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How to negotiate buying a house the right way

Smart Booster Home Loan

The Smart Booster Home Loan is our low rate home loan which allows you to boost your savings, build your equity and own your own home, sooner.

  • 2.60%
    discount var rate p.a.~
  • 2.96%
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Smart Booster Home Loan

The Smart Booster Home Loan is our low rate home loan which allows you to boost your savings, build your equity and own your own home, sooner.

  • 2.60%
    discount var rate p.a.~
  • 2.96%
    comparison rate p.a.*

If the word “bargain” sends shivers down your spine, it could be costing you more than you realise. The simple phrase “what’s your best price?” can lead to significant discounts when it comes to everyday buys, so when it comes to buying a house, good negotiating skills could save you tens of thousands of dollars.
No-one wants to be a sucker. And no-one wants to waste time. So when it comes to negotiating, the key is to stay calm, be respectful, and keep your wits about you.
Buying a house is the biggest purchase you’re ever likely to make. Here are our top negotiation tips to get the house you want for less.

Do your research, then do it again

It’s impossible to know what a fair price is until you’ve done your market research. You can bet the vendor will have done theirs. Find out how much other homes are selling for in your area and compare features.

Understand why the vendor is selling, how long the property has been on the market and get a building report done so that you can factor any repair costs into your offer.

Determine your budget

Before you start house shopping, you should work out how much you can afford. Our home mortgage calculator will give you a rough estimate of what your repayments will be according to the home mortgage rate, term, and loan amount. 

Stick with your budget

Now that you’ve determined your budget, you should stick to it as much as possible. Having a budget will help ensure you don’t go overboard when negotiating on a house. 

Set realistic goals

Remember to set realistic goals with your buying criteria and budget. For instance, if you’re looking for a three-bedroom house near Sydney’s CBD that’s below the price range of $500,000, this may not be a reasonable price for that location. Be realistic with your goals and budget so you won’t be disappointed.

Time your offers

When negotiating, you want to be chased by the vendor and not the other way around. You can time your offers by determining how eager the vendor is to sell. If you’re continuously chasing the vendor, this may mean that you have a lot of competition. If you really like the property you can give your offer immediately. 

Get pre-approval

If you’ve got pre-approval from your lender for a home loan, your offer will be much more attractive to the vendor than an offer from an interested buyer who doesn’t have pre-approval. Vendors want to deal with serious buyers who are ready to act.

They don’t want to wait around on paperwork that could’ve been done before the offer was made, or risk losing a pre-approved buyer if the other loan doesn’t get approved.

If it comes down to you and someone else with pre-approval, even if your offer is slightly higher the vendor may just do the deal with them instead

Stay calm when negotiating

You love this property. It’s your dream home. You want to scream from the rooftop “this is the one!” But save your emotions for the car ride home or when you’re out of earshot from the agent or vendor.

If they know how much you love the property, they’ll be less likely to come down in price and assume you’ll be willing to pay more. Of course there is no point in underplaying things either, as you could risk appearing like you’re not that interested and therefore not worth negotiating with at all. Show your interest, but keep your cool.

Be prepared to let the property go

Forget about who you are buying the property from and how they’re playing the game. Once it’s yours, you’ll never have to see them again. Be a respectful negotiator, and if the vendor simply won’t come down to a price you believe is fair, is stringing things along, or is getting nasty, be willing to let the property go and look for another one. There is every chance they may come back to you with a deal, but don’t rely on it.

About the article

As Australia's leading online lender, has been helping people into their dream homes and cars for more than 10 years. Our content is written and reviewed by experienced financial experts. The information we provide is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives or needs. If you'd like to chat to one of our lending specialists about a home or car loan, contact us on Live Chat or by calling 13 10 90.