One of the most common questions we receive from clients is some variation of the following: “I really like this apartment, but it’s a little expensive. Can we negotiate a discount?”
The answer to this is simple: Of course! Most of the time, we’re happy to help you negotiate a discount on the rent before you sign the contract and move into a new apartment.
As real estate agents, we can talk to the owner of every apartment and try to work out a discount for you. However, there are a few things that you should know beforehand that can help you get a lower price and a better deal overall.
We’ve listed these below, along with more information on how you can get the best price when renting in Saigon.
Before you negotiate, understand the market price
Before you try to negotiate a discount for any apartment, it’s essential that you’re aware of the regular market rate for apartments of the same type in the same building.
This is a pretty quick and simple process. The easiest way is to simply look at listings for other apartments in the building and get a feel for how much you should be spending for the one you’re interested in.
For example, take a look at our list of apartments in Masteri Thao Dien (one of our most popular developments). If you look at the two bedroom units for rent, you can see that most are within a pretty narrow range of about $750 to $900.
Thus, if you’re interested in renting here, it can help to set the lower end of this range (perhaps $750 to $850) as your target price range.
Remember that no two apartments are identical
With the above tip in mind, it’s important to remember that no two apartments are identical, meaning you might not be able to match the lowest prices for every building.
For example, let’s say there are two apartments in the same building that you’re interested in. One is sparsely decorated with cheap furniture, while the other is fully furnished with beautiful, brand new furniture that’s clearly very high in quality.
In this case, the owner of the second apartment has clearly invested a lot into decorating the unit, so it’s unlikely that they’ll be willing to match the lowest prices for the building. However, you still might be able to work out a reasonable discount.
Ask for a realistic discount
Most apartment owners price their rental units expecting some degree of negotiation from potential tenants. After all, they’re just like you and want to get the best possible deal for themselves. This is one reason why we always recommend negotiating, even if only for a small discount.
However, it’s important to be realistic. If you ask for $500 off the monthly rent of an apartment that’s priced at $1,000, the owner is most likely going to brush you off and view you as a poor quality tenant. If you ask for $100 off, you’re far more likely to be taken seriously and receive a positive response.
Like we mentioned earlier, it pays to keep the market price range in mind when you’re negotiating rent. Make an offer that’s close to the low end of the market range and you might get a good counter offer back from the apartment’s owner.
View multiple apartments, then make offers for all of them
If you’re interested in a certain building but don’t mind the specific apartment you move into, you can try viewing multiple units at the same time, then make offers for all of them. Sometimes, one owner will be more responsive than the others and may accept a low ball offer.
Our agents can actually help you do this by scheduling time to view several similar apartments at once. While most owners will say “no” to a low offer, there’s a good possibility that at least one will be willing to reduce their price and give you a good deal.
Show that you’re a fair, responsible tenant
In our experience, most apartment owners are more receptive to giving you a discount if they can see that you’re going to be a responsible tenant.
To explain this, let’s look at the process of rental an apartment from the perspective of the owner. When you rent an apartment, the owner likely has the following concerns:
- Are you going to take care of their apartment? Is there any risk of the furniture, electronics, other items or the apartment itself getting damaged while you’re the tenant?
- Will you be able to pay the rent in full and on time? Do you have a stable source of income that means you’ll be able to pay the rent for the duration of the lease without any problems?
- Is there any risk of you violating the lease agreement? Do you have a full-time job or other commitments in HCMC that will keep you here for the duration or the lease?
You can ease these concerns by showing the apartment owner that you’re a good, responsible tenant. For example, showing information about your job, visa and, if possible, providing references from previous landlords can go a long way towards giving the apartment owner more confidence that you’re a good choice.
With their concerns alleviated, they’re more likely to give you a good deal on the rent. This step isn’t essential, but it can make a surprisingly large difference, especially if you’re asking for a large discount on the rent.
Listen to your agent — they’re here to help you
Contrary to popular belief, real estate agents aren’t out to trick you into paying a higher price than you should. In reality, we’re here to help both you and the owner of the apartment reach an agreement that’s favorable for both of you.
You want to rent the apartment at the best possible price. The owner wants to rent the apartment to you at a price that’s acceptable for them.
If you’re looking for a good deal on an apartment, let you agent know ahead of time. They know the apartment owners well (and may have shown the listings to prospective tenants several times), and thus can help you find out which apartments have owners that are likely to be the most receptive to an offer.
They can also help you negotiate by acting as a go-between for you and the apartment owner. Remember, we want to help you get a good deal, so don’t be afraid to tell your agent if you want to pay a lower price than advertised.
At the same time, if you ask for a discount and the agent lets you know that the price isn’t negotiable, it’s best not to waste time trying to negotiate a lower price on that particular unit. Sometimes, an owner might be overly tough about pricing, or just have unrealistic expectations for the apartment, and won’t let the agent drop the price to an acceptable level.
Look for apartments that have been empty for several months
Generally speaking, the longer an apartment has sat empty between tenants, the more responsive the owner will be to your offers, even if they’re below the advertised price.
When you’re out viewing apartments, feel free to ask your agent how long a specific unit has been on the market. If it’s been empty for several months, the owner may be more willing to give you a discount on the rent if you’re willing to move in quickly.
Remember, every month an apartment sits empty is a month without any rental income for the owner. As such, you’re more likely to get a good deal on an apartment that’s been empty for three months than one that just came back onto the rental market a week or two ago.
Not all apartment owners are willing to provide discounts, but most are. If you see an apartment you’re interested in and want to negotiate on the price, ask. Most of the time, we’ll be able to help you negotiate a reasonable discount on the rent, giving you a better price.
Interested in Renting in Saigon? Contact Us
From District 1 to Thao Dien, we have hundreds of apartments available for rent throughout Saigon. To enquire about a certain building or simply schedule an appointment to view apartments in your area and price range, contact us now.