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Using Pricing Incentives

In strong real estate markets with many ready, willing, and able buyers clamoring to purchase good houses, property priced near its market value typically sells quickly. But when the tables are turned, and sellers far outnumber buyers, even pleasure-pleasure-panic pricing may not do the trick. If that's the case, you'll probably have to offer buyers additional enticements to make a deal. In a buyers' market, the key to success is using incentives that help put a sale together rather than fancy gimmicks that besmirch your property and make it harder to sell.

Deal-making incentives

In a really rotten market, you can sweeten the deal by offering buyers money in the form of special financial concessions. One or more of the following incentives may be the key to putting a deal together:

  • Credits: One effective financial inducement is offering to pay a portion of your buyer's nonrecurring closing costs for such expenses as loan origination fees, title insurance, and property inspections. You may also graciously offer to pay for some or all of the repairs found by the property inspections. These payments are usually made as a credit from sellers to buyers.
  • Seller financing: On the plus side, financing some or all of the buyer's mortgage may get you a higher sale price, a faster sale, an attractive return on your money, and possibly a deferment on a portion of your capital gains tax. Doing seller financing, however, ties up money you may need for the down payment on your new home. Worse yet, if the buyer defaults on your loan, you must foreclose on the mortgage to protect your money.