4 Effective Condo Negotiation Tips: Buying a Resale Condo

Searching for your dream home is never an easy task. After you have shortlisted units that you like, be sure to try these 4 condo negotiation tips to help you get the best deal. 


     Table of Content

  • Tip 1: Is it Exclusive?
  • Tip 2: Know Your Sellers
  • Tip 3: Number of Listings
  • Tip 4: Be IPA Ready


📌 Tip 1: Is it Exclusive?

  • The first thing is to check if the owners have engaged an exclusive agent or not.
  • When an owner engages multi-agents to sell their property, it may not mean they are desperate and ready to accept any offers.
  • They might just want to speed things up and close the deal fast
  • This strategy may backfire as there are ways to exploit this arrangement.
  • Assume that you have viewed and like the unit, you can give a low offer to the seller’s agent and remind them that you are aware that this is not an exclusive listing.
  • To avoid losing out to other competing agents, that agent will be motivated to help you push through the deal and negotiate with the seller
  • In a multi-agent situation, it is very hard for the property agents to hold the prices as they are worried of losing the deal to their competitors  
Condo Negotiation Tips

📌 Tip 2: Know Your Sellers

  • Before putting up an offer, it is always good to understand the owners’ situation.
  • Are they the first owners?
  • First owners will usually be sitting on bigger profits if they have been around for more than 10 years.
  • This may signal more room for negotiation. What were their purchase prices?
  • I have seen many second owners who entered at very high prices and expect big capital gains
  • My advice is not to waste too much time in negotiating with unrealistic sellers
  • Sometimes direct questions like “Why are you selling?” may not get you a truthful answer.
  • Asking indirect questions may help you understand the owners’ motivation for selling
  • For example, “Have you found a new place?”, “Do you need extension of stay?”.
  • After knowing the sellers’ needs, review your own situation and determine what are your bargaining chips.
  • Many buyers overlooked the fact besides pricing, there are many other factors at play during negotiation.
  • Some sellers may need “Longer completion period” or “Extension-of-Stay”.
  • Sellers who need the above concessions may prefer to close the deal with you over another higher offer
  • Some buyers who need a longer option period (i.e., >2 weeks) may think they need to offer a higher price to secure a deal
  • Instead of offering the usual 1+ 4 (1% option fee + 4% exercise fee), you can propose a 2 + 3.
  • This is a win-win situation because the owner will feel more assured with a higher option fee and you can enjoy a longer option period without paying more.
Condo Negotiation Tips

📌 Tip 3: Number of Listings

  • The final selling price will be determined by supply and demand factors.
  • After shortlisting a particular condo, find out the number of listings in the listing portals
  • View as many as possible to give yourself more options.
  • You will put yourself in a tough position for bargaining if you only have one unit in mind.
  • If possible, let the sellers’ agents know that you are considering a few other options in the same condo.
  • When they know that you are a serious buyer, they will be motivated to bridge the price gap between buyers and sellers.

📌 Tip 4. Be IPA Ready

  • My advice is to get an In-Principle-Approval (IPA) done before viewing.
  • An IPA is a pre-approval stating the loan amount that the bank will extend to you based on your income.
  • You can call up any bank or get your property agent to refer you a trusted banker.
  • An IPA is non-binding and you are free to choose others banks later.
  • Some buyers feel they can get an IPA done after they have found a property they like.
  • In a fast-moving market, “right-priced” listings will be gone very fast.
  • Besides IPA, you also must be mentally ready to make an offer when you see a good deal.
  • Remember, it could be your 10th viewing but it may be the 100th viewing for the owners.
  • It is common for owners to reduce their asking prices after a few months of marketing.
  • When the owners experience “sellers’ fatigue” and signal to their agent that the price negotiable, you have to be mentally ready to grab the deal.  
  • There are also special cases where owners suddenly become very motivated to sell
  • For example, owners who need to sell their first property within 6 months in order to claim back their additional buyers stamp duty (ABSD)
Condo Negotiation Tips

Like this Article or Video?

Check out more Condo Tips here

Posted in

Looking for new properties?

Talk to our experts from Homeseller to get more insights regarding the cash flow and capital gain of your property investments!

Dennis Lim

Dennis has more than a decade of experience investing in real estate. Like many fellow Singaporeans, he grew up in a HDB flat with dreams to live in a condominium. Through careful financial planning & hardwork, this became a reality when he was 30. He now owns 3 private properties in Singapore and has helped hundreds of Singaporeans to achieve their goal of upgrading their homes in land-scarce Singapore.

Insight Topics

Connect With Us

Investor Insights

Condo Buying Guide

Condo Buying Guide: How to Choose the Right Condo?

7 May 2023

Condo Buying Guide! We’ll discuss various scenarios and provide expert recommendations based on factors like Property Type, Ownership Duration, Quantum

Read More

Does it have to be Freehold?

27 February 2023

“Does it have to be freehold?” This is a common question buyers frequently ask. Find out the answer from Dennis & his team from Property Den.

Read More
when is leasehold 99 better Freeho

When is Leasehold 99 Better than Freehold?

2 February 2023

Freehold is always perceived to be better than Leasehold 99. So, when is leasehold 99 better than freehold? Find out more at Property Den.

Read More

Worst Mistake When Buying Condo

28 January 2023

What is the worst mistake when buying a condo? Avoid making this costly mistake by checking out this article when buying for investment.

Read More

How to Select the Best Condo Unit | Avoid Low Floor?

19 January 2023

Planning to buy a condo? how to select the best condo unit? Should you avoid low floor and units with no views? Is 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom better?

Read More



"Dennis came with strong recommendations from a dear friend. He helped me with the purchase of my first property. He was very patient and never once tried to hard sell me to buy a property. Dennis is a trustworthy and knowledgeable professional who I highly recommend with confidence to everyone I know!"




"Dennis was very helpful and has guided us throughout on the process. He managed to get good number of clients for viewing of our unit. He is very responsive and always readily available when needed. He has excellent negotiation skills as well when required for the deal"