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Why do some houses sell quickly while others linger in the market?

During the past COVID era, houses were selling almost instantly once they were listed. The inventory was significantly lower than the number of eager buyers, and with low interest rates, houses were moving regardless of their condition.

The current market, however, presents a different scenario. While there is still a shortage of inventory compared to the number of potential buyers, the imbalance is more pronounced in sought-after areas with good school districts, like those around Chicago, where the ratio of available homes to buyers can be as low as 1.6 or 1.4 to 1.

People often ask why houses aren't selling as quickly as before, considering the market has slowed down. The reason lies in the rapid increase in the amounts buyers have to pay. Interest rates have risen, and home values have surged, mainly due to the insufficient supply of listings compared to the demand from buyers.

According to Ali Wolf, an economist at the building consulting firm Zonda, buyers now find themselves with less purchasing power than in the previous years. Consequently, they may feel that they could afford better homes in the past and are now more selective about the condition and features of the houses they are willing to buy.

On the flip side, houses in prime locations, with well-maintained structures, and in excellent condition, continue to sell quickly. This is particularly true if they are move-in ready and require little to no immediate renovations. The demand for such homes is high, and they often receive multiple offers, leading to sales at prices higher than the listing.

Another reason for houses not selling is the decline in demand from buyers looking for fixer-uppers. Many of these buyers, who were previously interested in fix-and-flip investments, have reduced their activities due to rising interest rates, which increase holding costs during renovations. Additionally, the overall increase in construction costs makes fixer-uppers less attractive compared to buying a ready-to-move-in home.

In summary, homes requiring major renovations, such as kitchen or bathroom remodels, are not as appealing in the current market. Sellers can enhance their chances of a quick sale by updating these areas. For those unwilling or unable to undertake renovations, adjusting the pricing strategy to make the property more attractive to buyers might be a wise move in the current real estate landscape.

If you have any further questions or need additional information, feel free to reach out. I look forward to providing more insightful content in the future.

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