Negotiating is one of the fundamental aspects of property investment, but it’s also the one aspect that many investors dread. While there are many well-known property negotiation tactics, there are a few common mistakes frequently made by both investors and owner-occupiers alike.
Strong negotiating can be crucial to maximising your profit; however, it’s also an easy process to get wrong, especially when you’re negotiating against a selling agent whose very job is to represent vendors on a regular basis.
So, what are the key property investment mistakes to avoid during the negotiation process?
Not knowing what the property is worth
Arguably, the most significant bargaining chip you have when entering property negotiations is knowing the value of the property you are investing in.
This will form the fundamental starting point of your negotiation strategy, by helping you determine what you should offer for the property (and the maximum you are willing to pay).
Understanding its’ value can prevent you from overpaying for a property that won’t provide strong rental returns. It can also be key to helping you identify high potential opportunities when they arise.
If, for example, you know a property is listed on the market significantly below value, this knowledge will put you in a stronger position to make a competitive offer on the property, in turn increasing your likelihood of success during negotiations.
This can be especially important in a moving market when prices are fluctuating regularly, as even the most recent sales evidence may not reflect current market conditions.
In addition to thorough research into comparable properties and the local market, having a property expert or buyer’s agent appraise the property to assess its worth could be key to giving you the confidence and knowledge you need to leverage a profitable investment opportunity.
Letting emotions drive your buying decision
Another common property investment mistake is making purchase decisions based on emotions, rather than logic.
“Emotional buying” is usually associated with home buyers purchasing a property to live in; however, a surprising number of investors also let their emotions dictate their actions during property negotiations. And as a result, they end up paying more than the property is worth. This is often the case with properties that are attracting high levels of interest from prospective buyers.
Whilst emotions are an inevitable part of the buying process, it’s really important to assess a property objectively and remain level-headed during negotiations. This is perhaps the most important property negotiation tactic of all.
Most importantly, however, you need to know when to walk away from a deal and look elsewhere. One way to help reduce this emotional investment is to research the market and have alternative properties in mind as a secondary option.
However, if you know keeping emotions out of your investment decision is not your strong point, you may want to consider enlisting the help of an experienced buyer’s agent to handle the negotiations on your behalf.
Giving your cards away too early
The key to being a good negotiator in any situation is being able to understand and leverage the motivations and needs of the opposing party. In property negotiations, however, it’s also about keeping your own cards close to your chest. If the selling agent knows you are only interested in that particular property, or that you are emotionally invested in the asset, they will often leverage this to secure a higher offer. Divulging your motivations early in the process could therefore significantly reduce your bargaining power moving forward.
On the other hand, knowing a seller’s motivations during property negotiations can give you a fundamental advantage when it comes to negotiating the purchase price of a property. Have they already bought another property? Has the property been on the market for a significant length of time? Or do they need to sell the property by a certain date?
Whilst this will ultimately depend on what the selling agent is willing to disclose, this information could be key to shaping your negotiation strategy and helping you secure the best deal possible on the property.
Don’t get caught – consider engaging a buyer’s agent
If you’re not confident in property negotiations or don’t have the experience and knowledge of the market to support your investment decisions, you may want to consider engaging a professional.
A skilled buyer’s agent will understand – and utilise – all the best property negotiation tactics. They can research properties and negotiate the purchase process on your behalf, with the benefit of local agent knowledge and ongoing experience in the property market.
Having access to this objective and informed third party can give you a huge advantage during the negotiation process, helping you to avoid costly property investment mistakes and secure the best opportunities for strong returns.
At Momentum Wealth, our team of real estate experts have been helping investors grow their wealth through property investment for over sixteen years. If you are planning to purchase a property or expanding your existing portfolio, our property acquisition specialists would be happy to discuss your needs in an complimentary consultation.