Motivated Home Sellers Try $100 Gas Card Incentive

JONESBORO, AR -- With a slumping economy and rising gas prices, nationwide the housing market is taking a hit.  With millions of homes on the market, if you are a seller, how do you make yours stand out?

With the pain at the pump pinching most wallets, just about everyone could use a couple of more buck for idea Century 21 realtor Joe Banks thought might help sell 1125 Sandino Drive in Jonesboro.

"We did that a couple of weeks ago and it worked out really well and we thought we could try it again," said Banks, "With gas the way it is, we figured it would be the most appealing thing that we could give away."

An open house scheduled for Sunday allows visitors to register for a $100 gas card.  Banks says the upper end market is a little soft, but homes priced between $70,000 and $200,000 are still selling well in Jonesboro.

"You just never know who is going to look; it just takes one person to look at that house who is interested in buying it.  Even if they don't buy this house, it's possible they might be interested in buying something else that we have," said Banks.

While the prospect of free gas may be a big draw right now to home buyers, sellers are thinking outside the box on a long term and even bigger scale.

"We've got a couple of houses that we are talking to the folks about giving away plasma TV's with their homes," said Banks.

Sellers and realtors are even opting to go online, posting their homes in cyberspace, doing anything they can to stand out from the rest.

"People are taking into consideration, whenever they go to buy a house that the gas is going to cost them more, so a lot of times they are looking at a little closer in then they were looking at. They are also taking into consideration heating and oil prices for utilities in the winter, so it is affecting us," said Banks.

Some motivated sellers are offering vacation packages, cruises and airline tickets along with the purchase of their homes.