Don’t panic—clinching a real estate deal doesn’t always mean giving up more of your commission or going back to the seller to beg them to lower the price another thousand. In fact, oftentimes, deal clinchers don’t have to do with money at all.
If you’re struggling to clinch a deal, we want to quickly offer you this overarching advice: stay genuine, stay ethical, and stay positive. And how do you do that? We can help there, too. Below are some strategies for ways to sweeten the pot without pouring in too much extra cash, if any. Consider if any of these options will work for your clients:
Deal Clincher #1: Add Value to Your Property with Unwanted Furniture
If the seller is moving out and not taking that unsightly art print of a drooling dog that nobody liked anyway, why not ask for them to include it with the house? Perhaps your clients love dogs. Or what about an unwanted above ground pool, home gym, piano, or recliner? Anything the seller doesn’t want to move can go to the bargaining table, adding value to a house without every investing an extra dime.
Deal Clincher #2: More Money Down
Yes, this deal clincher has to do with money, but not necessarily any more money than your clients would already be willing to put toward a property—just more money up front. Perhaps the seller doesn’t want to lower the price because they really need the cash. Why not offer more sooner? Sure, the deposit’s tied up in the agent’s account until after the settlement. But as long as your clients can afford it and are willing, a larger deposit is seen as a more serious offer and can sometimes lead to bigger and better offers.
Deal Clincher #3: Allow the Seller Time to Move Out on Their Terms
Perhaps the sellers don’t want a 30-day move out. Perhaps they want to throw a Christmas party first and move out when the weather’s nice. Or maybe it’s summer, and they want to have a last family reunion with grilled hot dogs and s’mores in the backyard before kissing their home goodbye. As long as your clients aren’t in a rush to move in, being flexible with settlement terms can often make negotiations much friendlier… and more profitable.
Deal Clincher #4: Ask the Seller to Consider Paying for Associated Costs
Perhaps your client is reluctant because of the homeowner’s association they must join. No doubt the fear has a number attached, and that number matches the monthly dues. However, what if the seller were willing to, instead of lowering the cost of the property, pay for some or all of the HOA dues?
Another offer the seller may consider is pre-paying the property tax. Since property tax is due when everything else is, a seller’s offer to take off some of the immense burden in April could make a reluctant client more willing to accept an offer now.
Deal Clincher #5: Ask Your Clients to Consider a “Rent-Back”
Perhaps your client is eager to clinch a deal on their ideal property, but the seller is dragging their feet. For whatever reason, they want to stay in the house for an extended length of time, or they want to head out slowly. You could, with your client’s blessing, offer to purchase the home with an authorized, contractual obligation to allow the seller to stay in the house for a pre-established amount of time. It’s not likely that your client will want to move into the new house the day it closes. Likely, they’ll already have a rent or mortgage payment from their last property to pay off, at least through the month. Why not make some extra money on the deal by allowing the seller to stay in-home, but charging “rent” equal to the prorated monthly mortgage payment? Or, if your client has the money and the desire, why not offer a cost-free rent-back and simply allow the seller time to move? This may bring a reticent seller to the bargaining table.
Deal Clincher #6: Ask the Vendor’s Agent, and Be Imaginative
You probably got into this business in part because you love providing a service to people and in part because you enjoy the challenge of creative problem-solving. Why not put the two together, link up with the vending agent, and negotiate your own creative way to bag the deal? The vending agent should know exactly what the sellers really want. Perhaps they’ll be willing to let you in on the secret, if it is one, and you can take this information back to your clients to gauge their willingness to make deals.