Be hard nosed. Don't let emotions trump reason.
Await the cyclical tough market so you are cashed-up ready to go.
Register your interest, but never the upper level of your buying preparedness.
It never hurts to put in a low offer. Especially if the property has been on the market for an above-average length of time. A strategically wise offer won't be necessarily be taken as an insult.
Properties that have been on the market for some time may not be shifting for a variety of reasons, but most likely the asking price is way too high. Watch the listing go through two or three agents, and eventually most sellers will shift on their price, which is when it is worth putting in a low-ball offer.
Be the top bidder at auction, but then put in a lower post-auction offer to the possibly unnerved vendors. Especially at vendor bid auctions. Now that you're also the wiser as to the level of buyer competition from any other registered bidders, don't be afraid of putting in a lower offer.
Suss out the locations with a buyers' market where you are spoiled for choice. Avoid the so-called vendors' market. Make sure the buyers' market has an understandable, but easily remedied reason for its current lacking status.
Avoid buying from highly successful selling agents who knock you over with their zeal. Find the lazy or out of sorts agent who allow property to sell without putting in the hard yards of successful negotiation.
Make a low offer proffering a blunt, but credible reason that highlights something about the property that really does reduce its buying appeal. Hold you nerve and politely wear the agent down over time.
Seek out mortgagee or executor auctions – they are quite likely to have low reserves – but don't get emotional once the auction bidding is underway.
Find out from casual querying of the listing agent the circumstances of the vendor's motives. Knowledge is power when it comes to price negotiation.
Buy shortly before or after Christmas from vendors who've had to, or want to avoid, taking bridging finance for their next home.
Steer clear of buying a new home or off the plan as the last thing most long-haul developers want is to buckle to random asking price reductions. On the other hand, they will most likely throw in free carpets or curtains or pay your stamp duty.
Remember it’s not just the price on which to negotiate: with other aspects including the settlement period brought forward or delayed, the size of the deposit, releasing the deposit, and the inclusions in the contract. All are worth something to you.