The art of negotiation with the current owners

negotating owner

Taking the plunge and purchasing your own property is an exciting time for all house hunters.

If you decide to go for a new build, you’re essentially buying a blank canvas, but if you opt for a home that’s lived in, it’s likely you’ll have to negotiate a few things with the current owners.

So let s1homes be your guide and guru as we explain how to make those important negotiations go smoothly.


Do your research

How long has the property been on the market? Why is it on the market? What are local property sales achieving? Finding out these key facts will put you on the front foot when it comes to making an offer and starting negotiations.


What’s included?

There’s no law or guidelines on what stays and what goes, so current owners can essentially remove everything if they wish – this covers everything from curtain poles to bathroom suites.

The cost of replacing such items can all add up, so it’s wise to ensure an inventory of what’s included is drawn up prior to signing contracts.


What about appliances or furniture?

While it’s unusual to purchase a pad fully kitted out with bespoke furniture and antique heirlooms, it isn’t uncommon for current owners to include some standard stuff. This could be a washing machine, desk or sofa.

Again, it’s crucial to include these in the inventory. If you decide to buy such items from the seller, find out their market value so you can negotiate a good deal. Who wants to pay over-the-odds for second-hand goods?


Check the Home Report

This document is a comprehensive buyers’ guide to the property, so any recommendations for work needed should be detailed in here.

You may wish to ask the seller to carry out repairs prior to you making an offer – or alternatively negotiate a discount on the purchase price if you decide to carry out the repairs yourself.

Don’t forget to get quotes on the cost of repairs first, however, so you can secure a bigger discount.

Remember, if a seller has disclosed all issues prior to the sale, they’re usually not liable for any costs incurred by the buyer. In other words, once the sale is complete, there’s little comeback.


Take your time

Negotiating is a real skill and your communication should be considered and paced. This means starting low when it comes to making offers, perfecting the all-important poker face, and creating a win-win situation for both parties.

Good negotiators are able to make the other party believe they have ‘won’. Both sellers and buyers should come away from a deal believing they’ve come up trumps.


Of course, before the negotiations can begin, you have to find your dream home . . . so why not browse the best selection of properties available across Scotland on s1homes?

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