In a sellers’ market, unloading your home might be pretty seamless. But in a buyers’ market where the competition is stiff, you’ve got to get a little creative to make your home stand out from the rest.
In the case of the latter, offering incentives can be a great way to get buyers to notice your home. Here are a few ideas to help sweeten the deal and get prospective buyers to pounce on your property.
Offer a Home Repair Credit
Unless your home is brand-spanking new, there are most likely certain issues that might need to be addressed, no matter how small. Maybe you’ve got a couple of loose door hinges, or a chipped tile on the bathroom floor. Whatever the case may be, you can offer the buyers a credit to be used to rectify any minor issues that they might be less than satisfied with.
Don’t handle the repairs yourself, unless the buyers specifically ask you to before the deal closes. If you do, you’re just opening the door for any potential complaints from the buyers if they’re dissatisfied with your work. Offering a credit towards repairs gives buyers the cash they need to spend how they wish, and frees you from the responsibility of making sure they’re happy with the results.
Throw in Some of Your Home’s Goodies
Furnishing a home from top to bottom can be ridiculously expensive, not to mention time-consuming. Throwing in your home’s furniture and decor can help make the deal that much better in the eyes of the buyers (if they like your taste, of course). Offering furnishings, window treatments and accessories is especially beneficial if they’ve been custom made to fit your specific home.
Not only will this save the buyers money and hassle in outfitting the home after you’ve vacated, it’ll also help you avoid having to deal with the furniture yourself. If there are certain items in the home that the buyers absolutely fall in love with, consider leaving them there for them.
‘Buy Down’ the Interest Rate
The rate that buyers are offered by the banks at the time of mortgage application might not necessarily be the same come closing time. And many times these introductory rates are short-lived, which means the buyers might very well end up with a higher rate when all is said and done.
Many buyers choose to pay an upfront fee in order to lock in at a lower mortgage rate, which is known as “buying down” the interest rate. But rather than the buyers covering this cost, sellers can flip the bill instead to make the deal more attractive.
Let’s say the bank offers the buyers 3.5 percent today for a 30-year fixed mortgage. The buyers can pay the bank one percent to go towards the principle to get a lower rate, like 3.0 percent. A lower interest rate translates into lower monthly mortgage payments, which can really shave a good chunk of change off the interest payments made over the mortgage term. Offer to buy down the rate for the buyers, and you just might have a deal.
Offer Monetary Compensation For a Quick Closing
The longer you hang onto your home, the more money you’ll be dishing out to carry it. From the mortgage payments, to the utility bills, to the property taxes, carrying a home comes with hefty costs. And if you’ve already closed on a new home, that means you’ll be carrying two homes at the same time for a while until your current home closes.
Even if you bridge your mortgage, it’s still money out of your pocket. If this is a situation you want to avoid, consider offering the buyers a monetary credit for closing at your convenience. The expense associated with this type of incentive is typically a lot lower than the losses you might experience if the sale of your home takes forever.
Cover the Buyers’ Closing Costs
Once a buyer accepts a specific purchase price, the expenses don’t end there. In fact, closing costs can run into the thousands of dollars. But the last thing you want is for the buyers to get cold feet while the sale is in escrow once they start crunching numbers and discover how much it’s really going to cost them out of pocket to cover these expenses.
To help get the deal closed, consider chipping in for some of the closing costs, such as title insurance, home inspection fees, property insurance, moving expenses, lawyer fees, and home warranties. A little can go a long way in helping the buyers out, and getting your home off the market.
As a seller, you can offer a number of incentives and put them out there as part of your overall marketing strategy. The incentives you choose to offer and how you promote them can work amazingly well at getting buyers to bring the offers to the table. If your home isn’t getting as much attention as you would have hoped when you initially put your home up for sale, pull an incentive or two out of your hat to inch the deal to the buzzer.