In some sectors of the DC metro market homes are staying on the market longer than their sellers planned. Part of this is a seasonal slow down that we always see as we head into the holiday season but some may be a slowing of the market after ten years of growth. No one know how the spring market will start in 2020, although no one thinks it will be a repeat of 2008.
If you are planning to put a property on the market soon, you just need to be aligned with the market as it is, rather than as you would like it to be. Obviously, that means pricing your home to reflect the current market rather than your memory of last spring's market. In addition, you may consider offering some kind of incentive to bring a buyer in quickly. The good news is that some of the incentives that might appeal to a buyer don't have to cost you anything. Don't waste time wondering where the red hot market went to. A smart seller can sell his or her property in any market - and not take a bath.
ITEMS YOU CAN OFFER TO APPEAL TO THE BUYER
Some buyers view a beautifully staged home and fall in love with the house and all the furniture. Others want to avoid the hassle of shopping for furniture and having it delivered and would prefer to simply move into the house. Do you mind giving up your furniture to close the deal? Chances are your furniture won't really fit into your new house anyway.
If you’re downsizing or don’t want to transport your furniture over a long distance, you can offer it as an incentive. If your home has any other unique features, such as artwork or antiques, you might be able to throw them in with the sale of the house. Even if your furniture is leased from a staging company, perhaps they would be willing to sell you the furniture so you can include it in the transaction.
Many of us who have been in real estate for a few years remember the listings that included the Porsche or Mercedes in the garage, or a trip to Disney World for the whole family after closing to get that buyer's attention Get creative! It can be engaging.
FINANCIAL INCENTIVES YOU CAN OFFER
If the home inspection uncovered problems that need to be repaired, going through the process of finding a contractor and having the work done might hold up the closing. As an alternative, you can offer the buyer money for repairs at the time of closing as an incentive.
If you need to close by a specific date, you can give the buyer a financial credit or bonus as an incentive to meet your deadline. You can also offer a bonus commission to the agent representing the buyer to speed things along.
Buyers often feel overwhelmed by all the bills associated with closing, such as escrow fees, title insurance, inspection fees, homeowners insurance, private mortgage insurance and taxes. Offering to cover some of these costs yourself may help you entice a buyer or convince someone to choose your house instead of another.
You also might be able to help a prospective buyer who’d need a mortgage to buy your house save money over the long run. Lenders generally offer interest rates based on market conditions at the time that a mortgage is obtained, but buyers can pay points, or upfront fees, that lower the interest rate over the life of the loan. A seller can also pay points on the buyer’s behalf and lower the interest rate as an incentive to convince the buyer to purchase the house.
SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM THE COMPETITION
In a buyer’s market, simply having an attractive and well-maintained house and offering it at a reasonable price may not be enough. If your house has been slow to sell, or if you’re facing a deadline and need to speed up the process, offering incentives to a buyer may help you close the deal faster. You can advertise those incentives up front or offer them later if a buyer is on the fence. Discuss possible incentives and strategies with your real estate agent.