When we’re buying a house, we all want to get the best deal possible. After all, this is likely the most considerable expense you’ll ever pay out in one go. The more you can knock off that final price, the better, right? As such, very few potential buyers actually jump in with a full asking price offer. In fact, it isn’t unusual to knock as much as $10,000 from your initial offer. In any other walk of life, that may be an insane amount of money. But, when it comes to house buying, it often seems like small change.
But, if you’re new to this home buying thing, you may be reluctant to offer a lower price. After all, this isn’t a Sunday market. This is a property that you can already picture yourself in. Why risk someone else beating you to the punch?
These concerns are fair and relevant. But, they won’t serve you in the long run. In truth, a buyer will be surprised to receive a full offer. Obviously, there’s every chance they’ll accept. But, you’ll then be out of pocket, and moving into a property with no money behind you. And, that’s about the biggest mistake you can make.
Instead, bear in mind that house prices are generally nothing more than a guideline. Bartering is just part of this business, and there’s every chance you’ll save a substantial amount of money by offering lower. This is especially the case if the house has been on the market for a while. But, if you still feel embarrassed or uncertain about how low you should go, consider the house itself. As well as increasing your chances of a deal, considering how much you’d need to spend to get the property up to standard could be your best bet. This way, you’ll have a definite price guideline, and will ensure you can cover costs once you move. And, to help you do that, we’re going to consider a few of the things you need to look out for.
Are there external issues?
Before you even enter the property, consider whether there are any external issues. More often than not, homeowners neglect outside appearances. As such, there’s every chance you would need to do work here. You may face crumbling bricks and fallen roof tiles. Or, it may be a case of blocked gutters and drains. These jobs may sound small enough, but each one could set you back a substantial amount once you move in. Most worryingly, fallen roof tiles could need extensive repair work with a hefty price tag. So, make a note of anything like this, and be sure to consider it before making an offer.
Would you need to embark on maintenance?
Before buying a house, you should ALWAYS ask yourself whether there’s any maintenance work inside, too. For the most part, this is likely where most of your money will go. While some homeowners get everything together before selling, others leave odd jobs and expect lower offers because of it. Make sure you aren’t the idiot who offers full price regardless. Look out for issues such as damp or even infestation. Again, these could set you back a fair amount when the time comes, especially if they’ve gone unchecked until now. If there’s extreme maintenance to consider, get quotes from professionals to help you gain an idea of how much expense you’re looking at. Then, use those figures to settle upon a realistic offer. If it helps to put your mind at ease, you could even send quotes to the homeowners or estate agents. This will go a fair way to increase the chance that your offer is accepted.
What about the windows?
Too often, we gloss over things like windows when we’re viewing houses. In fact, many of us are guilty of not considering them at all. Yet, this is an area which costs a fortune for many new homeowners. Why? Well, for one; single paned windows can increase the costs of central heating in a significant way. Not to mention the fact that you’d likely fork out on double glazing down the line. Even if double glazing is already in place, issues such as cracks, or condensation between the panes are signs that you’ll need to pay for replacement windows, or at least repair work. And, the worries don’t stop at the window panes themselves. Wooden frames are also at risk of rotting, and you should make a point of checking these before buying. Again, failure to notice this could set you back a surprising amount. If the issue has gone far enough, you may end up having to pay for complete replacements. And, that’s a price you surely won’t want to face if you’ve paid full price for the property.
Is there redecoration/renovation to consider?
Last, ask yourself how much work you’d need to do to get the interior up to standard. This issue is slightly more tricky to traverse. After all, you can’t reduce your offer on the basis that you want to change an already acceptable interior. Most homeowners out there embark on redecoration when they move. But, if the decor is outdated or in disrepair, you’d be justified to take this into account. Again, you could estimate costs of redecoration in each room, and use those to settle on a final offer.
Pay attention, too, to whether you’d need to embark on major renovation works. Again, this may not help your cause if it’s a mere case of taste. But, if there are valid reasons for the need to renovate, you could knock substantial amounts from that final price. In fact, the need for renovations can save you money more than any of the other steps mentioned here. If you’re uncertain about costs, hire a builder to give you a quote, then feed that back. There’s every chance the seller already know jobs like these need doing. Thus, there’s every chance they’ll accept your reduced offer on that basis.