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How to land your dream home in a hot housing market

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Quad City real estate agents say the housing market is hot right now, and buyers need to be ready to make a move.

According to the Quad City Area Realtor Association, sales are typically pending on roughly 500 homes this time of year. Right now, that number is closer to 800.

That can make things a little more difficult for first-time home buyers like Brian Miers.

"About two weeks ago, we were looking at a house, and it sold while we were walking up from the basement," said Miers.

However, realtor Alex Wolking says there are a few things home buyers can do to give themselves an edge.

"Buyers need to be prepared. If they see a home that is priced right and the price is reflective of the home's condition and location, chances are it will sell very quickly," said Wolking.

Wolking says the first step is to assemble your team -- hire a real estate agent, find a loan officer, and line up your financing before shopping.

"That's like going to the grocery store and not taking your checkbook with you. Really the best thing to do is know how much you can spend and stay within your budget," said Wolking.

Then, Wolking suggests looking online to figure out exactly what you want.

"Some buyers think they have to see everything on the market, and that's just not the case. Really hone in on what it is you're looking for, drive by, and when you have it down to your top five, go look at those," said Wolking.

Additionally, homeowners need to be able to move quickly.

"You need to be ready to show your home, and you need to be ready to move. The more advantageous you can be to a buyer, the better," said Wolking.

The QCA Realtor Association says Iowa is leading Illinois in home sales so far this year. CEO Sharon Carlson says government and budget uncertainty in Illinois is likely causing buyers to look elsewhere.

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