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Local Market Update by Anne Sadler

The real estate market in Freeport is changing. For quite a long time, Freeport has primarily been a buyer’s market and that is no longer the case. The local market has been busy and we are experiencing a low inventory of homes for sale. I’m sure you have all heard on the news about how hot the Rockford market has become, but generally Freeport does not enjoy the same level of activity. This summer has been one of the busiest I can remember in my almost 30 years in this market!

If you are thinking of selling I’m sure you are happy to hear that news! There is definitely a shortage of certain types of homes on the market right now, especially mid –price ranches and condos. If you are an owner of one of those, now might be the time to take the plunge and get your home on the market. It is already August and before you know it Labor Day has come and gone and fall is here. Usually our market tends to slow around Thanksgiving and drops off pretty significantly during the winter months. This has been a very unusual year so it’s hard to predict what will happen in a few months. Covid19 has thrown all of us into uncharted territory so our “normal” market pattern is now completely unpredictable.

If you are selling your home now, inventory is low and there is a large pool of buyers out there looking for the best home they can find in their price range. If you are priced properly and your home is in good condition you probably won’t be on the market for long. Interest rates are the best they have been and buyers want to find a home and get their rate locked in before they start to inch upward again.

If you are a buyer looking for a home, it is very important that you put yourself in the best position to be able to make a winning offer. The most important thing you can do is visit your lender and get pre-approved BEFORE you start your home search. I can’t stress this part enough! It is vital that you know you can qualify for

a mortgage and exactly what you can afford BEFORE you start looking. Our market is very active and if you find your dream house and haven’t been to the bank yet, by the time you get that process complete your dream home will be someone else’s! You also want to be looking in the correct price range. You may think you can qualify for a certain price home but in reality you might be qualified for much more or much less. You can save everyone a lot of time and disappointment if you have a pre-approval before you start your home search.

Buyers may also need to adjust their thinking about the market in Freeport. Sellers are no longer desperately waiting for any offer to come in and willing to take much less than asking price. The days of low ball offers are gone. If you are looking at a property and you think you can “just try” a low offer to see what will happen, you may got outbid and not have a chance to even come back with a higher offer. I have seen many clients very disappointed about missing out on a house they really wanted because they insisted on starting out with a low offer, only to be outbid by another buyer. Your Realtor can advise you on what kind of offer to make because they know the local market and the value of the homes in this area. Listen to their advice and you will have a much better chance at making a winning offer. We are actually seeing multiple offers on properties and some are even selling over asking price. This is not the norm in our market so buyers need to re-educate themselves on home values and be prepared to pay close to or more than asking price.

As of the end of July, there were 77 active homes and condos on the market in Freeport. That is a very low number. So far this year, sales are up almost 23% in Stephenson County from where they were last year at this time according to Illinois Realtors market data. The median sales price in Stephenson County is also up about 6% from the same time last year. This is all good news for our local economy and we certainly hope this trend continues. So if you are thinking of selling, now is a great time and if you are thinking of buying-get pre-approved first then call your local Realtor!

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