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‘Available Offers:’ Homebuyers should apply for these incentives while they have the advantage

The housing market is finally tipping in buyers’ favor, and that means they can walk away with more than just a decent deal on a home.

About 42% of homes sold in the last three months of 2022 included some form of seller’s concession, according to Redfin data, up from just 30% the previous quarter. Those incentives included mortgage interest rate reductions, cash for closing costs and repairs, and warranties on appliances. A separate study found that 13.6% of sellers also slashed their listing price to attract buyers.

For homebuyers, the uptick in dealerships means the days of exemption from contingencies and inspections are behind them and they will have more bargaining power when buying a home. But buyers need to act quickly, one expert said, as a possible increase in competition may deter sellers from long-term trading.

“Everyone has different motivations and goals. Every market is different, but now deals can be done,” Monte Miner, a real estate agent with Ironwood Fine Properties, told Yahoo Finance.

This is what you should ask for.

more protection

Rick Nazarro of Colonial Manor Realty talks to a couple of interested buyers in the driveway as a couple waits to get into a property they are trying to sell in Revere, MA. (Credit: Blake Nissen for The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The days of forgoing contingencies like appraisals and inspections are fading in the rear view mirror. Still, contract activity is still slightly competitive depending on your location.

At least 24% of buyers waived the inspection contingency in December 2022, according to the National Association of Realtors’ confidence survey, up from 16% the month before and 19% a year ago. An additional 24% of buyers waived an appraisal contingency in December, up from 16% in November and 21% a year ago.

Home inspection contingencies are especially important because they can let you know if there is a major problem with the property before the purchase takes place. It can also help you negotiate repairs with the seller, which is becoming more common in today’s market.

“If buyers have this short window to buy where they can get incentives to buy, [they] they prefer to buy where they have the opportunity to really think about it, get an inspection, a financial contingency and not feel rushed,” Jeff Reynolds, a broker at Compass and founder of UrbanCondoSpaces.com, told Yahoo Finance.

mortgage help

When mortgage rates rose at their fastest pace in more than 50 years last year, many homebuyers still on the market opted for a mortgage rate reduction to ease the financial burden of their home loan.

A down payment is often a strategic option that some borrowers use to lower their interest rate by paying discount points at closing. Discount points, or mortgage points, are only paid once at closing and can lower your interest rate over the life of your loan.

“When the rate went up in the high 7, we saw a lot of calls for a reduction from 2-1,” Miner said. “When that happens, the buyer expects to refinance within the next two years in most cases. with rates [in 2023] potentially below 6%, I see it as a possible but less likely scenario.”

In some circumstances, a seller may even offer payment points to offer a temporary rate reduction, only applicable for the first few months of your loan. This can make your mortgage payments more affordable at the start of your loan.

Reduce your closing costs

Since demand remains low, some home sellers are incentivizing buyers by offering to pay the entire closing cost. (Credit: Getty Creative)

Since demand remains low, some home sellers are incentivizing buyers by offering to pay the entire closing cost. (Credit: Getty Creative)

One of the biggest expenses a buyer faces when buying a home is paying closing costs. These fees may include fees for appraisers, home inspectors, real estate agents, attorneys, and your lender, to name a few.

According to Realtor.com, closing costs on a home purchase often total 2% to 7% of the home’s purchase price. That means a buyer who bought a home at the median listing price of $400,000 in December may have faced a closing fee of between $8,000 and $28,000.

Although home sellers and home buyers generally split the costs of closing fees and services, these days sellers are more likely to offer to pay more or all of the closing costs to complete a sale.

“One of the things that gave buyers pause last year was ‘I don’t have enough money for closing costs,’” John Downs, a senior vice president at Vellum Mortgage, told Yahoo Finance. for you.”

Request a price reduction

A buyer considers a new home during an open house at Plantation. (Credit: Carline Jean/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

A buyer considers a new home during an open house at Plantation. (Credit: Carline Jean/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Home prices are finally falling from their peaks, and on top of that, a growing number of sellers are also offering additional price cuts to attract buyers.

Median listing price jumped from $369,000 in January 2022 to $449,000 in June, an increase of 21%, according to Realtor.com data. As of December, the median home listing price had smoothed out to $400,000, still about 8.4% higher than a year earlier.

At current rates of 6.33%, some homebuyers still face affordability hurdles. The cost of 80% financing for a typical home is still 58.9% higher compared to a year ago, Realtor.com found, leaving some buyers stuck on the sidelines.

Fortunately, price reductions are becoming more common, and asking for a price cut is not frowned upon. In fact, some agents are encouraging it.

“Instead of waiting for listing prices to drop, buyers actually submit deeply discounted offers and have the seller make a decision and that seems to be working,” Downs said, noting that there has been an increase in price reductions. of prices in Washington, DC. area.

For example, the percentage of homes with price reductions increased to 13.6% in December, from 7.1% the previous year. According to Realtor.com, that percentage was higher than before the pandemic, but lower than the percentage seen in 2018 (14.8%).

Downs added: “Buyers are setting the tone in the housing market this year and sellers are listening.”

Act quickly

A housing subdivision built by Pulte Homes is seen in Novi, Michigan. (Credit: Rebecca Cook, REUTERS)

A housing subdivision built by Pulte Homes is seen in Novi, Michigan. (Credit: Rebecca Cook, REUTERS)

Home buyers who want to capitalize on their bargain opportunities should act quickly before the spring selling season begins.

According to Redfin, increased buying activity in the weeks leading up to January 15 caused the median US home sales price to rise 0.9% year-over-year to $350,250, the largest increase in one month.

Mortgage purchase application volume increased 25% in the week ending Jan. 13, the Mortgage Bankers Association has found. While still 35% below activity levels a year earlier, the buyer pool is likely to continue to grow as rates decline.

“I have a property listed for $375,000 and we already have 20 offers. Two of them are full price, one is above price,” Miner said. “At that point, the buyers will not have an opportunity to get any concessions on that property.”

Gabriella is a personal finance reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @__gabriellacruz.

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