YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The real estate market is still hot, but there are local indicators that it is stabilizing.

Some listings are still getting multiple offers, but it’s not the frenzy that was happening six months ago, according to Youngstown Columbiana Association of Realtors President Dennis Gonatas.

The tick up in interest rates has made some properties unattainable for some. Gonatas said some buyers that were preapproved for a mortgage months ago may find that they are no longer in the price range they thought they were.

Some buyers are making other housing arrangements, and Gonatas said he had a client that had to withdraw an offer on a property because of the rise in interest rates.

“They went from 3% to 5.75%. They were in the 3s, but you are not locked into your interest rate until you have an executed contract. If that takes you two, three, four months, you can only get the interest rate the market is offering at the time you get an executed contract. Unfortunately, it’s changed drastically,” Gonatas said.

That change in interest rates changed the buyer’s payment by $700 a month.

While the market is still hot, listings are generally not getting the number of offers they did six months ago, and bidding wars aren’t as prevalent, generally. Gonatas said interest rates have shuffled buyers around as far as price point.

“I’m seeing some stabilization. You are still getting multiple offers, but instead of having 12 offers, you are getting two or three. I had a whole bunch of showings on a house a few weeks ago. It was a great listing, it sold within one day, and we only had one offer that was an acceptable offer to the seller. We weren’t in multiple offers, we didn’t go over asking price. If that would have been six months ago, it would have gone $5,000 over, $10,000 over,” Gonatas said.

It is still a seller’s market. Gonatas said that in Mahoning County, there is still a 200% chance that a listing will sell in 90 days, on average. He said the biggest challenge in the housing market is supply, so the typical spring boom in supply that has happened in the past hasn’t really happened yet in the Valley.

Gonatas points out that there are at least two factors at play. First, the number of millennials reaching the first-time home-buying age of 32 to 33 years old is double the number of past generations, and second, municipalities have to take a hard look at how they can increase housing in their communities.

He said housing impacts the economy because when a large, 1,000-employee business looks at the Valley, it also has to think about housing for those workers, and it’s just not there. A seminar was held recently bringing in local leaders, commercial developers and the real estate industry to address the housing issue in the Valley.

“There is state and federal money out there to revitalize. We got to get these condos built and ranches built and neighborhoods revitalized. We are trying to get all these companies here to build their plants, and their employees need somewhere to live. We have to be able to provide that for those companies. We can offer a tax stimulus, but if they drive around and there is nowhere for their people to live, that’s a huge impact on a company.”

The answer to the housing supply will not be corrected soon. For now, buyers need to decide what is a fair deal, how their price point has changed, and when to walk away.

“I would caution people to not buy at the top range of their price bracket because if interest rates change, you could buy a house you might have to either foreclose on or turn around and sell because you can no longer afford the house payment,” Gonatas said. “You should always come in with your best offer, when you have multiple offers, you don’t have the ability to go back and forth. But if you have the time and get it, great. If not, no big deal. If you absolutely have to have that house, you need to come in with your best offer.”

According to the National Association of Realtors, sellers have several ways to deal with multiple offers. They can just accept the best offer; inform potential buyers that other offers are on the table; they can counter one offer while putting the other offers to the side awaiting a decision or they can counter one offer and reject the others. Offer too little and you could lose out, offer too much and you might pay more than the seller required.

Keep in mind that sellers may make other buyers aware of your offer in hopes they will make a better deal.

According to NAR, some realtors may be reluctant to disclose the terms of offers, but the Code of Ethics does not prohibit them from doing so. In some cases, state law or real estate regulations may limit the ability of brokers to disclose the existence or terms of offers to third parties.

If you want your offer confidential, tell your buyer’s agent. Also, be aware that your agent may have other buyers interested in the same listing. Make sure you work out a plan on how that is going to be handled.

There are listing tactics that could drive up the price of a house and lead to a bidding war. One of those is pricing the house low on purpose. This gets a property more exposure and could result in multiple officers. If you are not interested in a bidding war, a property that is priced well below those around it could be a sign that this is what the seller is looking for.

Homes sometimes can be priced too high. This could be someone who is not looking to sell immediately and is holding out for that great offer. This is also dangerous because you run the risk of the property not appraising for the price.

Overpriced homes sometimes are targeting investors who have the ability to make cash offers, according to realtor.com.

While it is a seller’s market, buyers with the time do have the final control by walking away and waiting for the house that fits their time frame and budget.