Real estate agent: Tips on how to buy, sell in Belleville IL | Ezine Daddy

Real estate prices are rising across the country and typical buying practices won’t do it as many sellers receive multiple offers.

Buyers and sellers in the Belleville area are faced with a housing inventory shortage and there is no clause guaranteeing your offer will be accepted.

However, there are steps you can take to improve your chances and set yourself apart from sellers’ other options, real estate experts say.

Here’s some advice from a New Baden real estate agent on how to make an offer, as well as industry insights on selling during prime time.

shWould you wait to buy now?

Angie Zahn, a licensed real estate agent and lead broker, said Belleville is a tough market for buyers right now, with most areas of the country favoring sellers due to supply and demand issues.

“Because we have a supply-demand problem, prices are off the charts,” Zahn said. “We’re just in a weird, weird time. I have been selling properties for over 30 years and have never seen what we have now.”

Zahn said a unique factor in Belleville’s housing shortage is that the city is in the middle of the season for military families relocating near Scott Air Force Base.

Despite the challenges of low supply and high demand, Zahn would still recommend buying at this point as things could get worse for buyers.

“Right now, with interest rates rising and the expectation that they may rise again, this is still a good time to buy,” Zahn said.

The interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is up to 5.37%, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The figure is up 0.17% over the past 10 days and 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rates have not been spared increases.

How can buyers make competitive offers in this market?

The buyers’ modus operandi has had to change due to the seller’s market by placing their highest bids immediately as many sellers are considering multiple bids at once.

Those looking to buy may also have to submit pre-approval letters from lenders with their offers, ask for fewer extras, and in some cases waive inspections.

“A lot of the market analysis I do now seems that sometimes homes are selling $10,000 or $20,000 or more above what the comparable prices show,” Zahn said. “It’s anything but giving your firstborn child. That’s about it.”

Higher home prices have hurt buyers not only by forcing them to make compromises they normally wouldn’t, but also by creating valuation gaps that prevent them from securing financing.

Lenders will only offer the lower end of appraisal prices, Zahn said, and with Belleville homes selling for $10,000 to $20,000 above the price normally expected, some sales are falling through because buyers are unable to bridge the gap between what the appraisers say and what the home is worth, close sellers are asking.

“I try to educate my buyers a little bit not to take it personally when the 14th seller tells you ‘no’ they accepted another offer and not to be discouraged that you will find the right house ‘ said Tooth.

For those willing to brave the buying market, Zahn recommends obtaining a letter of pre-approval, submitting with your highest bid, and working with a professional real estate agent to meet your expectations.

While it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of the buying process, buyers should ensure they are making sound financial decisions by working closely with their lender and by having an agent advise them on the potential rate of return.

As a seller, how can you navigate through listings?

According to Zahn, in order not to alienate buyers, sellers should make sure that their house meets the legal requirements for state financing as a priority.

If you’re interested in selling your home, Zahn said, don’t tell anyone you want to sell until you have a plan for where to go. Your house could be sold out among you as potential buyers make offers after a single visit and even invisible.

After receiving multiple offers, Zahn recommends evaluating the terms of the offers on the table, including the money offer, the financing plan, and any stipulations such as a valuation gap or waiver of inspections.

“Sometimes it’s not about the most money. Sometimes it’s about the best conditions,” said Zahn.

Flexible closing dates are often considered and now is the time sellers can be selective to secure the most convenient sale.

Meredith Howard is a service journalist with the Belleville News-Democrat. She is a graduate of Baylor University and previously worked as a freelancer for the Illinois Times and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

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