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Battling for a Home in Salt Lake’s Seller’s Market

SANDY (March 29, 2017) – The spring home buying season has already started and demand for homes is strong along the Wasatch Front, where a roaring economy and high net in-migration are making the home buying process a bit like going into battle, according to Troy Peterson, president of the Salt Lake Board of Realtors®.

Peterson recalled one recent home in Holladay that went on the market for $300,000. Within 48 hours there were 22 offers on the home.

“I have never seen anything like this before in my 22 years of selling real estate,” said Peterson, managing broker of Salt Lake-based Equity Real Estate Solid. “Many sellers are making the sale of their home contingent on them finding another property. Buyers are making multiple offers on multiple homes. Of course, these can be complex transactions. The key is full disclosure. You need an experienced Realtor® to handle these situations.”

Peterson suggests five ways buyers can increase their chances of getting the home they want:

1. Make a full price offer with a larger earnest money deposit
Sellers are typically getting 98 percent to 100 percent of asking prices. In the past, earnest money deposits were small, but in today’s fast-paced seller’s market a larger deposit is more attractive and shows the buyer is serious. Most sellers prefer cash offers.
2. Ask the seller what his/her needs are
Does the seller need time to find a replacement home? Do they want a sale lease back?
3. Pay your own closing costs
Sellers typically pick up closing costs, which can be several thousands of dollars. By agreeing to pay for closing costs a buyer sweetens the deal.
4. Get preapproved from your lender
Submit your financial documentation to your lender and have them underwrite your application for a specific purchase offer.
5. Limit contingencies
An offer filled with contingencies, like asking the seller to purchase a home warranty, is less likely to be chosen over offers with little or no contingencies.

Based on sales trends over the past 12 months, there is currently less than a three-month supply of housing inventory for sale in Salt Lake County. The “months of supply” is the measure of how many months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell, given the current pace of home sales. A normal housing market is typically characterized by a five- to six-month supply of housing inventory.

About the Salt Lake Board of REALTORS®
The Salt Lake Board of Realtors® is the Wasatch Front’s voice of real estate and the No. 1 source for housing market information. Established in 1917, the Salt Lake Board of Realtors® is a leader in protecting private property rights. As Utah’s largest real estate trade association, the Salt Lake Board of Realtors® assists its members to serve the public through continuing education, advocacy and a professional code of ethics.

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