How to successfully negotiate with real estate agents

Todd Sloan says property buyers need to hold back selected information when approaching negotiations with selling real estate agents.

Negotiating the best property deal is always a priority, but especially in a market with soaring prices. However, award winning sales agent Todd Sloan has revealed his personal insight into the many common mistakes potential buyers make with selling agents that escalate the price.

In particular, the biggest trap buyers will fall into is telling a selling agent too much. Todd told KnowHow founder Bushy Martin on the Get Invested podcast that people need to ‘play it cool’.

“You’re not putting yourself 100 percent out there, but you’re still interested and you’re still present. So you don’t want to just completely shut off but you also don’t want to give everything away,” Todd said.

“It’s about the questions you want to be asking to get the information you want as the buyer, but then also just the things that you need to just keep to yourself, because there’s that delicate balance between the two.”

One common overshare is buyers revealing how much they’d be willing to pay on top of their initial offer.

“When you’ve just made an offer, if an agent ever says, ‘oh look thank you so much for your offer, I’ll present this to the vendors, but just to prevent the back-and-forth incase they say no, what would your next offer be?’, don’t answer. The amount of people that go, ‘oh probably an extra $10K’. It happens all the time. So just present your offer and that’s it,” Todd said.

Todd explained buyers also shouldn’t reveal any emotional connections to the house.

“It’s really about having general conversation, so if I’m talking with someone and saying ‘why do you really like this property?’ And then they say ‘oh, because little Timmy is going to be the next Michael Phelps and this is two minutes away from the swimming centre’ – you remember that as an agent. You want to remember that there’s an emotional attachment there. So this is one thing you really don’t want to tell an agent – do not tell an agent why you absolutely love the place,” Todd said.

“If you remember that bank ad where it’s a husband and wife walking into a property and the husband just goes ‘poker face’ to his wife and then his wife goes ‘oh my gosh’ and just loses it, and the agent very arrogantly hands him an offer form like ‘I know I’ve got you’ – well it’s totally true and that happens. So if you’ve got a strong emotional attachment to something, we’re absolutely going to be pressing on that.”

So to avoid these tricks, Todd recommended buyers approach all negotiations with as much research and current market knowledge as possible.

“So right now it’s a little bit different because it is such a seller’s market. Now, the goal isn’t grabbing a bargain in my opinion, it’s just securing the property. But when this transitions back to a buyer’s market, then it’s not about securing it – it’s about securing it at the absolute best possible price. And when you’re doing that, having some market knowledge on an area is so powerful,” he said.

“A lot of the time you can get this just from either talking to an agent and getting like a CoreLogic report sent through, or even if you just want to do some research on realestate.com.au or Domain.

“But when someone throws back at you and says, ‘oh look this one down the road actually sold for $850K, so whilst I thank you very much for your offer of $800K, I just feel this is a much more comparable property, don’t you agree?” And they try and walk you into going ‘oh yeah ok maybe that is realistic’ and they pull you down that logical path.

“If you actually know what that property was, you can turn around and go, ‘yeah ok that is a nice home but this is on 750 square metres, whereas that one was a red brick 1970s build and it was on 600 square metres, a little bit closer to the main road as well’. And you’re sort of comparing in a way where you go they’re actually not the same.

“But you only know that if you’ve actually done your research, which is boring for some people, but sometimes research can save you tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes, just from knowing the right things to say.”

Listen to the full interview here.

Want to Know How you can build wealth with the help of leading, qualified experts? Talk to the team at KnowHow, now.

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