‘For Sale’ Shortage In Grand Rapids Housing Market

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (May 28, 2014) — Many houses are being sold before the ‘for sale’ sign is planted into the front yard.

“Very quickly,” said Karla Huitsing the President of Grand Rapids Association of Realtors.  Huitsing tells a story about a co-worker who sold her home so fast she  had to make some unwanted adjustments.

“I think she sold it in about four or five days and she has taken the time to move in with her daughter,” she said.

The number of houses on the market according to the GRAR is 2,800 compared to 2009 when there were 11,000 homes on the market.

Experts tell us the buyers need to be patient in the search but act fast when they see something they want.

“Inventory typically goes up in April, May, June but the buyers usually start a little earlier than that.  We’ve been having a little bit of a crunch with homes available on the market.  We are looking at inventory that is a little lower than normal and having some bidding wars going on,” she said.

Real estate agents encourage sellers to get a list of priorities together.  Ask yourself if you are comfortable moving two times if needed.  Realtor Larry Martin said these are conversations to have with your agent before you decide to list your home.

“Is it, you want security that you will be able to get into your next house?” he said.  “Or do you just want the most money and you are able to move immediately?”

Despite the perception that every house is sold within a couple of days, Huitsing said 52 days is a more accurate number even in this market.

She said it really just boils down to some age-old principles, “Some of it’s location.  Is it priced right? Is it marketed correctly? And is the condition of the home really good?  Those are conditions that have always impacted a home sale and probably always will.”

If you really know what you want and can’t find it, you can always build it yourself.  Agents are hoping the home construction sector will take notice of the low inventory as soon as possible.

“Builders need to be proactive about getting homes on the market and making them available to them,” said Huitsing.

Even though it might be hard to notice, agents we spoke with said more homes are coming on the market.  Huitsing said the inventory typically peaks in July.

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