There is room to maneuver in any negotiation, and property is no exception. Arm yourself with some basic buying strategies and you could save a tidy sum.

1. Do the numbers

Know your market. Once you get a feel for property prices in your chosen area you can bid with confidence. Check prices on line and in the local paper, but don’t stop there. Get out and see as many properties in your target area as possible – there is often a big difference between an advertised description and the actual bricks and mortar!

2. Count your dollars

Before you begin your property hunt establish your bottom line. Look carefully at your borrowing capabilities and how much you can afford to repay each month. Remember that there are lots of additional expenses on top of the purchase price: stamp duty, legal fees and other costs all add up.

3. Know your opponent

The more information you have about a seller’s motivations the better your position to drive down the price. Is it a forced sale? Has the vendor already bought another property? Ask the agent why the vendor is selling – this may indicate how flexible the price is.

4. Start low and keep it slow

Always begin with a low but realistic offer. In a buyers’ market 10 per cent price reductions are not uncommon. There are also plenty of properties for you to choose from – and the vendor knows it. Don’t get pressured into moving too quickly for comfort – keep the negotiating pace on your terms.

5. Money talks

At the end of the day an agent is likely to support a bid from a buyer who has cash available. A pre-approval will always give you the edge if you are competing with a buyer without finance.

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