I have recently given talks on the London property market at client events held by Barclays Bank and Cazenove Capital.
One of the topics that the audience was most interested in is how to find good opportunities for large price reductions.
So what is the easiest way to do this?
Well, I am afraid that once again what I am about to reveal is not some fantastically clever psychological negotiation technique. While I do use them to great effect, many of the most successful tactics we employ are more mundane.
So, if you are planning to buy a house or apartment in London, the easiest way to get a large price reduction is to ask the agents which of their clients are keen to sell. For example, I have been monitoring a specific property for several months. It has 4m ceilings and is ideal for one of my clients except that it is quite a long way over budget.
But I have been in regular contact with the agent and I called him today and simply said:
“Where are your clients now on the price?” expecting to hear that they are still intransigent. But he now thinks they would comfortably accept a 20% reduction to the guide price which suddenly makes this rather an interesting prospect. And we haven’t even had to make an offer to get that information, so we can now frame the negotiation in a completely different way.
Fortunately, they are also unwilling to reduce the price on the websites, so we will be able to “negotiate in a vacuum” as it is highly unlikely anyone else will know how flexible the sellers have become. This again will have an impact on how I will approach the negotiation.
This is not a “one off”. I have also recently agreed terms for a client on another apartment in London which is a similar situation.
This is hardly earth-shatteringly technical stuff, but it stuns me how few people regularly speak to estate agents let alone ask this most obvious of questions.
Of course, it doesn’t work every time and the agents will reveal more information to me than they will to you, because they know me. Or as one of my clients has recently said: “Your effort, network and experience is very much appreciated”.
However, speaking to the agents at least once a week and asking this question is a proven and tested tactic which is highly effective.
Is it exciting? No.
Is it dull? Yes!
But it gets results!
Of course, we find these opportunities for our clients because we speak to over 200 estate agents every week, have a network of over 500 off-market contacts and have a system in place to give you first refusal on the best opportunities. It is time-consuming and frankly not very glamorous, but as a buyer you just need to remember your two main goals:
- To find the best property in London that your money can buy.
- To buy it for the lowest price and best terms possible
This is what the property buying process is all about. We have mastered it and if you would like to know more about it, send me an email and we can arrange a call.
Luxury Apartment in London for Sale: Expert Tips on Finding the Perfect Home or Investment