Home sellers enhance buyer incentives
|By Jay MacDonald Bankrate.com
America's housing market has gone from robust to just
plain bust in the past 18 months.
Real estate agents, home builders, mortgage lenders
and anyone whose income is derived from home selling has been using
words like "transitioning" and "stabilizing"
to describe -- or perhaps spin -- the soft housing market that has
slowed to the point of rigor mortis in some locales.
These are the times that try the skills of real estate
professionals, says Jim Crawford, a real estate coach in Atlanta.
a buyer's market without buyers," he says. "Of the top 40 markets, 36
are down. In Atlanta at this time of year, we should have a maximum of 52,000
homes for sale; we have 114,000. What's happened is, if you can't sell in Chicago,
you can't buy in Atlanta. If you can't sell in Boston, you can't buy in Florida."
Here's the squeeze: Rising inventories make it difficult
to set -- and get -- your asking price. Buyers, caught in the same
predicament, are reluctant to buy, hoping prices will return to
|These days, frills and playthings
don't work, but money in the buyer's pocket does.
to attract buyers
Now that the seller's market is officially history
and competition is keen, how will you attract a buyer for your home? Incentives,
Builders, who have new homes sitting vacant on
which they dare not lower the price for fear of setting off a domino effect, are
already raising the bar with real-dollar incentives to attract buyers without
According to Gopal Ahluwalia, vice president of research
for the National Association of Home Builders, 56 percent of builders
surveyed in June said they were stepping up their amenities, 45
percent were offering to pay closing costs and 26 percent were buying
down mortgage points. Overall, 71 percent of builders said they
were offering at least one of those incentives.
your competition. Are you ready to meet their bid and raise it?