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First-time homebuyers in Kansas City face a challenging market for their price range.  

Houses priced between $200,000 and $300,000 — the typical budget for first-time buyers — have multiple offers and fly off the market. High demand, low interest rates and an inventory shortage in the metro area probably will continue in 2021, keeping the process competitive.  

“It’s very hard. There’s not much inventory,” said Rob Ellerman, who leads the ReeceNichols Rob Ellerman Team, adding that even when homes are available, investors often seek them out. “Sometimes the buyer will have to compete with an investor who may be coming in with a full cash offer. And so that makes it also difficult for that first-time homebuyer to get that house.”

His team, which ranks No. 1 on the Residential Real Estate Agents and Teams List, had more than $500 million in sales last year.

Last year, Ellerman began working with Clover & Hive, a homebuilder that specializes in homes priced below $300,000. He said its homes could transform the market.