Real Estate Tips July 12, 2019

5 Tips to Compete with New Construction When Selling Pre-Owned Homes

It has never been a better time to sell a home, especially in San Antonio. Summer is upon us, school is out, and the South Texas heat is raging. Along with the real estate market. One benefit to home shoppers is the abundance of new construction communities popping up in what seems like every major area of the city and surrounding areas. Builders often allow buyers to take advantage of closing cost concessions, upgrade allowances, premium lots, and many more other incentives that come with the standard new home warranty.

How does it get better than that???

If you are one of the unfortunate few who purchased a new home recently in an incomplete neighborhood and you absolutely have to move, these new construction benefits can create a real challenge for you as you try to sell a home. It’s a tall task, but it can be done.

1. Price it right.

Many homeowners and real estate agents alike make the mistake of using a newly built home as a comparable to a home that sold a few years back. Although it’s tough for some homeowners to stomach, a buyer will pay a premium for a new build. It is imperative that the list price of the house be chosen based off of other pre-owned home sales in the area.

If there are zero pre-owned home sales to compare to, look a little harder, or choose to price the house below the new builds for a more enticing offer. In my opinion, pricing is the single most important factor when selling a home. Especially if you are needing to sell quickly.

2. Advertise any upgrades that have been made to the home.

When that beautiful new home was built two years ago, did you add any upgrades that don’t come standard to builder’s current offering? Any upgrades that have been made to the house since it was built or during construction should be openly advertised when selling the house. That pool in the backyard, the oversized covered patio, the outdoor kitchen, or those custom cabinets will all be a big plus to potential buyers. These upgrades are one less thing that the buyer will have to pay for on their own.

3. Offer similar incentives that the builders are offering.

Like we talked about above, one of the perks of new construction is that the national builders can offer to cover a large portion of the buyer’s closing costs, give allowances for upgrades, or give discounts on the original listing price for specials. Although you as a seller don’t have the capital to offer quite as much as the multi-million dollar companies that build these new home communities, you can offer to cover a portion of the closing costs. Advertising that you are offering $5,000.00 (or more if you’re willing) towards a buyer’s closing costs for the first two weeks only will be a huge plus for most buyers. This is especially true if your house is in the prime price range for first time home buyers. First time home buyers typically have less cash on hand to pay towards a new home.

4. Capitalize on being in an established section of the neighborhood.

More than likely, if you have been living in your house for two years or more, your section of the neighborhood, or at least your street, will be complete. This means no concrete pours at 5:00am, no tractor trailers driving past your house, no construction crews playing loud music next door, and less litter from those same groups. Utilize this in your advertising! This is a huge negative that I have heard from buyers considering to purchase new builds. One of the first questions I hear is, “When will the neighborhood be complete?”

5. Provide Buyer’s Agent incentives.

It is no secret that the buyers will look to their real estate agent for advice when purchasing their home. Some builders will offer to pay buyer’s real estate agents a bonus for their client purchasing a home. Can you guess which new construction communities most agents will take their clients to first? As a seller, you can capitalize on this too. Have your listing agent note in the MLS and the Agent Remarks that an agent bonus is being offered with the same two week deadline of the closing costs. Creating this deadline gives that sense of urgency to come see your home.

Selling your house in direct competition with new builds will never be an easy task, but it can be done. Take the approach that would most attract you if you were to buy this house all over again. Your listing agent will have the expertise of what works and what doesn’t in the area so be sure to consult with them first and foremost. At the end of the day, selling a home is attention marketing. Create a plan to have as many people see your house as possible and have the house prepared to impress when the buyer does schedule the showing.