Created by: Dave Harland | 2 August 2019

Sneaky tricks used by homebuyers

If you’re planning on selling your home or buying a new one, it’s important that you know what tricks are being used in the property market.

Some of them are smart tactics which you may want to use yourself, but others need to be addressed with the buyers so you don’t get tricked into lowering the asking price of your home.

1. Hide the animals!

If you own a pet, you should you get somebody to look after them for the day and hide all evidence of them living there while a viewing is taking place.

Many buyers will be put off if they see that a dog or cat has lived there, as they’ll think that the carpets aren’t as clean as they should be.

This might be something that a buyer tries to use as a way to reduce the asking price, so be on your guard.

2. Don’t listen to a buyer’s ‘expert advice’

Some buyers might try to get you to reduce the asking price by saying that your home needs repairs doing.

For example, somebody might claim to have some kind of construction experience and make out that your home is crumbling at the edges, saying things like: “There are cracks in the walls and the electrics are dangerous.”

It’s a simple tactic to make you think your home is worth less than it is. So ignore what they say and leave it to the surveyors to find problems – it’s their job after all.

3. The lowball offer

One of the most common ways somebody will try to get you to lower the value of your home, is to submit an offer way below the asking price.

The buyer will be fully aware that you won’t accept the offer but they’ll then try to make you ‘meet them in the middle’ as a sneaky way of getting a bargain.

4. Inventing false buyers

If your house is on the market for £300,000 and it’s viewed by two people, one offering £250,000 and the other offering £270,000, which offer are you likely to choose?

The higher one obviously.

But what if the lower offer had been made by somebody who had no intention of buying the home and they actually knew the other buyer?

You might think you’re getting a good deal by choosing the offer of £270,000 when actually you’ve dropped your price for a huge amount, because you thought you would be getting a better deal.

This is a particularly naughty trick, and one that’s difficult to protect against, so mention it to your estate agent if two offers come in and you’re suspicious.

And above all, never feel pressured into accepting an offer under your asking price just because it’s the best offer on the table.