Legal and Negotiation Processes
Preparation and Planning
Settlement and Post-Purchase
The Market and Compliance
Viewing and Inspecting Properties

How To Use The Step Guides
Buyer Introduction
Your Current Scenario
Understanding Real Estate Market Dynamics and Influences
Assessing the Benefits of Owning vs. Renting
Assessing Your Readiness and Financial Planning for Homeownership
Establishing a Budget for Property Purchase
Deciding to Work With A Mortgage or Financial Adviser
Deciding on Whether to Proceed with Home Buying
Analysing Financial Capacity for a Mortgage in New Zealand
Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Proceeding As a Cash Buyer
Attending Property Seminars and Workshops
Exploring Various Mortgage Options in New Zealand
Property Sale Types in New Zealand
Anti Money Laundering Rules and Regulations
Determining Long-Term Goals and Future Plans for Property Buying
Costs Associated with Buying a Property
Creating a List of Must-Haves and Nice-to-Haves
Potential Purchasing Partners for Property Buying
Researching the Housing Market in Your Desired Area
Location and Commuting
Understanding Property Taxes in New Zealand
How to Compare The Values of Similar Properties
Exploring Property Listings and Conducting Online Research for Buying Property
Interacting with Real Estate Agents
Arranging Private Viewings of Properties
Guide to Attending Open Homes and Viewing Properties
Arranging Professional Property Inspections
Seeking Comprehensive Legal Advice Before Making an Offer
Choosing the Right Conveyancing Lawyer when Buying Property
Understanding Legal Obligations and Rights as a Buyer
Considering Community Amenities and Infrastructure
Conditional Offers Versus Unconditional Offers
Formulating an Offer Strategy
Buying a Property at Auction
Buyer First Mover Advantage Offer Strategy
Engaging in Negotiation of Purchase Terms

Ensuring Compliance with Agreement Conditions When Buying Property
Discussing Agreement Details with Your Legal Advisor
Undertaking a Geotechnical Report
Reviewing Property Inspection Reports for Potential Issues
Requesting and Analysing a LIM Report
Requesting and Analysing a PIM Report
Things to Do During Due Diligence Period to Prepare for Move
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Moving Company
Organising Home and Contents Insurance
Settlement Day Procedures
How to Deal With Settlement Delays in Property Transactions
Planning Interior Layout and Design
Settling In and Post Purchase Steps
Purchasing Necessary Furniture and Appliances
Tools and Services To Help Manage Your Property & Finances Post Purchase
Re-evaluating Your Budget Three Months Post-Property Settlement

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Buy / Step 38 of 54

Engaging in Negotiation of Purchase Terms

Understanding negotiation tactics and where you can best use them

Understanding negotiation tactics is essential not only to securing your dream home but also ensuring the transaction reflects your best interests. This guide will walk you through effective negotiation tactics and the types of property sale situations where they are most suitable.

Before diving into negotiation strategies, it's crucial to understand the different types of property sales in New Zealand's real estate market.


In an auction, properties are swiftly sold to the participant who places the highest bid above a reserve price. The nature of this fast-paced and competitive environment limits the use of traditional negotiation tactics. Auctions are all about strategic bidding. It's crucial to enter an auction with a firm understanding of your financial capacity and the property's market value. You'll need to bid confidently, but also be aware of your maximum limit to avoid getting caught in the heat of the moment and overbidding.


Tender processes are unique compared to other sale types. They involve submitting a single, well-thought offer by a specified cut-off date. As there is no opportunity to negotiate face-to-face or have discussions, your offer must be carefully crafted to stand out amongst others without overcommitting financially.

Private Treaty Sales

Private treaty sales provide room for more traditional negotiation. In this scenario, sellers list their property with an asking price, and buyers make offers accordingly. This scenario provides the greatest scope for negotiation tactics such as counteroffers, conditional offers and open dialogue about terms and conditions.

Deadline Sales

Deadline sales bear similarities to tenders as they have a fixed date by which all offers must be submitted. While there isn't room for conventional back-and-forth bargaining, presenting an attractive and compelling initial offer is key. This might mean offering a competitive price or flexible terms that align with the seller’s needs and preferences. Like tenders, understanding the market and the seller's situation can give you an edge in crafting your offer.

With these sale types in mind, let's explore some negotiation tactics that can give you an edge in private treaty sales and other scenarios where back-and-forth negotiation is possible.

Do Your Homework

Firstly, research is paramount. Familiarise yourself with recent sale prices of similar properties in the area. This knowledge positions you to make reasonable offers that align with market value.

Establish Rapport

Building a positive relationship with the seller or their agent can significantly influence negotiations. Approach interactions with respect and professionalism to create goodwill.

Start Strong but Not Too High

Your initial offer should be compelling enough to engage the seller but leave room for adjustments. Starting too high might limit your ability to negotiate down the line.

Be Prepared to Compromise

Negotiations, by nature, are a dance of give and take. Regardless of whether you're dealing with price, settlement dates or conditions of sale, knowing your boundaries beforehand is crucial. Set firm limits but also identify areas where you can bend. This strategy not only keeps the conversation moving forward but also sends a message to the seller about your serious intent to reach an amicable agreement.

Price: Determine your price range based on market research and financial capacity.

Settlement Dates: Understand how flexible you can be with moving dates, keeping in mind any lease agreements or other commitments you might have.

Conditions of sale: Identify any deal breakers versus conditions that you'd be willing to adjust or waive.

Use Conditions Wisely

While entering into a property negotiation, including conditions such as building inspections or finance clauses can serve as protective measures for you. However, it's worth noting that these may alter the attractiveness of your offer compared to unconditional bids. Although these conditions offer security, their inclusion in your offer should be judiciously considered and balanced against the overall strength of your bid.

Stay Objective

In the realm of property negotiations, it's quite common to become emotionally attached to a property, especially when it ticks all the boxes on your wish list. However, this is fundamentally a business transaction. Keeping emotions in check allows for better decision making and helps maintain objectivity.

The ability to walk away plays a vital role in successful negotiations. If terms don't meet your expectations or if negotiations reach a stalemate, be willing to step back. The property market is dynamic and there will always be other opportunities.

Remember the three pillars of successful property negotiation - patience, persistence and informed decision making.


It's natural to feel anxious or stressed when negotiating for a property you're interested in, especially if you've been searching for a while. However, rushing into a deal may lead to overpaying or overlooking potential issues with the property. When you practice patience:

  • You allow yourself time to fully assess the property.
  • You reduce the risk of experiencing buyer's remorse.
  • You have ample time to consider other available properties.

Property negotiation isn't always smooth sailing - there may be bumps along the way. Disagreements on price, terms or conditions are common. This is where persistence comes in. By remaining steadfast:

  • You give negotiations a chance to unfold naturally.
  • You demonstrate your serious interest in the property.
  • You increase your chances of reaching a satisfactory agreement.

It is important not to confuse persistence with stubbornness - flexibility is key in negotiations.

Informed Decision Making

The importance of being well-informed cannot be overstated. Gathering as much information about the property and the local real estate market as possible aids in:

  • Making realistic offers based on current market values.
  • Understanding any potential future developments that could affect your investment.
  • Identifying any hidden issues or costs associated with the property.

Knowledge is power when it comes to negotiating effectively.

Ultimately, no matter how perfect a property may appear initially, there will always be other options that could fit your criteria. It's essential to keep this perspective and not let the fear of missing out drive your decision-making process.

Communicate Clearly

Ensure your communication is transparent and concise. Misunderstandings can derail negotiations or lead to less favourable terms.

Leverage Time

Understanding the seller’s timeline can be advantageous. If they're seeking a quick sale, presenting an offer with a shorter settlement period might appeal to them.

While negotiation can be powerful in many instances, there are situations where it may not be appropriate or effective:

Multi-Offer Scenarios

When multiple offers are on the table, you may need to present your best offer upfront as there might not be an opportunity for negotiation.

Seller's Market

In a seller's market where demand exceeds supply, sellers have less incentive to negotiate as they may receive multiple attractive offers quickly.

Fixed Price Listings

If a property is listed with a fixed price and it matches market value closely, there may be little room for negotiation unless it remains unsold for an extended period.

Negotiating when making an offer on a property in New Zealand requires strategic thinking and adaptability. By understanding different sales methods and applying appropriate negotiation tactics thoughtfully, you enhance your chances of securing a property on favourable terms. Remember that every situation is unique; tailor your approach accordingly and remain informed throughout your property journey.

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