The Underground Housing Market

Posted at 10:42 PM, Feb 21, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-21 22:42:15-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Real estate agents working in Grand Rapids say they have a problem; There’s not enough homes on the market to show buyers.

One solution is to show houses that aren’t officially listed as ‘for sale’.  That was the case for Ryan and Jill Anderson.

A year ago, the Anderson family kicked around the idea of finding a new home.  They started their search online at

“I saw there was a way to enter a ‘make me move’ price.  So we set it higher than what our realtor told us we could get thinking it was a long shot but it should be out there,” said Jill Anderson.

However their new home search came to an abrupt end when they learned their own home had lost value.

“We stopped looking at houses and forgot all about it,” said Jill.

Her husband, Ryan, finished her thought, “…Until a few weeks ago.”

That little box they had checked on started to produce results.

Emails from potential buyers started coming in about three weeks ago.

“This week we started getting calls from realtors wanting to show it to their clients,” said Jill.

They wondered why was there interest in a house that technically wasn’t on the market.

“Each realtor had said there is nothing out there, the inventory is really low,” Jill said.

Agents FOX 17 contacted agree, the demand is outnumbering supply.  The Andersons live in a desirable neighborhood and there aren’t a large number of listings out there.  Those that are listed, are going fast.

Even if the Andersons were able to sell their home, there’s not a lot of options out there as Jill looked around.

“There were only three that came up,” Jill said of her online search.  “One had a sale pending.  We had friends that sold within a couple hours of listing.”

Realtors say housing prices are still relatively low, so are interest rates.  That combination is driving up demand ahead of Spring, when agents are predicting a sellers market.