In this short article I’m going to provide some tips on how to negotiate and things to consider when negotiating your property purchase. I’ll keep the article brief as I’ve also created the attached video to help explain (apologies about the quality of my voice/acting, I’m no actor).
So before we start remember this. The offer you made was likely subject to contract and by default (even if you didn’t mention it) subject to survey. As such there’s nothing wrong or cunning about renegotiating your initial offer once you’ve had a survey and in particular if your surveyor has found defects that you didn’t know about when you put your initial offer it. Here’s some things to consider/an approach to adopt. Some clients adopting this approach have literally saved tens of thousands, the best I know about being a saving of £80,000 on a property valued at less than £400,000.
- Firstly read your survey report, note potential negotiation points and if necessary clarify those with the surveyor.
- Obtain quotations from reputable builders so you have the cost of works to rectify the defects. Remember though, a builder’s quote may increase once they start work and there’s also the fact that you will have to manage them and suffer the disturbance whilst works are ongoing, as such factor in an increase over the quotes to cover this aspect.
- Ensure you keep a written record of any discussions with the Vendor/Estate agent, noting telephone conversations and following by email all discussions. All correspondence should be marked as Without Prejudice until such time as you have heads of terms agreed, then subject to contract so you are not committed. Take legal advise on this aspect if you are in any way unsure, it could be a costly mistake if you accept terms without realising it.
- KEEP THE MORAL HIGHGROUND. I recommend being honest and not trying to say there are defects that don’t exist. If it comes out, trust and likely any chance of a price reduction can be destroyed.
- DON’T SHARE THE SURVEY REPORT! The Estate Agent will likely ask for a copy of the report, they don’t need it simply want it and likely not to help you. if required share snippets of the points you are using to negotiate, after than you’ve told them your concerns and are not lying, as such they have no reason to distrust you.
- Identify, from your report, some SACRIFICE POINTS. For instance if there were obvious defects present, then it’s likely they were factored into your offer price and likely also the Estate Agent will say they were. So use defects that they were unlikely to know about, dampness, defects in hidden areas, etc…. If they try to say any defect was factored into the offer price, then ask them why they didn’t mention it to you. Surely if it was in the sale price, then they must have known about it and if they did, are they not duty bound to notify you?
- KEEP IT FRIENDLY AND PROFESSIONAL
- Once you have agreed a price reduction, ensure it’s duly documented as mentioned above.
- If the Vendor is being difficult about a reduction in price, is there anything else you could use to get what you want. For instance, perhaps them taking fittings/curtains, etc… with them could help and in particular if you don’t want them.
- Remember also and mention it to them, if you don’t buy it then it’s likely that the next purchaser will have the same problems (in particular as the Estate Agent/Vendor should now tell them about known defects you’ve highlighted to them) so they may as well continue to sell to you. To do otherwise could simply delay the sale for ???? months and possibly result in the Vendor still having to have a similar conversation with the next buyer.
I hope this short summary helps, if more is required watch the attached video and we’re always happy to discuss your reports’ findings and tactics if you need to. Click the link to access our video: CLICK TO WATCH VIDEO