Price reductions have been spreading across the property market over the past two years, largely thanks to increases in stamp duty at the top end, and tax hikes for buy-to-let investors. Also, the lending climate in the mainstream mortgage market has generally been tougher.
The average discount on the original asking price of a UK property was over £25,000 in May — up nearly £4,000 compared with January.
But even if a property has already been discounted it would be a mistake to assume it is a steal — it may simply have been overpriced in the first place.
Buyers will naturally want to avoid buying at the top and tumbling into negative equity.
Ten ways to talk down the asking price of a property
1. Do your research on property prices in the area and get hard evidence to back up a discount request.
2. Find out how long the property has been on the market. The longer it has lingered, the more likely a deal.
3. Never admit your true budget to agents — inevitably they will want to push you to its limits.
4. Don’t say you are in a rush to buy — it weakens your position.
5. Really cheeky offers just annoy everyone. Stay within 10-20 per cent of the asking price.
6. You will be more appealing if you are a cash buyer, chain free or have a mortgage in place.
7. Always go for a discount on new build at slow times of the year such as summer holidays and Christmas, when builders like to unload stock in the run-up to their financial year.
8. If you can’t get money off, ask for freebies — for example, if the vendor will throw in carpets, shelving, expensive light fittings, garden furniture etc. With developers, discuss rental guarantees, stamp duty payments, legal fees and furniture pack inclusions.
9. Don’t panic if the agent says there are other keen buyers — it’s probably not true.
10. A poor survey can be a negotiating point. Suggest splitting all the cost of repairs 50/50.