How the pandemic affected the Cedar Valley housing market for buyers, sellers and agents


WATERLOO-CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) – The housing market changed dramatically over the past year due to the pandemic. Quarantine and working from home made many realize that they needed a change and wanted to make the move quickly.

Increased demand and limited supply seem to be the common theme throughout the pandemic, and so does the Cedar Valley housing market. There are cases when there are more real estate agents available than houses listed in the market.

“I’ve been in business for 26 years and I’ve never seen where we currently live,” said Amy Wienand’s property owner, Amy Wienands.

Due to the increased construction costs, many who were planning their own home decided against it.

In the past year, some real estate agents processed up to 20 apartment offers due to a lack of inventory of houses.

“You have to work hard now. You have to work very hard,” said Oakridge realtor and owner Bethany Benner.

Realtors had to think outside the box in order to find the best buyer for the seller when comparing all offers for each house.

“They pay different proportional taxes, the sellers proportional taxes. We have seen people help people move and pay others for moving costs, ”said Benner.

Sometimes a more experienced agent will handle this situation better than one who just gets into the industry.

“I think we just navigate the quotation process differently, and I think that requires some know-how,” said Wienands.

The Northeast Iowa Regional Board of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service shows that January through May total listings increased 10% compared to the same time last year.

Wienands says things have shifted back to somewhat normal levels in the past few weeks. She says the listings posted on her website haven’t seen the same number of offers as in the past few months.

“To me it feels like things are balancing out a little in our market, but definitely not across the country,” said Wienands. “I always think that if you are ready to do something, now is the time Time to do it. “

Whether you’re buying or selling homes, there are some key pieces of information to keep in mind: The average home dwell time was 63 days last year, down from 56 days this year. The average home selling price has also increased by 20%.

The staff at Oakridge Real Estate in Cedar Falls suggest using real estate agents instead of selling a home from the owner, especially during this time. By connecting with an agent, you can drive more attention to offers and reach more buyers so that the seller can choose from multiple offers.

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