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Potential home buyers scramble to win bidding wars as supply of houses remains short

Posted at 11:55 AM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 11:55:23-04

CLEVELAND — The spring and summer months are a prime time for many people to move. But for those interested in buying a home, it's been nothing short of a nightmare.

Across Northeast Ohio the demand for real estate is high, meanwhile, the supply is low. It's triggering bidding wars and leaving people scrambling to find homes.

"I've been in real estate for over 10 years and I definitely haven't seen a market like this ever," said real estate agent Angela Thompson.

Some worry these bidding wars could lead to another crash like we saw in 2008. But realtors say it's not likely, because lenders are more strict with credit qualifications.

"The pandemic lenders have been a lot more tight and a lot more strict on their lending," said Thompson. "Back in 2008, 2009, when there was just a lot of, kind of, predatory lending and people were getting into loans that they weren't really suited for, we're not seeing that today. The heart and the core of that crash, we just don't see that happening again now because it's a whole different reason for what is going on in the housing market."

Despite the competition, experts say now is still a good time to buy a home and they predict an uptick in supply in the coming months.

"It's still a really good time to buy because rates are so low — that impact on your payments and how much you can save will be huge long term. And if you aren't planning to move right now, refinancing is a good way to go as well. So, I say it's a win-win for a lot of people," said Thompson.

"In all honesty, patience is key. It is crazy right now, so keep the faith and definitely stay patient," said Cameron Cummings.

Cameron and Shay Cummings have been on the journey to find a new home after renting for three years in Mayfield.

"We're looking to find a neighborhood where we can start a family and stay for a while," said Shay. "I've done a lot of research on school systems. They are really important to me if we're going to be starting a family. So I've done a lot of research on that, different neighborhoods, what amenities they offer."

The couple said having a team of realtors who have access to up-to-the minute data on the market is helping them.

"We're like watching houses... like it's literally a second job. It's been so exhausting, but our team is really on it. It's just the market is really hard right now," Shay said.

But, realtors warn: Don't get your hopes too high for one particular house. And be flexible about where you're willing to live.

"It's definitely made us reconsider a little bit about like what's most important, what we can compromise on, things like that," Shay said.

If you can afford it, agree to buyer's concessions such as an "as-is" sale. You can also use an escalation clause to help in a bidding war. And lastly, if you have the money you could waive the appraisal.

"It might take two, three, four times putting in an offer before you get one accepted," Thompson said.