Low Inventory Levels Can Make Searching for a Home Challenging
Searching for your dream home in Illinois? That search might be a bit trickier this year.
It isn't that there aren't solid homes on the market throughout the state and the Northern Illinois market. There just aren't as many of them as you'd expect to see each spring selling season.
The inventory of homes for sale is way down this year across the country, according to numbers released by the Associated Press and this recent story by the Chicago Tribune. This holds true in Illinois, too.
According to the Tribune story, there are 34.8 percent fewer homes on the market in 2017 in the Chicago area than there were in 2012. Numbers from the Illinois Association of REALTORS® paint an even starker picture of low inventory levels. According to the association, there were 51,227 homes for sale across Illinois in February. That is down 14.9 percent from the same month one year ago, when there were 60,168 homes on the market.
What does this mean for buyers? First, it qualifies Illinois on the whole and the Northern Illinois market as seller's markets. This means that there might be competition, and even bidding wars, for solid homes priced well. It also means that homes are selling fast. Sellers might receive two, three or more offers in the first two weeks of listing their homes, if they are priced right.
Buyers, then, have to be prepared to act quickly if they do find a house they like. Buyers who want to spend several days considering an offer, might find that their dream home has already been sold by the time they finally do make their offer.
How to act fast? Buyers should first study the markets that interest them before they even start touring homes. They should discover which communities they prefer. And they should review how quickly homes sell and for what prices they generally fetch. They should also work with a REALTOR® who knows the market. The real estate professional can quickly clue them in on when a home is being offered at a fair price.
Buyers should also get pre-approved for a mortgage loan before they begin searching for condos or single-family homes.
Armed with a pre-approval letter stating this loan limit, buyers won't waste time searching for homes they can't afford. They'll also be more attractive to sellers. If sellers do receive multiple offers, they're more likely to choose one from a buyer who already has mortgage financing lined up.
If you need help navigating the low inventory levels in our market, contact us today. We'd be happy to help.