Sellers November 5, 2023

Are you a Seller whose house isn’t selling???

We’re in an interesting housing market right now. Inventory is still low because those who purchased when the interest rates were below 4% aren’t selling as frequently. Then you have inflation which is causing the price of what feels like everything to rise. Plus, we all know about the dreaded high interest rates. Lastly, the price of housing has increased drastically over the last few years, and even over the last year alone. According to Forbes, Texas median sales prices rose 19.2% from May 2021 to May 2022. That’s even higher than the national median sales price increase of 14.8% during the same time frame.  

So, with all that’s happening in the market, buyers are being very cautious about how they spend their money. Many people aren’t looking for fixer-uppers in this market right now. That is why new builds are so popular currently. When buyers purchase a new build, the houses come move-in ready, and no more money usually needs to be put into the home right away. For pre-owned, people are looking for homes that have already had some updates done and won’t take too much up-front cash to make it move-in ready. So, with it being the end of the year, holidays are around the corner, and it seems like everything is expensive, buyers are just fewer and far-between these days.   

That being said, there are still plenty of people out there looking for a home, so here are some ways you can help yourself as a seller to get that home sold! There are a lot of ways to appeal to buyers other than lowering the price. Lowering the price helps buyers in the long run sometimes, but in the current market many buyers are looking for ways to save money up front or on rates.  

  1. Buy down buyers rates – Well since we know interest rates are a big thorn in the buyers’ side, as a seller you can help them out with that. Many lenders understand interest rates are a leading cause to the current housing market, so they are giving the option of a permanent rate buy down or other options such as a 2-1- buy down. This can take a buyer’s rate from 7.75% (yikes) down to 5.75% and sometimes lower. So, by offering to buy down their rate, this can save them money on interest, and you don’t have to lower the cost of the asking price! 
  2. Cover closing costs – Closing costs are another big up-front cost outside of the down payment. For many buyers who don’t have a lot of up-front capital, this can be a big deterrent for them before putting in an offer. Closing costs can sometimes be up to 6% of the closing price. So, by offering to cover some or all of their closing costs, you’re saving the buyer a good chunk of change up front.  
  3. Pre-Inspection and fix issues – Most buyers get inspections done once they have a contract going on a home… but as a Seller whose house isn’t moving, you might want to think about a pre-inspection. This pre-inspection could go 2 ways. The first being that the inspector comes back and says the house is in good sound shape, the mechanics are functioning properly and overall, you get good feedback from a licensed professional. Now you can use this to share with buyers, so they know that an Inspector has already taken a look. (Mind you-they will still probably get their own inspector out there too if an offer is made). Or the second option, the Inspector tells you areas that might need some work and now you can assess if that work is something you want to get fixed yourself or give as a buyer’s credit at closing so the buyers can fix it. If there are some areas that need a fair amount of work, at Coldwell Banker, we have a program called RealVitalize. In this program your CB agent enrolls you and you get approval in 24-48 hours, schedule and get the work done, and then at closing, funds for the project(s) completed will be removed (no interest, markups or fees**) Learn more here about that program.  
  4. Updates/Staging – Sometimes it’s as simple as painting all the colorful walls in your house to one simple color. Maybe one bathroom could use an updated vanity or a new lighting fixture. These smaller projects will cost only a few hundred dollars or less, but they totally freshen up the space and get buyers excited. Another option is staging. It really goes a long way to show buyers what the house could be, rather than a home with nothing in it. 
  5. Get a back-up offer – Did you know there is a Back-Up Offer contract?! You never know what might happen with the first contract…it could fall through due to financing issues, concerns after inspections or even as simple as the first buyers changed their mind. So having a back-up offer allows for the process with the second buyers to move forward quickly and hopefully this one won’t fall through.  
  6. Offer 2 year home warranty – Often times, sellers purchase (it’s not required) a 1-year home warranty for the new home buyers. This helps to cover any issues with appliances and such one year after the home was purchased. But after that one year, the buyers will need to pay for the warranty themselves if they want to keep it. So, another incentive to buyers, especially if it’s an older home or maybe older appliances, would be purchasing a 2-year home warranty, so that gives the buyers a little more piece of mind for an extra year when it comes to some of the more costly concerns that might occur at the home.  

These are all things to consider when selling your home if it’s been sitting longer than you’d like. The whole point of the home buying process is to have a happy seller and buyer. Sellers today, even in a slower market, have usually still gained a fair amount of equity in their home value. So assisting the buyer, if possible, is a great way to keep everyone happy and get that offer(s) on the table!