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Property negotiations 101

Property negotiations 101

Five tips to help negotiate the best price for your first home.

If you’re buying a property, you’ll often negotiate a price with the seller. In the case of a private sale, you might make an offer below the asking price and go from there. If the sale is by auction, you might make a pre-auction offer, or find yourself negotiating after an auction if the property has been passed in.

The idea of doing this may seem daunting if you haven’t negotiated before. A good negotiation could potentially save you a lot of money and mean you can move into your new home knowing that you’ve got yourself the best deal possible.

Here are five tips to help make negotiating a price for your first home easier.

1. Understand the market

Knowing whether you are in a buyer’s or a seller’s market can make a world of difference to negotiations. In a buyer’s market, competition is scarce and the buyer will likely have the upper hand in negotiations. In a seller’s market, with lots of competition for property, the seller may feel they don’t need to reduce their asking price in order to sell.

2. Quiz the agent

Talk to the selling agent and get the story behind the sale. Why is the owner selling? If they need to sell quickly this may give you more bargaining power.

How long has the property been on the market? If it’s been a while the owner may be more flexible on price.

Are there any problems with the property? If there are, the agent is obliged to tell you. This too can give you leverage in your negotiations.

3. Know the suburb

If you understand the suburb in which you’re buying, you’re more likely to know what a fair market price for a property would be and recognise when an asking price is too high.

For access to property listings, comparable sales, suburb profiles and rental insights in your area, use our complimentary Property Reports.

4. Make an offer

It might be worth making an offer below the asking price, or making a pre-auction offer, and gauging the seller’s reaction.

If you’ve checked your conditional pre-approval you’ll have a better idea of what you could potentially borrow and what properties are in your price range, before you even begin negotiations.

5. Consider a buyer’s agent

If you’re not confident negotiating a price, don’t have time, or can’t attend an auction, you could hire a buyer’s agent to do the work for you.

While people often hire buyers’ agents to find properties for them and manage the whole buying process, you can hire a buyer’s agent just to bid for you at auction and/or negotiate on your behalf. Make sure you factor their fees into your home buying budget.

Speak to one of our Home Lending Specialists to discuss your buying plans. 


This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature 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. You should consider seeking independent financial advice before making any decision based on this information.