- Too many agents only see what's right in front of them, and they miss out on deal closers.
- You can use items such as home warranties and artwork to leverage a close.
- Incentives such as these should only be used when they're absolutely necessary.
We’ve all been there. The buyer and seller are at the brink of finalizing a deal on a luxury home, but the final gap just refuses to close. The seller won’t go any lower, and the buyer won’t go any higher. Is it time to let go of the deal, or is there something else you can do to save it?
If the buyer isn’t 100-percent sold on this particular property, you might be better off letting go of the transaction. But most buyers won’t put in an offer until they’re set on buying. So more times than not, you can find another way to make the deal work. You just have to look outside the box.
Other ways to close the gap
When homebuyers and sellers can’t agree on the price, there are often other opportunities for exchange.
When working on a sale, too many agents look at what’s right in front of them: the buyer, the seller and the property. But in luxury real estate, there’s almost always another way to sweeten the deal.
For instance, maybe the seller has a house full of imported furniture that won’t fit into the new house. Or perhaps there’s a hand-picked piece of art or two that perfectly complement the current home but won’t have a spot post-move.
Many luxury homeowners buy items specifically for that house. If the seller is willing to part with these items, you often can close the deal by including them as part of the sale.
It solves a problem for sellers. And it sweetens the deal for buyers, helping them come up to the selling price.
How to seal the luxury deal
Think selling real estate is just about the property? Think again. These ideas can sell a home when price alone won’t close the deal.
One agent had this happen with a house he was selling. Josh Altman of Hilton & Hyland in Beverly Hills, California, said, “I remember a time when a buyer was hemming and hawing until my client had the notion of throwing in all of their furniture — that was all it took to bridge that gap between what the buyer was willing to pay and the asking price.”
2. Closing costs
One of the best and most common incentives is offering to pay some or all of the closing costs.
3. Home warranty
Another popular incentive is a home warranty. A one-year home warranty usually won’t cost much, but it helps give the buyer some peace of mind in buying a home, especially if the house is older.
4. Moving expenses
Another incentive that some agents are finding particularly attractive is helping with moving expenses. Most people will incur some cost for moving.
Clients buying luxury homes will almost always hire a moving company to handle the grunt work. However, the moving industry is notoriously shady. A company might quote one price, pick up the furniture, then hold it for ransom at a higher price.
If you can work with a reputable moving company, you can ensure a high-volume pricing deal, which gives buyers a great incentive. They get a reputable service that comes with solid recommendations from you and previous customers, and you get an incentive at a bargain price.
Closing costs, furniture, moving expenses and other incentives can close a deal when price can’t, and there are many other add-ons that you can offer. You just have to take on the situation with fresh eyes.
But there is one caveat — incentives should be your last resort. Don’t let them become an automatic throw-in with every deal. Work hard to set your price right. The seller and the buyer both will consider the price as the most vital aspect of the deal.
So focus your attention there, and try to keep things simple. But when simple doesn’t get it done, the right incentive can seal the deal.
Kevin M. Leonard is the founder of Luxury Agent and Valore Group. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.