Business Week recently ran an article about the dangers of selling a home and offering incentives. The article suggests that selling a home while maintaining high prices and offering incentives masks the true story about the current housing market.
New home builders commonly sell homes in a troubled market with huge incentives to keep the appraisals high. In the Las Vegas market a well known company got itself in trouble with recent buyers when it dropped the prices on its homes overnight. Buyers who had just closed and those in contract bought at one price and the next day new buyers were paying $20-30k less for the same home. It put a black mark on the company for months.
As agents we have seen homes sell with cars included, furniture packages, and all sorts of closing cost options. Some sellers are desperate and need to unload their home. To many potential buyers the incentives of less cash out of pocket is appealing.
The danger may lie in the fact that buyers and sellers don't have a real view on the market. Homes are really selling for less even though the prices don't reflect the margin. Other than the potential misinformation there are clients getting some great deals on some great homes. Pays to know the market and negotiate for a great position.