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Two thirds of homebuyers pay below asking price

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Three quarters of homebuyers initially offer below the asking price for a property, and two thirds are successful, according to the 2015 Which? home-moving survey.

The figures indicate 28 per cent of people pay full price for their home, with 5 per cent paying over this figure.

Out of these people, 28 per cent thought about negotiating before deciding not to, and 40 per cent didn’t even consider it. The most common reasons given for paying full price or above were the need for a quick purchase (29 per cent), and competition from other buyers (25 per cent).

The percentage of buyers who paid above the asking price varies significantly between cities, with 9 per cent of Londoners paying a premium and 1 per cent of buyers in Leeds doing so. Homebuyers in Wales were the most successful at getting a cut-price deal, with 74 per cent paying below the asking price.

Less than a third of those who paid the full asking price or above tried to negotiate a better deal. Overall, buyers in the Midlands (40 per cent) were most likely to try to haggle on price, and those in the North (29 per cent) were least likely to.

The findings also suggest forging a positive relationship with estate agents can be useful in securing a discount purchase, although homebuyers also need to be wary of sales tactics – 19 per cent of those who paid over the asking price said they did so because they were advised to offer more by the agent, while 13 per cent said they felt actively pressured into doing so.

More than a third (37 per cent) of those who paid above the asking price did so as they were bidding against other buyers.

“Don’t be afraid to haggle, even if you’ve set your heart on a property, as unless you’re in a very competitive market it will be expected,” said David Blake of Which? Mortgage Advisers.

“Having knowledge of the seller’s position and the local market is a good idea and can often help secure the property for less.”

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