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How do some real estate agents do this?

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America’s housing market is slowing down.

Monthly payments are becoming out of reach for many prospective home buyers, and some sellers are hesitant to push stocks up, not wanting to face a real estate environment where mortgage rates are approaching 7% and you’ll get fewer homes for your money.

But the wheels of business must keep turning and some real estate agents are finding creative ways to close deals. It’s all on the table: from adjustable rate mortgages to offering free pilates classes and more.

On the financing front, experts say the so-called purchase incentive is growing in popularity. Under this type of arrangement, a seller “buys” the interest rate that a home buyer will have to pay in the first years of their mortgage. For example, in a 2-1 buyout scenario, the buyer’s interest rate will be 2% below the contract rate for the first year. In the second year, it drops below 1%. After these first two years, the mortgage payment returns to the contract rate.

Acquisitions are popular with sellers, especially big home builders like DR Horton and Lennar, because the program allows them to stay fixed at a property’s list price, according to Peter Idziak, senior partner at Polunsky Beitel Green, which primarily serves home mortgage lenders. . Lennar declined to comment; DR Horton did not respond to a request for comment.

“It can cost a builder less than directly offering a price reduction and is not available to the public as a discount,” Idziak said of buyout mortgages. “Builders still have cash buyers, and that will affect cash buyers and upset some buyers who may have bought at higher prices before.”

Adjustable rate mortgage making a comeback

Use of adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) has also reached a 14-year high, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The interest rate on these types of loans changes periodically depending on where the benchmark mortgage rates are. As many buyers wait for the cost of a mortgage to come back as a global economic slowdown approaches, more of them feel comfortable entering ARM regulations. This is a sharp departure from the 2008 financial crisis, when an overheated housing market collapsed with home prices plummeting and some financial institutions collapsed.

“ARMs are coming back,” said Hagan Stone, a Nashville-based real estate agent. He said he expects mortgage rates to drop within six months. “There’s optimism for that,” Stone said. “In the meantime, it’s our job to get people into a place where they can afford the monthly payments and make the initial investment.”

Stone said the buyout offer packages now include other benefits, such as free refinancing within three years – again based on rate pullbacks – and closing costs.

“I always tell people that the rate you buy is flexible and you can repay it…but for investment, now is a great time to get a better opportunity and get a better deal on a property.”

This is because there is less competition for homes now where fewer buyers can afford them. The National Association of Realtors reported on Thursday that existing home sales have fallen for the eighth consecutive month, down 1.5%.

Adopting the unconventional approach

But the declines are uneven and many markets are still seller-friendly at the moment. That includes Nashville, where Stone is located—and where a buyer said they recently offered free pilates classes to a seller.

“We are uniquely prepared to ventilate this market well,” Stone said. Still, options, including cost of purchase and closing, are proving effective at letting homes keep moving.

Lauren Janoski, a real estate agent in Stillwater, Minnesota, told NBC News that a new buyer client offered to include a craft beer pass for a seller, which was good across Minnesota and Wisconsin, after noticing the family had a cask casserole setup at home.

“So we knew what kind of beer they liked, and we knew they had young children. I hope this gives them date nights,” Janoski said.

The buyer’s offer of $295,000 was less than the $330,000 value of comparable homes in the area.

“The seller’s rep explained that they have other really strong offers that are above the price of our offer, but they appreciated our add terms, the thought and creativity that went into ours,” Janoski said.

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