According to an April 15, 2013 Detroit News report, the housing market is officially “back” in Metro Detroit, which is good news for sellers, who are benefiting from market conditions across the region. According to the report, prices in Wayne County rose by 43 percent compared with March 2012, and the inventory of existing homes is down considerably.
In many Community Financial communities, there is no question that the real estate landscape has turned the corner. For example, in Northville, a hub for high-priced homes, the median sale price has actually risen to a higher level than 2003, $410,000, according to a recent article from Crain’s Detroit Business.
In other communities, the average number of days on the market for properties dropped sharply and if trends continue, 2013 could be the biggest drop in that department yet.
Nicolle Sherman, a senior mortgage specialist at Community Financial, has seen the shift to a seller’s market first-hand.
“In our communities of Plymouth, Northville and Novi, houses are selling very quickly and there’s a lot of competition,” Sherman said. “Because of limited supply buyers are finding themselves in a lot of multiple-bid situations. Buyers are trying to gobble up the few houses that are out there.”
Sherman also has an important piece of advice for prospective homebuyers - work with a realtor who knows the area. A professional can help you structure your offer so it is attractive to sellers who are evaluating multiple offers, she said.
“I always encourage buyers to work with an agent as opposed to trying to do the negotiations themselves. It makes sense because in most instances there’s very little cost to the buyer to utilize their services,” said Sherman.
In a tight, high-demand housing market, homebuyers should also be prepared to make their best offer for properties they really want right up front, according to local realtor Deborah Ronayne.
“Most everything in Novi and Northville has multiple offers and the highest and best structured offer typically is called,” Ronayne said. “The only ways to win these battles is by offering more than the list price and typically include a clause in the agreement to cover the difference, up to a point, if the appraisal comes in low.”
The edge often goes to conventional buyers with flexibility and extra cash to spend, which is part of the reason why Sherman recommends getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan before hitting the market.
“With all these multiple bid situations, if you don’t have a pre-approval letter with your offer you’re not even going to be considered. Things are moving so quickly,” she said.
Sherman adds, “Really, you shouldn’t even look before you have a pre-approval in hand…You need to be ready to make your highest and best offers when you find something you really like.”
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