List of Most Common Seller Concessions In 2024

List of Most Common Seller Concessions In 2024

March 5, 2024

Produced by:
Carmel Woodman

With over 8 years of expertise, Carmel brings a wealth of knowledge as the former Content Manager at a prominent online real estate platform. As a seasoned ghostwriter, she has crafted multiple in-depth Property Guides, exploring topics such as real estate acquisition and financing. Her portfolio boasts 200+ articles covering diverse real estate subjects, ranging from blockchain to market trends and investment strategies.

Reviewed by:
Richard Stevens

Richard Stevens is an active real estate investor with over 8 years of industry experience. He specializes in researching topics that appeal to real estate investors and building calculators that can help property investors understand the expected costs and returns when executing real estate deals.

The Short Answer

Seller concessions are a strategy in real estate transactions where the seller covers a few, or all of the buyer’s closing costs. This can be beneficial for both the buyer and the seller. Understanding market conditions, buyer and seller finances, and negotiating leverage is crucial in determining whether to request concessions.

Common concessions include appraisal fees, inspection fees, loan origination fees, property taxes, title insurance and more. It’s a good idea for buyers to suggest these concessions with justifications, using only the most important concessions and keeping their requests reasonable, to avoid disrupting the entire transaction and the purchase price offer.

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How Do Seller Concessions Work?

Seller concessions are a strategic arrangement in a real estate transaction whereby the seller agrees to pay some of the closing costs for the buyer. These costs range from 2% to 5% of the purchase price, which can add up to a significant saving for buyers. Seller concessions can be a powerful way for buyers to save on their closing costs and save thousands of dollars. These concessions can also help sellers sweeten the deal and get their home sold quicker.

Real estate contract

Is It A Good Idea To Request Seller Concessions?

The question of whether buyers should request a seller concession hinges on the market conditions, the buyer’s financial situation and the buyer’s negotiating leverage.

Market conditions

Seller concessions work best in a buyer’s market, where sellers are struggling to sell their property due to high levels of competition. In a buyer’s market, sellers may want to offer concessions in order to differentiate their listing from many others and attract more buyers. However, buyers who are requesting seller concessions during a seller’s market can save on costs and secure a better deal for themselves by making their offer more attractive. In a seller’s market, these concessions can be a win-win for buyers and sellers both.  

Buyer or Seller Finances

If a seller is eager to close the deal quickly due to financial issues, they may be more likely to react positively to a request for concessions, so that they can close the deal quickly. For buyers who have limited funds for closing costs, seller concessions may be a good solution to ensure that they can conclude a real estate transaction.

Negotiating Leverage

The decision to request seller concessions should also take into account the buyer’s negotiating leverage. If you’re in a strong negotiating position—for example, if the property has been on the market for an extended period or if the seller is motivated to sell—you may have more leverage to negotiate concessions.

Seller concessions can be a valuable tool, but they should be approached with careful consideration of the financial impact on both the buyer and the seller. If need be, a real estate agent can be a useful tool, as a real estate agent may have more insight into how to negotiate a seller concession, particularly if conventional loans are being used. Seller concession limits should also be implemented, to avoid compromising transactions.

House for sale

Full List of Common Seller Concessions In 2024

Seller concessions include a variety of closing costs that the seller may agree to pay. The seller may agree to an overall total percentage of closing costs, or they may offer to pay certain costs. These costs include:

  • Property taxes: Sellers may offer to pay the property taxes for the year upfront or offer to cover any outstanding property taxes up to the closing date.
  • Loan origination fees: Lenders charge loan origination fees to cover the cost of processing the loan, and these can be between 0.5% and 1% of the loan amount.
  • Title insurance: Buyers will typically get title insurance to make sure that any defects in the property’s title do not impact the buyer or the lender. Sellers may offer to include this in the concessions.
  • Inspection fees: A home inspection will be necessary for the real estate transaction, and a seller may be able to cover the cost of this or reimburse a buyer for inspection fees if the sale goes through.
  • Attorney’s fees: Certain states require an attorney to facilitate the closing process, and these can be costly. Sellers can cover the cost of the real estate attorney who needs to go over the closing documents.
  • Appraisal costs: A home’s market value is usually determined by a property appraisal. Sellers may cover the cost of this appraisal, which can be around $500 or more.
  • Fees for pulling credit: Obtaining your credit history may come at a cost, which sellers can cover to make closing easier.
  • HOA fees: In some cases, sellers may agree to pay for a certain number of months’ worth of homeowners’ association (HOA) fees on behalf of the buyer.
  • Repairs or renovations: For properties that need repairs or renovations, sellers may pay for some of these, to make sure that the home is in better condition before it is handed over to the buyer. This can be requested by the buyer as a condition of sale. This can include fixing structural issues, addressing safety concerns, or updating cosmetic features.
  • Mortgage points: A buyer will pay mortgage points upfront to reduce their interest rate, which is a useful cost for sellers to cover, to help buyers secure the deal.
Real estate

What If The Seller Says No?

It’s important to bear in mind that sellers do not have to provide concessions. These come out of the seller’s profits so they may not agree to paying any concessions.

In some cases, providing concessions may not be in the best interest of the seller. The drawback to asking for seller concessions is that a seller may view the buyer as less appealing, particularly if they cannot afford the concessions. If the home has multiple bids, a seller will be likely to immediately disregard the offers that have concession requests attached, which means buyers can lose out on the property altogether. In which case, buyers should lower their offer and cover the closing costs themselves. If the seller isn’t in a position to cover the concessions, because they need all the profits from the sale, then they are also not likely to agree to these.

If a seller does not agree to concessions, a buyer can:


  • Re-evaluate their budget: Buyers should reassess their budget and see if they can cover the closing costs themselves instead. This may mean adjusting financial plans or putting in a lower offer on the property’s purchase price.
  • Negotiate different terms: Instead of closing costs being covered by the seller, buyers can negotiate other terms like certain renovations and repairs being done as a condition of sale.
  • Find alternative financing: Buyers can find alternative financing methods that have lower closing costs, such as government-backed loan programs.
  • Seek professional advice: Buyers can consult with real estate attorneys to figure out their options and develop a strategic negotiation strategy that is mutually beneficial for buyer and seller.
  • Search for a new deal: If sellers are unwilling to provide concessions and the terms of the purchase agreement are not favorable to the buyer, it may be necessary to continue searching for other properties.

Tips For Ensuring Your Requests Don't Disrupt The Transaction

As we discussed above, buyers run the risk of disrupting and potentially ruining a real estate transaction altogether if they request concessions under the wrong circumstances or go about it the wrong way. Here are some tips to ensure that this is less likely to happen:

  • Decide exactly what you want and prioritize your requests. Keep these to a minimum, because the more you ask of the seller, the less likely they are to move forward with your offer.
  • Offer trade-offs to sweeten the deal for the seller as well. These can include a shorter inspection period or a larger down payment.
  • Understand the market and know the value of the property, so that you can make a reasonable request. Include a reasonable down payment to help secure interest in your offer.
  • Highlight the benefits of your offer (including the down payment) and your strengths as a buyer, for example pre-approval you may have for conventional loans or alternative financing, or a flexible closing timeline could be beneficial to the seller.

Justify your concession requests by bringing the seller’s attention to any issues that the property may have which would warrant the concessions. For example, any repairs that have been identified during the inspection.

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