Effective Selling Incentives

Posted by Jeffrey G. Funk P.A. on Sunday, August 19th, 2007 at 10:03pm.

When trying to sell your home in today's Buyers Market, there are certain incentives that can attract buyers. However, these incentives don’t often include things such as large screen televisions or expensive cars in the driveway. Often homebuyers will assume that these gimmicks have been included in the price of the home and they could actually turn buyers off of your property. Instead, more practical incentives such as the actual cost of the home and the amount of their monthly payments are likely to be much more attractive. 

Incentives can be stated at the very beginning of the home selling process to make it stand out from the rest of the houses on the market or they can be added several months after the property has been listed to help it sell. The incentives could also be brought up during negotiations to help encourage the buyer to buy the home. A seller needs to consider all factors when offering incentives. Both the selling price and the incentives need to be considered to determine if it is worth it to the seller to offer the incentives.

Price reductions are usually the first incentive that is considered. This is due to the fact that the price will attract everybody. If a buyer is considering the house but is hesitant on making a commitment, dropping the price by even five or ten thousand could make all the difference. Another big incentive the seller can offer to is to pay mortgage points for the buyer. Buyers are always thinking about interest rates and one point is equal to one percent of the mortgage in prepaid interest. Having a lower interest rate or lower monthly payment will also be something that everyone can relate to and can draw in all different kinds of buyers. 

Another key factor that buyers are always considering is the size of the down payment they will need to be making. In fact, it’s one of the aspects of homeownership that most first time buyers have a difficult time with. This is advantageous to buyers due to the fact that they would not need to have such a large portion of funds available at the time of purchase. 

Closing costs is often used as an incentive as buyers aren’t interested in paying additional fees to lawyers and title insurance after they have purchased a home. And these costs aren’t small – they usually add up to approximately two percent and seven percent of the cost. Buyers, especially those having an already difficult time with the down payment, will be very interested in these types of incentives. A very interesting incentive that is sometimes offered is a warranty. The seller will often offer a warranty on the home’s systems such as plumbing and electrical for the first year after the house is sold. This provides a much needed feeling of security for homebuyers. And costing only a few hundred dollars, it’s worth it for the seller to make offer this incentive as well.

Creative little perks can also be thought of for incentives to selling a home. If the residence is in a condominium complex, the first year’s association fees could be paid. Or if the home comes equipped with a pool, the seller could offer to pay for the upkeep and maintenance for a year. Many of these small details may come up in negotiations as buyers and sellers both think of things that would be useful.

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