Bargaining With Cash

Cash is king if you know how to use it.

Cash is king if you know how to use it.

Cash purchases are often more desirable to retailers and sellers than any other form of payment. Cash is immediate, carries little risk and requires no third party to verify the transaction. To avoid the waiting game and all the variables it brings, many people are willing to work with you on a price if you show up cash in hand.


Take your time in any cash negotiation. Cash can be a powerful advantage in the bargaining process and should be made the most of by a smart buyer. Many times, a negotiation is won by simply waiting out the other party in a war of attrition. Show the money to the seller to demonstrate that you actually have it and are ready to buy. Talking about a cash deal is one thing, but when the seller sees the money in front of him or her, the impulse to accept and get the deal done is a powerful one. Feel out the situation and read your opposite party. Some sellers are more open to dealing than others. If you seem to have hit a wall, sometimes it is best to move on and find another seller.

Buying a House

Real estate values vary widely depending on the location and the house you are considering. Investigate the local market and how much comparable properties are going for prior to making any offers to the seller. Research the house itself to find out a little about its history. Important factors that weigh into the price include how many owners have lived in it, its date of construction and how long its been up for sale. Find out why the owner is leaving and how eager he or she is to sell. These factors can all be used as leverage to bring down the price and are to be mentioned when you finally get around to price. Make an offer that is low enough to be considered, but not so low that it is insulting to the seller. Mention that you will be paying cash and that there will be no wait on the mortgage process or the closing. The speed and ease of a cash transaction will make your offer more attractive than comparable offers made by buyers with mortgages. Wait for the seller to make a counter offer, then enjoy the back-and-forth process until a number that is suitable to both parties is reached.


Even rent is open for negotiation if you are paying cash. Approach your landlord and mention your willingness to pay in cash each month a few days early in exchange for a 5 percent break on the rent. If your landlord is eager to secure payment ahead of time and the long wait for checks to clear, he or she may be ready to deal. If you have even more cash on hand, suggest a lump sum payment for the next 6 months if the landlord is willing to cut the rent a bit.

Goods at Market

Before you head out to the market, count your money and only take as much as you are willing to spend on the items you need. This will prevent you from overspending and will make your bargaining easier since there is a hard cap on what you have to offer. At the market, stick to the items that you really need or want and don't get distracted by shiny baubles. Ask the price of an item and allow the seller to name the price first. Never speak first in the process of bargaining or you may have already lost by going too high. Make an offer that is about 10 to 20 percent of the quoted price. See how receptive the seller is to your offer and go from there. Allow the seller to raise the ante then counter with a lower bid. A successful negotiation can last a while, but as long as the seller is spending time with you, there is a likelihood that a deal will be reached.


About the Author

Robert Morello has an extensive travel, marketing and business background. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in 2002 and has worked in travel as a guide, corporate senior marketing and product manager and travel consultant/expert. Morello is a professional writer and adjunct professor of travel and tourism.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images