Thursday, August 16, 2007

Anxious Home Builders Pile on Incentives to Attract Home Buyers.

With the housing market looking increasingly frail, home builders and real-estate agents are going to new extremes to attract buyers, dangling lavish incentives and slashing prices.

While the Triangle area, which includes Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, is not affected by the housing market downturn in the lower price ranges below $400-500k, the inventory of homes above $500,000 is experiencing some of the national slowing trend.

In Raleigh, North Carolina home builders are offering to pay two years of property taxes and insurance- worth as much as $150,000 on houses priced as high as $2.5 million- for buyers of completed homes in upscale areas of Research Triangle Park, NC.

Home Builders in neighboring states are offering as much as $100,000 off the cost of upgrades ranging from granite countertops to a conservatory. Some real estate agents are offering to pay some months of mortgage payments on estate homes.

Across the country, the theme is the same: Home builders and home sellers are juicing their efforts to unload single-family homes. Among other things, they are offering buyers cash discounts of as much as 20 percent, throwing in a pool, and agreeing to finish the basements, garages, and other spaces at a cost of several thousand dollars- incentives much richer than builders were offering as recently as six months ago, when the downturn didn’t look as bleak. In the Triangle area, home sellers are offering trips to Paris and other exotic areas.

Tips for purchasing in a Buyer’s market
How to get concessions from home builders:
  • Buy a finished home: builders want inventory off their books and they may cut the price substantially.
  • Have a pre-approval letter: This shows a builder you have financing already in place.
  • Close quickly: Wrap up a purchase within 30 days; builders want to sell before the next bank payment is due
  • Avoid contingencies: Don’t make your purchase contingent on selling a home or finding financing. A contingency removes most of your negotiating power.

These tips apply to any market conditions, however, in a seller’s market the concessions will not be as great.

1 comment:

ricardor said...

Wow, people are paying for tax now? That is pretty amazing. I think things are going to get crazy for a while, but things will even out soon.