Buyers chasing sellers in Raleigh housing market
Posted May 11
Updated May 12
Raleigh, N.C. — Competition for homes in the Raleigh area has become so hot that some buyers don't even wait for a house to come on the market before making an offer.
Heather Dutra wasn’t planning to move this spring – she and her husband were busy renovating their north Raleigh home – but an attractive offer to buy the house literally appeared at her front door.
"We happened to get a door hanger, and we decided we’ll look and see what they’ll offer us," Dutra said Wednesday. "We got a really good offer, so we decided to take it."
A growing number of ambitious buyers are targeting neighborhoods where they want to live and sending fliers to current homeowners or posting on community message boards to see if anyone is interested in selling, real estate brokers say.
"Buyers are getting desperate," said Stacy Horowitz, a broker with Fonville Morisey.
More than 10,000 homes are projected to be built in the Triangle this year, according to a recent report by market research firm Metrostudy, marking the first time since 2008 the area has topped that mark. But years of slower construction as builders tried to recover from the recession has ratcheted up demand in the market, especially in homes priced from $200,000 to $350,000, Metrostudy said.
Sellers can have up to a dozen offers for their homes, brokers say, and for buyers who actually wait for a "For Sale" sign to go up in a yard, many are making more concessions to make their offers stand out.
Horowitz said she often advises clients to include personal, handwritten letters in the offer to connect with sellers, to put up more non-refundable due diligence money and to be flexible with closing schedules and costs.
"We’re seeing buyers coming in significantly over asking price (and) foregoing appraisal conditions as well as repairs. They’re accepting homes as is," she said. "They need to definitely be prequalified, be ready to go."
Dutra said her home's buyers did have the house inspected "but kind of just for their knowledge of what was going on with the house."
Brokers said, however, that there's a line between encouraging clients to make concessions and making sure they protect themselves from getting stuck with a bad deal.
Now that their house is sold, Dutra said she and her husband face the tough home-buying market.
"That was a lot more difficult than we thought because, as soon as a house goes up, before you can even look at it, it's off the market." she said.