It's difficult to sell a home in today's depressed real estate market and sellers are desperate to find a way to have their home stand out among all the housing inventory. It is not unusual for sellers to offer incentives to the buyer, and some of these are quite creative. Among the more usual are pre-paying a year's homeowners dues or paying for upgrades. Some sellers include furniture or a car with the purchase. Still others try to entice buyers by including a vacation with the purchase.
And then there is J. J. Rogers. For three years, Ms. Rogers tried to sell her four bedroom home in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado. Finally, in frustration, she has decided to give it away! Ms. Rogers is running an essay contest. To try and win her home, each entrant must submit an essay explaining why they should win, along with a $100 entry fee. So far, Ms. Rogers has had 500 entries. She is hoping to receive at least 2000 entries before the May 25 deadline. This would cover her mortgage, closing costs, and give her a some left over.
Or you could do what Bob and Ricki Husick did. After a year of trying to sell their Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania home, they offered to give the buyer their money back upon the death of the Husicks. That's right - buy the house for $399,000 today, and get the money back when the Husicks die. And, as an added incentive, the Husicks also offered to throw in the couple’s retirement home in Arizona if the buyers would agree to care for the Husicks in their old age. And yes, they did get offers.
Of course, all of these options come with legal, tax and accounting issues. So if you decide to try something like this, make sure to consult with the appropriate legal and financial professionals. But in this difficult real estate market, you can't blame sellers for trying new incentives to get their homes sold. When the going gets tough, the tough get .... creative!