How does offering a sellers assist work?

Asked by Meghan Donohue, 19083 Sun Sep 5, 2010

we want to obviously get an offer on our home that has been for sale for 7 months now.We've done everything I can think of to get it sold.Lots of activity, no offers, no negative feedback so we are not sure what is wrong. We want to know maybe if offering a sellers assist would help set us apart?

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Edmund Choi, Agent, Paoli, PA
Tue Sep 7, 2010

Welcome to limbo -- decent activity level, but no offers. Although offering a seller's assist may be an attractive inducement to a prospective buyer, you should consider either a price reduction or "investing" in your property's appearance in step to set your property apart. At this moment, you are helping to sell your neighbor's home, which may be priced lower and/or in better showing condition. It's a tough market, and differentiation has never been more important.
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Terrence Cha…, Home Owner, Allentown, PA
Sun Sep 5, 2010
Do you have a real estate professional working for you? Is the asking price of your home based on the recently sold properties in your area?

Everything boils down to price. If you haven't made any upgrades and no one is offering, then you should do the upgrades or drop the price. If your home does not have any curb appeal, you should either get it up to par or drop the price. If you haven't decluttered/depersonalized your home, you should do that too or lower the price. If your home is more costly than the other similar homes in the neighborhood, you should drop the price.

If you really want to sell your home, you should ensure that it's priced properly first. Having incentives also works well. As my colleague said you could offer up to 6% towards closing costs if the lender allows for it. And yes, it can always help for a quicker sale. However, the listing price must be in the same neighborhood as the similar homes in your area.

Good luck!

Terrence Charest
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Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Sun Sep 5, 2010
Hi Meghan, good for you to be actively engaged and thinking about and willing to consider doing "what you need to do" to sell your home.

Let me first answer your question regarding a seller assist - often this comes in the form of a concession on your part to cover all or a portion of the buyer's closing costs. This can be helpful, and sometimes necessary, if you attract an FHA buyer that has only the down payment requirement as available cash, but not additonal funds to close. You can offer to cover, the concession can only be used to cover closing costs so if those costs are less than what you've offered out, then your concession will be for the documented closing costs only.

Remember the Federal tax credit that recently expired - it created demand and urgency among first time buyers. Since its expiry I have seen sellers offer out a similar up to $8,000 concession to try to incent offers.

Here is my recommendatioin - I recommend that you take fresh look at your price. Here is the hard truth - 7 months on the market, lots of activity, no offers = pricing issue. You were on the market when the Federal Tax Credit was in play so your price was tested under the "best" (by current definition) of circumstances. It is a time to reposition your listing - freshen it up, restart the clock and price it right. Price is what draws buyers to property - concessions are generally embedded in the comments. You may have to go there in the end but the best way to get a different result is through a price correction.

Good luck,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
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Steve Sisman, Agent, Media, PA
Sun Sep 5, 2010
Good morning Meghan, a Seller's Assist is a credit given to the Buyer(s) at time of closing. Example: if you sell your home for $100,000 minus a 6% assist your net selling price would be $94,000 (-$6,000 assist, if OK w/Lender). Your net proceeds would still minus the additional closing costs. NAR considers: if no offers are made with-in 21 days or 12 showings, your asking price is too high and should be adjusted accordingly. Have you discussed marketing and pricing with your current agent? If not, you should. The next few weeks are generally considered our fall selling market with a general slow down closer to the holidays. Have that face-to-face with your agent! Good Luck! Follow me on Facebook, Steve
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