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Peter Mazzuchin
Real Estate Broker, Investor, Author, B. Comm

Keller Williams Real Estate Associates, Brokerage
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SELL FASTER! SWEETEN YOUR TERMS

 

You've put the house in fine condition. You've set a competitive price and are flexible about it. Is there anything else you can do to speed things up? Offer terms that will help move or close a contract. We often call these terms "sweeteners" because of their attractiveness to both buyers and sellers. Buyer and seller may negotiate details, but the strategy to select the best terms is in the seller's control.
 
Not all properties, of course, nor all sellers or neighborhoods require sweeteners - and very few would need to use every strategy. Smart sellers understand their most effective options, then after all terms are considered, select the strategies that suit their circumstances. As a seller, you may want to pick selectively from this sampler of sweeteners.
 
Loan strategies help the buyer reduce monthly payments, which may be the stumbling block for the person who wants your home. Settlement sweeteners are options designed to help reduce buyers' out of pocket costs such as downpayment and closing costs, so they can swing the purchase. Accomodations are small favors you can grant to overcome logistic obstacles.
 
 
Loan Strategies
 
 
Buyers usually are not as concerned with price as they are with their monthly payment. If you can find a way to reduce monthly payments, you have the best chance of getting your top sales price. We can work together to find a strategy that helps both you and the buyer achieve your goals.
 
Buydown. Consider buying down the initial interest rate of the serious purchaser so many available buy-down plans might help your buyer and still let you come out with the net proceeds you want.
 
Assumption. If you have an assumable loan with a below-market interest rate, consider making it available to a solid purchaser. Check your lender's assumption requirements.
 
Take back. You might even be in a position to offer the buyer a second mortgage by taking back some of the purchase price in a note.
 
Seller Financing. If you don't need immediate cash and your home is free amd first mortgage, especially when interest rates are very high and this is an opportunity to invest your proceeds at above market rates. Be sure the buyer is able to carry monthly payments and housing costs.
 
Lease/Purchase. Another option, if you don't need your funds immediately, is to let, is to let the buyer rent with a delayed settlement, provided you are sure the purchaser will eventually qualify for the loan. Part of the rental could apply toward the downpayment, if the buyer is short of cash.
 
 
Settlement Sweeteners
 
 
Points. If you pay some or all of the buyer's points, you sweeten the purchase two ways. First, you reduce the amount of cash the buyer needs at settlement. Second, you may provide a sizeable tax write-off, as most buyers now can deduct as a Schedule A mortgage expense the points you pay for them at closing. When the seller pays points, the buyer is better able to finance the agrred-upon sales price.
 
 
Closing Costs. You could offer, instead, to pay part of the closing costs (title search, attorney's services, appraisal, recording, etc.) that the purchaser would ordinarily pay.
 
 
Furnishings. Include with the purchase price household furnishing the buyer would have to buy later, such as the children;s outgrown swing and sandbix, the tractor-mower you won't need, the draperies tailored to specific windows. This may be treated as a separate addendum.
 
 
Accomodations.
 
 
Occupancy. Work out pre-occupancy or post-occupancy terms if occupancy is the only hang-up.
 
Move Out. Consider occupying temporary lving wuarters for yourself, in order to let the buyer move in on schedule.
 
Pre-Inspection. In older homes, head off inspection contingencies by offering proof of recent home inspection, including roof and foundation inspection.
 
Storage. Offer to assist in any reasonable way with the buyer's problems in transferring household items (storing things in your garage, accepting delivery of appliances, for example).
 
Services. Mention the availability of continuing services of lawn-care or house-cleaning (by prearrangement).
 
 
Some of these selling strategies may seem excessive to you - if you have not previously aimed for top-dollar sale. However, we have seen them pay off many times and have learned which strategies work best under what circumstances. If you would like to know more about using sweeteners - how they work, when and why to use on eor more of them - just call.
 
 
If you're thinking of selling, let's talk. We can go over the state of today's market, the competition from other homes in the area and your timetable for selling. If sweeteners seem appropriate in your situation, we'll select some options you might consider. Looking forward to your call!
 
 
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