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Buyers can negotiate very good deals on overpriced properties, but it has to be done strategically and from a position of knowledge

SAVVY top-end house hunters who negotiate strategically are snaring bargains as record numbers of vendors reduce their prices in order to sell, according to property buying agent Elite Property Search.

Buyers with inside knowledge of a seller’s personal circumstances can negotiate on “trigger points” to persuade them to accept offers hundreds of thousands of pounds below the asking price, says Elite Property Search Director Tim Sharp, and in-depth knowledge of the local property market and current market indicators can be used to compile a “reality check report” for sellers asking inflated prices for prestige homes.

A study last month by property website Zoopla showed that 37% of homes for sale across the UK had had their price reduced at least once – a nine-month high. “This survey reinforces what we know from experience – that in this market, house hunters need to feel that they are getting a good deal and they won’t pay more than a property’s intrinsic value,” Mr Sharp said.

“In contrast, many sellers continue to put unrealistic price tags on their properties out of wishful thinking or a misguided attempt to stimulate the market, only to find that they can’t sell at that price.

“As property buying agents we use a number of tactics on behalf of our clients to persuade sellers to see reason, which can lead to a positive result for all parties.”

Recent examples of successful negotiating tactics included:
Patience and hardball – Elite offered £2.6 million on behalf of clients for a property on the market for £3.25 million. The offer was rejected and no counter-offer was made. The seller eventually accepted the offer 6 weeks later after receiving no other serious offers.

Inside knowledge of seller’s circumstances – Elite successfully negotiated a 20% reduction on the asking price of a property by agreeing to delay completion of the sale by 15 months. This would allow the seller to hold their daughter’s wedding in the grounds of the property.

Reality check – sellers rejected an offer of £1.2 million on a property priced at £1.75 million. Elite prepared a “reality check report” detailing why its offer was reasonable based on past sales and market indicators. After reading the report, the seller accepted the offer.

Understanding the seller’s position – during recent negotiations on behalf of a buyer, Elite established a rapport with the sellers, a married couple, and established that they were divorcing and the amount that each needed to walk away from the sale with. Elite successfully offered £1.2 million on behalf of clients – saving them £300,000 from the asking price.

“Buyers can negotiate very good deals on overpriced properties, but it has to be done strategically and from a position of knowledge. That’s why clients turn to property buying agents, such as us, to do the negotiating,” says Elite director Max Storey.

“To negotiate successfully, you have to know the market and details of past sales to determine a fair intrinsic price for a property, and then you need to add in other factors. For instance, it might be worth offering more than the intrinsic value because of proximity to a school or because you particularly like the style of the property.

“You also have to get to know the seller, their situation and their trigger points so that you can make them an offer that you know will suit their circumstances.”

For further information or interview please email:

Tim Sharp/Max Storey
Elite Property Search
Direct line: 01202 766566

Notes to editor:

Elite Property Search is a property search agent that specializes in sourcing prime UK properties worth in excess of £1 million. Acting exclusively for buyers, it locates the best city, country, waterside, character and period properties in the UK, the majority of which are not on the open market. It has no affiliation to any estate agents. For further information about the company, please visit

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