Incentive To Buy: Extra’s Offered To Get The Chattanooga Housing Market Moving – News12 WDEF-TV Chattanooga, TN, USA

Submitted by Joe Legge


April 29, 2009 – 6:01pm


How would you like a new high definition television?  Or, a shopping spree at Best Buy?  What about a free car — or boat?


Hoping to break out of the housing market funk, sellers throughout the Tennessee Valley appear more willing than ever to sweeten the deal.  Kathy Mittelstadt, a Crye-Leike Realtor, says “you have to start thinking outside the box. Buyers are looking for deals and looking for these incentives.”


Charlotte Mabry represents the builder of Lenox Trace Townhomes.  They’re offering buyers an $8,000 credit to purchase items off this shopping list.  Mabry says that list includes “things like a refrigerator, and maybe some of your closing costs paid, and new blinds, all the things you would think of when moving into a new house.”


The 12-item list also features free utilities for a year, custom drapery treatment, and a $1,000 Best Buy gift card.


Robert Backer of Coldwell Banker hopes a 51-inch high-def t-v, with surround sound stereo system will entice someone to purchase a gated community home in The Legends.  “I don’t think its going to make the phones ring, for a tv, but once they get here and see its one other thing that’s here it’s a nice incentive,” says Backer.


The house features plenty of other selling points, like custom molding and trim, and energy efficient upgrades, but Backer hopes the tv will seal the deal.


With the real estate game changing, Mittelstadt says perks create interest.  “We currently have 17 on the market and 10 of those were finished this year.”


That’s why she’s spreading the word about free homeowners association fees for a year, for anyone purchasing one of these condos at The Village at Greenway.  “That’s $150 a month and the seller is going to take care of that for the first year that the buyer move in.”


But aside from interest and enticement, do incentives generate results  Jay Robinson of Robinson Real Estate says “basically, we’ve tried everything from offering to pay closing costs, tv, trips, had one seller that offered an automobile. And really none of those have worked for us so far” :08


What has worked?  Pricing property right.


If you were buying a home, which would you rather have? A $500 gift card to Lowe’s or Home Depot — or $1,000 off the purchase price. Robinson says buyers choose the money.


Robinson doesn’t discourage incentives, he just doesn’t bank on them making the difference.  “Isn’t price always the best incentive? If something is priced right, the market will come to you.”