1) Employ an impartial negotiator
It's all too easy to get carried away when you're negotiating, especially when a shot at your dream home is on the table. However, a hot head will do you no favours. Consider employing a buying agent who can act as an impartial negotiator and keep your dealings with the selling agent entirely free of emotion.
2) Sweeten the offer with a small deposit
Show that you're serious about buying and stop a sales agent from looking for a better bet by attaching a small deposit cheque to your offer. Around 10 per cent is the perfect amount and can help swing the balance in your favour.
3) Line up your own providers
Your top priority is getting a good deal on your services and financing – not providing the sales agent with a kickback. Pick your own providers and don't blindly take recommendations from anyone in real estate. Compare home loans and search for good local surveyors so that you know you are not being taken for a ride.
4) Impose a time limit
Don't give the selling agent a chance to shop around for a higher offer from someone else – give your offer a time limit. When you put an offer on the table, explain to the agent that they only have 24 to 48 hours to come back to you with an answer. You might be surprised with how quickly they are able to respond.
5) Put all offers in writing
A spoken-word agreement doesn’t carry the same weight when it comes to buying your dream home. Put all offers in writing and don’t give the selling agent a chance to ‘accidentally’ mishear a figure or forget any specifications you outlined.
6) Pretend to be gullible
An unscrupulous sales agent will see a gullible person as an easy mark – play along and you can exploit their dodgy dealing for your own gain. Listen out for common bait tactics and only reveal your hand when you find a home you're interested in – that way you can cut through their bluster in no time.