REWatch: Multiple Offers and Shrinking Inventory

2013-08-04T09:30:00Z REWatch: Multiple Offers and Shrinking InventoryMichelle Krueger Times Homes Columnist nwitimes.com
August 04, 2013 9:30 am  • 

The real estate market is experiencing dramatic and exciting changes both nationally and locally, and Porter County has been no exception, according to Steve Baker, Managing Broker for the Porter County office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage which recently reported significant increases in the first half of the year, exceeding 2012 units sold by 32 percent and volume by 59 percent.

In fact, Coldwell Banker is outpacing the Porter County market, where year-to-date sales are running 23.9 percent above 2012, based on information from the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of REALTORS® (GNIAR) for the period January 1 through June 30, 2013.

Findings from the first half of the year have shown a shift in the real estate market that puts home sellers at an advantage. For months now, the best-priced and most appealing properties in a number of different northwest Indiana locations have been selling, often with multiple offers at or above asking price, at a very brisk pace. As a result, the number of homes for sale throughout the area is at the lowest level in years.

According to Coldwell Banker, low inventory levels and a surplus of potential buyers puts savvy homeowners in a position to sell their homes quickly and at prices we haven’t seen in years. GNIAR reports that the median sales price for Porter County homes in the first half of the year was $186,422, up 2.6 percent from 2012, while the total inventory of properties available for sale at the end of June was 1,139, down almost 20 percent from last year with the number of listings taken in Porter County up just 5 percent in June. As a result of the shortage of homes for sale and how fast the market is moving, many homeowners will continue to receive multiple offers.

“I don’t think the average consumer truly understands the changing market right now, so it is our job as real estate professionals to educate our clients on why this is the time to sell,” Baker said. “Much of our success in this first half of the year can be attributed to the quality of our agents and their ability to provide clients with necessary guidance when handling multiple offer situations. It is important that sellers turn to a professional real estate agent to negotiate the best price possible for their home and to ensure a smooth closing process. The best offer isn’t always necessarily the highest offer.”

The recent change in the tide of the housing market is expected to continue with sellers loving the rising home prices and buyers maximizing affordability while mortgage rates remain near historic lows. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. As this trend continues both sellers and buyers alike need to be well informed and prepared before entering the market.

“With bidding wars on the rise the best way for a buyer to get ahead of the competition is to be prepared to move fast and present themselves as a serious buyer,” Baker explained. “This means getting pre-approved by a mortgage lender before the process begins and making the strongest offer possible with few contingencies.”

Sellers who take the facts from a current Competitive Market Analysis, as well as the advice of a proven real estate professional, when it comes to pricing their property for today’s market – no matter what the condition - will reap the rewards of this hot market right now.

A leading residential real estate brokerage company serving Chicagoland, Northwest Indiana, Southeast Wisconsin and Southwest Michigan, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage operates a total of 51 offices with 3,250 sales associates.

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