6 Incentives to Attract Buyers to Your Listing

Flashy buyer incentives — such as a new TV or car — may entice some buyers, but bottom line perks are more likely to close a sale, say experienced real estate professionals.

Here are the six most common buyer incentives in today's market:

1. Reduce the price. "The price is something that is a common currency — it appeals to everybody," says Gene Rivers, who owns four Keller Williams offices in Florida.

2. Pay points. One point is 1 percent of the loan amount, charged as prepaid interest. Sellers can pay these points on behalf of the buyer, so for the first year or two, the buyer has a lower mortgage payment.

3. Assist with the down payment. First-time buyers without enough money for a down payment appreciate this kind of assistance.

4. Pay closing costs. Closing costs generally add up to somewhere between 2 percent and 7 percent of the loan value, according to Freddie Mac. Buyers who are stretching to make a down payment will be attracted to this type of help.

5. Add a home warranty. A residential service contract is some insurance that the buyer won’t encounter high repair costs in the first year or two of home ownership.

6. Pay home owner association fees or pool maintenance. Paying these kinds of predictable maintenance costs at the beginning can be a nice welcome to the buyer when money undoubtedly will be tight for them.

Source: MarketWatch, Amy Hoak (07/15/07)