Sealing the Deal: Using Incentives to Lure a Buyer for Your Home



Selling your home can be a stressful and difficult task, especially when the process drags on for months. In an ideal seller’s market, you would probably find a willing buyer within weeks. Unfortunately, not all markets are the same and if your circumstances are a bit unusual, you might consider enticing potential buyers with some attractive incentives.

Here are some ideas you may find helpful:

Include Extras

Sometimes having to buy new furniture and other finishes can take the sweetness out of the deal for potential buyers. When they first viewed the home, it may have had furniture that matched its look perfectly. If it looked that good, there’s a chance the buyer may want to purchase that furniture with the house.

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Think about whether the furniture will be suitable for your new home. If you’re already thinking about replacing it, you might consider including it in the sale. By saving the buyer the trouble of searching for new furniture, you may sell the house more easily and avoid having to get rid of the furniture separately.

Higher Commissions

Listing agents often look for other agents with buyers to help them sell their homes more quickly. Throwing in a bonus may help bring attention to a property that has been difficult to move.

It’s not unusual to offer the buyer’s agent an additional half or whole percent bonus commission for a property that’s been on the market too long. Usually these offers are discovered by word of mouth among agents. Remember that good agents keep their finger on the pulse of the local market and always seem to know what’s going on.

Buy Down the Buyer’s Interest Rates

It’s rare to find buyers that don’t require a mortgage to purchase a home. Most people can’t write a check that big and have no choice but to take whatever interest rate they are offered at the time they apply. Locking in a lower rate typically involves paying a point, which is basically an upfront fee.

For example, a buyer may initially be offered a three percent rate. However, paying one percent of the loan amount upfront might allow them to qualify for a 2.75 percent rate, instead. The savings would be significant, when you consider that those lower payments will be locked in for the duration of the mortgage. That’s worth much more than saving five percent on the purchase price.

Credit for Non-Recurring Closing Costs

Buyers often get a home inspected, then return to the seller with a list of repairs they want done. Even when it’s as simple as replacing windows, it can add up and create a hassle for the seller. When these repairs aren’t done properly or are taking too long, they can often hold up the closing.

Offering the buyer a credit for non-recurring closing costs might encourage them to move forward more quickly. This leaves them with cash in their pockets that they can spend as they see fit, taking their time with needed repairs.

Credit for Quick Closing

There are a number of reasons why a seller might want a quick closing. Sometimes it’s better for tax purposes, especially if they’re moving far away. Moving to another state may leave them with a huge tax bill if they can’t get their house sold in time.

An important enough reason might justify a small credit bonus to a buyer that can meet a specific closing date. Keep in mind that this can also be applied to the buyer’s agent.

Creative Incentives

In certain cases, you might have to be more creative in coming up with attractive incentives. Remember that it’s not a true incentive unless you’re offering something the buyer actually needs or wants. This is often overlooked by sellers who think they’re offering a great deal, just because they thrown something extra into the sale. That extra might not be of interest to every buyer.

Think about the types of buyers who are likely to take an interest in your home. Is it a “starter” home or a luxury home in Port Royal Naples? Is it more suitable for young families, professionals or retirees?

These people are likely to respond to different types of incentives. For example, if the home is part of a homeowners association, throwing in a year’s worth of fees might grab their attention. This could save them some money and get them off to a better start. If you’re selling a luxury home and the buyer has taken a liking to a high-end sports car you’re thinking of trading in, you might want to include it in the deal.

There are a number of different strategies you can use to attract more buyers. Some of the incentives mentioned above will work better than others, depending on the home, the market and the buyer. It’s best to keep them all in mind, in case you have to pull one out at the eleventh hour to move the deal forward.

Max Farrell has experience of the real estate industry having spent a few years working as a real estate agent early on in his career and now being a property investor. His articles cover topics from both sides of the fence!