How (good) to negotiate a real estate purchase? (apartment, house…)

You have decided to take action, to buy your main residence or for a rental investment. How? 'Or' What negotiate this real estate purchase well ? How to present your purchase to get the best price?

1/ Sharpen your knowledge of the local real estate market.

By dint of raising alerts on Le Bon Coin, Se Loger, Immonot etc. you will realize which goods "go fast" and which "drag".

Generally, the market is particularly dynamic for prices adapted to the median income of a household on the municipality.

If an apartment or a house catches your eye, the first step is to estimate its value yourself, by comparing recent sales in the neighborhood for substantially equivalent properties.

To do this you have:

  1. The state database DVF Etalab" page (in French).
  2. This same database formatted on Immonot:
  3. Automatic review software you can find in Google.
  4. The barometer of notaries:
  5. The search for transactions on, from your personal account.
search real estate transactions

2/ What is the date of sale of the accommodation?

Le average time to sell a property is about 2 months:


During the sale, the seller often declares that he is "in no hurry" and does not want to negotiate (much). After 3 months without an offer, the majority of sellers generally revise their judgment. It's a proof of intelligence, you have to adapt to the market.

On your side, you may have spotted a property that does not correspond to the general public and whose faults are minor / easily correctable for you. You are then in the right moment to make an offer below the price displayed in the ad.

Hence the importance of asking the question of the date of the sale with the real estate negotiator or the owner if you are interacting privately. Hint: the announcements indicate a date but they may have been updated.

If you are going through a professional, it makes sense for you inform of any element that could influence your decision… including the date of sale and even whether the property is negotiable and how much in his opinion:].

Generally, if the negotiator has no one in sight on the property, he will be on the buying side; conversely, if we are in the first week of the sale and his phone does not stop ringing, neither he nor the owner will have any incentive to make an effort.

3/ Prepare a well-argued written offer.

Depending on your personality, it may be easier for you to make an oral offer than a written one.

Oral offer and handshake problem: proof of acceptance is more difficult. The owner may feel less engaged and listen to another offer next.

Moreover, making an oral offer also means presenting your arguments, without forgetting any, with the appropriate tone.

The written offer allows you to say a word about your situation, your project, the qualities and advantages of the property. It also allows you to set a deadline (valid for 7 days for example).

Acceptance can be done simply by indicating “good for agreement” with the date and a signature. Once countersigned by the seller, the offer can no longer be discussed by the latter.

The purchaser in good faith retains a reflection period of 10 days once the sales agreement has been signed.

4/ It is better to hit hard rather than seek a balance.

A good negotiation is often brutal at the level of the amount.

It's not about finding a balance between the two parties.

Studies show that the price of the first offer fixes the debates at a close amount.

To get a good deal, you have to aim for a low price and go your way without regret if the seller is not receptive (for the moment).

Moreover, the prices “in 0 or in 5” are more discussed than the prices in “7 or in 8” or in “2 or in 3”. A house displayed at €100 will be more negotiated than a house offered at €000.

Finally, male negotiators often get prices better in favor of the buyer; conversely women get a better price for the seller (3% gender gap ;)).

5/ What is the negotiation margin for a property?

How much can the price be negotiated?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer, only bad averages.

On average, the difference between the displayed price and the final sale price is 5% in France.

Except that this average varies greatly depending on the region and the tensions on the market; depending on the sector, the negotiation is between approximately 2,5 and 10%.

Finally, adapt the discussion to your personal situation. Do you like a house, close to your family, your friends and your job? Are you going take the risk of trying to negotiate a few euros when someone else could buy it at the displayed price?

I therefore distinguish 2 situations:

  1. The good is interchangeable and you will always find an equivalent; you have to negotiate hard, especially if the property has been on sale for more than 3 months.
  2. You find the property quite unique due to personal criteria: take a minimum of risks.

In all cases, don't fall into the "discount trap" : a house at -50% is not necessarily a good deal if its price remains higher than its market price.

6/ Can we negotiate the agency commission?

Real estate agencies display their scale in their window and specify the MAXIMUM amount of their commission in the advertisements + the percentage in relation to the price.

The amount displayed being the maximum, this obviously implies that the sum is debatable.

Should everything be done to negotiate it?

It's exactly like negotiating the posted price of a good. If the good is interchangeable and you're aiming for the bargain, go for it. If the good is important to you, be careful.

If the negotiator receives 2 net seller offers at an equivalent amount, he will favor the client who does not negotiate his commission.

Moreover, if your offer requires a big effort from the seller, you might as well not negotiate the real estate agent's commission for make her want to get you that bargain.

7/ And the notary fees?

To be precise, we have to talk about fees and transfer duties.

Among these costs, we must distinguish:

  1. Disbursement costs (10%): the expenses of the notary to draw up the deed.
  2. Transfer duties (80%): the part of the State and local authorities, very satisfied with the system.
  3. Remuneration of the notary (10%). Since the Macron law of 2016, the notary has the possibility of granting a discount of up to 10%.

This theoretical discount is to my knowledge little applied in practice.

Since the tariffs are already regulated, the high inflation and difficult recruitment, many new notaries do not have the expected benefits.

As for the agency commission, I think that the main thing is to buy the property at the right price, not to save on advice and the processing of your file.


I earned my first income on the web in 2012 by developing and monetizing the traffic of my sites (AdSense ...).

Since 2013 and my first professional services, I have had the opportunity to participate in the development of more than 450 sites in more than +20 countries.

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