What is Happening in Iowa Real Estate RIGHT NOW!

What is really going on in the real estate market right now? Are buyers or sellers in control?

There is a lot of misinformation about real estate, especially when it comes to what is actually happening in the market currently. Hopefully this sets the record straight, well, at least my point of view on it.

It is NOT a buyer's market right now. At least not from the perspective of being able to make offers that are way under asking price.

It is technically a buyer's market when you consider that home prices are a lot lower than they were a few years ago, plus the fact that we have very low interest rates. But the day of low balling most sellers and coming away with a deal are not here anymore.

The truth is, we are seeing many properties attract multiple offers, which favors the seller, not the buyer.

On average, sellers are getting around 98 percent of asking price in a place like Ankeny. Home that are priced well and look great, are selling in DAYS in some cases, and not week or months.

Here is what I know to be true. There are not currently enough good homes on the market. If you have a great looking, well cared for home, now would be an awesome time to try to sell it. I am working with ready and able buyers right now who cannot find a good house to buy. There is not an inventory problem, just a good house problem right now.

Because of this, the really good homes, get snapped up quickly.

The same applies to foreclosures. I just completed a deal for a buyer where there were multiple offers on a foreclosure. They had to go above asking price to get it.

I am writing and offer on another foreclosure tonight. Again, it will likely take above asking price to get it because it is in great shape and priced right. Other parties will be writing offers as well.

If you can't low ball foreclosure right now, that should be a telling sign that you can't do it to owner occupied homes either.

Do not believe the hype you hear on national television. Most of those news stories are focused on areas with very depressed markets and tons of foreclosures. As far as Ankeny and Iowa go, that is simply not the case here.


Mark Charter

RE/MAX Real Estate Center

P: 515-864-6444 (call or text)       

E: Mark@MarkCharter.com


#S56865, Licensed to sell Real Estate in Iowa

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Robin Sueppel April 13, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Mark, as a Real Estate, agent in Iowa City, i take my hat off to your article. We have had to fight the National news and misconceptions people bring from other areas. I think it is safe to say, all areas, cities and markets are unique. Find out about the local area where you are planning to buy. Do not rely on the National media and the area you are leaving to be your guide. After all, most of the headline news, is from Coastal cities and large urban areas.
B.A. Morelli April 13, 2012 at 05:33 AM
It does feel like the market is turning. Good homes are turning over really quickly. It doesn't hurt that interest rate is at less than 4 percent for 30 years.
Mark Charter April 13, 2012 at 01:24 PM
@Scott, I wish I had that crystal ball! I would be really rich if I did. In the immediate future, I do not see things swinging heavily one way or another. Great, well priced homes will sell quickly, and those that are not will sit on the market. Jobs determine so much of what will happen. When people feel secure and get hired, they want to buy homes, when the opposite is true, they want to wait. Right now there is some optimism out there. Eventually, interest rates will go up. When they hit 7 or 8, it will be really interesting to see what happens. Those who did not pull the trigger now will be really bummed for sure! If you are a buyer and see a great house you want, there is no reason to wait. Prices are down and interest rates are LOW, so go ahead and pull the trigger!
Mark Charter April 13, 2012 at 01:30 PM
on Foreclosures, let me give you some real life examples from this week that I experienced. I am currently working with four different clients all trying to buy foreclosures. Client one got the bank t accept their offer. It was a multiple offer situation and they ended up paying $6,000 more than asking price. Client 2 is currently negotiating. The made an offer $25,000 less than asking price. The bank has countered back after coming off their asking price by $5,000. We will see what happens there. Client 3 is waiting on a response and is also in a multiple offer situation. He has put in an offer at full price. Client 4 submitted an offer for over asking price, because the house was in great shape and priced well. It will be a multiple offer situation so she is trying to put her best foot forward. Right now, foreclosures are not the best area to get deals, I think short sales are. As an example, I negotiated on one earlier this year where the homeowners owed $600,000. The bank ended up allowing them to sell for $425,000, meaning the bank took a huge loss. Somebody got a great deal on that house. It takes a LOT more time and patience to work a short sale, and because of this there is less competition on them versus foreclosures.
Mark Charter April 13, 2012 at 01:32 PM
@Allison, There are a great amount of people with less money, and far less people with a great amount of money. In short, there is a small pool of buyers for high-end properties, so the cheaper, medium range homes always sell quicker in general. I would put the hot price range in Ankeny and Central Iowa in general between $150,000 to $250,000.


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