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Archive for September 12th, 2011

In the good old days, individual sellers might have included carpets and curtains in a sale as an incentive to buyers to seal the deal on shifting a house.

Developers had more latitude and there were the free kitchen appliances, furnishing allowances, personalised decoration options. In latter years these temptations became more sophisticated with the introduction of financial incentives – your conveyancing costs reimbursed, guaranteed rental income for a period, your deposit “paid” and mortgage deals.

Individual sellers also became more imaginative – buy the house and get a car thrown in for free. There was the Galway man last September 2010 promising “to consider” any offer over €1 for a property worth €320,000 at the peak of the boom. We had the prospect of houses being “sold” in raffles, though that would seem to run foul of gambling/betting laws.

There were political incentives mostly based around tax and designating certain parts of the country under section 23 and 50 of the Finance Act 1999 whereby the purchase price and ongoing maintenance could be written off against future income tax liabilities. NAMA is about to introduce a negative equity protection mortgage which will be used to help sell some 2,000 properties in the NAMA stable.

It was only a matter of time before sellers resorted to one of the dependables of consumer promotion – Buy One Get One Free, or “BOGOF”. A CountyDonegalestate agent is presently selling three properties (or six when you consider the promotion) with this promotion. The three properties in the books of Brendan McGlynn and Associates in Letterkenny are:

First up in Coopers Crest estate, Milford, is a 800-sq ft three-bed, one-bathroom semi-detached house “in need of completion.” And you get the semi-detached house next door for free. The price : €100,000 for both.

Next up in Gleann Rua, Letterkenny is a 900-sq ft, four-bedroom, two-bathroom, semi-detached house “in need of completion – needs concrete floor, 2nd fixing electrics, plumbing, rads, boiler & tank, kitchen, fireplace, sanitaryware, doors, skirting, architrave”. And you get the semi-detached house next door for free. The price : €120,000 for both.

And lastly is another semi-detached house again on the Glenn Rua estate, Letterkenny similar to the one above but in need of additional external decoration and site work. The price : €100,000 for both.

According to Brendan McGlynn reported in the Irish Times “there is nothing worse than seeing a few vacant houses on an estate when the rest of the area is looking well and people are living happily together. It brings the tone of the area down and [to avoid] that is part of the idea for doing this offer.”

Promotions have their place in the sale of anything, and cleverly implemented, can benefit both buyer and seller with both winning in the deal. On the other hand, promotions can distract attention away from the underlying value of the main purchase. It will be interesting to see if there is any appetite for property being sold with a BOGOF promotion.

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