Monday, February 6, 2012

Bonneville County Realtors see better times in '12

It may be that Jana Merkley took the helm of the Greater Idaho Falls Association of Realtors at the low ebb of the local real estate market.

At least Merkley, who came on as the association's CEO in June 2011, hopes that's true. She sees it as her job to be optimistic, and she says there have been signs this year that her optimism is warranted.

"We're getting more calls from agents who want lockboxes, we seem to be consumer confidence coming back," she said.

Merkley is also CEO of the Snake River Regional MLS, which is getting ready to post its annual statistics for 2011 on its Web site, www.snakerivermls.com.

Across the board, the numbers were down from 2010.
In light of what has been happening in the rest of the country, "I just think it hit us later," she said. Given the encouraging economic numbers that have been coming out lately, combined with record low interest rates, there is cause for hope this year.

She encourages anyone looking to buy a home for the first time to take Finally Home! class, which is sponsored by the Idaho Partners for Homebuyer Education. "There is a lot you can learn from it, and a lot of mistakes you can avoid," she said. "Most people I talk to say, 'I wish I had taken this earlier in the process."