While it’s universally accepted that, in many circumstances, the price we pay is the price we see – in supermarkets and restaurants for example – there are a couple of instances where a little haggling is to be expected.
Buying a property is one of them. After all, estate agencies are staffed with skilled negotiators and the clue is in the name. Even in the strongest selling market, buyers may offer a figure below the asking price, hoping the seller will say yes in order to secure a sale.
As a guide, we traditionally see buyers offering up to around 5% less than the asking price on their first bid. The longer a property is on the market, the more likely an offer will be 10% under what the property is marketed for. There’s even such a thing as a ‘lowball’ offer – a figure that’s 25% or more below the asking price, but this is highly unusual.
As experienced agents, we understand your need to achieve as close to the asking price as possible but what happens if you come across a buyer who drives a hard bargain? A keen purchaser who repeatedly submits low offers shouldn’t always be dismissed.
They may be an excellent prospect in terms of their circumstances – perhaps a cash buyer, someone with no chain behind them or a purchaser who can offer a quick exchange – and we’re here to help you weigh up a person’s situation versus their offer.
If low offers persist but you are worried you may lose the interest of potential purchasers, there are ways to keep buyers engaged without budging on your asking price. It all comes down to adding extra value.
Here are 5 value-adding ideas to explore:
- Sell with planning permission already granted: the cost of submitting a full planning permission application for alterations/extensions to a single dwelling house or a flat is £206 but it could add as much as 10% to your home’s value.
- Leave behind high-value items, such as white goods: fridge freezers, ovens and even furniture can all be used as bartering tools. If this approach appeals to your buyer, ensure negotiations are conducted through the solicitors using the TA10 contents and fixtures form.
- Be flexible with the completion date: value can’t always be measured in monetary terms, so being in a position to exchange and complete at speed will be an advantageous trade-off tool among buyers who are in a hurry.
- Offering to rectify flaws found in the survey: one of the most common reasons for a low offer is unfavourable survey results. Offering to pay for issues such as damp is a cost but it could allow you to stick to your asking price – a critical point when funding an onward purchase.
- Throw in extras: there’s definitely something in the concept of buying a lifestyle so if your purchaser has fallen in love with your home, they may be persuaded to up their asking price if you include accessories such as lamp shades, curtains and rugs.
If you are hoping to come to market this spring, why not start with one of our free valuations? We will suggest an achievable asking price and advise on ways that you can add value to your home. Contact us to get started.