seras mon unique projet.

Je t'aimais, je t'aime, et je t'aimerai.

--Francis Cabrel


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Re: Negotiating house prices
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2018, 01:11:58 PM »
Do you really think that 5,000 below the asking price is too low to start??

It's about 2.5% off the list price, so quite generous.  But I'm not going to say it's too high, as negotiating a house is dicey.  It's emotional on both sides.

One question is where would you want to end.  I'd go below that enough so that if you "split the difference" with the seller, you land where you want.

So if you want to not go higher than £170k, I'd go in at £165k.  As the seller will likely come back to you (at least) once asking you to improve the offer.

Have you had a look on Zoopla to see what they estimate the value at?  You need to use a big grain of salt with it, but it can help.

https://www.zoopla.co.uk/


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Re: Negotiating house prices
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2018, 01:14:10 PM »
All the things KFDANCER said are good and I might repeat some of it.

Don't underestimate how Important other things can be than the total offer.  If you have a mortgage all ready to go and don't have to sell another house, you have a massively strong position compared to someone who still has to sell their house.  If you don't have a chain, you may win a bidding war with a lower offer. 

You shouldn't just pick 170 because it's 5 less than what they want, you should know if the house is genuinely worth that.  You can use property websites to see what other houses on the street have sold for. If they are trying to sell for a higher price than any house has ever achieved on the street, you can call them out on that.
Don't be afraid of the cheeky offer, you never know what is happening with the seller, they may be so desperate for money they will take it. You can always offer more if turned down. 


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Re: Negotiating house prices
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2018, 01:18:10 PM »
Another common ploy is to make a high enough offer to see off the other punters and then get a survey done that will inevitably list some bits that need work.  Then you negotiate the price down because of the work that needs doing. You'll be in a much better position once the alternative for the seller is to start all over again.


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Re: Negotiating house prices
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2018, 01:23:40 PM »
You might want to find out more about the relationship with the flats in the building and your place? Do you have to pay a service fee to cover maintenance in their building?  For example, if the communal roof needs replacing, do you have to pay?  If your roof needs replacing can everyone else vote no?


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Re: Negotiating house prices
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2018, 01:25:11 PM »
I know very little about building, but grade 2 listed sounds like a major red flag


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Re: Negotiating house prices
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2018, 01:25:55 PM »
I know very little about building, but grade 2 listed sounds like a major red flag

Makes me nervous too!  I know you end up with very little say-so about what happens with your house and the work you can do to it!


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Re: Negotiating house prices
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2018, 01:31:57 PM »
Just read that you don't have a mortgage approved, that's going to be your first serious hurdle.  Call John Charcol for an emergency meeting.

I'd also suggest that you find a solicitor and ask him any questions about leasehold / freehold and grade 2 listing.  They should be amenable to answering questions for the possibility of future business and will answer with your interests at heart.


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Re: Negotiating house prices
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2018, 01:34:11 PM »
Don't forget that the estate agent is not your friend and works for the seller.  They do not have your best interests at heart.


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Re: Negotiating house prices
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2018, 01:43:11 PM »
Reminds me of when we sold our flat and had accepted an offer.  Without our knowledge, the estate agents kept trying to sell it and got an offer £10,000 higher and then called the first people and made them match it.  I felt horrible because we had accepted the first offer and that's a dick move.  I struggled with actually making the agent go back to the original offer but after talking with some British people they convinced me that this kind of thing is part of the process and there's no rules or honour.  I would likely be screwed out of an equal amount when buying, so I should just let it pass.


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Re: Negotiating house prices
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2018, 01:51:36 PM »
Reminds me of when we sold our flat and had accepted an offer.  Without our knowledge, the estate agents kept trying to sell it and got an offer £10,000 higher and then called the first people and made them match it.  I felt horrible because we had accepted the first offer and that's a dick move.  I struggled with actually making the agent go back to the original offer but after talking with some British people they convinced me that this kind of thing is part of the process and there's no rules or honour.  I would likely be screwed out of an equal amount when buying, so I should just let it pass.

When we bought the house we are in now (about 2.5 years ago), we were one of 5 full price offers after the first weekend of viewings.

On the Monday, the seller asked for everyone's best and final offer.  I was sooooo hesistant.  I said that we would submit, but that we were NOT playing games.  Our BAFO would be our BAFO and they were NOT to ask us to improve it.  We decided to go in £7,500 over ask.  We knew it was still a very reasonable price for the area.  The house needed significant (cosmetic) work but we would still have the funds to do it.

I was VERY happy when the seller went with our offer.  We had no chain which is what clenched it for us.

On the day of completion, we met with the seller at the home to have a handover (showing us how to work the weird appliances and such in the house).  She said that another buyer came back after they were told they accepted our offer with a MUCH higher offer.  She said "Absolutely not.  We asked for best and final.  They had that opportunity."  We still count ourselves very lucky!  It's nice to have a seller with morals.  It's done so much here, it has a name!  Gazumping. 


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Re: Negotiating house prices
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2018, 01:53:55 PM »
I know very little about building, but grade 2 listed sounds like a major red flag

Makes me nervous too!  I know you end up with very little say-so about what happens with your house and the work you can do to it!

I would run a mile from a listed building.  Ours is not listed but it’s in a conservation area and that in itself is limiting enough.

And when work has to be done, it’s going to be off the charts expensive becuase everything has to be in keeping with the property.
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.


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Negotiating house prices
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2018, 02:01:19 PM »
I would run a mile from a listed building.  Ours is not listed but it’s in a conservation area and that in itself is limiting enough.

And when work has to be done, it’s going to be off the charts expensive becuase everything has to be in keeping with the property.

I rented a basement flat in a grade II listed building once - it was in a terrace of old houses which had been split into flats, but they weren’t allowed to get rid of the staircase... so they just blocked off the top of the stairs and we ended up with a staircase that went nowhere!


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