Buying a home this year? Be prepared to compete!

Buying a home this year? Be prepared to compete!

Buying a home this year? Be prepared to compete!

So far, 2021 has proven to be a year of competition for buyers. I’d like to share a story: Last week, I was with a buyer seeing seven townhomes in one evening (my buyer was a trooper). During that 2-3 hours, we received calls that three of the seven had been sold. Yikes! You can see how much of a seller’s market it is with the numbers below for this quarter (for past market updates, click here: 2020 Update, 2020 3 rd Qtr Update).

Check out this quarter’s numbers in the chart below. As always, whether we have a seller’s market (less than three months of inventory available), a balanced market (three to six months of inventory available), or a buyer’s market (more than six months of inventory available) varies widely based on the price point. You can see the seller’s market, balanced market, and buyer’s market price points below.

How does this compare to regular years? Some commentary:

  • Last year, at this time, we had over 3,200 houses for sale (2020 1st Qtr Update for reference).  We have half that inventory available now.  
  • Out of 1,675 homes available for sale, 1,008 homes are new or proposed construction in varying stages of completion. 
  • The average prices continue to rise year-over-year. This is due to high demand and lack of homes for sale.  

Okay, you get it. The housing market is insane. What does this mean to you? 

  • If you’re buying a home, you must have all your ducks in a row. Get pre-approved. Meet with your agent. Be prepared for the emotional rollercoaster before you set foot at your first showing. And be flexible with your time. 
  • If you’re selling a home, this will also be emotional for you. Be prepared to wade through offers. We recommend a multiple offer deadline set a couple of days in the future, so that all the buyers have a chance. Let’s talk about this and see if this strategy works for you. 
  • Buyers and sellers: Be ready for the high of getting the house and then the low of inspection. It’s real. 

But if the market is so crazy, should I wait to buy? 

  • That depends on your financial situation. While the inventory will catch up, interest rates are also going up. If you’re solid financially, now may be the time to buy. Just be ready.
  • If you also need to sell in order to buy your next home, let’s talk about what that means for you. 

The Bottom Line

This market is not for the faint of heart. For sellers: getting a sign in your yard, and being able to mark it as PENDING is only the first step. For buyers: you will want a REALTOR® on your side; we sometimes know what properties are coming up even a few hours before they hit the market, so we can get you in early. 

If you have a REALTOR®, that’s great.  If you don’t, the Home Sweet Des Moines team (brokered by RE/Max Precision) is ready to help. Here’s how to contact us:

We’d love to help.  

And even if you’re not moving, feel free to say hi. We love all of our clients, past, present, and future!

Happy Spring!

– Nora


* Sales prices in thousands.  This data includes all residential properties in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors (DMAAR).  For Sale By Owner homes may not be included.   
** Seller’s markets are those with 0-3 months of inventory. Balanced markets are those with 3-6 months of inventory. Buyer’s markets are those with 6+ months of inventory.

*** Months of inventory determined by the last twelve months of sales numbers.