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Properties selling for thousands below asking price

Properties in UK are selling for an average of 3.7% below asking price, according to latest research. Here's how to negotiate a good deal.

They say a house is only worth what someone will pay for it and sellers have certainly learned that the hard way in the current market. Indeed, according to the latest figures from Hometrack, on average homeowners in the UK are selling for 3.7% below their asking price in order to get a sale.

In some parts of the UK that figure is even higher. In Liverpool, for instance, sellers are offering discounts of 4.6% on average while in Southampton buyers can expect discounts of as much as 4% (up from 2% in Q3 2017) and in London, you can expect to see price drops of 4.8%.

Manchester, on the other hand, has the lowest level of discounting (2.2%) across all the cities in England and Wales. The northern city also has the highest annual growth rate at 7.4%, followed by Liverpool (7.2%), Birmingham (6.8%) and Leicester (6.5%).

Bag yourself a bargain

If you fancy taking your chances and getting a discount on a property your’e looking to buy, here are some top tips for doing just that.

Know your market

The housing market will generally be either a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market, depending on how much demand their is for property and how much stock is up for sale and that can change from city to city and even borough to borough. Do you research to find out. Look on property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla to see how many properties in the area are sold or under offer and how many are still available. Get a sense for who is leading the market.

Don’t give too much away

OK, you love the property and everything about it, but if you make that known from the get go you’re going to ruin your chances of negotiating a reduction in price. If the vendor and the agent know you have your heart set on this home they’re unlikely to budge on the price. Play it cool!

Find out how in demand the property is

Knowing how the property has fared on the market so far will be a useful tool when it comes to agreeing a price. Check what date it was first listed. If it’s been on the market for a long time it’s clearly struggling to sell, which gives you a bit more bargaining power. Similarly, if the price has already been dropped you know the seller is having problems shifting the property.

Check if another agent is involved

If the property is listed for sale with multiple agents they’re likely to be extra keen to get the sale done, so as to be the ones to claim the commission. As such, the agent you’re viewing through may be more willing to encourage their client to accept your low ball offer.

Go in low

In light of the above statistics, and if you know similar local properties to yours have sold at a lower price recently, then you can feel confident going in with a below asking price offer. Start at 5 – 10% below and take it from there. This is a process of negotiation. The seller’s estate agent will try to drive up your offer to achieve the best price for their client. It’s their job.

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