Want a home? Be prepared to act fast
Supply and demand is making home-buying a game of “capture the flag.”
There is more demand for homes than there is supply, Marion real estate agent Lori Heerey said.
Difficulty finding a home to buy isn’t a local problem, she said. It’s nationwide. Homes are sold within two days of being listed for sale. Would-be buyers also are bidding more than sellers’ listing price.
There seems to be more than one reason for the market shift over the last year.
“For those people who are already here, they’re not leaving,” Heerey said.
She can’t blame people for wanting to remain in a small town. Still, the sparse number of houses coming onto the market means she’s not as busy as she was two years ago.
“When a house comes up, we call our buyers,” she said. “They’ll act pretty quickly.”
Sometimes, buying a house becomes a bidding war.
“Legally, we have to tell buyers there are multiple offers,” Heerey said.
If there are other bidders, the would-be buyer often will offer a higher price.
Buyers already should be approved by a lender before they go house-hunting, because in this market, sellers don’t have to wait for someone to arrange a loan. In fact, it’s a must to be preapproved before going to look at houses, she said.
“If you want the house, you’d better be ready and make a clean and quick offer,” she said.
Getting preapproved for a loan is especially important for a first-time homebuyer, Heerey said.
Being preapproved also lets the buyer know the price range he or she can afford to look at. It’s disappointing to look at a $100,000 home and find out the bank will only approve, or the buyer can afford only a $50,000 house.
Although some local banks offer programs for first-time home buyers, Heerey hasn’t sent many people to inquire about them.
“This year, I’ve really not done any first-time home buyers,” she said.
Mortgage interest rates have gone up, Heerey noted. Most home loans are around 5% interest.
“I don’t know when it will change,” she said.
Last modified April 27, 2022