A decade ago ago selling your home couldn’t have been easier. Prices soared in what was a true buyer’s market and competition among buyers was fierce. It wasn’t uncommon to see a bidding war push the sale price tens of thousands of dollars over the initial asking price. Buyers were practically falling all over themselves to make a deal.
Those days are over. When the housing bubble burst in 2005, selling a home became a lot more difficult. And while some real estate markets have recovered nicely, most sellers still need to go the extra mile if they want to get a quick sale.
The simple truth is that property buyers wield far more control these days. Obviously, adding curb appeal to your home is still very important, but you also may have to offer some concessions if you want to close the deal.
What kind of incentives can you offer to make a buyer pull the trigger on a deal?
A Lower Price. In the end it usually comes down to the bottom line. Unless you’re in the rare situation of having multiple offers, you may have to lower your price a bit to get your house sold. Buyers know there are plenty more homes on the market and if you won’t play ball they can easily find someone who will.
Offer to Pay Some Closing Costs. This is kind of a pain because you already have some closing costs of your own, but most of the expenses are paid by the buyer. Offering to pay a portion of their closing costs will free up some of their money for other expenses and it may be enough to help seal a deal.
Offer a Home Warranty. The last thing a home buyer wants to worry about after closing is the furnace dying or the water heater leaking all over the floor. By offering them a home warranty, you provide a little piece of mind that they’ll be ok even if the worst happens. Typically a seller would offer a one year home warranty which would cost around $500 to $700. And while I personally don’t think they’re all they are cracked up to be, they are certainly popular and if it gets a deal done that’s all that matters to you.
Other Seller Concessions. Since we spend so much time in our homes we get used to theirs flaws and learn to overlook or ignore them. But the stained carpets you barely notice may be a real eyesore to a potential buyer. Odds are you will have to make at least a few seller concessions which could include everything from steam cleaning the carpets to replacing them. You don’t have to do everything that is asked of you and you certainly don’t want to spend a ton of money if you won’t get it back, but a good realtor should be able to objectively tell you what problems you will need to resolve.