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Real estate agent selling house to a familyToday’s “Ask the Experts” column features CJ Steen, Marketing Director with On The Move, Inc.

Q: How do incentives fit into the home-buying equation and why can’t they be overlooked in today’s market?

A: Would you buy the home where you get a free year of HOA fees or the home where you have to pay them yourself? Of course you want the home that has more perceived value! Everyone needs a little nudge to commit to a deal, and incentives are a great way to entice buyers. When it comes to incentives, reducing the price, paying mortgage points, down-payment aid, closing cost assistance or even adding a warranty are very common in markets today. While these are great ways to close a deal, it’s ultimately the little things that will help a buyer remember you.

Paying Homeowner Association (HOA) fees for a few months or even offering to maintain the yard or pool are two unique ways to help push buyers to make a decision and reduce buyer’s remorse. Some buyers may not be accustomed to maintaining pools or large yards and might not make a deal for fear of what these costs could amount to on top of their new mortgage. In addition, no one enjoys paying HOA fees, an additional cost that could easily deter someone from buying their perfect home.

Minor fixes to the home can also help buyers make a final decision. Even a gift card to a home improvement store will enhance your buyer’s experience. Keep in mind that a few hundred dollars could buy paint for a large portion of many homes. A paint sprayer is another tool that many people do not own that is very helpful when making a house someone’s home.

A simple gift card to a restaurant in the area is another item buyers will appreciate, as it will allow them to get out and explore the area.

One of the biggest headaches when buying a home is the moving process. To ease your buyer’s pain, offer a rental truck program. You can buy or lease your own truck that many of your buyers can utilize. Offer use of the truck during their move, when they’re purchasing furniture for their home or while they’re landscaping. Many real estate agents advertise on their moving truck, “Buy or sell with me and use this truck for free.” Your buyers will be advertising for you as they drive your truck to their new home.

Incentives are effective in any sale. Base incentives off of your buyers’ needs and/or concerns. Once you know their objection, close your sale by offering a unique solution or incentive. This will make you a top sales professional.

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