The national trend is a shortage of listings and competition among buyers due to pent up demand from the financial challenges of the last few years.
Related article - CNN Money - Afraid to sell?
The Minneapolis metro area is experiencing the same trend, with the desireable listings selling in a matter of hours of coming on the market, sometimes under multiple offers. How does the winning buyer do it? They are ready with cash in hand and credit available with no house to sell (or already sold) and they know a good value when they see it.
What about Northfield?
The real estate market in Northfield is a little different than in the 11 county metro area with its 3.4 million inhabitants (although Northfield half shares 1 county and 20,000 people with the metro). Northfield's biggest employers help keep the local market churning with activity, bringing relocation business to town.
We're still hovering around 120 active listings and 40-50 pending sales at any given time, which makes for interesting analysis. This shortage of listings is frustrating homebuyers who seem to lack for choice and when a good quality listing does hit the market, it may be snatched up quickly. One frustrating aspect of the purchase deals with the home the buyer needs to sell in order to purchase. Few sellers are willing to accept a contingent offer in our current market conditions, causing many contingent buyers some amount of anxiety over when to list their own house.
One buyer I worked with recently was very happy to have found a home they liked and eagerly submitted an offer. We were ultimately unable to come to terms with the seller because of the sale contingency the buyer needed. Even without a signed contingent sales agreement, the buyer quickly prepped their own home for the market, in the hopes of a quick sale and returning to buy the home of their choice. As it turned out, their intended future sold to someone else before their own home sold and they ended up taking theirs off the market, waiting to fight another day.
Such is the state of a good chunk of potential buyers out there. They have a home to sell, but uncertainty about where they'll go or if they'll find a house they like causes them to sit on the sidelines, waiting for a reason to list and sell.
The market is always competitive, so be ready and informed when you're ready to jump in.
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