This spring, home prices are going to take off

Home prices are poised to skyrocket

Are you seeing what I’m seeing in the real estate market? Your neighbors put their home on the market, and it’s gone in just days if not hours. Homes are being sold $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000 above asking price.

There is a critical shortage of homes on the market in Marysville and neighboring cities. In Marysville last week real estate brokers turned in 67 sales and added only 29 new listings. During the same timeframe there were 536 homes sales reported and a measly 174 homes listed in Snohomish County.

Can you see what’s taking place? This is a monster challenge, and we have only taken the first step into our peak season.

With mortgage interest rates hovering around 3.5%, consumer confidence is very high, and unemployment rates historically low it creates a feeding frenzy for home ownership. Homebuyers must be prepared to compete for a home. Multiple offers are back, and it’s now common to see up to four to eight offers on a decently priced home. Just visit an open house and see for yourself.

This is great news for sellers. On the flip side it can be a very stressful period. When you sell, you will more than likely have to replace it with another property and get tossed into the pit of buyers fighting for a home.

During these periods of intense competition you will need a specific strategy regarding how you are going to be successful and less stressed out.

For home buyers I would suggest a pre-offer home inspection. By completing your home inspection prior to making your offer it gives you a huge advantage against the other offers. My second suggestion would be to include an escalation clause addendum to your offer. This allows you to bid your offer above the next competing offer up to your maximum purchase price. A strong earnest money deposit, a fast closing date and a lender’s approval letter should always be considered when making the offer.

For home sellers I would suggest listing your home on a Thursday. That allows the momentum to build up for weekend showings. Have your broker hold an open house on Saturday and Sunday to drive buyer traffic in the door to showcase your home. Set a time on Tuesday to review offers and allow buyers to conduct their pre-offer home inspections on Monday. This is a sure-fire method to get the highest and best offer.

In presidential election years we always see an early turnout of home buyers. That is largely due to some uncertainty of what the next administration may or may not due that could cause mortgage interest rates to possibly increase. Mortgage interest rates lead the way in how home buyers make their long-term decisions in purchasing a home or just sit and rent it out.

Todd Fahlman owns Realty One Group Orca in Marysville and writes a monthly real estate column for this newspaper.