Sweeten the Deal

Sometimes, when negotiating back and forth with a buyer, a seller can make a good faith gesture or two that can quickly turn the negotiation stages of home buying/selling into a done deal.

Using a little ingenuity, the seller can make any one of a number of offers that might intrigue the buyer, such as an offer to partially or fully pay the buyer’s closing costs. An offer to contribute to the buyer’s closing costs would certainly be of interest to the buyer, since, dependent upon the amount of the buyer’s down payment, closing costs could total 1.5 to 3 percent or more of the loan amount.

Before making this gesture, and deciding whether a full or partial contribution towards the buyer’s closing costs should be made, the seller should evaluate the impact on the seller’s net profit this contribution would make, while also factoring in the other costs to the seller, such as taxes, commissions, etc.

Leaving the kitchen and/or laundry room appliances is another gesture that is usually appreciated.

Even if the carpeting is in good shape, if it is not to the buyer’s liking, an offer to replace some or all of the carpeting in a color and pattern of the buyer’s choosing may be worth while if it would induce the buyer to finalize the purchase.

Offer a full year’s paid-up home warranty. This is a gesture any buyer would appreciate. Besides, if the seller already has a home warranty in force, it may be transferable to the buyer, and the seller can pay for any additional coverage needed to extend the warranty for an entire twelve months.

The older the home, the more valuable a home warranty can prove to be. Home warranties cover all of the plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical systems and the warranty company will repair or replace faulty or non-functioning equipment.

Usually, the only additional charge would be a per visit fee of approximately fifty/sixty dollars.

If there are any items in the home that the buyer has taken a liking to, such as a big-screen TV, or a particular piece or pieces of furniture, it may be worth while for the seller to toss those items in as a good faith gesture.

While on this subject, it is very important for the seller to avoid any misunderstandings and bad feelings by specifying in the sales contract exactly what items the seller prefers to keep, and what can be left for the buyer.

Tossing a buyer a freebie or two is an old tried and true business tactic that is often the one little gesture that will make the sale or close the deal.


Tony Sena is a Las Vegas Real Estate Broker/Salesperson and Designated Property Manager with North American Realty of Nevada.  He currently oversees a team of 10 real estate agents and runs the Property Management Division.  He can be reached at 702.376.0088.