Why homebuyers in Tucson have increased negotiating power

Why homebuyers in Tucson have increased negotiating power
Published: Apr. 14, 2023 at 3:50 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 14, 2023 at 3:56 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - As rising mortgage rates dent housing sales, sellers are getting creative and giving buyers a bit of leverage in finding a home.

In Southern Arizona, sellers are offering concessions that haven’t been seen in years.

One new strategy is a mortgage “buydown” which helps buyers line up a slightly lower interest rate.

Sellers are also paying closing costs, and builders are offering expensive upgrades on new homes.

Local real estate experts say it’s putting first time homebuyers back in the running following the pandemic buying frenzy of late 2020 and 2021.

“It was eerily easy. The first day we went to look at houses, this was house number six. We put in an offer that day. It was accepted the next morning,” said Kat Jacobs Crotta.

Not only did Kat and Kyle Jacobs Crotta find their dream home, they got a great deal. They paid the full asking price, which had recently been lowered, in exchange for the seller doing an expensive home improvement.

“They didn’t offer anything. But we did ask them to install air conditioning. Which is a big ask and they did,” said Kat.

“I was very surprised, after the past couple years I pretty much expected with the way things were going, home buying was just unattainable and out of reach for us,” said Kyle Jacobs Crotta.

New data from Redfin shows 42% of sellers nationwide are offering concessions to buyers. Kevin Kaplan, chief operating officer with Long Realty in Tucson says, homeowner sellers and builders are willing to negotiate.

“One of the things they’ll offer is rate buydowns, they’ll help on a temporary basis buy down your mortgage rate. Or help pay for closing costs. Or other kinds of incentives or upgrades on a property,” said Kaplan.

“What really helped us was working with a realtor who was very good, specifically with first time homebuyers,” said Kyle.

What’s their advice for other prospective buyers?

“Don’t listen to your parents in a way. Because things were different when they were buying a house,” said Kat. “The 20% down payment, I thought I needed 20% but that wasn’t true. We did 5% so we had extra funds for repairs and also it was less nerve wracking.”

Kaplan says don’t make assumptions about how much money you need to put down, or what you can afford. Agents and lenders can help figure out what your options are in today’s market.