Quad City home buyers act quickly to make deals in 2017 market

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The clock is ticking for first-time home buyer Ross Farro.

"If you're a seller, you've got a lot of choices," he said, on Wednesday, May 31.

The Davenport home he's considering went on the market just nine hours earlier.  It could sell before the day ends.

"If you see a house that's decent and decently priced, and you want it, you've got to move quick," he continued.

This is a good time to be selling a house around the Quad Cities.  2017 home sale prices in the QC-area are up nearly 7% in Iowa and up 4% in Illinois.

That's why Farro is working with Realtor Beth Nolting from RE/MAX River Cities in Bettendorf.  She's closed on 11 homes just in May.

After searching with Farro for nearly a year, each offer they make draws multiple bidders.

"We go to make an offer, and it's already got multiple offers," she said.  "It's going that fast."

Prices are climbing because there aren't enough homes for sale.

Illinois homes, for example, are spending 11 fewer days on the market compared with 2016 rates.

"The average price in Illinois is starting to creep up, especially those under $200,000," said Mike Wendt, RUHL & RUHL, Moline.

Still, the well-documented Illinois money troubles continue to discourage certain buyers.

Farro, who works as a nurse in Davenport, wants to stay in Iowa.

"There's parts of Illinois that have significantly higher taxes, and it just seems so uncertain," he said.

Wendt, who also serves as a Moline alderman, understands the point.

"If you're just purely looking at property taxes, yes, Illinois is more expensive," he said.

But he counters that the income tax rate in Iowa can narrow the differences.  In some cases, making Illinois a more economical choice.

"The Illinois market is strong," said Sharon Carlson, CEO of the Quad City Area Realtor Association.  "Areas are different, price ranges are different, but I think the trend still holds true in Illinois."

Ross and Beth remain on the hunt after another day of touring homes.

"We need more sellers to put their houses on the market," she said.

Farro is tired of looking.  He's more than ready to get his own place.

"I want to get it done," he concluded.  "I want to be done."

When the deal is right, he'll have to move fast to make it happen.

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