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Old 12.11.2009, 14:01
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Buying an apartment - Price negotiation

Hello,

I am in the process of buying an apartment (atleast we have found a couple that are interesting). I have searched for related topics on EF and found a lot of info. But I have a couple of questions.

For the apartment in question right now (in Lausanne), the builder is about to start the construction of the building. The price of the apartment is around 600K CHF. The parking is extra 30K CHF.

After discussing with my Bank manager, I am stretching to extreme to reach the 630K CHF. I mentioned that I could negociate with the builder to bring the cost down. The bank guy said that for new apartments its almost impossible to negociate this. I am not convinced (maybe because of my cultural background), so I want to negociate, but I don't know if the builder will just say it is impossible and will refuse to sell me the apartment. Has anyone tried haggling for a new apartment\house? What has been your experience?

Also, I am on vacation in a week. Will the builder wait until I come back from vacation to finalize the deal? or will he sell it to another person?

Your suggestions\thoughts are welcome.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12.11.2009, 14:09
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negociation

We just moved into our newly-bought, brand new appartment, and we didn't get very far with negotiations either, especially as we didn't like the kitchen (it was the show appt) and wanted our own put in. Eventually, the builder knocked of 3k, but that didn't cover half the cost of changing the kitchen.
We could have stood our ground and walked away if they remained intransigent, but we really wanted the place and it is an ideal location for the kids' school and everything else.
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Old 12.11.2009, 15:01
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negociation

Oldr thread:
Negotiating house prices
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Old 12.11.2009, 15:57
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negociation

on a new-build, you're unlikely to
  1. get any great reduction
  2. actually pay the suggested price
You'll either take everything as defined in the construction specification and "like" it or change things and pay.

Try negotiating down how much % is charged on extras.

And if there is demand, the builder will not reserve the property for you unless you pay the deposit.

All-in-all, if you want to negotiate, buy a completed property and be prepared to walk away from it.
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Old 12.11.2009, 16:54
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negociation

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All-in-all, if you want to negotiate, .....be prepared to walk away from it.
Very good advice indeed.
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Old 12.11.2009, 16:58
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negotiation

Thanks to all of you for the quick response.
I am meeting the builder tomorrow. Will try to write a comment on how it went.

Cheers
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Old 12.11.2009, 17:49
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negotiation

In my experience, significant discounts are much easier to come by on second hand properties. Personally, I would be careful with new build apartments as some of my friends have recently had to sell at a painful loss - but it is dependant on the development, and the bank valuation should be a guide as to whether the deal is sound.
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Old 17.11.2009, 11:19
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negotiation

Thanks Patrius.

As you mentioned, the negociations were not fruitful. The builder did not back down and taking other factors into account we did not go ahead.

The search continues...
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Old 17.11.2009, 11:41
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negotiation

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Thanks Patrius.

As you mentioned, the negociations were not fruitful. The builder did not back down and taking other factors into account we did not go ahead.

The search continues...
You could just pay the asking price.
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Old 17.11.2009, 11:51
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negotiation

With any property purchase, I would strongly recommend getting a bank valuation done first before you put an offer in - you can then decide if the premium the builder is asking is true value or not.
If would also try to find out how keen the builder is to sell - how many appartments are sold / left - ask as many questions as possible.
If you really do like this appartment, don't be afraid to go back in a week or so and try again for a discount. Some buyers are trained to refuse the first 3 offers the get, regardless of the true value / worth.
The reason children are such good negotiators is that they instinctively negotiate without fear and are quite happy to ask for the same thing upto 10 times despite continually being told no; as adults we tend to take rejection as a definite.
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Old 17.11.2009, 12:06
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negotiation

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With any property purchase, I would strongly recommend getting a bank valuation done first before you put an offer in - you can then decide if the premium the builder is asking is true value or not.
If would also try to find out how keen the builder is to sell - how many appartments are sold / left - ask as many questions as possible.
If you really do like this appartment, don't be afraid to go back in a week or so and try again for a discount. Some buyers are trained to refuse the first 3 offers the get, regardless of the true value / worth. .
In the Swiss market?
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Old 17.11.2009, 12:59
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negotiation

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In the Swiss market?
the Client Advisor handling your mortgage will most likely go through this valuation exercise as part of the risk analysis of the loan.

Whether he confirms the valuation is another thing; mine did when I purchased but I assume issuance of funds would be an indicator that they are not worried about negative equity.
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Old 17.11.2009, 14:09
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negotiation

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the Client Advisor handling your mortgage will most likely go through this valuation exercise as part of the risk analysis of the loan.

Whether he confirms the valuation is another thing; mine did when I purchased but I assume issuance of funds would be an indicator that they are not worried about negative equity.
True, but since there are so few properties on the market, you really do not have the time to do that while looking... it is part of the motions once you have already decided.

Time, so to say, is not on your side when looking for something here.
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Old 17.11.2009, 14:14
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negotiation

I think you speak of the certain micro-markets; there are lots of places out there if you're not looking in Geneva, Zurich and other similar places where the market is more predictable.

Where I'm presently looking, there is a good selection of properties.

Buying new means you really only will succeed in cutting percentages off things like "Honorär" charges - so your foreperson and architect.

Buying second-hand is where you can negotiate. Mind you, in certain markets, the negotiation is positive and in favour of the buyer
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Old 17.11.2009, 14:18
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negotiation

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I think you speak of the certain micro-markets; there are lots of places out there if you're not looking in Geneva, Zurich and other similar places where the market is more predictable.
The op was looking in Lausanne, tbh it just a guess, but it's probably like all the other "big" cities in CH.
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Old 17.11.2009, 14:24
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negotiation

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The op was looking in Lausanne, tbh it just a guess, but it's probably like all the other "big" cities in CH.
I agree about Lausanne - but it does not necessarily mean that the market is rapid for purchase if it is rapid for rentals.

It took my CA 5 minutes to confirm the price I paid for a property, though. I admit at the time to working for a bank but I would assume this service should be fairly normal. My project had all deposits paid within 2 weeks of first being advertised, by the way. We had to move sharpish with the deposit...!
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Old 17.11.2009, 14:28
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negotiation

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I agree about Lausanne - but it does not necessarily mean that the market is rapid for purchase if it is rapid for rentals.

It took my CA 5 minutes to confirm the price I paid for a property, though. I admit at the time to working for a bank but I would assume this service should be fairly normal. My project had all deposits paid within 2 weeks of first being advertised, by the way. We had to move sharpish with the deposit...!
AHA!!! I don't know the delay, I bought in Zurich- either it was my yes or someone elses (I even knew the other person who wanted it).
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Old 17.11.2009, 14:30
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negotiation

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AHA!!! I don't know the delay, I bought in Zurich- either it was my yes or someone elses (I even knew the other person who wanted it).
another factor could be if the loan is for less than 95% (that's what I went for). If it's for 80% or less, they have a lower risk as negative equity would only.....affect the buyer and not the lender should the place have to be sold
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Old 17.11.2009, 14:36
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negotiation

I have to say, the property market here is incredibly static. There were very few properties that fulfilled our criteria at the time, well, just the one to be honest. And almost a year on from when we started looking, there has been very little change in what's available. It's difficult to just "walk away" when there's not much else to walk away to.
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Old 17.11.2009, 14:47
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Re: Buying an apartment - Price negotiation

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You could just pay the asking price.
The asking price was 630K CHF for 3.5 (87m2 living + 35m2 balcony + parking underground). Which some people said was reasonable, some people said was way too high for the outskirts of Lausanne.

As I mentioned, there were other factors involved in our decision (like locality, no shops nearby, etc) not just the price. My bank advisor confirmed that the price was not a problem for me (I just about had the 20% from all the sources + LPP).

There were some comments about valuation. My bank had also financed the construction of the building, so no doubt their evaluation was a bit biased. I didn't have time to contact other banks. Next time I will do my homework.
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