If you're asked to pay a pre-contract deposit, check with your solicitor if this is necessary. If so, is the money returnable if you don't complete the
purchase? Get a receipt.
There are no standard methods of negotiation in property purchase because so much psychology and mind games are involved. It's not just price that's up for negotiation - what about
exclusivity, timescales, fixtures and fittings?
Work them all into the deal if you can. Consider the timing of your negotiations with a view to the mindset of agent and vendor. Even low offers are considered more favourably when confirmed in
writing, supported with information on funding and legal arrangements and backed up with comparable evidence.
An Estate Agent has a legal obligation to put your offer to buy to the
vendor if the house is still on the market but not if they have already
accepted an offer to buy the house. The Agent then has an obligation to
tell you that the house is "sold subject to contract" and
that they will note your interest should the sale not proceed and will
then get back to you. When making an offer to buy it is important to
state that your offer will not just sit on the table while the house is
on the market in case they get a higher offer in the meantime. Make
sure that they know it is time limited and that you have other
properties on your shortlist so that you add some urgency to the
negotiation. Limit the offer to buy with a time to accept or reject the
offer so that you can move on your house buying as necessary. If they
accept the offer then it must be with the provision that they take the
house off the market immediately and remove the online marketing
details and for sale board.