“You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” Brody mutters to Quint in Jaws after coming face to face with the massive titular Chondrichthyes while chumming the water. It’s an effective jump scare and a feeling many Houston area realtors were becoming accustomed to in recent years. After chumming the metaphorical water with a new house listing, it wouldn’t take long for potential homebuyers to swarm the listing like Great Whites and cause realtors to utter, “We’re gonna need more houses.”
Those days seem to be waning in many Houston areas, however, as plummeting energy prices are restricting the energy-dependent job market in the Texas city and as inventory begins to slowly increase.
As such, realtors are beginning to hold lavish open houses and builders are offering perks like gift cards for appliances or help with closing costs to try and get people to buy, The Houston Chronicle reports. In five of the past six months sales have been down and, while it is a good climate for buyers, sellers are feeling the effects.
Randall Davis, a condominium developer in the area, said when the market is slow like this he often throws in a washer and dryer or wine refrigerator when a buyer purchases a unit. When the market is fast, these bonuses aren’t necessary to help move units quickly.
Not everywhere in Houston has slowed, though. Some areas in sought-after urban neighborhoods remain as hot as ever and continue to get full-price offers, something that rarely happens in the suburbs. Additionally, many suburban offers include requests for closing costs.
One luxury home builder upped the ante with the perks they were offering and said it would include a $90,000 Tesla with the sale of one of its $3.9 million homes. While all the perks aren’t quite so extravagant, a house merely being listed is no longer enough to adequately chum the water for buyers in many Houston neighborhoods.