Navigating a hot market

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Most markets in the U.S are seeing an increase in the sales prices. In some cases, homes will sell in as little as a few hours. This is not the case everywhere, though, as houses in some areas are going for lower than asking price.

For the most part, we’re seeing an increase in prices in suburban areas and a drop in prices in major cities. Because of the pandemic, homebuyers are looking for more “breathing room” and many people are working remotely, which eliminates or reduces the need to commute to downtown offices.

In more appealing areas, homes are selling for way over asking price, as much as 50 precent more than the average. Bottom line, that’s because there are more buyers than there are homes for sale. That’s not the case in less appealing areas, which include major cities, vacation spots, outdated areas and crowded areas.

Bidding wars are common, but it’s important to not to get carried away.

There are a few things to consider before buying a home in today’s hot market.

  • How much can you afford?

You must determine your budget. Keeping in mind that you may have to offer over asking price, determine the very most you’re willing spend, and be prepared to spend that amount if you really love a certain home. Getting pre-approved can speed the process along. Search for homes that are under your budget because more than likely you will have to put in a higher offer.

  • Should you skip contingencies?

Skipping contingencies could strengthen an offer. Common contingencies include a home inspection, home appraisal, and financing contingencies. Although it is more appealing to sellers, it could backfire on the buyer. Skipping these should only be done if you are confident the home is in good condition.

  • Can you manage a cash offer?

Cash offers may be considered over a higher mortgage offer. It is less for the seller to worry about and saves time as well. Making a cash offer is the most effective strategy for buyers in this market.

This market won’t last forever, so if you can wait to buy, definitely do. If you’re in the market for a home right now, though, be prepared to spend more than what may feel comfortable. Do your research and rely on a trusted real estate professional.

To contact me, call 847-292-4700, 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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