Property investment negotiating skills are nurture, not nature
When it comes to making a property investment below market value, the game of property investment really hots up in the negotiating stage. Maybe because I learned the hard way when I first started out as a property investor, I cringe when I witness or hear about the negotiating mistakes made by the inexperienced (and experienced) property investor.
In the weeks to come I’ll look at negotiating the purchase of a property investment a lot more closely, but for now, I thought I’d share these five common negotiating mistakes with you so you don’t lose a great property investment or pay over the odds.
1. Talking too much
A friend of mine used to work in the stock markets as a trader, and his advice about negotiating is, “Get the ball in the other persons court as quickly as possible, and keep it there for as long as possible. You’re less likely to make a mistake when you’re not the one who’s talking.”
I can’t argue with him. Say what you want to say, and no more. Let the seller make the mistakes!
2. Making an offer too low
It might be tempting to make a real low-ball offer, but you risk insulting the seller and never hearing from him or her again. You could build a natural mistrust of what you say, too, if you then up your offer by some way.
Be a reasonable property investor, do your investment research, understand the seller, and make an opening offer that isn’t going to be laughed out of court. At the same time, don’t go all in and make your very best offer immediately: it gives you no room to negotiate.
3. Hanging around for a response
So you’ve made your first offer, and heard nothing. What do you do? Do you phone and ask what’s going on, or do you leave it? Among the most common of negotiating mistakes is the natural reticence to leave the seller alone, and wait… and wait… and wait…
Give the seller a maximum of a day or two to think about the offer you’ve made, and then call him or her and ask.
4. Being too enthusiastic about a property investment
It’s easy to get carried away when you find that perfect property. You’re keen to get the deal signed before someone else jumps in. The problem is the seller will pick up on this enthusiasm (and can even do so over the phone – really, it’s true!). When the seller knows the property investor is as keen as mustard to buy, all the negotiating control passes over to him or her.
You must temper your enthusiasm, speak in calm tones, and never rush to answer a counter-offer to your latest bid.
5. Asking for everything at once
If you ask for too much at once, you risk losing everything. My advice here is to negotiate on price first, and then turn to the terms of your investment property.
Have you ever started negotiating and realised you’ve made one almighty error? How did you put that right? Or perhaps you have a hot negotiating technique that you’d like to share with other readers. Drop us a line below, or give us a call on +44 (0)207 923 6100 – we love hearing from our readers and clients.