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Five handy haggling tips for home buyers

Generic stock photo of a couple outside their new home. See PA Feature FINANCE Homebuyer Haggling. Picture credit should read: iStock/PA. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FINANCE Homebuyer Haggling.

By Vicky Shaw
Many people feel nervous about the idea of haggling – and for some it could be preventing them from getting money off what is likely to be their biggest ever expense: their home.

Three in 10 homeowners did not try to negotiate any money off their current property, missing out on huge potential savings, according to Barclays.

A fear of losing the property, not wanting to upset the seller, and the desire to get the notoriously stressful buying process over and done with are among common reasons why buyers are put off haggling, the research found.

Rob Smith, head of behavioural finance at Barclays, says first-time buyers in particular may find the idea of haggling difficult.

“Buying your first home is a particularly emotionally-laden experience, and combined with having no prior experience of the process, it’s unsurprising that younger homeowners find it tough,” says Smith. “However, if your aim is paying the lowest price possible, then there are a couple of top tips which could help you along the way.”

Curious to know what they are? Here are some home-buying haggling tips from Barclays…

1. Do your research
Nowadays, there are many tools that provide you with a lot of information – so do extensive research. Check how long the property has been on the market for. Be armed with information, as well as questions or issues you want to raise.

2. Understand your competition
Potential interest from any other buyers may affect the dynamics between buyers and sellers. Try and understand the mindset and emotions of the seller, and perhaps how keen they are to sell.

3. Be realistic
Perhaps that kitchen island or bi-folding doors might tempt you to stretch your budget a little bit more, but know your financial limits.

4. Communicate well
Face-to-face meetings are an easy way to communicate – but in the current pandemic, these are not easy to arrange, unless they are done virtually.

Not meeting face-to-face may have advantages though, as it may help you disconnect emotionally from the transaction and reduce feelings of confrontation. You could keep notes of conversations to keep on top of where you’re at.

5. Be patient
If you can, allow yourself the time you need to feel happy with your offer – you don’t want to feel pressured or ultimately regret anything. Remember, no matter how much you love this property, if you miss out this time, there may be another you’ll love even more.

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