Emily Merkley, association executive, Cache-Rich Association of REALTORS®

A decade ago, the housing market was a mess. The mistakes of easy lending resulted in the collapse of home values nationwide, and the number of unsold homes spiked to never before seen heights.

Fortunately, after many years of proper lending and continued job growth, the housing market has regained its health, which is evident in accelerating home values and low foreclosure rates. This recovery, however, is met with a side effect that seems to be affecting home buyers nationwide, and Cache Valley is not exempt.

Simply put, we’re in a seller’s market, where home buyers currently outpace the amount of home sellers. Basic laws of supply and demand mean that sellers are thriving and will likely have the upper hand when it comes to selling their home. They will see their home sell quickly, perhaps for over asking price (due to multiple offers) and with little or no fuss from the buyer (few to no contingencies or concessions). This is especially true when a seller has utilized the expertise of a local REALTOR®, who has the knowledge to price properly, is equipped to market the property effectively and who is trained in negotiations.

If you are a buyer looking to purchase a home, don’t be discouraged by this. Homeownership is still attainable! To succeed in a seller’s market, you need to make house hunting a priority — not just something you do on the weekends. This is where the help of a REALTOR® becomes invaluable, as they’re the first to know about homes hitting the market and sometimes, homes coming available but not yet advertised. Make yourself available anytime your REALTOR® calls with a property to see.

In addition to being on-call, be prepared. Know before you start looking if you are pre-approved for a loan, how much you can afford to spend, down payment requirements, and other loan terms. A seller’s market may not allow time for negotiations, so knowing what you can spend allows you to bid strong without fear of overextending yourself financially.

No matter what type of market you’re in, REALTORS® are trained professionals armed with the knowledge and tools necessary to help navigate you through it.