GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The sweet spot for Grand Rapids sellers is anywhere between $120,000 to $280,000.

"It's a market we've never seen before," said Julie Rietberg, CEO of Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors.

The buyers fatigue is real, as most sellers receive multiple offers within days of listing.

"I have been here for 35 years, in my history I've never seen inventory this low," Rietberg said.

Corby Horlings listed his vacant home earlier this week and had almost 50 showings by Wednesday.

On Thursday morning, Horlings got a message from an agent who just went through the house.

"They mentioned, you know, are the kitchen appliances not included in the sale now and I'm like what are you talking about?" Horlings said.

He went to check out the house to find his newly bought fridge, stove and microwave had all been stolen.

A neighbor later told police they had seen a gray van back into the driveway around 7 p.m. on Wednesday and load in the appliances. But, the neighbor assumed it was part of the move.

"Since there was no sign of forced entry and because it was one of those types of houses that had a lot of showings, we are wondering if someone requested a showing and carefully, quietly unlocked a window or a door so he or she could come back later," Rietberg said of the July 11 incident.

Rietberg said despite the more than 3,000 realtors in the area, their community is close knit. An email went out about the incident by Friday morning to alert other sellers. Theft is not uncommon in real estate, but this incident has served as a reminder to keep watch.

"This is an unusual one, because it also occurred during daylight hours which we were a bit surprised by that, admittedly," Rietberg said.

Horlings attributed the incident to the demanding market.

"As a professional realtor in Grand Rapids or any area, if you have a new listing and you know you're going to have a lot of traffic just pay extra attention," Horlings said.

Rietberg recommended area realtors to take extra precautions:

  • Conduct a complete walk thru following the showing
  • Alert neighbors to keep an eye out for suspicious activity
  • Install cameras or security systems
  • Ensure that the key is locked in the lockbox to keep record of who has had access to the home

Rietberg said open houses have also been more of an issue lately to the point that some realtors ask for photo ID before allowing people to view a home.

"We won't prevent everything, but we are going to do our best to minimize that," Rietberg said.

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Emma Nicolas is a multimedia journalist. Have a news tip or question for Emma? Get in touch by email enicolas@wzzm13.com, Facebook or Twitter.