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  • Writer's pictureEli Kalen

Understanding Seller Concessions in Real Estate Transactions

Updated: 5 days ago

What Are Seller Concessions?

Seller concessions are strategic arrangements in real estate transactions where the seller covers certain costs or fees associated with purchasing a home. These concessions can make homeownership more accessible for buyers by reducing upfront expenses. They can take various forms, such as covering part of the buyer's closing costs or other related expenses.

How Do Seller Concessions Work?

Seller concessions are typically negotiated as part of the purchase agreement between the buyer and the seller. The concession amount can be expressed as a percentage of the home's purchase price or as a fixed dollar amount.

For instance, if a buyer is interested in a home priced at $300,000 and the seller agrees to provide concessions of 3%, the seller contributes $9,000 (3% of $300,000) towards the buyer's closing costs and other relevant expenses. This reduces the financial burden on the buyer, facilitating the purchase.

Benefits of Seller Concessions

Seller concessions can benefit both buyers and sellers. For buyers, these concessions help reduce the upfront costs associated with purchasing a home, enabling those with limited cash reserves to afford more expensive properties. For sellers, offering concessions can make their property more attractive to potential buyers by reducing the amount of money the buyer needs to bring to the closing table, potentially leading to a faster sale.

Costs Covered by Seller Concessions

The specific costs covered by seller concessions depend on the agreement between the buyer and the seller. Common costs that seller concessions may cover include:

  • Appraisal fees

  • Title search fees

  • Loan origination fees

  • Inspection fees

  • Homeowner association fees

  • Real estate taxes

Examples of Seller Concessions

Real estate professionals can employ various strategies to negotiate deals using seller concessions. Here are some common scenarios:

  1. Closing Costs: The seller agrees to cover the buyer's closing costs, such as appraisal fees, title insurance, and loan origination fees, making the home purchase more affordable for the buyer.

  2. Price Reduction: If a home inspection reveals necessary repairs or updates, the seller may offer a price reduction to offset the anticipated repair costs, making the property more attractive to buyers.

  3. Home Warranty Inclusion: The seller includes a home warranty as part of the sale, providing the buyer with coverage for potential repairs or replacements of major home systems and appliances during the initial homeownership period.

Limits on Seller Concessions

There are limits on the amount a seller can concede to a buyer in a real estate transaction. The settlement statement includes a section outlining the number and value of concessions allowed. Typically, the total value of concessions is limited to a percentage of the home's sale price, usually between 3%-6%, but this can vary based on the loan type and other factors.

Seller Concessions and Loan Types

Seller concession limits vary depending on the buyer's mortgage loan type. Common loan types and their associated seller concession limits include:

  • Conventional Loans: Seller concession limits typically range from 3% to 6% of the home's purchase price, depending on factors such as the buyer's down payment and loan-to-value ratio.

  • FHA Loans: The Federal Housing Administration allows seller concessions of up to 6% of the home's purchase price or appraised value, whichever is lower.

  • VA Loans: The Department of Veterans Affairs generally allows seller concessions of up to 4% of the home's purchase price.

  • USDA Loans: The United States Department of Agriculture loan program permits seller concessions of up to 6% of the home's purchase price.

Helping Clients Understand Seller Concessions

The world of real estate is complex and ever-evolving. As a real estate professional, adapting and utilizing the tools at your disposal, like seller concessions, can significantly impact your clients' homeownership journeys. Mastering the art of seller concessions can help you close deals more effectively, build trust with your clients, and create win-win situations for buyers and sellers alike.

To further enhance your real estate expertise, consider joining the National Association of Realtors (NAR) for access to valuable resources or pursuing a Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) designation. Continuous learning and growth are key to succeeding as a trusted real estate professional.

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