2017 has launched a Seller’s Market with a bang!
They say…April showers bring May flowers, but you could flood Dubuque Street (again) and march the Rose Bowl Parade down the Coralville strip and it wouldn’t slow the smoking hot Johnson County Spring real estate market. Great interest rates, a growing economy, and a vibrant network of towns have created a wonderful place to live, (Is this heaven?) and the perfect storm for home buyers. If you ever thought of selling your place…it’s time to think again, the time could be now.
Across the spectrum, from North Liberty, Solon, and Tiffin to Coralville and Iowa City the market is raging in all the price ranges, but especially in the under $250,000 market houses are moving. Not just moving…they’re flying off the shelves. In the last three weeks, I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard of houses listing and taking multiple offers the same day.
I personally had a pre-approved buyer, ready and waiting. They knew exactly what they wanted. So, when the perfect North Liberty Zero-Lot listed, within four hours we had looked at it and had a full price offer on the Seller’s desk. Boom…done deal, right?
Nope. We were second.
Another offer beat us to the punch, but the Seller’s decided to take all offers till close of business that day and pick the best one. By the end of the day they had three offers and we lost out to another full price offer that had no contingencies. We had a home inspection as part of our offer. It is crazy out there. Of course, that doesn’t happen every time, but this spring, it is becoming more of a common thread than an anomaly.
Two weeks ago, it was a Thursday and I set up seven houses to show the following Sunday afternoon to a nice couple from Des Moines moving to the area for residency. By Saturday night three of them were sold and I had added two others that had just listed. The market is very fluid. My clients were ready. They found one they liked and they jumped at it. We made a good offer and they found a great place.
Develop a plan and stick to it.
If you stop to smell the roses, you could easily miss out in this market. If you are a buyer, here’s my two cents. It’s not flowery out there. It’s not nice. It’s more like going into battle. You better be ready.
Strap on your armor. Harden your resolve. Lock arms with the professional realtor of your choice. You need someone you seriously trust to have your back. I’m not kidding…don’t go with the guy or gal your Mom said to use. If you can’t see yourself in a foxhole with them, don’t use them. Pick the REALTOR® right for YOU! It’s a relationship built on trust. Then, decide firmly what it is you really want. Is it three bedrooms or two? Is the fireplace mandatory? Is that school the most important thing or is it price? Whatever it is, decide up front, you don’t want to be unsure in the heat of battle.
Then…arm yourself…for goodness sakes, get pre-approved. If you’re not pre-approved at a lender it’s like going into battle with no bullets. Let’s just say, it will end poorly. Lay out your maps, make your strategy, then implement. Go see the houses that make your list as soon as they hit the market. No rest for the weary. Then…when you see the one you think might be your new home…pull the trigger. Feel the recoil against your shoulder as you sign that Docusign and sleep easy knowing you’ve done all you can.
If you win the day, you will have a great Johnson County home…if you come up just short, reset your sights and keep moving. The next one will be yours.
Be prepared to make a deal.
That may sound a bit dramatic. You may be tempted to write it off as salesmanship…I am a REALTOR® after all. Of course, I’d love to ramp up the pressure to make you buy today and today only! Sounds like a great schtick for a REALTOR® doesn’t it? Not really…that’s snake oil. I hate pressure salesmen. I am not one, but the truth is the truth. I grew up as an Iowa farm kid. We raised hogs and corn and beans, like most of my friends. My grandpa told me a good deal today will be a good deal tomorrow and I’ve lived by that, but in our market…tomorrow it could be long gone.
I would never tell you not to sleep on it, but I owe it to you to shoot it straight. Come morning, it could be someone else’s U-Haul backing up at the place you wanted. Understand this, if that happens and you lose a property you wanted for being cautious, that isn’t the end of the world. A good REALTOR® will reset your sights and guide you to the next one and you’ll know to jump for it when it feels right.
The good news is that this is simply a Seller’s Real Estate market, it’s not really battle. It’s just a house made of wood, sheetrock, and shingles, sitting on dirt. You’ll find the place to make your home in Johnson County and you’ll love it here.
It won’t always be like this. Eventually, our inventory of homes will catch up to the demand, but it won’t be any time soon. So if you ever considered selling, now just might your golden opportunity. If you’re a buyer don’t despair, simply prepare.
Your perfect home is out there waiting for you. Go find it!