Navigating the Topic of ‘How Much Is This House?'

As a first-home buyer, the thought of negotiating with an experienced real estate agent can be overwhelming. We can help you master asking “how much is this house?”

Buying a home doesn’t come cheap, so you want to make sure you’re paying a fair price, or better yet, snagging yourself a good deal. As a first-home buyer, the thought of negotiating with an experienced real estate agent can be overwhelming. But with a few handy tricks, you’ll be negotiating like a pro in no time. 

Read our guide to help you master the art of negotiating.

How to negotiate effectively

When it comes to buying a house, one of the most important factors to consider is the sale price. But just because a property is listed at a certain price doesn’t mean that it’ll sell for that price. While navigating the topic of price might make you uncomfortable, it’s an essential step in the home-buying process. But negotiating isn’t always based on price. You can also negotiate on the terms and conditions of the contract of sale too. With that said, there are a few steps you can take to put you in the best position to negotiate.

Here are a few tips to help you approach your negotiations with confidence.

1. Research the market

Having a thorough understanding of the local real estate market is essential for making informed decisions and confident negotiations. Be sure to spend plenty of time researching the local real estate market to understand property values in the area. There are stacks of resources available online, so you can do the bulk of your research from the comfort of your own home. Consult real estate websites, review property profile reports and analyse suburb profiles for insights into how properties are performing and current market trends.

Having a solid understanding of the market can be a game-changer when it comes to negotiating. You can use concrete data, like comparable sales and the property's condition, to justify your offer. Just make sure you’re ready to explain why you believe your proposed price is fair.

2. Check out property inspections

As part of the research process, it’s well worth attending multiple property inspections so you can get a better feel for the properties that are on the market, the prices they’re being listed at and how much they’re selling for.

From electrics and plumbing to the roof and gutters, if you’re not sure what to look for during a property inspection you can check out our guide to help you on your home-buying journey.

3. Consider conditional approval

As you start getting more serious about buying, it can be worth getting conditional approval from your preferred bank or lender. Not only does this help to give you an idea of the price range you can afford, but it also demonstrates to real estate agents and sellers that you’re a serious and qualified buyer.

4. Know your budget

Even if you don’t get conditional approval, it’s important to know what your budget is. While the purchase price is one of the biggest expenses to consider, it’s also important to factor in other upfront costs like stamp duty, building and pest inspections, conveyancing fees, mortgage registration fees and moving costs to name a few. Ultimately, you don’t want to spend everything you have in the bank, so make sure you’ve got a good understanding of your finances so you don’t risk overextending yourself.

5. Understand your non-negotiables

At the start of your journey, it can be worth spending a bit of time to identify your must-haves and deal-breakers in a home. This will help you focus on negotiating the most important aspects of the deal.

It can be easy to get swept up in the process and let your emotions take over, but it’s important to remain objective so you don’t make any decisions you could come to regret in the heat of the moment.

6. Ask the right questions

Researching comparable sales and understanding current market trends is one thing, but it’s just as important to get to know the property. Real estate agents are there to help but it’s also worth noting that they’re working on behalf of the the seller. With that said, it can be worth asking questions like:

  • How long has the property been on the market?
  • Are there any developments planned for this area in the future?
  • How much are council rates?
  • How much are body corporate fees? (If applicable)
  • Are there any issues with the land or property?
  • How much have comparable properties in the area sold for recently?

7. Understand the seller’s motivations

While we’re on the topic of getting to know the property, it’s well worth understanding the seller’s motivations for selling the property too. This can help to give you an indication of whether or not they could be open to negotiating. For example, if the seller has an offer on another property themselves, they might be more motivated to sell and in turn, more open to negotiations.

8. Be flexible

In some cases, your initial offer might not be accepted right off the bat, so you should be prepared for counteroffers and be willing to engage in a back-and-forth negotiation process.

While it's essential to have a clear budget, be open to flexibility within that range. There may be room for negotiation, and being too rigid can impede the process. When it comes to buying a home, compromise is often key, so be flexible in your approach.

At the end of the day, the negotiation process is a collaborative effort, so finding common ground is crucial. Approach the discussions with respect and a willingness to work together to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Open and respectful communication is key to building trust and facilitating a smoother negotiation process.

If you’re new to the home-buying process, have a read of our guide to get a better understanding of where to start. Otherwise, we’ve got plenty of other resources and articles to help you navigate the home-buying journey with confidence.

This article is intended to provide general information only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. Please consider seeking financial advice before making any decision based on this information.

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