Home Real Estate

Tips for Buying and Selling a House in Metro Detroit

March 7, 2018

Competing with other homebuyers and sellers? A local real estate agent offers advice for buying and selling a house in Metro Detroit.

By Kyla Heat

With the resurgence of the Michigan economy and Detroit becoming a sought-after city, more people are buying or selling their homes. But is now the best time to sell or buy a house, and if it is, what’s the best way to do it?

Erik Burt, real estate agent for Real Estate One based in Southfield, says it’s a buyers and a seller’s market right now, but one has more of an advantage.

“There are more people that want to buy homes than there are for sale right now,” Burt says. “We just came out of a bad recession, so people that may have wanted to move, stayed put. Now, home values have increased and people are looking to upgrade their space since the economy has improved.”

Currently, Burt says there are fewer homes on the market compared to 2015.

In today’s economy, more people are looking for mid-priced, single-family homes they can actually afford, real estate agents say. The fastest-selling homes are under $250,000. Houses worth more than that usually stay on the market longer.

“Know the value of your home. Ask your real estate agent to perform a comparative market analysis,” Burt says. “You don’t want ask for too little or too much.”

As new businesses and restaurants pop up around downtown Detroit, many people find themselves wanting to live close to the action.

Donny Wilson, 35, purchased his first home last July. It took five months before his Realtor, Lindsey Shobe of RE/MAX, found him a three-bedroom house in Oak Park.

“Probably the most important thing for me was location. I wanted to be close to work, but I also wanted to be very central,” Wilson says. “The center of it all is 8 Mile and Woodward, so I wanted to be within a 5-mile radius of that preferably going north and west.”

Building v. Buying a House

In the past 10 years, Burt says building companies have pulled out of Michigan because there wasn’t enough funding to finish projects. Development subdivisions that were originally slated for 25 homes, sometimes only have 10 or 15. Now, homeowners are seeking to build again.

After scouring several cities in Michigan, Nadina Martin, 46, finally decided on building a house in a newly developed subdivision in Romulus.

“When looking, the house either didn’t have what I wanted or something was missing,” Martin says. “After two years without much success, I decided to build and design my own house. I’m newly divorced, so this will be my first home purchase by myself. I’m excited because I know the home will have everything I want.”

Real estate agents say the biggest request they hear from clients is to find a house with two or more bathrooms.

“In the last two years,” Burt says, “most of my clients want to move toward downtown Detroit, but a lot of the older homes only have one and a half baths and that turns a lot of people off.”

To help stand out among the buyer and seller competition, Burt gives a few tips:

Selling a House

  • Update the basics. Make sure the home has a working furnace, water system and updated roof. You can’t have a shiny new kitchen and a bad roof.
  • Modern appliances help sell homes faster. Stainless steel appliances, new cabinets, countertops and hardwood floors are always big sellers.
  • Do your homework. Research your area and know the value of your house.

Buying a House

  • Know your budget. Decide how much you want to spend and factor in your down payment.
  • Don’t try to do it yourself. Enlist a real estate agent who can help you navigate through the process.

“Buying or selling your house is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life,” Burt says. “There isn’t a right or wrong time to do it. The time is when you are ready.”

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  • Richard Davis
    August 24, 2018 at 9:12 AM

    These are really great tips! Very helpful. Thanks for sharing.

  • detroitcashforhomes
    May 27, 2019 at 7:02 AM

    These are really great tips! Very helpful. Thanks for sharing. Avoid Selling Fees And Commissions. And Comparing Your Options are also good choices.

  • Ayesha
    April 27, 2020 at 4:05 PM

    Very interesting and helpful guide. You have precisely described selling/buying a home.

  • Zia
    July 3, 2020 at 10:07 AM

    I am trying to buy a house in Metro Detroit I really needs these kind of tips thank you for the great article I appreciate your hardworking keep it up.

  • lucifer devil
    February 20, 2021 at 1:55 AM

    Very fascinating information. You explain very clearly how to buy and sale homes.

  • Saba
    September 21, 2021 at 7:02 AM

    Great Tip! It was helpful for me when I was buying a house and selling the old one

  • AQ Penthouse
    January 13, 2022 at 4:47 AM

    Very interesting and useful guide. You have specified how to sell / buy a home.

  • Bridge Dale
    May 7, 2022 at 10:33 AM

    Finding the right person to sell your house is key when you’re in the house selling market. There are many frauds taking place and that is really gonna cause problems for new sellers. I hope everyone remain safe

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