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How to Negotiate a House Price: A Buyer’s Guide

Lauren Le-Hair Updated: December 25, 2023 • 6 min read
Two people shaking hands in front of a house

Key Points:

  • Learning how to negotiate the price of your house can boost your confidence and increase your chances of success in the buyers market.

  • When you're planning to buy a new house and start building home equity, it's important to ensure that you get it at a reasonable price.

  • Familiarize yourself with local market trends to inform your offer.

Real estate negotiations can be a daunting experience, especially for first-time buyers. Learning how to negotiate the price of your house can boost your confidence and increase your chances of success. Read our guide on negotiating a house price for our top tips on the best ways to secure your dream home!

Why Negotiate a House Price?

When you're planning to buy a new house and start building home equity, it's important to ensure you get it at a reasonable price. Unlike buying goods or services, the sale price of a house is flexible and negotiable. This means that homeowners-to-be can do their research and work with real estate professionals to reduce the listed price of their new home as much as possible.

How Much Can You Negotiate on a House?

So, how much do sellers usually come down on a house? The seller’s price flexibility can depend on several factors, for instance, the selling price of comparable homes. Sellers typically expect offers up to 10% below and account for this in the asking price. Don't bargain too aggressively, as this could offend the seller and result in a lost opportunity.

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Before Negotiating a House Price

We recommend the following handy tips to position yourself for a successful purchase before you even begin the negotiation process.

1. Understand the Market

First, gain knowledge of your local housing market. Talk to a local real estate agent, who can provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA.) Which will show sales prices of similar homes in the area, how long it took them to sell, and how close the final sales price was to the listing price.

2. Get Your Finances In Order

It's essential to demonstrate to sellers that you are a serious buyer with the financial means to purchase their home. Submitting an offer without evidence of financing often leads to being overlooked in favor of buyers with this proof.

Before placing an offer, ensure you have obtained a mortgage pre-approval. This preapproval letter from a lender confirms the amount of mortgage you are eligible for, signaling to sellers that you are a credible buyer with secured financing.

Be aware of the difference between a preapproval and a prequalification. A preapproval involves a thorough check of your income, assets, and credit by the lender, providing a more accurate and reliable estimate of what you can borrow.

In contrast, prequalification is less rigorous and often doesn't require verification of your financial details, making it less substantial than a preapproval. Always include a preapproval letter to make your offer as compelling as possible.

3. Real Estate Agents

While many buyers believe they don’t need a real estate agent, working with a knowledgeable professional can significantly boost your chances of success. Local real estate agents have extensive knowledge of your local market and can assist with legal paperwork between you and the property seller. 

Tips for Negotiating a House Price

1. Thorough Inspection

Our top tip for negotiating house prices is to have the property inspected by a professional, as the inspection results can be the key to negotiating a home’s final selling price. A professional inspector will thoroughly examine the property to identify any issues. If the home inspection report reveals the need for repairs, you can use this to your advantage in negotiations. The more information you have about the house’s condition, the stronger your position in negotiations.

2. Understand Seller’s Motivation

When learning how much lower you can offer on a house, knowing why the seller wants to move can give you valuable insights you can use to your advantage and tailor your offer accordingly. If they are in a hurry to sell the property, you may have more negotiating power as potential buyers.

3. Build a Rapport

A positive relationship with the seller or agent can significantly enhance your home-buying experience. Expressing genuine interest in the property and engaging in open conversation is vital to establishing a friendly atmosphere. Consequently, the seller may view you positively and take your offer more seriously. Additionally, people are typically more inclined to compromise with someone they like.

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4. Don’t Tip Your Hand

During negotiations, it’s best to maintain a calm and strategic demeanor and avoid revealing your eagerness to buy. Doing so allows you to exercise greater control over the situation and prevent the seller from exploiting your desperation of buying a house.

5. Know When to Walk Away

When making a property purchase, it's crucial to remember that the decision should be based on sound financial reasoning. If the deal you're considering doesn't work in your favor, don't hesitate to walk away. It's essential to keep a clear head and be objective about the situation. Although you may be emotionally invested in the property, it's essential to consider the practicalities and not let your emotions cloud your judgment.

Remember, the vast property market and other houses will always be available for sale. So, if you're not happy with the deal or the property's condition, it's better to walk away and keep searching. By being realistic and objective, you can ensure that you make the right decision and avoid any financial pitfalls in the future.

Bottom Line

Following our tips and understanding how much less you can offer on a house can increase your chances of success and help you enjoy a much less stressful home buying experience. It’s essential to research, get your finances in order, and work with a trusted real estate agent. We also recommend arranging a professional inspection and remaining composed throughout the negotiation to gain the upper hand in the real estate market.



How much is too low to offer on a house?

When proposing an offer, it's usually best to avoid going more than 25% below the asking price. If you go too low, the seller might think it's insulting and not take you seriously. Even worse, it could harm your chances of getting the property or make it harder to negotiate with the seller. While a low offer might lead to a good deal, it's important to be cautious and respectful to avoid potential problems.

Is offering 10% below the asking price a common negotiation strategy in real estate?

They usually expect offers between 5% and 10% below the asking price. Sellers often set the price of their house higher than its actual value. The amount that you can offer below the asking price depends on factors such as the seller's motivation and the condition of the property. Ultimately, the seller's situation will dictate how much they are willing to come down on the price.

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Written by Lauren Le-Hair linkedin-icon

As an experienced content writer, Lauren's passion for the finance sector is only exceeded by her love of writing. With years of experience writing for financial websites, she has honed her expertise and developed a deep understanding of the industry. Lauren specializes in delivering top-quality, specialized content with an expert tone of voice and a unique flair, leveraging her extensive knowledge and expertise. In addition, she holds a First Class Bachelor's degree from Staffordshire University.