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How to Gazunder Proof Your Property

February 6, 2013Tags: Gazunder | Darlington

It’s the phone call that sellers dread - just days from exchanging contracts the buyer rings to ask for a price reduction or ‘they’ll walk’.  The timing of this demand is usually intended to prevent the seller from rejecting the lower price, as the sale could collapse if they did.  In the current soft market, buyers are more likely to chance their luck.  

So, what steps can you take to avoid being held to ransom?  

Set a realistic asking price...

The less time it takes you to get an offer, the less desperate you will be to sell at any price. Be aware that some buyers will check how long the property has been on the market and whether it has been reduced in price, and will use this information to try to negotiate a further discount.”

Chain-free buyers...

Chain-free buyers with mortgage offers in place move quicker than those without, and speed reduces the likelihood of anyone claiming that the value of your home has fallen since the original offer was made, so keep time frames for completion tight – 6-8 weeks is more than reasonable.”

Be upfront and honest about any defects...

If the buyer is aware of problems like subsidence or a short lease from the start, it is far more difficult for them to turn around later and use this as a reason to haggle down the price. Ask the estate agent to ensure the buyer is fully aware that such defects have been factored into the asking price and you would not be prepared to negotiate on these points.”

Have a back up plan...

Remember you’re not home and dry until contracts have been exchanged, so keep your property on the market until then.  If problems do arise, you’ve still got other potential buyers in the frame.”

If this does happen to you, don't panic...

You may make statements which you do not mean or are incorrect.  State that you want evidence of their reasons for reducing the offer and wait for them to prove it to you.  In the meantime, do the same research as the buyers. Check prices in the area and ask builders for a free quote, so that you understand your position fully.  Ask yourself: Which is more important to you, the sale or the money? With the facts on your side, you should find you are able to live with whatever decision you make.”