Nearly half of all home sales in the past three months included seller concessions, according to the latest Redfin report. These concessions include money towards repairs, mortgage rate buydowns and covering closing costs. During the same period a year earlier, seller concessions were recorded in only about 31% of all home sales.
Increased mortgage rates have sidelined many would-be buyers, allowing inventory levels to increase. As a result, buyers can now “shop around” more than during the peak of the pandemic, putting the burden of concessions back on sellers.
“Buyers today are way more demanding and selective. They’re willing to wait to find the perfect house, which wasn’t the case during the pandemic homebuying boom,” said Palm Beach Redfin agent Elena Fleck. “During the peak of Covid, it took two to three days to sell anything regardless of the condition, location or square footage. Now, a home that’s not perfect may stay on the market for three to four months if the seller doesn’t throw in something to sweeten the deal.”
Many sellers are even slashing their listing prices to entice buyers. Redfin reported that 25.2% of home sales during the three-month period ending Feb. 28 sold for less than their list price and included seller concessions. Similarly, 20.6% of homes included concessions and underwent a price cut while on the market. A record 13% included price cuts, a below-asking final price and seller concessions.
Seattle was the market with the largest year-over-year hike in seller concessions: 51.6% of all sales in the past three months included a perk for buyers, compared to 20.1% in 2022. Meanwhile, seller concessions decreased year over year in Austin and Chicago, down 3% and 2.1%, respectively.
Concessions are most common in Las Vegas, where they factored into 75% of all home sales in the past three months: up 44.4% in Sin City. Conversely, the metro area with the least seller concessions was New York, where only 16.7% of sellers had to offer extra to entice buyers.