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A buyer's guide to negotiating house prices

Buying or selling a house is one of the most stressful events in a person's life - and that's before price negotiations come into play. How can you be sure that you're getting the best deal? This article will take a closer look at the art of negotiating better house prices, with the emphasis placed on the buyer's perspective.

How to haggle

When it comes to negotiating house prices, haggling is something that not everyone is comfortable with, especially if the other party is more confident and assured. Rest assured; the truth is, most properties are sold for around 95% of the original asking price. Even better, for the most part, estate agents not only act as advisors in the deal, but also intermediaries that can handle the situation if things get tough! Don't place your complete trust in them, however, as the seller is their primary concern.

As a buyer, if you're looking to buy a house that's slightly above your price range, try making an offer anyway. It's a good opening gambit for anyone that has reason for hesitation - remember, it's much easier to improve an offer than reduce it! If your credentials are solid and you already have a financial plan in place, the seller may approve your offer, just for the sake of ease!

Keep in mind that a significantly low offer may be considered derisory and you may not get a second chance to increase your bid. Keep a fair figure in mind and respect the seller - after all, we will all be in that position one day!

If your offer is rejected, don't panic. Wait a few days and then increase your bid - with the stipulation that a few extra fittings are to be included in the price. Be careful that another bidder doesn't gazump you while you're waiting, however!

Extras

Extra details such as fixtures and fittings can significantly impact on the overall price of a house, so be sure to keep in mind exactly what you are buying. Never assume that everything is included - make sure you find out before you receive an unpleasant surprise.

Be wary, however, as you don't want to lose your dream house for the sake of a few curtain rails! Be sure to compromise, especially if tensions are wearing thin and get everything confirmed in writing to ensure the deal goes without a hitch.

Grabbing the opportunity

Of course, negotiating house prices are only a part of the process; the most important thing is whether you really want the house you're bidding for or not. Sure, the money might seem significant in the short term, but if you're bidding for your dream home, it'll repay you with years of happiness. As long as you stick to a reasonable sum somewhere around the asking price, you can't go too far wrong. Enjoy your new home!

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