The government tax credit for first-time and repeat home buyers officially expired yesterday. Coldwell Banker brokerages across the country are now promoting a 3-month national sales promotion called the “Buyer Bonus Event.” Their website claims that the Buyer Bonus Event “will allow participating Coldwell Banker home sellers to ‘essentially’ extend the tax credit for participating homebuyers.”
Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? If I list my home for sale with a Coldwell Banker agent, I can magically extend the $8,000 credit to potential buyers. What’s the catch? The catch is that sellers participating in the promotion are giving 3% of the accepted offer price – up to $8,000 – as a credit at closing back to buyers who sign an offer before July 31st. This is not a promotion at all, rather it is a marketing ploy by Coldwell Banker to get their sellers to lower their sales proceeds by $8,000! Coldwell Banker agents offer no contributions in the process, other that advertising that their sellers are willing to concede $8,000 for offers before July 31.
Sellers have always been able to offer concessions to get their home sold, whether in the form of price reductions or contributions towards buyer closing costs. If you are a seller, there is nothing special about this promotion. These are pricing tools that have always been available to you and your agent. No matter who your agent is, if your home is not selling, you should have a conversation about your asking price, incentives you could offer to buyers and any other improvements that could be made to the property to attract more buyers.
I think my favorite part of the promotion is this quote:
“The Government has acted. Now it’s up to us!”
Up to us? I don’t see anything being contributed by your Coldwell Banker agent, other than a promotion to get you to list your home with them and lower your price at the same time. There are a variety of brokerage options available today that WILL save sellers a substantial amount in real estate commissions which they can pass along to buyers to help accelerate the sales process. If you live in the Seattle metropolitan area, listing with a brokerage like findwell will save you 1.5% of the listing commission, while still providing outstanding marketing and customer service to get your home sold. If your home sells for $500,000, you can save $7,500 by using our services, without having to take it out of your own pocket.