This post originally appeared on http://www.indystar.com
Ready to sell your home? In the market to buy one?
Now is the time, industry watchers say.
The stable economic outlook has encouraged financial institutions to loosen their grip on lending. Near-record-low interest rates are encouraging Hoosiers to test the waters.
With buyers flooding the market, existing home prices have increased steadily to an average of $161,339 this April in Central Indiana, according to the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors, up 17 percent from $138,315 four years ago and 3 percent from just last year.
David Caveness, Carpenter Realtors senior vice president, said the region’s 6.6-month inventory is the perfect balance. A larger supply leads to a buyer’s market, a smaller one to a seller’s market.
“This year it’s going to be back up to the good ol’ days,” he said. “If you have good credit and a good job, you’ll get approved for a loan.”
Scott and Holly Schrader discovered just how much the market has improved when they put their Carmel custom home up for sale in April and had an offer 48 hours later. They received near their asking price of $773,500.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Scott said, “but I don’t think I expected that.”
Home sellers throughout the metro area are finding the same quick response to their real-estate listings. The market started to take off in late 2012.
Housing is hot throughout the metro area, according to MIBOR data, but closed sales are especially high in Hancock, Hamilton, Johnson, Marion and Shelby counties.
Laura Hopkins Heigl, an agent with Century 21 in Zionsville, said homes are receiving multiple offers within weeks, if not days, of being listed. It had been taking months to receive serious bites during the downturn.
The improving market has caught the industry at a standstill. Home inspectors and appraisers are booked for weeks in advance. And those in the building trades, she said, are either booked or not interested in small projects. It’s difficult to get an electrician, she noted, to take on a $150 repair of a light switch. But sellers need to make those fixes to complete a sale.
“We need more people,” she said. “But we need good people.”
Home inspector Robert Young said he is examining two houses a day.
“Things had been very slow for two or three years,” he said. “Then it was like a light switch turned on for people buying and selling homes.”
The light switch was almost too fast for the Schraders. The family needed to sell their Carmel home because Scott had a new job in Chicago. But the home sold so fast, the family had to move into a temporary home while they look for new digs in the Windy City.
“We’re in an apartment in Carmel, which is fine,” Scott said. “I just told everyone, ‘We’re kinda gonna be uncomfortable for a while.’ ”
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