By Andrew Winter
From: News Limited newspapers
September 25, 2012

EVERYONE wants to get the best deal when buying property. Real estate expert Andrew Winter has tips on how to be the best negotiator on the block.

1. Get your ducks in a row
The best buyer tip is be prepared. Have the finance, the contracts and the lawyers all lined up and ready to move. This will tell the seller that you are ready to commit.

2. Pay attention
Appreciate that you have power in the negotiation, but be clued up to recognise key signals without going overboard. Be aware of who is a truly motivated seller, keep an eye out for a mortgagee sale, divorce-induced sales and estate sales. Its sounds grisly, but this isn’t personal, at the same time don’t be a prat.

3. Time on the market
Make sure you know how long a property has been on the market, the longer the better from a buyer’s point of view. Press the agent to find out how may inspections have taken place, and whether any contracts have been issued. If you discover there has been little interest, you’re in a position of strength having discovered the seller’s vulnerability.

4. Take advantage
Has the seller purchased elsewhere? In that case, your ability to offer a quick settlement, perhaps at a reduced price, could close the deal.

5. Stay calm but keen
Go to the open houses, here you will find a wealth of information to use later on in the negotiation. Let them know you know the property’s weaknesses. Be calm, cool and poker faced especially if you really like the property. The exception to the rule is if the seller is a long-time owner and is looking for a passionate purchaser. They might sell it to a person they like for less money. It’s true.
Andrew Winter is a real estate consumer champion and the host of Selling Houses Australia on The LifeStyle Channel.

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