More Business for Sellers, Builders

By: Timothy J. Phillips

Many of us thought that by now the real estate market’s favor would have swung from buyers to sellers, but that does not appear to be the case. With summer coming to a close, some would argue that a solid home buyer in today’s flat real estate market is the commodity of choice.

Nervous sellers and builders sometimes consider lowering their asking prices in an effort to broaden their market, but such actions may merely improve the scenario for buyers who are already actively shopping. It takes a slightly different tack to actually create new buyers, or to pull them out of the proverbial woodwork.

Because funding a down payment is an issue for many borrowers, advertising that down payment assistance is available should make more sellers’ phones ring. (You can get details on such programs at .) Along those lines, offering to cover buyers’ closing costs will lend favor to one seller over another.

For years, automotive marketers have successfully convinced buyers they can afford the monthly payments for their new purchase.

Home builders and sellers can go from smart to savvy by befriending a mortgage expert who can help them engineer attractive financing programs to help them do the same. Being able to tell borrowers how potentially small their monthly payments would be for a new home could covert lookers into buyers.

Occasionally, home sellers may not want or need all the money from their home sale immediately. This situation presents wonderful opportunities for both the buyers and the sellers. Creative sellers can sell their home for full price or better by allowing their buyers to purchase the homes using a “seller second". In this case, the buyers actually purchase the property using money from two sources: the bank and the seller. The mortgage company finances most of the purchase (usually about 80%) and the seller will finance most of or all of the remainder.

By using these or other simple and creative financing methods and tips, builders and sellers alike can get a distinct marketing advantage. Most will benefit financially by creating ways to actually help prospective buyers find ways to purchase their new home.

Timothy Phillips is a mortgage banker and newspaper columnist. You may access his Wealth Academy™ archives at or phone him toll-free at (866) 369-4516. Homebuyers should always consult a professional for guidance specific to their situation.

Tim PhillipsPage 1 of 2August 2, 2004

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