13 Mistakes to Avoid When Negotiating

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In our desire to ensure both buyers and sellers have professional representation when negotiating a purchase or sale, we thought we’d share 13 mistakes to avoid:

1. Decide (BEFORE you start negotiations) how much you are PREPARED to pay.

2. Create a 3 step plan around that top figure, assuming your first 2 offers will be rejected. Take into account how long the property has been on the market, why the seller is selling, similar recent sales etc. You need to remain in control of the negotiation. If you don’t have a plan, you will be part of the estate agent’s plan, and remember, they are paid a commission to make you pay the highest price.

3. Be careful what you say… DON’T say things like “I want to start my offer at..,” “my initial offer is” etc. All NO NO’s.

4. Don’t offer too low… it could go against you and offend the seller.

5. Don’t offer on multiple properties at once. Negotiate on one at a time and use that as part of your plan/leverage. Urgency/setting deadlines is a good thing.

6. Don’t frustrate the estate agent. Get in their good books. Remember, they’ll be recommending whether the seller accepts your offer or not and most humans like other nice humans (yes, estate agents are human!)

7. Put your offer in writing immediately. Email is fine, attaching bank statement, mortgage agreement, proof of deposit, solicitor’s details, mortgage broker’s details, preferred timescales etc (estate agents LOVE organised buyers).

8. Use other leverage in your negotiation rather than just increase your offer. Such as speed, certainty, your strong position, you have the option to NOT tie in your sale etc.

9. DON’T show desperation…such as “I really need this property as my buyer is putting the pressure on.”

10. If you have to go to your top price, ask for something in return… white goods included, seller to vacate by X date, garden furniture included etc.

11. Ignore the estate agent fluff, such as “there’s been lots of interest”, “we’ve had offers” and stick to your plan as per point 2.

12. Don’t be afraid to walk away, let the seller stew for a couple of days. Think Mexican standoff.

13. Don’t attempt this unless you have years’ of experience. Even if you do, your emotions (or your partner’s emotions are likely to make you pay more than you should). You can use a professional negotiator on a no saving, no fee basis, like a Storey’s Certified Negotiator. For further information on this, please visit http://www.storeynegotiators.co.uk