Buying in a hot market

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Each step of the home buying process can be time consuming. On average, it takes four and a half months to shop for a home along with another 1 to 2 months to close once you are under contract. The time required can be longer or shorter depending on different factors like time spent in preparation, the time of year, the current market and the state of your finances. This year is unusual, which is why it is important to be prepared.

Home prices are expected to increase. They are not expected to increase as much as they did in 2020 but they will still be higher than usual. The Chicagoland housing market is the hottest it has ever been since before the Great Recession but is stable. There tends to be more homes for sale in the warner months, but prices will still increase along with demand. Homes in the current market have been selling in less than three months on average with current inventory levels so far this year being extremely low.

Mortgage rates are expected to stay low after reaching historic lows in 2020. Rates are usually low, but it is a good idea to shop around to find one that suits you best. Finding the right lender and having solid financials will affect this number and your rate.

Searching for the right home can take the most time. Currently, it is a “seller’s market,” meaning there are more prospective buyers than homes. Homes sell very fast and have multiple offers, so you could be searching for a while before you find the right one, especially if you are looking for something very specific.

Getting an offer accepted may take a while since there could be multiple ones put in on the property. Most of the time, a cash offer will be accepted over a financed one. If a cash offer is an option for you, it may be beneficial to put an offer in that way then pull the equity out after closing to restore your bank account.

Once your offer is considered, there may be some negotiation that could take up some time as well. It is not uncommon to put in an offer higher than asking price because of the competition.

If you choose to finance your home, it could take time to get your loan approved and ready to go. That’s why it’s important to get your loan pre-approved and have all the necessary documents on hand before you start your search for a home.

Following the process and guidance of your loan officer and real estate broker could give you the edge you need in today’s hot and extremely competitive market.

Finding a home will be time consuming, but it’s well worth the effort considering that a home is often the most expensive thing you’ll ever buy. 2021 is an odd year but should not stop you from buying a home. Start looking once you are fully prepared, and it will pay off.

To contact me, call 708-583-8300, e-mail or visit


About Giuseppe Zerillo

Giuseppe Zerillo is the managing broker and owner of Zerillo Realty Inc. He is active on many boards, serving as village trustee of Harwood Heights and corporate secretary for Casa Italia. In 2011, he received the IANU Foundation's 2011 David Award for outstanding promise in the field of real estate, and in 2012 he was honored by the Illinois State Crime Commission for his community outreach. Constantly seeking opportunities to give back, he donates to several charities and raises money for children with disabilities.

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