The housing market in Knoxville is still very much a seller’s market. The city was labeled number seven on the hottest housing markets list in 2017 by Zillow.
Kelly Arsenault, realtor with First Neighborhoods Realty, attributes the ongoing boom to low interest rates and a flourishing city. She credits some of the changes to Knoxville, including additional business, like breweries and restaurants, as well as more outdoor activities, like hiking and biking trails, to the boom in house buying in the city.
The premise of a seller’s market is there are fewer homes for sale than there are buyers. The limited inventory can lead to bidding wars and a large return on investment for sellers. Arsenault says the interest is coming from around the country, because costs here are still very competitive.
“I’ve worked with lots of locals but especially people from California, Colorado, Texas, all looking to move to this city. So, that equals lots of buyers and not a lot of inventory,” she said.
Warren Weiss is looking for a home near downtown, but not actually in downtown. He’s a chef at a local restaurant. His goal is to upsize, while investing in a home that he will ultimately earn him money in the long run. He toured a home on Thursday in the West Hills neighborhood. There, he is searching for an older home with a modern feel.
He’s looking for modern finishes, a nice kitchen, and a home with “plenty of opportunity for value down the road.” He knows if he sees a home he likes, odds are someone else is looking into buying it, too.
“You’ve got to strike while the irons hot because great spaces don’t last long, especially with apps out there like Zillow, Trulia, you know, sometimes they don’t even make it to those platforms and those are the ones we see all the time,” he said.
More so than the bells and whistles, location and price, he asks himself one main question when considering a house to buy: “Am I going to lose money on it? At the end of the day, it’s a great home, but am I going to lose money on the home?”
For the buyer to buy low in this climate, she says, will depend on their standards. If you’re willing to put in some work or some additional money into the home after you buy it, you could get a better deal, she explained. But if you want a house with all new systems including HVAC, roofing and appliances, she said you’ll pay a premium.
For future buyers, she recommends:
- Acknowledging in this competitive market, you could end up in a bidding war
- Be flexible on things like closing times, repairs to the home, when putting in an offer
- Writing a letter to the homeowner, she says the personal touch could help put your bid on top
- Declutter and clean your home, she calls it sweat equity than can help with showing your home and a potential buyers first impression
- Repaint dark rooms to give them a warmer feel
- Landscaping (nothing fancy), she says a little color and a clean yard can help sell your home
- Fix any obvious needed repairs
- Make sure good photos capture your home for selling
If you’re looking to buy a home, this site has additional resources to help you along.