Negotiating a property deal

Only developers call the shots in real estate market and often negotiation is not really a big option. However no deal worth lakhs of rupees can happen without a bit of bargaining. And so a smart buyer needs to find as much leverage as he can to bargain for his dream property. Here’s how:

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Make sure you don’t reveal too much of your desperation in looking for property. So reasons like finding a home before your daughter’s school starts, lease expires next month or before you get married are best kept to yourself.

Do not appear too eager. Never show your enthusiasm for buying a property openly. Never appreciate a flat loudly. Once the seller knows you are really interested, he or she will use it against you while bargaining. Be alert, pay close attention to what is being said, examine that flat closely. Keep your opinions to yourself. More information means more ammunition in bargaining.

Take some one along to inspect the property. Instruct this friend or spouse to be constantly critical of everything in that property. The salesperson or broker will then have to defend the property. This will give you an upper hand while deciding on a price.

Never agree to a price immediately even if the price a salesman quotes is fine for you, tell him or her that you need time to think about it. This is not so that he lowers the price further, but so that he doesn’t take your agreement for granted. Take three or four days. You can also ask for an estimate of hidden expenses on top of the sale price. This will give you a fair idea of the cost of the property.

Concentrate on the dealing. Do not SMS or take calls on your cell phone while you are interacting with the salesperson. This kind of behavior suggests that you are not really interested in the actual dealing.

Make sure you flinch. Many of us fear from showing our reactions while negotiating. That gives the impression that the price reduction really doesn’t make any difference. When an offer is made, looking shocked (even if the offer is reasonable) will help negotiations.

Bring in a higher authority. Sales person often use this tactic. Say for instance, the flat sale price is Rs 13 lakh and your offer is Rs 11 lakh. The broker or salesperson says he can sell for Rs 12 lakh if his manager or owner approves. The sales manager or owner says to you, ‘I understand your price is Rs 12 lakh’? Most of us tend to gratefully agree to it thinking that you are going to save Rs 1 lakh. You need to revert to your original price and say Rs 12 lakh is your sales person’s price, ‘My price is still is 11 lakh’. You can use this higher authority tactic in buying too. If the sales person makes an offer say that you will bring in your spouse or father to check out the property again. Then get back to him that you really love the place, but your spouse or dada won’t budge till the price is low.

Before you agree to a price ask for a copy of the agreement to show to your lawyer. This gives an impression that you know your stuff and are careful with your money.

Don’t blabber about why you cannot pay the price. Just quote your price and shut up. Too many try to defend their price and take away the power of their rejection. Let the sales person take the onus of justifying this price. In such situations they often become defensive and give in to your price

Never be the first to offer to split the difference in price. Always wait for the other side to do it. It gives your opponent a sense of wining and if you manage to split the difference again, it will work in your favor.

Save the best for last. If you do agree to any concessions, do it right at the end. If you do it too soon, it is like you are caving in. Be realistic too. If the negotiation on price isn’t going anywhere, you can also negotiate on the payment schedule dates or the agreement value or the parking price. Just make sure you get the best deal for your dream property.