Pictured is a home listed for sale in West Bloomfield. When it comes to the local estate market, Realtor Kathy Broock said, “West Bloomfield’s come back.”

Pictured is a home listed for sale in West Bloomfield. When it comes to the local estate market, Realtor Kathy Broock said, “West Bloomfield’s come back.”

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


West Bloomfield real estate encounters ‘crazy’ market

By: Mark Vest | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published March 7, 2021

 Local Realtor John Cotter recently said that “it’s more a seller’s market than it’s ever been.

Local Realtor John Cotter recently said that “it’s more a seller’s market than it’s ever been.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — Last year, West Bloomfield resident Amber Finley had an opportunity to experience what it’s like to be on both sides of the real estate market.

It was around June when Finley and her husband, Michael, put their home in Bloomfield Township up for sale.

With Amber wanting to be closer to her family, the couple targeted West Bloomfield as their preferred location.

Selling their home turned out to be the easy part, as Amber recalled that the home had only been listed for maybe a couple of days before an offer was accepted for around $10,000 more than the asking price.

Aside from the home selling quicker than she thought, the price it sold for was an added bonus.

“We didn’t think we would even get asking price, let alone over asking price, so that was really great,” Amber said.

The process of buying a home didn’t go quite as smoothly, however.

Amber recalled that she and Michael made a couple of offers but were outbid, losing out on at least one home due to somebody else making a cash offer.

“There wasn’t a lot of inventory when we were looking, so that took a little bit longer,” she said.

Amber said it was August when she and Michael ended up closing on their current home in West Bloomfield.

Bruce Simon, who works at Real Estate One in West Bloomfield ,was Amber and Michael’s agent.

What the couple experienced is not unusual in today’s current real estate market.

“It’s a huge seller’s market right now, due to the inventory being extremely low,” Simon said. “Homes that are in good condition and priced reasonably are going quickly, and we’re getting multiple offers, often over list price. … As far as price range, if it’s ($200,000) and under, it’s really hot. Even under ($400,000) goes real quickly. As you get over ($400,000), the higher you go, it might stay on the market a little bit longer, but still a seller’s market.”

Orchard Lake resident and West Bloomfield High School graduate Kathy Broock is someone who is well acquainted with the local real estate market.

She is a fourth-generation Realtor who works at Max Broock in Birmingham.

Max Broock was her great grandfather.

As for how things are going locally, Broock said, “West Bloomfield’s come back.”

“I love my community, but it was hit harder than any of the immediate communities during the recession in 2008,” she said. “It’s so great to see this rebound.”

Broock is of the opinion that the state is on a good trajectory.

“People are moving back to Michigan so they can be close to family, raise their children around family, and they can work from home,” she said. “This has been an instrumental piece of the growth of the Michigan real estate market. … People are moving back to Michigan, bringing jobs here, working from home.”

John Cotter, of Keller Williams Domain in Birmingham, also does business in West Bloomfield.

He compared the current real estate market to that of years past.

“It’s not unusual to have 10, 12 offers on a house,” Cotter said. “This year, compared to last year and the year before, it’s a seller’s market. It’s more a seller’s market than it’s ever been. … There’s buyers who are losing out on multiple-offer situations.”

Cotter shared his rationale as to why there’s not a lot of inventory.

“The main reason, I think, is people are reticent to sell because they’re not guaranteed they’re (going to) find another house to move to,” he said. “Their thinking is, ‘Well, if my house sells in five days and the buyer’s ready to close in 30 days, I may not be able to find a house for months.’ There are ways to get around that by educating the consumer, but I think that’s sort of the overwhelming thought process with people who wouldn’t mind selling but aren’t. And there’s the pandemic, which there is some fear there with having people go through their house.”

Simon said it’s a frustrating market for potential buyers.

“They’re finding that they’re writing offer after offer, getting rejected,” he said. “So people are starting to do things, like sometimes you’ll see buyers waiving the inspection or saying if it doesn’t appraise, we’ll pay X amount of dollars over a low appraisal — like maybe $5,000, $10,000 over a low appraisal — to make it a more attractive offer, or maybe offering the seller free occupancy after closing for a number of days.”

Simon does not anticipate it shifting away from a seller’s market in the next year or so, and how quickly homes are selling may be a strong indicator that things aren’t likely to change anytime soon.

“If it’s priced right and it’s updated, it’s going within a week, sometimes days,” he said. “Some of our listings, we’re getting within two or three days, like 15, 20, 25 showings — multiple offers sometimes.”

Broock listed a home in West Bloomfield and said there was an offer within 24 hours.

She said the market is “crazy.”

“Right now, great time to list your house,” Broock said.

Simon discussed the kind of homes that seem to be selling best.

“Ranches are in high demand,” he said. “With COVID, a lot more people are starting to work out of their homes more — offices, studies, that kind (of) thing are very popular.”

For as crazy as things have been in the real estate market, this year’s peak may not have arrived yet.

“March, April, May tend to be the busiest months, and the last few years, it was really busy,” Simon said. “We’ve seen multiple offers the last few years during the springtime. I think it’s even more right now, but inventory’s extremely low.”

The current interest rate can make buying a home an urgent matter for some, as Simon said it’s a “great rate.”

“It’s about 3%-ish,” he said. “That’s like really, really low, but they’ll probably be going up soon.”

Aside from inventory not being as high as it could be, going through a loan approval process can also present challenges for potential buyers.

“It can be a little frustrating, the underwriting,” Simon said. “People have to come prepared with documents. You’ll always be asked for more information. It’s kind of frustrating for buyers with all that’s being asked of them.”

Cotter shared advice he would offer to those in the market to buy a home.

“If you’re looking for a house that’s turn-key ready, that has nice updates, that doesn’t need anything done to it, expect to be involved in a multiple-offer situation and potentially pay more than the asking price.”

Cotter also offered a suggestion for sellers.

“Make sure there’s not a lot that needs to be done to your house, because more than ever, buyers want a house that needs very little done to it,” he said. “So if your house is in good shape and nicely updated, you should expect to get over asking price and over what’s considered fair market value.”

For those considering selling, Broock’s advice is to not wait.

As for buyers, she said, “You need a good buyer’s agent.”

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