Selling My House Privately


Offer an Upgrade, or an extra "Goody"


Selling my house privately when the real estate market is tough, sometimes needs a little extra thinking "outside the box."


On this page, we will look at some tips to sell your house by offering an upgrade, to entice a purchaser to buy.


Again, when I talk about offering upgrades, I'm not talking about offering something and then adding it to the price. What I'm saying here is this:



"Mr. and Mrs. Prospect, I'm selling my property privately for the appraised value of $275,000.00, and I'm going to have a 12 x 12 red cedar deck built off the family room at no extra costs."


In other words, this incentive is a "carrot" for the purchaser to buy your property, rather than the similar home down the street for the same price.


The idea is "selling my house privately" rather than "selling their house."



For different ideas about using buyer incentives, select any of the thumbnail photo links below.


Red percent symbol pointing downward

Offer Buyer a Mortgage Buy Do

Key in door with mortgage tag

Offer to Pay Buyer's Mortgage Payments for Limited Time

Man with front pockets of pants turned outward

Offer to Pay some of Buyer's Closing Cost

Gold silver, blue and red shields

Offer a Home Warranty to Buyer

Red splash saying 100 percent fiancing

Selling in a Tough Market Using Incentives Main Page

Gold house logo with red sold sign

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Selling My House Privately

What Can I Offer?


So, what are some ideas to offer to sell my house privately? Well, you have to consider two things:


  • How much will it cost?

  • Will it attract any prospects?

A good idea when selling my house privately and offering an upgrade or an extra is to set a maximum amount you want to invest.


You might say, no more than $2,000.00 or $5,000.00 or perhaps $10,000.00.


The amount will, of course, be up to you. What works? This will depend a lot on where your market is.


A first-time buyer will probably be more interested in certain items than a seasoned homeowner buying a high-end property.




If your target market is probably a young couple buying their first home here are a few examples of a selling enticement.


  • A new hot-tub.

  • A new 46 inch LCD wall mounted TV.


  • A Home Theater in the family room.

  • 4 new appliances of the buyers choice up to a cost of $2,500.00.

If your target market is probably a more seasoned home owner, a few ideas might be:


  • A new garage.

  • A new bathroom installed on the lower level.

  • A kitchen remodel.

These are just a few ideas that would "pop" into my head when selling my house privately as I write this. One thing that is very important, is you set limits on costs. For example, you might state that the new bathroom must not exceed, $8,000.00.


I know, I know. An $8,000.00 bathroom in some homes would be more than efficient and in other homes, would just get you started. Remember, these are just ideas.


On the kitchen remodel, you could just suggest you replace the old plywood cabinet doors with solid oak and perhaps have the counter-top upgraded.

Some More Tips to Sell Your House


Sometimes when selling my house privately using incentives, you might want to just use a "buyer's choice."

A Visitor's Testimony


Hi Douglas - Thanks so much for your website!  The information has been invaluable.

Cookie cutter homes with one in middle having spot light shining from above

Let's set the scene. A couple having just toured your property and have shown some "I love this property signals." They are obviously interested but seem to be uncomfortable about something.

You: George and Martha, It seems like you really like our home but, I sense that it's missing something. Would you mind sharing the issue with me?


Buyer: Well, to tell you the truth, we were looking for a home with a bath and 1/2 and this one only has the one bathroom. I told George we would not buy a house with one bathroom again.


You: Other than the one bath issue, is there anything else that would stop you from offering on this property?




Important: (Always try to isolate the issue to a single item) For more information on negotiation go to: Real Estate Negotiation




Buyer: Nope, other than the single bathroom, we both love the home.


You: I'll tell you what we can do. If this property has everything you want except the second 1/2 bath, we will have a 1/2 bath installed for you by professionals with your choice of fixtures etc., at no extra cost. This will be our gift to you.


Newly finished 2 piece bathroom


If the purchaser agrees, then you set the limits on the costs and close the deal.



Be Careful How You Write the Contract


You do have purchase contracts on hand, right? :)


If you are looking for, what is in my opinion the best source for contract forms, just click on the following link to get the where and why. Real Estate Contract Forms.


One of the potential problems with offering upgrades is, the Lender/Appraiser, might look at the "extras" as part of the purchase price.


In other words, when selling my house privately, you sell for $275,000.00, include a $8,000.00 upgrade and suddenly the appraisal comes in at $267,000.00.


This is just another reason to have an Appraisal on your property before you place on the market.


If the appraisal is $275,000.00 before you throw out an incentive, then the extra $8,000.00 is obviously a "gift".


The other thing you could do is write up a separate contract for the "extra" add-on or upgrade. This can be done privately between you and the buyer that has nothing to do with the sale of the house. You may want to write up the separate contract "in exchange for $1.00."


Please check with your real estate lawyer on how to handle this, to make sure it is legal and above board in your area, before proceeding.


I would like to reiterate that these types of concessions are usually used during tough real estate markets when you offer extras to lead buyers to write a contract on your home, rather than a neighbor's.


When the real estate market is hot, or even balanced when selling my house privately, these types of incentives may not be necessary.



For More Information about Seller Incentives


Thumbnail photo links




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Me working in our backyard


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