Whether there are tons of competing listings in your neighborhood or you happen to be in a slow market, making your property stand out from the crowd is crucial to a quick sale. And while an affordable listing price may be the first thing that buyers may be attracted to, there are plenty of other tings you can do to lure buyers to your listing and get your home sold quickly.
Aside from lowering your property’s asking price, consider offering other financial perks to make the deal more appealing to buyers.
Buy Down the Interest Rate
Unless this is an all-cash purchase, the buyers will likely be taking out a mortgage to finance the home. And with a mortgage comes a pesky little thing called an interest rate which can have a huge impact on the overall price of the property over the long haul. Even a fraction of a percent can translate into thousands of dollars, so the lower the rate, the better.
While the interest rate that the buyer is offered from their lender will largely depend on their credit and financial health, it’s also affected by the current market at the time the mortgage is applied for. But you can also play a part in the interest rate the buyer pays – by offering to “buy it down.”
What exactly does this mean? Essentially, you’d pay interest rate points for the buyer. So, if a bank offers the buyer four percent on a 30-year fixed mortgage, you can offer to pay for points to get the rate down to 3.5 percent, for example.
That half percent will mean lower monthly payments that are locked in for a long time, helping the buyers save lots of money and potentially entice them to buy your home and get your home off the market sooner rather than later.
Offer Seller Financing at an Attractive Rate
Continuing on the financing spectrum, you might want to consider holding the loan for your buyers. Referred to as a “seller take-back” mortgage, the seller – rather than a lender – holds the loan for the buyers. This can provide major value to the buyer through the savings on traditional closing costs, which often includes points on the interest of the loan, as well as the cost associated with a home appraisal.
Of course, there are some inherent risks by offering to hold the loan for your buyers, such as the possibility of default on the payments. But there are ways to protect yourself, such as asking for a sizeable down payment, and inserting a clause in the contract whereby ownership of the house would go back to the seller should the buyer be delinquent on payments.
But there are also possible advantages to you for offering a seller take-back loan, in addition to selling the home faster and getting it off the market.
For starters, regular monthly payments might be more favorable than paying capital gains tax upon the sale of the property. You might also be able to take advantage of certain tax breaks: by paying less in taxes on an installment sale, you’ll only need to report the income you get in each calendar year.
Don’t let this commitment scare you; these arrangements aren’t designed to last forever. Seller financing is typically limited to a few years, after which the buyer will have to obtain a home loan in the open market.
Cover Closing Costs
There are plenty of things that need to be paid for upon the closing of a property after it’s sold. Title insurance, lawyer fees, home inspections, appraisal fees, survey fees, and escrow deposits are just some of the expenses that buyers typically face just before their newly-acquired property closes.
All these costs can be overwhelming for many buyers, especially first-timers. And sometimes it’s these closing costs that can scare buyers off from completing a sale at all.
If you’re looking for a sale and a quick closing, perhaps offering to pay up to a specific amount towards the closing costs will be enough to entice the buyers to sign on the dotted line and seal the deal.
Offer Home Warranties
There’s something comforting about warranties. Knowing that there will be financial compensation should something happen in the future helps to justify the upfront costs associated with the purchase. It works with smaller-scale items like computers and appliances, and can be even more effective for home purchases.
For example, a home warranty that covers the cost to repair the property’s hot water tank or replace the air conditioning unit can help get a home sold faster. It doesn’t hurt to offer, and if the buyers comply, you could wind up with a quicker sale.
Throw in Some of Your Home’s Goods
Do prospective buyers love that sectional sofa you’ve got in the living room? Or do they covet that king sized sleigh bed in the master bedroom? While you might have had intentions of taking them with you, consider leaving them behind if it helps peak the buyers’ interests.
Things like window treatments, furniture and appliances are often negotiated in real estate deals. Rather than make a fuss, consider leaving some of these with the buyers if it means a quicker, more seamless closing. Besides, that sofa and bed might not make a good fit with your new place, anyway – consider it an opportunity to start fresh.
Offer a Credit For Repairs
Unless the home you’re selling is brand-spanking new, odds are there may be little issues here and there that might need attention. They can be as small as a nick in on the drywall or as major as an old roof that needs to be replaced.
Buyers will often come back and ask for repairs to be made following a home inspection. Most sellers typically don’t want to deal with the hassle of repairing issues like these themselves. If that sounds like you, consider offering a credit to the buyers to cover the cost associated with these repairs.
Take Care of Moving Costs
The type of incentive that you offer prospective buyers to close a deal on a home purchase can be as creative as you want. And anything that will save buyers money will likely be appreciated. The dozens of expenses related to a home purchase often involve moving costs.
Unless the buyers are moving from their parents’ house and into their first home, they’ll need to pay for movers to lug their stuff into their new digs. Covering the costs of hiring a mover is one less thing that your buyers will need to worry about, and can really take a load off the headaches of moving.
The Bottom Line
Any way that you can lessen the financial burden from your buyers will be much appreciated, and can nudge your home’s listing closer to a sale and closing. Be sure to ask your real estate agent for advice on offering incentives, and weigh them carefully with your budget. By sweetening the deal for prospective buyers, you could have a “Sold” sign on your front lawn sooner than you think.