Fitzgerald Realty & Auctioneers
William J. Fitzgerald
How to sweeten your terms to sell faster
You’ve put the house in fine condition. You’ve set a competitive price and are flexible about it. Is there anything else you can do to speed things up? Offer terms that will help move or close a contract. We often call these terms “sweeteners” because of their attractiveness to both buyers and sellers. Buyer and seller may negotiate details, but the strategy to select the best terms is in the seller’s control.               

Not all properties, of course, nor all sellers or neighborhoods, require sweeteners- and very few would need to use every strategy. Smart sellers understand their most effective options, and then after all terms are considered, select the strategies that suit their circumstances. As a seller, you may want to pick some-or none-from this sampler of sweeteners.  

Loan Strategies. Help the buyer reduce monthly payments, which may be the stumbling block for the person who wants you home. Settlement sweeteners are options designed to help reduce buyers’ out-of-pocket costs such as downpayment and closing costs, so they can swing the purchase. Accommodations are small favors you can grant to overcome logistic obstacles.
Loan Strategies               

Buyers usually are not as concerned with price as they are with their monthly payment. If you can find a way to reduce monthly payments, you have the best chance of getting your top sales price. We can work together to find a strategy that helps both you and the buyer achieve your goals.
·        Buydown. Consider buying down the initial interest rate of the serious purchaser so he or she can qualify for a loan. One of the many available buy-down plans might help your buyer and still let you come out with net proceeds you want.

·        Assumption. If you have an assumable loan with a below-market interest rate, consider making it available to a solid purchaser. Check your lenders assumption requirements.

·        Take Back. You might even be in a position to offer the buyer a second mortgage by taking back some of the purchase price in a note.

·        Seller Financing. If you don’t need immediate cash and you home is free and clear, you could think about holding the first mortgage, especially when interest rates are very high and this is an opportunity to invest your proceeds at above-market rates. Be sure the buyer is able to carry monthly payments and housing costs.
·        Lease/Purchase. Another option, if you don’t need your funds immediately, is to let the buyer rent with a delayed settlement, provided you are sure the purchaser will eventually qualify for the loan. Part of the rental could apply toward the downpayment, if the buyer is short of cash.

Settlement Sweeteners
·        FHA/VA
. If the purchaser has sufficient income to qualify for a loan, but is short of cash, consider accepting low-downpayment-financing like FHA or VA (even though you will have to pay some points). If you pay points, you might expect a sales price at the top of your pre-determined price range. When the seller pays points, the buyer pays less cash at settlement and is able to finance the agreed-upon sales price.
·        Closing Costs. You could offer, instead, to pay part of the closing costs (title search, attorney’s services, appraisal, recording, etc.) that the purchaser would ordinarily pay. In exchange the buyer may agree to pay the discount points, some of which will be tax-deductible to the buyer in the year of the purchase.
·        Furnishings. Include with purchase price household furnishings the buyer would have to buy later, such as the children’s outgrown swing and sandbox, the tractor-mower you won’t need, the draperies tailored to specific windows. This may be treated as a separate addendum.

·        Occupancy. Work out pre-occupancy or post-occupancy terms if occupancy is the only hang-up.
·        Move Out. Consider occupying temporary living quarters for yourself, in order to let the buyer move in on schedule.
·        Pre Inspection. In older homes, head off inspection contingencies by offering proof of recent home inspection, including roof & foundation inspection.
·        Storage. Offer to assist in any reasonable way with the buyer’s problems in transferring household items (storing things in your garage, accepting delivery of appliances, for example).
·        Services. Mention the availability of continuing services of lawn-care or house-cleaning people (by prearrangement).

Some of these selling strategies may seem excessive to you-if you have not previously aimed for a top-dollar sale. However, I have seen them pay off many times and have learned which strategies work best under what circumstances. If you would like to know more about using sweeteners-how they work, when and why to use one or more of them- give me a call. 

If you’re thinking of selling, let’s talk. We can go over the state of today’s market, the competition from other homes in the area and your timetable for selling. If sweeteners seem appropriate in your situation, we’ll select some options you might consider. I look forward to your call.

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What our clients are saying  

We had great service, we would recommend to family & friends, would work with again, very helpful and went the extra mile to help, very friendly, professional and answered all our questions, returned our calls, emails and text messages very quickly, very reliable and efficient, extremely helpful & informative, very knowledgeable.


~ Randy and Jill Stauffer/St. Mary's Seller

Billy was the best, helped me with everything and got it done. I'm very happy and satisfied.


~ Joe Young / St. Mary's Buyer

Very good experience with Fitzgerald Realty & Auctioneers.


~ Rick Greer/St. Marys Buyer

Billy got the job done!


~ Wally Yowaiski/St. Mary's Seller

Fitzgerald Realty helped us find the home we wanted to invest in and guided us through the process of buying it. Settlement was conveniently done in their office and went very smoothly. We are planning to purchase again through this company. Thanks Billy


~ Tom & Betty Campbell/St Mary's Buyer

I reached out to Fitzgerald to find a rental for myself and two kids. I spoke first to Office MGT. , she was very helpful. She then put me in good hand with Mark Thompson. He was helpful, showed me property, answered all my questions, punctual and any time was a good time for him. He definitely was there to help! Thank you so much and when I'm ready to do the whole buying of a house goal I will definitely be calling up Fitzgerald Realty :)


~ Leighann Myers / St. Marys Renter

Billy Fitzgerald was very diligent in keeping us informed on the status of the sale and the settlement for the property that we had for sale. He currently has one other listing for us and feel confident that he will be successful in finding a buyer for this property as well. We will certainly recommend Fitzgerald Realty to our family and friends.


~ Linda Tyler / St. Marys Seller

I want to thank you for getting my Townhouse sold. The way you took the photos, listed it and being "straight" with me on the asking price made all the difference. I also want to thank you for the excellent service I received while in your capable hands. You are a TRUE SOUTHERN MARYLAND GENTLEMAN and an OUTSTANDING Real Estate Agent. Again, Thank you Billy ....


~ Carolyn "Judy" Bakewell / St. Marys Seller

We had great service! We would recommend Billy to family & friends. He was very helpful and went the extra mile to help and would work with again. He was very professional, friendly and answered all our questions. He would return our calls, emails & text messages very quickly. He was extremely helpful, reliable & efficient, also very informative & knowledgeable. I give him 5 stars!


~ John Taylor / St. Marys Seller

Good professional, courtesies service. The agent went to bat for me on every opportunity. After the deal was struck Billy aka (COL) did all that was expected and moved rapidly to wrap to entire transaction up. My family appreciated working with Billy and the Fitzgerald Real Estate family and we would recommend their services to others.


~ Mark Steedley / St. Marys Buyer

Billy went far beyond what anyone else before him did. Billy is a great person and will be the only one I ever recommend!


~ Craig Tiburzi / St. Marys Buyer

Amazingly when I saw a Fitzgerald Sign in the front of property I had to have, I reached out to Mr. Billy Fitzgerald and in less than a month the necessary people were contacted to assist in a short wait to closing. I would gladly recommend The Fitzgerald Realty & Auctioneers to family and friends.


~ Brian Small / St. Marys Buyer

My husband and I were very satisfied with the expertise and helpfulness of Mr. Fitzgerald. 4 stars


~ Carol Pingleton / St. Marys Seller

I wanted to commend Fitzgerald Realty & Auctioneers for the great job that they have done, for the many years of selling Real Estate for me and my clients. I have always found you very responsive. “A successful transaction is never an accident it is the result of personal service and a sincere effort”. Keep up the good work. Sincerely, Rudolf A. Carrico Jr. Attorney at Law


~ Rudolf A. Carrico, Jr. / Charles County Seller

Awesome ! We are so happy with Billy & Fitzgerald Realty !


~ Misty Peed / St. Marys Buyer

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