“This week the cost of buying a home is coming down, way down,” begins the radio ad. The big home builders do it all the time; holiday sales, weekend sales, special end-of-the-year clearance. Now the state of Maine is doing it.
With the Spring season kicking off with a whimper, the Maine Association of Realtors is taking a cue from the builders and launching their own one-week “Clearance Event.” That’s right, at least $10,000 off of participating existing homes. They started the week with 115 sellers signing on, and within a few days that grew to over 900. Some discounts are even larger.
“We’ve been on the market for a couple of months, so by joining the clearance even, it puts us back out in front of some of those people that maybe weren’t thinking about it a few months ago, but are now,” says seller Lisa Lee, who dropped her five bedroom, Cumberland home’s price $10,000 from $507,000. “You’ve got to be competitive, again, it’s a high price point in this market, so it was worth taking the loss.”
The median price of a Maine home is $159,450 according to the MAR, so $10,000 is a big chunk, especially for first-time buyers who are fighting a very tough credit market.
Realtors in Maine, and pretty much everywhere else in the country, will tell you today’s market is all about price.
“It’s a price more than a beauty contest,” Mike LePage, President of the MAR, told me. Location and condition are distant second and thirds.
Is it a gimmick?
But these types of gimmicks work, and in today’s market, with so many headwinds against buyers, namely tight credit and zero confidence, a little tailwind is probably worth it.