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Homebuyers pay the price of failing to haggle

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Written by: Emma Lunn
10/02/2021
A third of homeowners lost out on possible savings because they didn’t negotiate on the price of their current property, according to research by Barclays.

The survey of 2,000 homeowners in the UK revealed 22% didn’t know how to haggle down house prices, while others said feelings of fear and embarrassment held them back.

Some 17% said they were worried they would lose the property they were purchasing while 8% said they found negotiating prices embarrassing. A further 8% said it was intimidating or scary while 7% didn’t negotiate for fear of upsetting the seller.

Others simply wanted the process to be as seamless as possible, with a tenth of respondents saying they didn’t negotiate as they just wanted the buying process to be over.

Younger buyers who are more likely to be embarking on the purchasing process for the first time were more stressed about negotiating compared to those over the age of 65 which the survey found had come at a cost.

Among younger respondents, 35% said they had to spend more of their savings to afford the house they wanted.

The majority of homeowners said they will consider haggling house prices on their next purchase, with 52% stating they were prepared to do so.

The average reduction homeowners hoped to make off their next purchase was 18% off the property price, which if successful could save them £40,000 based on the current average house price of £223,700.

Rob Smith, head of behavioural science at Barclays, said: “Our research has found that a considerable number of Brits lack the skills or confidence needed to negotiate successfully on the price of their home.

“We are more likely to negotiate on a used car than we are on a property, highlighting the unique emotional nature of one of the biggest purchases people make in their lifetime.

“Understandably the process can feel daunting, particularly if you fear losing out on your dream home, but a successful negotiation can result in extra money to bolster your family finances or invest back into your home.”

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