Cold market inspires sellers to offer cool incentives

Posted by Justin Havre. on Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 at 5:30pm.

Tesla incentive not as shown

It’s a tough market out there in Calgary.  Residential property sales are way down and the slow post-holiday season is just around the corner.

If you’re out looking for a new home, would the promise of a luxury car sweeten the deal and make you choose between House A on the corner and House B down the block?

Luxury incentives are being offered to prospective buyers in a bid to attract buyers and persuade them to make offers.  Part of the charm of incentives such as these is to make home shoppers look at your property first.

Items like a new Tesla are the latest carrot on the end of a stick offered by sellers of a home in the South West Calgary neighbourhood of Bayview.

The luxury home at 80 Bayview Drive SW is listed at $2.349 million.  Bayview is an upscale neighbourhood inhabited by high net worth residents on the south side of the Glenmore Reservoir west of 14 St SW.  It was built in the 1960s and with the extra wide lots available, Bayview is ripe for redevelopment.  But as the number of buyers looking for ultra-luxury properties dwindles, sellers are getting creative.  The Tesla offered with the sale of this home is itself valued at more than $100,000.  It’s brand new.

From this time last year, MLS sales in Calgary are down almost 27%.  Inventory is 33% higher than December 2014.  Competition is fierce and the incentives crazy.

Other sellers are offering $350,000 to be put towards a Robson R44 helicopter.  That incentive is with the purchase of a $3.8 million dollar home in Rocky View County and the offer is only open until the end of January 2016.   Another listing in Rocky View County, which includes Springbank, is valued at $1.299 million and includes the promise of family equity golf membership at Springbank Links, with the new owner can either use or sell.  Some are heaving more responsibility upon their agent and offering bonuses up to as much as $30,000.  Others are offering their homes partially or completely furnished.  Gift cards, trips and other services are also being waved under the noses of prospective buyers.   If it gets your listing noticed, why not?  The incentives may act as kindling to get homes moved off the market as properties also take longer to sell.

As long as the incentives are being offered by the seller and not the agent, then it is an appropriate and legitimate practice under provincial real estate law.

A realtor told the Calgary Herald that one of their customers was fed up with reducing the price of his property in order to make it attractive to a buyer.  The comment was that with the dollars he had knocked off his original asking price, he could have bought a Ferrari.

The current environment is tough when a luxury property is part of an investment portfolio, and property owners who are in it for the long haul are watching the erosion of their equity.

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