How to Best Negotiate a Sale
A private treaty sale occurs when a property is listed for sale with an asking price, the buyer makes an offer to the agent, who then presents the offer to the seller, who can then decide whether or not to accept the offer.
Typically negotiations go back and forth between the buyer and seller (via the real estate agent) until an agreed price is reached.
How can you negotiate a deal before someone else does?
Negotiating a Private Treaty Sale
- The seller usually lists the property for sale at their desired price, or sometimes higher to allow room to negotiate and the buyer will typically try to find the lowest price the vendor is willing to sell for.
Deciding on what to offer first up can be difficult. You may wish to start with your best offer, especially if there is a lot of interest in the property or you could start with a lower offer and be prepared to negotiate up. The risk with starting lower is that you may lose the property to another purchaser who comes in with a higher offer.
- It is a good idea to try and find out as much as you can about the seller and their circumstances from the agent. If they are in a rush to sell because they’ve committed elsewhere, you might be in a position to come in with an offer lower than the asking price. Remember that the agent is working for the seller, so they will try to do everything to get the most amount of money out of you.
- If you do not have the luxury of time, perhaps when the market is very strong and there appears to be a number of people interested in the property, determine the maximum amount you are prepared to pay and make this your first and last offer.
- It is best to have your finance pre-approved so the seller knows you are serious and able to act immediately, however you can make your offer subject to finance, which will give you a limited time in which to receive confirmation from your lender that finance will be made available to you.
- Always put your offer in writing to the real estate agent who will then present it to the vendor for consideration and then let you know if it has been accepted. You may need to reassess your offer several times before an agreement is reached.
Unconditional Offer Versus Conditional Offer
- Conditional offers are a binding contract to buy a property, subject to certain conditions being met. If these conditions are not satisfied, the buyer has the legal right to back out of the contract. Common conditions may include subject to valuation, subject to finance or subject to a building and pest inspection.
- If your offer is unconditional, it is an outright offer to buy a property. You should be 100% sure that this is the property you want and that you have access to the money to buy the property. Legislation and the process of buying a property by private treaty varies from state to state, however typically speaking, once the vendor has accepted your offer, you are legally obliged to go through with the sale or risk forfeiting your deposit.
- Whether you are negotiating a conditional or unconditional offer, it is advisable to speak with your solicitor or conveyancer about your rights and all terms of the contract before you sign anything.
Buying a property can be stressful - knowing how to do your research before you buy, understanding the costs involved, and how different buying methods work are just some of the things you need to consider. To make this process as smooth as possible, we've put together a free Better Buying Guide which goes through each of these processes plus much more.