The housing market is causing problems for Omaha buyers

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Selling a home in Omaha may be easy now, but buying a new one is a whole different story.

“In the 17 years I’ve been in business, we’ve never seen it that way,” said local realtor Jennifer Gatzemeyer. “It’s crazy right now.”

Gatzemeyer, who works with Nebraska Realty, says inventory levels are incredibly low, which drives prices up and results in a very competitive and fast-selling market.

“Right now we have about 500 houses in the market, half of them new, the other half existing, and in a normal, healthy market there are about 3,000 to 3,5,000 available at any given time,” she said.

When a home hits the market, buyers are so eager to claim one that they are willing to pay much more than the list price.

“For example, if your budget is $ 225,000, you really need to look at $ 200,000 for houses so you have the margin to go up,” says Gatzemeyer. “At $ 225,000, if that’s your maximum budget, these homes will likely sell for 20, in some cases, $ 30,000 above the price, and that would just put you out of the range and that can be heartbreaking for these buyers . “

An Omaha family knows this from their own experience. Raquel Vasquez and her husband have been looking for a new home since January.

After they submitted bids for several houses, they were repeatedly outbid.

It’s a HARD time to buy a home in Omaha (and everywhere else) right now. Inventory = LOW! A local realtor tells me that there are usually over 3,500 houses on the market in Omaha, but now? Only about 500😱

Hear tips from this broker and a couple’s success story tonight! @ WOWT6News pic.twitter.com/hw5Ijxtzfd

– Marlo Lundak WOWT (@marlolundaktv) March 26, 2021

“On one, sure I know, they went over. I think it was $ 20,000 more than what was asked, ”Vasquez tells 6 News. “The market is hot right now. And that just proves that people are looking for houses and they really want to go into houses. “

At one point, Vasquez and her husband were making two different offers at the same time for two different houses. They knew the market was competitive but they were hoping to get one of the homes.

“All of them were sold and we didn’t get any of them,” she said.

Gatzemeyer is just saying if you want to buy you and your agent have to be incredibly aggressive. It may also be possible to prepare to pay more than list price, skip the home inspection, and pay your own closing costs.

Fortunately, after months of searching, falling in love, and losing homes, Vasquez and her family finally got one in the blink of an eye.

“In that case, they accepted the offer straight away – which was good because I was so far done that I wasn’t looking. I’ll pause and start over if I have to.”

Despite being early in the process, Vasquez remains cautiously optimistic. “But I’m very excited,” she said.

The low inventory also creates a competitive market for the nearly 3,000 brokers in the Omaha area. Many of them, including Gatzemeyer, rely on recommendations from friends or clients.

And unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a final end in sight for all of them.

“I think we all hope that it will soon rebalance into a sane market. But we just don’t know, ”said Gatzemeyer.

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