Real Estate Rundown

By: Lisa McDivitt Email
By: Lisa McDivitt Email
Even though January and February are notoriously bad months for home sales, realtors say this year has been particularly hard for sellers, but it could be a good time for buyers.

There were almost 100 open houses around the Grand Valley this Sunday. Realtors are saying this is a great market for first-time home buyers, but a tough time for many home sellers.

Even though January and February are notoriously bad months for home sales, realtors say this year has been particularly hard for sellers, but it could be a good time for buyers.

Nancy Murray has been trying to sell her Redlands home since November. At an open house on Sunday, she only had a few people come by to take a look.

"It’s bad timing all around, right?” says Murray. “But that's just the way it is."

Murray is just one of almost 100 homeowners who showed off what's for sale at open houses around town on Sunday.

Rick Thurtle, a local real estate agent, says that with almost 2,000 homes for sale right now, it’s rough out there for sellers. "If you've got a house on the market that's $300,000 or more, it's going to sit on the market for a while,” says Thurtle. “Unless you're very, very fortunate, or if you have a realtor who really knows how to market your home."

Selling your home in the Grand Valley right now is competitive, so experts say if you are selling your home, make sure it's the best one on the market in your price range.

Thurtle advises to make sure your house is kept immaculately. And be prepared to be patient.
In an uncertain economy, and with a new president, many buyers are waiting to see what the future is going to look like before they fork over that down payment.

Mark Mulleady, the Murray’s realtor, says he’s seen that kind of hesitation on the part of buyers first-hand. "A lot of people are sitting on the fence, thinking it's not a good time to buy, maybe it is a good time to buy. And they're a little apprehensive."

While this might be bad news for sellers, it’s a ripe time for buyers who have the luxury of taking their time to find what they want.

"The one group we're seeing that really should be taking advantage of this market right now, especially with the lending climate that's out there is first time home buyers,” says Thurtle, who adds that these are people who are looking to buy a home in the $130,000 to $180,000 price range.

But the Murray's home is priced far above what most first time buyers can pay as it’s listed for just under $300,000. For them it's still a waiting game.

As Nancy Murray says, "You hope a family will fall in love with it. So we're just waiting for that person or family to come along."


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