Haggle Your Way To A Cheap Property

by : P Green

It's the thing everyone searching for a new home would give their eye teeth for: You find the house of your dreams and discover it's not just perfect, it's also affordable!

Welcome to the unlikely world of cheap property. It doesn't seem to exist when you first look for it. But dig deep, and you'll find it does still exist, even with the over inflated house prices that seem to plague buyers, especially first time buyers.

The best place to find cheap property is at the auction houses. If you're a bit more picky about where you want to live, the only other way to get a good price is find the perfect property, and then try to haggle the price down.

Haggling is nothing to be scared of. As a potential buyer, you're well within your rights to offer less than the asking price for a house. After all the seller can always say no. Haggling is about finding the right price for both parties, and is a technique used by professional property investors every time they buy a new project to work on.

Here are our top tips to make you a super haggler:

Set a budget and stick to it

Getting cheap property requires you to think with your brain and not your heart. Look closely at the property valuation of a house set by the seller, and decide exactly how much you actually want to pay for it. Then stick to that... it can be a powerful buying technique to dig your heels in over a price. You present the seller with a difficult choice - lose a keen buyer, or get the property sold for the sake of dropping the price a few thousand. Of course, there is always the danger you will lose the property. This is one of the downsides of life as a haggler.

Use market trends to support your position

You should follow news about the property market on websites such as this one. If you know the overall UK property market is slow, and it's worse locally, that puts you in a stronger position as a buyer. You know that more cheap property is likely to come up elsewhere. This kind of knowledge helps your brain make the decisions, rather than your heart.

Know how much similar properties sold for

Effective haggling for cheap property is all about leveraging information. If you know a similar property sold 3 months ago for £150,000, why would you pay £155,000 now (especially in a slowing market).

Take advantage if it has been left on the shelf

Houses that have been up for sale for a while are great targets for the haggler. That advantage increases if the price has been dropped - it shows that the owner is keen to get a sale and is more likely to enter into negotiations. You should be able to find out from the seller's estate agent how long it's been on the market. If they're not forthcoming, then ask other estate agents - as property professionals, they will often be aware what else is happening in the area.

Keep your cool

When viewing a property, try not to show how much you like it. It's easier to negotiate if the seller can't read how much you want it. A poker face is needed!

Show your cards

Saying that, one clever tactic when haggling is to demonstrate to the seller and their agent how much research you have done and what information you have. It demonstrates you are serious, and can sometimes make the haggling over cheap property a much quicker process.