Housing Market Still Tight: Couple Makes 17 Offers, Finally Lands Home
The housing market remains in the sellers’ favor. So much so, it’s forcing buyers to rethink their strategy. That’s what Shannon and Andy Byron had to do after they set out to buy a home in January.
The couple have been renting and lived in suburbs like Plymouth and Maple Grove. They were ready to that next step of buying a home. The problem is that next step turned into one large leap.
“It really is a rollercoaster,” said Shannon Byron. “You get excited to look at the houses and to put in an offer. And you think ‘I’m going to get this, we’re going to get this.’ And then in two days, they let you know, ‘nope we didn’t get it unfortunately.’ And [it’s] just over and over.”
The couple’s search went through spring. And then through the summer. They started to lose hope.
“Definitely there was a low point. It was June,” said Byron.
Needing a break from the housing search, they stopped looking.
“For a while there, we were just feeling like we’d never get a house, but Brandon kept telling us ‘push, push, push,'” said Andy Byron.
Lack of Inventory Persists
Father-son real estate duo Michael and Brandon Doyle of the Maple Grove-based Doyle Real Estate Team worked with the Byrons to find a home. They told the couple to be patient.
“We’re still seeing a lack of inventory. Sellers are getting multiple offers and homes are selling very quickly,” said Brandon Doyle. “Typically we’re seeing homes go on the market on Thursday or Friday, and they’re going right off the market by Sunday.”
Anything $400,000 and below is in high demand. And that created another issue for those looking to buy.
“We’re just always shocked at how much people are getting for their home,” said realtor Michael Doyle.
Home prices in the Twin Cities metro are at an all-time high. In July the median sales price was $350,000, according to statistics with Minneapolis Area Realtors. The Doyle Real Estate Team says homes in the northwest suburbs are typically selling 5 percent higher than list price. One of the in-demand areas, Maple Grove, saw the median sales price rise in July to $380,000, a nearly 12 percent increase over last year.
“I think prices have gone up so fast that at some point they do have to level off,” said Michael Doyle.
Expanding Their Search
Fortunately for the Byrons, historically low-interest rates remained in their favor. But they had to make some concessions.
“Maple Grove was more so our boundary. And then we went to Rogers. And then we went well, maybe we should try St. Michael-Otsego.’ And then that was our limit,” said Andy Byron.
During their search, the couple made 16 offers on homes. None with success. Thankfully, one of them was still awake to take a late-night call about offer number 17.
“Our realtor called me, and I was like, ‘uh,’ Andy wake up,” recalled Shannon Byron. “And it’s like dark you know, and he’s like in a dream and like ‘what’s going on?’ I think we got the house.”
Their offer on a 17th home had been accepted. The Byrons found a place in St. Michael.
“We found our perfect house. It really is,” said Shannon. “Ultimately I’m glad it worked out how it did.”
The Doyle Real Estate Team offered several strategies to help buyers in a tight market. They include:
- Waiving inspection contingencies. Buyers may consider bringing inspectors to a showing to have home pre-inspected
- Being flexible on closing dates. This could allow sellers to live in the home longer before a move.
- Offering cash bonuses to sway sellers from considering other offers. This strategy helped the Byrons. It essentially sweetens the pot for sellers up front and may dissuade them from waiting for future offers.