Third of Homebuyers Missing Out on Savings By Failing to Haggle


February 2021

Third of Homebuyers Missing Out on Savings By Failing to Haggle

A third of homeowners missed out on savings by failing to negotiate on the price of the property, Barclays has found.

The bank surveyed 2,000 people about their experience purchasing their home and found that lack of knowledge and embarrassment stopped many from driving a hard bargain.

22% of those surveyed admitted that they didn’t know how to haggle down house prices and a further 17% said fears of losing the property they were trying to purchase dissuaded them from negotiating. Another tenth didn’t quibble over the price because they didn’t want to delay or complicate the home-buying process.

8% said they found haggling over prices embarrassing, and 8% found it scary. 7% didn’t negotiate because they didn’t want to upset the seller. 

Young buyers, more likely to be buying a home for the first time, feel less confident and more stressed about negotiating over price than those over 65. But that reluctance to dicker over price is costly. More than a third (35%) of young buyers said they’d had to use more of their savings than they wanted as a home deposit.

Haggling has become even more crucial as costs have risen, particularly for first-time buyers. Rising house prices and the disappearance of many highly-leveraged mortgages has increased the average deposit first-time buyers need by £10,000 since the start of the pandemic to £57,278, according to research by Halifax.

Perhaps stung by the amount they paid for their current property, half (52%) of homeowners have resolved to haggle for their next home. They hope to knock an average of 18% off the property price, which would save them £40,000 on the average home, costing £223,700.

Rob Smith, head of behavioural science at Barclays, said: “Our research has found that a considerable number of Brits lack the skills or confidence needed to negotiate successfully on the price of their home.

“We are more likely to negotiate on a used car than we are on a property, highlighting the unique emotional nature of one of the biggest purchases people make in their lifetime.

“Understandably the process can feel daunting, particularly if you fear losing out on your dream home, but a successful negotiation can result in extra money to bolster your family finances or invest back into your home.”

Barclays is the UK’s fifth-largest mortgage lender in 2019, with nearly a 10% share of the market.