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how do/should you haggle on offers (as a seller)?

(13 Posts)
MamaChris Sat 19-Jul-08 19:33:28

Our flat has been on the market for 5 weeks, and finally we have a viewer today who says she wants to come back and make an offer subject to her mum's agreement (it's a first time buyer property, so I guess she's getting deposit from mum).

IF (and I know it's a big if) she makes an offer, how/should we haggle negotiate? We had the flat valued last summer, and it is now priced 12% below the 3 agents' price then, so I think fairly reflects reported drop in prices due to credit cruch so far. But obv things will drop further. We're expecting any initial offer will be at least 25K below the asking price (which would be only 50K above what we paid for it 8 years ago). Will we scare them off if we try and negotiate up a bit? Want to sell, want to get enough to buy a nice house outside London, but don't know what we're doing! Have only bought before and both of us are generally bad at negotiating anything.

Any advice welcome! Please?

PixelHerder Sat 19-Jul-08 19:49:20

I guess it would be helpful to work out and fix in your mind now a few round figures:

1. what you'd be delighted with

2. what you'd be happy with

3. what's lower than you'd hoped for but you'd probably still accept

4. what you really can't afford to accept

and go from there.

If you think the buyer is genuinely interested and is proceedable, I think it can keep up the impetus in the negotiating process to respond to the first (inevitably low) offer with a figure that you would accept rather than a flat no. If they don't go for that, you can hopefully still agree somewhere in between that works for you both. Good luck smile

lalalonglegs Sat 19-Jul-08 19:51:26

You have to gauge how much they want it and then throw in sweeteners (such as white goods, curtains etc). If she offers anywhere near asking though, I would grab it on proviso she exchanges fast (less time to change mind/negotiate a discount as prices drop).

noddyholder Sat 19-Jul-08 21:15:57

If you can afford 15 % off you will sell

scanner Sat 19-Jul-08 21:24:15

I've bought and sold a lot and have never excepted a first offer and neither have I ever had one excepted unless it was full asking price (different market then). So, regardless of what is offered the first time you turn it down and try hard to leave them to stew for a couple of days. The decision to accept the second offer is up to you.

MamaChris Sat 19-Jul-08 21:25:25

A further 15% of current price? Or 15% off last year's value? Can do the latter, but not the former!

Adding a proviso she exchanges fast sounds good, but is that in any way enforceable? I guess at the least it will encourage her to get the early bit done quick, and then she'll have invested some money in fees etc.

thinking realistically about the round figures now also a very useful suggestion, means we can think about it more clearly than with an offer tempting us.

Thanks for the advice, keep it coming?

MamaChris Sat 19-Jul-08 21:26:13

scanner - just turn it down flat? Or counter-offer?

scanner Sat 19-Jul-08 21:48:28

I've never counter-offered, but indicated to the agent how I felt about it. So, if it's v low I've said so and if it's close I've said that a bit more is required.

Don't forget that the percentage that the agent gets is hardly affected by a few grand on the sale so they just want it sold.

PixelHerder Sat 19-Jul-08 22:01:24

In a seller's market I wouldn't bother to counter-offer, but at the moment my reasoning would be that it's important to keep the momentum going as buyers have a greater choice of properties to view and decide they are more interested in instead.

A lot of buyers are also playing the game of 'make and offer and leave them to stew'. Personally I'd be wary of a buyer who strings out the 'stewing' for too long though as they may well end up just messing you about.

1dilemma Sun 20-Jul-08 00:14:36

You also need to work out how keen you are to move and how sellable your flat is at what price.
eg round here things are v. expensive I was originally thinking I would buy at somewhere between 2000 and 2002 prices but having seen nothing sell and an EA with lots of 50,000K off signs in the window I'm revising that down!

missingtheaction Sun 20-Jul-08 18:26:21

if you accept a lower offer make sure they give you something for it - eg I will accept xxx but am taking the washing machine/they have to arrange survey by next Wednesday whatever (harder if you are selling than buying but basic negotiation principle)

ihatebikerides Sun 20-Jul-08 18:42:45

Does making a proviso about quick exchange actually count for anything? Have seen this before, and the solicitors just trundle on at a snail's pace regardless. And once you've accepted the offer and started the process, it's too late to back out once you realise it's not going to be a speedy exchange after all.

goldenpeach Tue 29-Jul-08 23:06:20

I suggest finding out how much the competition has sold for (see Then make it look perfect. We completely redecorated, slapped on a not too greedy price and got offered 5000 off the asking price, agent raised it and it was 2000 off asking price, so very good for us, we would have accepted less. Things were slowing down because of picky solicitor, so we agreed to get out in two weeks if they exchanged on a day we specified. By 5.30pm they exchanged. There is a chain at the other end (first time buyers buying our buyer's house). We are off renting. I hated the idea but we found a place where you can rent a three bed semi with garden for around 700 pounds a month, newly refurb, in nice area. It's a bit further north than expected but I'm dying to get there. Not looking forward to move all my possessions and my collection of potted plants.

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