- As a property buyer, you may feel the odds are stacked against you
- You can tip things back in your favour if you can give an unconditional cash offer
- In the very least, have full finance pre-approved based on a complete loan application
In his sixth article in the series, investor, founder, author and media commentator Bushy Martin discusses the science and art behind property negotiation.
In the previous five pieces, the topic was introduced by explaining how you may need to change your outlook, build good rapport by using Mirroring and Labelling techniques and the perceived power position, which you may feel is tipped against you.
In the property negotiation, perceived power is clearly with the seller, and as the buyer you may be wearing most of the uncertainty.
The seller hasn’t even met you so there is no basis for trust, and all of your future hopes and dreams for you and your family’s lifestyle become focused on this property – a highly emotionally-charged position.
Levelling the Playing Field
So how can you level the playing field in this situation, particularly in a ‘seller’s market’ as we have at the moment?
Fortunately, I’ve been involved in a huge number of high priced negotiations over the years, both as an architect and project manager. In these, I was trying to win massive multi-million dollar design and building tenders for up to $300M against international competitors.
I’ve also been personally involved in over a dozen property purchases and have assisted thousands of our clients to secure property as home owners and investors.
So, here are some of the buying negotiation tactics and approaches that I employ or have seen employed to give you the best chance of securing the property you are interested in.
This will coincide with some suggestions I’ve borrowed from a piece by industry stalwart Bryce Holdaway.
Cash is king
The first tip to reduce uncertainty and give the seller confidence in your offer is to remember the old adage that Cash is still King.
The key here is that if you’re borrowing money to complete the purchase, make sure that you have already obtained finance pre-approval from a lender via your savvy mortgage broker.
It’s really important to make sure that it is a full finance pre-approval based on a complete loan application, including all of your financial information, and that all the bank needs is to complete a valuation to formally and unconditionally approve your loan.
Don’t fall for the trap of the quick and dirty ‘finance approval’ letters that many banks offer based on a quick cursory and often verbal look or chat about your finances.
These letters aren’t worth the paper they are written on, and given the increased bank scrutiny, along with continuous and often daily policy changes that banks are making, you can find yourself in the dangerous position of not being able to complete the purchase if the finance approval is declined once you have provided all of your detailed financial information.
However, assuming that you have taken the one to two weeks to achieve a full finance pre-approval at or above your property price offer, and that your deposit funds are readily available and you can evidence this to the real estate sales agent, this provides increased certainty of your offer without the concerns that are usually attached to offers ‘subject to finance.’
What you’re doing is giving the vendor certainty and security, which is something most sellers, vendors and agents value enormously.
If you make your offer unconditional – meaning it’s not subject to finance – this strengthens your offer even further.
However, if you’re lending money from a bank to complete the purchase, I wouldn’t suggest taking this risk in the current dynamically changing lending environment.
Next article: Know the prevailing selling conditions