Pendulum swinging back to seller's market for Triangle homes

Posted March 20, 2013

— Selling a home in the Triangle is taking less time than in recent years, which is good news for homeowners looking to move but frustrating for potential buyers.

The average area home is now on the market for 109 days – slightly more than three months – which is down 11 percent from last spring.

Part of the faster sales is that the inventory of homes for sale has dropped from 6,700 in February 2012 to 5,500 last month, according to the Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors.

"I have a buyer that is so easy to please, but every time we find something, they call and say, 'Well, we got an offer' or 'We just accepted an offer,'" real estate agent Karen Albanese said Wednesday. "I’ve actually called the agent before we've gone to look at the house, and by the time I get there to preview it, she says, 'Oh, it’s under contract.'"

Albanese said the market has her working longer hours.

"We go out at night. We don't get home until maybe 8 o'clock at night looking at houses during the week because, if we wait till the weekend, it may be gone," she said.

Sold sign, housing sales, home sold Buyers scramble to bid on Triangle homes

Asa Fleming, president of the Realtors association, said the market has years of pent-up demand after the recession, which has led to increased competition among buyers and sellers receiving multiple offers on their homes.

"I think it’s really consumer perception," Fleming said. "They’re actually feeling like, because it’s a destination area, people are moving in. It’s now time to put their stake in and grab the home that they want."

For months, home-buyer Tom Wirfs was attached to his cell phone, monitoring alerts on houses up for sale.

"I would check it three or four times a day," Wirfs said, adding that the competition can be aggravating.

"You try to look for homes, and before you get a chance, they’re already contingent," he said. "Somebody already beat you to the punch."

Albanese said she hopes the inventory of homes for sale will go up as spring advances.

"It’s taking me twice as long to sell a house because I can’t find (any)," she said.


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  • Wendellcatlover Mar 22, 2013

    Superman - The amount of our loan may have "absolutely nothing to do with the current value of" our house, however, because housing values have dropped so much, we couldn't sell it for what we would have liked, which is why I stated that we had to bring a little $ to the table at closing. Understand now?

  • superman Mar 21, 2013

    A house near me was been on the market for well over 3 years. Where is their buyer? They couldnt sell it and it has now become a "rental" house. The amount of your loan has absolutely nothing to do with the current value of your house. You may have to come up with several thousand dollars to sell your house out of your pocket ie the selliing price of the house is less than the amount you owe. The first 10 years or so you are hardly paying more than a couple dollars a month on the loan. Most of your payment is going to interest, insurance and taxes.

  • Wendellcatlover Mar 21, 2013

    I can vouch for this. My husband and I just sold our house in Wendell. It was on the market and we closed on it in less than 2 months. We had to bring some money to closing, but that's because house values dropped so much in recent years. We were very fortunate and blessed to find buyers that fell in love with and wanted the house and were not hardline negotiators. They pretty much accepted our terms and price.

  • superman Mar 21, 2013

    They are mistaken. I dont ever remember when it has been a "sellers" market. No one ever pays the asking price for a house or car. Too many houses and cars for sale that I would ever pay the asking price. You can always find a buyer who wants to sell it quick. The seller has no idea just how long they going to have to wait for another buyer so they opt for the first one they can find. Usually when people want to sell they need to move as quickly as they can. Every month they have to wait is more money they have to sink in the house.

  • TTDD Mar 21, 2013

    I say they are tearing down too much forest in the sake of profit. There are so many homes unsold like in Wakefield Plantation. All those connected town homes clustered together look like the "PROJECTS".

  • sjb2k1 Mar 20, 2013

    would love to sell my house but with several of my neighbors taking losses on their houses, i wouldn't get my asking price. can't afford to take a bath on it.

  • meeper Mar 20, 2013

    I don't think I'd be buying a house right now. This recovery(so called) is all very short lived, because there's an economic collapse on the horizon. You can't continue to rack up trillion dollar deficits each year and survive economically. It doesn't work. Study your history. The media and most voters have their heads in the sand. There are consequences to be paid for elections. Good luck!