‘Bananas’: West Michigan houses may sell in a day

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If you are looking to sell your home, the market is looking great in West Michigan. Things are not so easy if you’re looking to buy.

Locals looking to get out of an apartment and into a home or upgrade to a bigger house are facing a tough market. In some places, prices have more than doubled. Homes are getting multiple offers and selling in one day. Local real estate agents say they have never seen anything like it.

In this market, you have got to have money and move fast.  

“I would find something that I love or I wanted to see and it would be gone the next day,” homebuyer Kristina Bloss said. “So it was a wild experience.”

Bloss was finally able to buy a home in East Grand Rapids after two months of aggressively searching.

“It was hard,” she said. “Had to be able to drop everything the second that I would see a house. I had to leave work immediately otherwise it could be gone that evening.”

Realtors tell News 8 that tough doesn’t begin to describe the housing market for buyers.

“Um, bananas would probably be a better word,” realtor Mike Smallegan said.

Smallegan said the boom is due to multiple factors:

“I think the market is stronger than last year because people have spent enough time in their homes to realize they want something different,” he said.

He added that interest rates are at record low and savings are high from being unable to go out and spend much during the pandemic. Plus, home inventory is low

There are ways to get ahead. Smallegan asid cash isn’t necessarily king; a good lender can be just as good. It’s all about the dollar amount not dollars in hand. Another tip: Think about an appraisal guarantee.

“It’s basically a buyer saying that they are willing to pay above appraised value up to an agreed upon purchase price,” Smallegan explained.

Buyers can also shorten inspections, add an escalation offer (saying you will pay $1,000 to $2,000 over a competing offer up to a maximum amount) and hire a realtor to help with the search.

“My takeaway is to have one important element that you stay true to, that you know is your guiding light,” Bloss said. “For me, it was the location. For you, it might be price. And be flexible on anything else because you are not going to get everything you want in this market.”

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