Vol 6 No. 49 - August 30, 2006

Realtors hope rewards jumpstart market
By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer

When the going gets tough, the tough get going and one real estate agency is betting on rewards to bring in the buyers.

It’s no secret that the real estate market has slowed recently, not only on the Island, but throughout the state of Florida, and Wedebrock Real Estate has come up with the Five Star Rewards Program to stir up the marketplace.

According to Joe Pickett, manager of the Wedebrock office at 3224 East Bay Drive, the program involves sellers who are willing to use a part of the money they make to finance one of five reward packages for buyers.

"It is especially good for those people who have owned their homes for a while and have built up a lot of equity and appreciated value," he said.

If a property owner listing with Wedebrock decides to participate, he or she will be asked to choose from one of the five packages to help entice purchasers. The packages include:

• Up to $5,000 in travel from Travel Design;

• Up to $30,000 toward a boat from Moreland Marine;

• Up to $30,000 for a car from Firkins Chrysler, Jeep or Nissan;

• A mortgage buy-down package through chase Manhattan Mortgage/Chris Caswell PA;

• Membership in Bradenton County Club or Longboat Key Club.

"We’re teaming with five local, reputable companies to make these packages available," Pickett said. "It’s a true opportunity to get sellers and buyers excited."

Pickett said one of the enticements might make the difference between showing a piece of property and selling it.

"A homeowner on a canal might want to offer the boat package," he said. "The mortgage buy-down might be a good deal for someone who wants to buy a property and keep it a year or two. It might also help someone who is purchasing a condo-owned resort unit who is trying to balance rental income against expenses."

The buy-down would have the seller pay two points against the mortgage payments the first year and one point the second, which would allow the mortgage cost to be low those years before rising to its normal figure, Pickett said.

When a seller selects which reward to offer for the property, Wedebrock will use a symbol to designate the reward in its advertisement of the property. Wedebrock advertises on the back page of The Sun each week.

"We’re hoping to get the market excited," Pickett said. "For the sellers, it means more people are going to be looking at their properties."

Pickett said the program would not affect the listing price of the home.

"We are not inflating the cost of the home to pay for them," he said. "The sellers are paying for them after they get their money for the property."

He also said the program doesn’t inflate the price, it is something that doesn’t make any more money for the real estate agent. The buyer is the one that benefits from it.

"The buyer makes the best deal and walks away with the best value," he said.

For more information, call Wedebrock at 778-0700.

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