Price is not the only route to getting a better deal
Recent reports suggest that Poland delivered 7% more homes in 2020 than they did in 2019. This despite the pandemic. Prices have held firm and in some areas increased in contrast to expectations (including ours) from early 2020. Interest rates are rock bottom so affordability is greater and demand has increased as demonstrated by the latest mortgage report. So why would developers negotiate with you in such a positive market?
What do Developers care about?
Developers care about two things, selling the property obviously but almost as importantly, the headline price of the sale.
If developers reduce prices, their business plans will be affected along with the debt agreements with their bank. If they reduce prices, the market will take this as a sign of weak demand and the next property may have to include an even deeper discount. Sometimes, developers will not advertise their properties for sale if they feel they won't get the price they need. Counter-intuitive we know.
With this in mind, and in the current environment, the buyer should not be afraid to push and push hard for the best deal possible.
What's up for negotiation?
Anecdotal evidence in the Polish market suggests that buyers are getting 2 - 4% discounts when they push for them. Our argument is that not only should you get your 3% average discount but also negotiate for the extras.
Extras in a property purchase can be varied. They can include
Notary fees (normally paid for by the buyer).
Property agents fees.
Fit out costs.
Future renting commissions if it's buy-to-let.
Annual building management fees.
Negotiating all of these areas should be viewed as much a priority as the headline price. An added advantage when discounting fees is they would normally not be included in your own mortgage allowance, forcing you to pay for them in cash.
The fact is, getting something for free saves you money, regardless if its labeled a "fee" or a "storage unit".
Based on the above examples let us propose a strategy. You are buying an apartment with a list price of zl. 500,000. There is a lot of demand for these apartments as they are close to the average price so your negotiating room will be smaller. To be in an optimal negotiating position, ensure you have your cash and mortgage ready to go.
Go in and offer the full zl. 500,000 with no price negotiation on the condition that they agree to exempt you from building management fees for the next 5 years in addition to your purchasing notary costs.
The administration fee saving alone could be worth around zl. 25,000 or 5% of the purchase price. Remember also, you can borrow against the property but not against the fees so this example of a strategy has extra benefits. Maybe also ask for a free storage unit. You may get it or you may not, but you at least give them something to say no to, a key part of successful negotiations.
For the more expensive properties, with less demand comes more negotiation space. But you get the idea.