Posted December 2, 2013
In a tough real estate market, where inventory and competition for buyers is high, sometimes the seller has to "sweeten the pot" to get the deal done. Here are five creative ideas to help close the deal.
Offer a Decorating Allowance
There may be a buyer that likes the home, but just has different decorating tastes. To seal the deal, offer a decorating allowance (for painting, new carpets, or wallpaper). You can offer cash at closing, or put money in escrow to reimburse decorating & remodeling expenses made within 90 days of closing, up to a maximum amount. This may be just the thing to get the deal done.
Do a Pre-Sale Inspection
This actually works for both you and the buyer. By having a whole house inspection done before listing the house, you get a chance to address any issues before prospects see the home. That means you increase the homes salability. Display the report during open houses and highlight the repairs that have already been addressed. It's like seeing the repair history when you buy a used car; it makes you feel better about making an offer because you know the car is in good shape and exactly what has been repaired in the past. Buy having the home inspected before listing it people don't have to guess what kind of condition it is in, they can see it in writing.
Offer a Home Warranty
A home warranty reassures the buyer that the property is in top condition, and gives them comfort knowing that certain future repairs will be covered by insurance. Buyers fear that as soon as they buy the house the dishwasher, dryer, or stove will go on the fritz. The home warranty is quite inexpensive, and it buys peace of mind for the buyer.
Cover Closing Costs
Sometimes it just takes a little nudge to close the deal. You can offer to pay the buyers half of title and escrow fees, or pre-paid interest charges. Paying the points on the loan may also be a tax deduction for you. Many lenders may limit how much of the closing coats you can pay, but if the buyer is short of cash, offering to pay some closing costs can make a difference.
Offer Seller Financing
There are many ways to offer seller financing. Options include putting funds in escrow to cover several months of mortgage payments, buying down the mortgage rate, or carrying a second mortgage cover the down payment. It is wise not to offer seller financing unless you have consulted a real estate attorney and your real estate agent. Make sure that the buyer has good credit. Although this is the least attractive option to the seller to get a deal closed, sometimes it takes creativity and going the extra mile to get your home sold.
In today's tight real estate market, not only does your home have to be more attractive than the other homes on the market, but the deal has to be more attractive also. With these tips, you can make the deal as attractive as the house, and close the sale while other homes stay on the market.
By Vicki Walker