The euro slumped on Thursday following the European Central Bank’s (ECB) latest interest rate decision.
Negotiating the best price on your dream property can wrought with pitfalls and in the worse-case scenario can leave a seller feeling insulted and unwilling to sell to you.
Fortunately, we have compiled a short list of our top tips for negotiating prices when purchasing a foreign property.
The reason why the property is available to purchase is a key starting point as to whether the seller will be haggle-friendly.
Ask why the property is on the market
For example, if they’re selling because they need a larger property, the likelihood is they won’t be interested in lower offers.
However, if they’re looking to downsize, they may be open to discussing the price tag.
Even if you truly believe that this property is The One, be sure to keep your emotions and conversations in check.
Don’t be over enthusiastic
If you come across as overly enthusiastic about owning the property then the sellers are likely to take advantage and will assume you’re open to paying more.
During a walk-through of the property, be sure to highlight a few of its flaws – perhaps a dated kitchen or small living area – and imply that any offer made will reflect these issues.
When it comes to negotiating, you’ll obviously want to get the best possible price… But be thoughtful as to the type of property it is.
Negotiate with understanding
If the property is a beloved family home, for sale only due to personal circumstances, don’t submit a ridiculously low offer or highlight issue after issue, as you’ll likely offend the sellers and may not be considered as a potential buyer.
However, if it’s a new-build and you’re unlikely to insult the current owners, you have the perfect opportunity to actively haggle.
Also be sure to research house prices in the area of the property you are looking to purchase to be sure you’re not overpaying, as well as the local area itself. If a neighbouring house was sold for less then be sure to find out why.
The best practice of presenting an offer is to provide it in writing with as much detail as possible.
Offer with detail
This is to deter from ‘he said, she said’ debates, and will limit any room for misinterpretation.
Providing a mortgage acceptance letter or a ‘mortgage in principle’ can also make your offer more attractive as the seller will be confident in your ability to purchase, reducing the risk to themselves.
A rejection can often be the beginning of the conversation between you and the seller – they may be seeing if they can squeeze any more out of you.
Refused? Don’t give up!
Speak to the estate agent and be clear that your offer is the best or highest you’re willing to go.
If other factors boost your credibility then they may be open to a discussion – particularly in a quiet market.
Otherwise, keep an eye on the property and should it remain available after a while, you could approach them again to see if they’ll reconsider your offer.
Although many countries teach English as a second-language in their schools, it’s a show of goodwill if you make the effort to learn the seller’s language.
Learn the native tongue
If you’re wanting to purchase from a local, speaking in the country’s native tongue is one method to prove that you want to join the area’s way of life, not change it.
It will also put you in good stead with your neighbours!
When purchasing abroad, it may put you in a stronger position if you use professionals – solicitors, surveyors, etc. – who are based in the country you’re aiming to move to.
English-speaking local advice
This is because they’ll know the local area and will be better able to advise you on what’s a good or bad investment.
However, be sure that they’re fluent in your own language too, to prevent any misunderstandings or language barriers down the road.
You can make yourself more appealing to sellers by planning ahead.
Are you an attractive buyer?
If you have already taken certain steps, it will show that you are serious about purchasing. These steps can include: reducing your debt-to-income ratio, having savings so that you are – and appear to be – more financially stable, as well as getting a pre-approved mortgage letter.
Saving money on your foreign property purchase
While many choose to make their transfer through their high street bank, they may find it is more cost effective to use a leading currency specialist like Currencies Direct.
Unlike the banks, most reputable currency providers don’t charge any additional transfer fees., which in addition to the more competitive exchange rate on offer, can help make your money go further when purchasing your dream property aboard.
Currencies Direct also offers a range of services which can help you save even more money when transferring money for your overseas wedding.
For instance, using a Forward Contract you can fix an exchange rate for up to a year, giving you plenty of time to go through the rigmarole of purchasing a property, without having to worry about an unfavourable shift in the market between making an offer and finalising your purchase.
Another popular service are Limit Orders, which allows you to target an exchange rate above the prevailing rate, with your transfer being made automatically the moment your target rate is struck, great for when you don’t need to make a transfer immediately and can hold out for a better rate.
Help your money go further on your foreign property purchase by ensuring you get the maximum returns on your currency transfer.
Currencies Direct is one of Europe's leading non-bank providers of currency exchange and international payment services. Since we were formed in 1996, we've maintained our focus on providing innovative foreign exchange and international currency transfer services to corporations of all sizes, online sellers and private individuals. We have also expanded our services to provide dynamic and pioneering "business to business" solutions to help companies, tier 2/3 banks and other non-bank financial institutions to process their international payments. Our headquarters are in the City of London (United Kingdom) and we have operations in continental Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States. Currencies Direct is jointly owned by private equity firms Palamon Capital Partners and Corsair Capital.