Property Negotiation – The Sneaky Trick Agents Will Exploit

Property Negotiation - The Sneaky Trick Agents Will Exploit: The Four Step Offer

Last week we peeled back the curtain on making an offer and how to make that offer on your terms.

After speaking with some people who booked a chat with me through the week, I realised there was so much more to the negotiation process that I take for granted, but most amateur buyers simply don’t understand.

So this week, let’s dive into some of the fundamentals of the cat-and-mouse game of negotiation.


The best negotiators in the world all say the same thing:

"Put yourself in the shoes of the other person and figure out how they can get exactly what they want." - Chris Gray, Property Negotiation

A great negotiation is where both parties feel like they walk away having got what they wanted.

Simple. They want to make money to pay their bills and fund their lifestyle. Selling the property allows them to do that.

Selling the property is not what they want. Paying their bills and putting cash in the bank is.

So it’s important to keep that in mind when speaking with an agent. If they are trying to control the negotiation, just remember that if it fails, they don’t get what they want either.

Also remember that no matter what they do, the negotiation is only successful if YOU buy the property, so that should put all the power in your hands as the buyer, not theirs.

Picture this: You’ve found your dream property, and now it’s time to negotiate. The agent, armed with a toolbox of tactics, is ready to shepherd you along the path they’ve carefully laid out. They’ve got urgency, scarcity, and the classic “another buyer is interested” line in their arsenal. But here’s a secret… you don’t have to follow their choreography… no matter how matter-of-fact they might come across.

Think about it this way.

  • It’s your money
  • It’s your potential purchase
  • If you don’t buy, there are a lot of different properties you can look at
  • Most importantly, you have the power to walk away

And this last one is where most buyers give up their most valuable negotiation card.

They get emotional about the purchase.

If you said “get the buyer emotionally attached“, then you are absolutely right.

I can’t teach you emotional intelligence, especially when it comes to property. After all, property is likely going to be the biggest purchase in your life.

What I can do however, is arm you with some essential tools ready to negotiate your dream property.

Agents will try to set a rhythm that suits their selling strategy. They want to create a sense of urgency, to push you to make quick decisions (often leading to overpaying).

Your move? Stick to your own tempo. Do your inspections and make your offers on your timeline (as we discussed last week), not theirs.

Sure, acting as swiftly and efficiently as possible is a key for any potential deal, though do it on your timeline, not theirs.

They’ll whisper sweet nothings about other interested parties, trying to spur you into a bidding war. It’s a classic pressure tactic to inflate the price, whether it is true or not. Stay composed, stick to your numbers and be ready to walk away. Remember, there are always other properties.

Have you seen the television show “American Pickers“? I love watching those guys negotiate because although they ask what people want for their items, they ultimately ignore their number and have no problems whatsoever proposing an offer that works for them (no matter how big the gap is). If they can’t agree, the simply move on.

Just as we discussed last week, when you make your offer, stick to a specific process. Do your due diligence before writing down a figure that is inline with the independent valuation. Present your offer with a clear (and short) expiration to prevent it from being used as leverage against you.

If the agent tries to tell you to do it a different way, thank them for their input and stand firm… or walk away.

Remember, the agent isn’t an adversary. They are a facilitator to help you buy the property.

They are also just trying to make a living.

So if you are clear in your strategy as you go along…

  • Tell them you will get your inspections prior to making an offer
  • Let them know your offer will be based on an independent valuation
  • Be clear that you have a specific time frame on the offer and that there will be no negotiation after that (you will be walking away and looking at other properties)

… then the agent knows that there is a pathway to a successful deal being made (even if it doesn’t match with their training playbook).

Property negotiation is more than just a transaction. Property negotiation is understanding that both parties are just looking to get what they want. Negotiation is not a win/lose transaction. You don’t need to come out the other side and feel like you “beat” the agent. You need to come out the other side and feel like you got a fair deal.

It’s simple in theory, but if you are not an expert in negotiation, you’ll always wind up losing, or being played… and that can cost a lot of money.

Want to delve deeper into the art of property negotiation? Feel free to reach out. Whether you’re preparing to make an offer or simply want to brush up on your negotiation skills, I’m here to chat. Click here to book a time directly into my personal calendar.

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