Sometimes people wonder whether offering a bonus to the buyer’s agent will help their home sell faster or for more money.
Even real estate agents are divided about it. Some say no. Some say yes.
Adding energy efficient items can entice buyers. By installing products such as a home energy monitor, LED lightbulbs, and outdoor motion-activated solar lights, you can make the home more appealing to potential buyers, who will like the fact that they can save money from your energy saving projects.
Ultimately, it’s your decision as a homeowner. So here’s a list of pros and cons for you to think about before you make the decision.
The Bonus Pros
As you market your home, endeavor to reduce the amount of stuff inside, even if you have yet to move. The people who visit need to see themselves in your home, but your personal touches could give them a vision they just can’t fit into.
Let’s be honest, offering a bonus to the buyer’s agent is meant to incentivize the agent to sell your house. It’s basically playing on the desire of a real estate agent to make more money than they would make selling another house.
Money certainly motivates people. And real estate agents are people…
Small changes in the kitchen can pay off handsomely in your home’s value and appeal. For instance, you could replace an old ugly appliance with a new, modern focal piece. Add hanging storage or a new fixture to make your kitchen look more modern. Switching out cabinets is rather costly, so consider painting them to provide a fresh look.
So, ideally, this is what offering a bonus might do for you:
It might get a buyer’s agent to really want to sell your property.
Have the air conditioner and heating systems serviced prior to putting the home on the market. Buyers will shy away from a home with a damaged AC unit.
It might make your house sell more quickly.
It might make it sell for more money (if it makes more agents clamor to get their buyers to make offers and creates heightened demand…or, if an agent feels compelled to urge their client to offer more money to make the deal happen.)
To encourage people to purchase your property, throw in a few extras. Have you seen the commercials that offer appliances with a home purchase? Such a bonus added to the house itself will motivate buying. Take notice of what seems to be an item of interest, and if it fits in your budget offer it in the closing deal. This will increase your chance of success.
The Bonus Cons
Above, we mentioned people are motivated by money, and that real estate agents are human…
When you home looks warm and inviting from the curbside, then buyers want to see more. It can make a big difference in how many people visit your home.
However, many real estate agents are somewhat superhuman.
There are a lot of agents who simply aren’t driven by money. They certainly aren’t going to put their clients’ needs behind their desire or need for money. Agents tend to have a high degree of ethics and put their clients’ needs before their own.
Windows are always a strong selling point of any home, and having clean windows gives the property an updated look and feel. Windows that sparkle allow in more natural illumination, and they also give a feeling of newness to a home. Buyers will not know that you slaved away for a few hours cleaning and scrubbing, but they are sure to notice a huge difference.
So, there’s a good chance this is what will happen when you offer a bonus:
It could be wasted money (many agents won’t take it, or will pass it along to the buyers.)
When marketing or looking for real estate, it is important to use many different channels. Look to a variety of sources for inspiration as you prepare to sell your property. Peruse online real estate sites and blogs, or meet with an agent. Consider all options available to you in order to maximize success.
It won’t sway most agents from endorsing, or not endorsing your house. If your house is a good fit for their client, they will show it. If it is not, no amount of bonus will get them to show it.
It won’t sway a buyer. The buyer is not likely to buy a house, let alone pay more for it, because of a bonus being offered to their agent. If anything, if a buyer’s agent starts pushing a buyer to buy your house, it may actually backfire. Many buyers will put on the brakes if they feel they are being pushed.
Try to make your home as neutral and non-personal as possible before putting it on the market. You no longer want it to announce your particular tastes! Get rid of personal objects and pictures. Buyers must be able to envision their own families living in your home, rather than yours. Show buyers how much space is in your home by de-cluttering.
Making your decision…
This article is just food for thought. Certainly listen to your real agent’s perspective and advice. Also, get comfortable with your own perspective and thoughts before offering a bonus.
Clutter should be cleared from your property to make it more attractive to potential buyers. Not only should closets have a minimum of items in them, the closets should be well-organized and dust-free. Also clean out kitchen cabinets. You may want to consider a few gourmet, fancy packaged foods, which will add some sophistication.
Ultimately, a well-priced home, which is exposed to the entire market, is what gets a home sold for top dollar and as quickly as possible.
But if you have some extenuating circumstances, and your house is hard to sell for some reason, you might want to consider offering a bonus so agents pay attention to a house they may otherwise have ignored.