Supply and demand make buying a home a game of “capture the flag”.
There is more demand for homes than supply, said Lori Heerey, Marion’s real estate agent.
Difficulty finding a home to buy is not a local problem, she says. It’s nationwide. Homes are sold within two days of listing. Potential buyers also bid more than the sellers’ listing price.
There seems to be more than one reason for the market move over the past year.
“For those who are already here, they’re not leaving,” Heerey said.
She can’t blame people for wanting to stay in a small town. Still, the low number of homes coming on the market means it’s not as busy as it was two years ago.
“When a house comes up, we call our buyers,” she said. “They’re going to act pretty quickly.”
Sometimes buying a home becomes a bidding war.
“Legally, we have to tell buyers there are multiple offers,” Heerey said.
If there are other bidders, the potential buyer will often bid a higher price.
Buyers should already be approved by a lender before they go home hunting, because in this market, sellers don’t have to wait for someone to arrange a loan. In fact, getting pre-approved before going to visit homes is a must, she said.
“If you want the house, you better be ready and make a clear and quick offer,” she said.
Getting pre-approved for a loan is especially important for a first-time home buyer, Heerey said.
Being pre-approved also lets the buyer know the price range they can afford to look at. It is disappointing to look at a $100,000 home and find that the bank will only approve or the buyer can only afford a $50,000 home.
Although some local banks offer programs for first-time home buyers, Heerey didn’t send many people to ask about them.
“This year, I really haven’t done a first-time home purchase,” she said.
“I don’t know when that’s going to change,” she said.