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UP housing outlook: What to expect when buying and selling houses

Fewer houses on the market and a high demand are driving up prices.
Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 12:04 PM EST
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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - With few people selling houses, but several people looking to buy houses in the U.P. are selling for a higher price.

“We’re seeing about a 15.61 percent increase in median purchase price across the Upper Peninsula Realtor’s jurisdiction from this time to this time last year,” said Christopher Germain, president of Upper Peninsula Realtors.

The way houses are now sold has changed since the beginning of the pandemic.

”Maybe leaving the lights on, leaving the cupboards open because they want people touching less things in their home,” said Germain.

The competitive market and multiple offer situations on almost every house means sellers need preapproval or proof of cash funds.

”Multiple offer situations are happening on almost every single listing. To be competitive, you need to have everything right in a row,” said Germain.

Peninsula Federal Credit Union in Escanaba says the loan office has been noticeably busier over the past year.

“We’ll say ‘yes, you’re approved up to this amount’ and then we’ll email the realtor and say ‘here’s the information’ so that they kind of know this person already has the possibility to get funding,” said Kali Katarincic, loan officer at Peninsula Federal Credit Union.

Once your house is sold or bought, remember that delays can have a ripple effect.

”If an appraisal is taking a little bit longer that may alter your closing date. When you’re coordinating with movers or coordinating terminating a lease, you’re going to want to be aware of that and ask your realtor’s guidance on that as well,” said Germain.

With more people working from home, more people are buying out of town without seeing the house in person.

”People are relying on video tours such as FaceTime or through Facebook messenger.”

Some realtors even create a 3D chart of your house or create videos to add to the online listing.

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