In our last post, we looked at what’s been happening lately in the Southeastern North Carolina real estate market from the perspective of buyers, who are seeing lots of competition – and subsequent frustration – when making offers on the limited supply of available properties. On the flip side, however, sellers are seeing lightning-fast, full-price offers on their properties, some even experiencing multiple offers above their asking price. Here are some examples of recent satisfied Intracoastal Realty sellers:
- Last year, houses in Rivers Edge near the corner of Independence Boulevard and River Road were taking several months to sell. When 2017 rolled around, things changed quickly. Natasha Moffitt put her three-bedroom home on the market in April, and in less than 24 hours the first person to look at it had made a full-price offer. “After the first of the year, all of a sudden the market picked up and people were going crazy,” Moffitt said. “I knew it would go quickly based on what had sold around us recently, but I figured it would be within a week or two. I didn’t expect it to be the very first person who looked at it.”
- Earlier this year, Vicki Brocklebank was looking to sell a vacation home in Brunswick County’s Ocean Isle Beach, where the market has been a little slower to heat up, and in the $700,000 price range, which has also been much cooler than homes below $500,000. To her surprise, an offer close to the asking price came in for the five-bedroom, waterfront home within about a week, and soon they were under contract. “We were not expecting it to sell that quickly,” she said. “It caught us off guard, really.”
The same possible obstacles for buyers that we outlined last week are going to work swimmingly in your favor if you’re selling. First and foremost, there is a low inventory of available homes in the current real estate market. To put home inventory into perspective locally, for the first quarter of 2017 in New Hanover County there were 3.0 months of supply. That is the lowest figure since the first quarter of 2006. Inventory in New Hanover County hit a high peak of 22.6 months in the second quarter of 2009 and has been steadily declining since then. It finally dipped below 5 months in the fourth quarter of 2014, and the sellers’ market has been heating up ever since. The lowest supply figures, all 3 months or less, are for homes less than $100,000 up to $319,999. The figures jump over 5 months for homes in the $320,000-$349,999 range, dip again below 5 months for those in the $350,000-$499,000 range, and then jump above 6 months for $500,000 and beyond.
Outlying counties have a little more available inventory, with first quarter 2017 supply figures at 6.1 months for Brunswick and 4.7 months for Pender.
A normal market, with a supply of homes that meets buyer demand, occurs with 5-6 months of supply. Anything above 6 months of supply is considered a buyers’ market, with the supply of homes exceeding buyer demand and sellers pricing properties competitively for a quick sale. Anything below 5 months of supply represents a sellers’ market, with the buyer demand outpacing the supply of homes.
Other factors that are currently on a seller’s side: There’s a good chance you will get a full-price offer or even higher for your property, and prospective buyers will likely be willing to compromise a lot more on various aspects of the contract, including earnest money deposit, closing date, contingencies, and closing costs, knowing they will be competing with many other interested parties.
All of this adds up to record-breaking local home sales statistics. In a recent announcement, Cape Fear Realtors said home sales in its market, which involves members mainly in New Hanover, Pender, and Brunswick counties, were up nearly 19 percent, from 814 homes in May 2016 to 968 in May this year. The May 2017 total was the highest recorded for the month since CFR began keeping track in 1998, according to the CFR database. The average sale price in May hit a nine-year high of $274,150 last month, 5.6 percent higher than May last year, the CFR release said. Year to date, the number of units sold increased by 19.7 percent compared to the same period last year, the average sales price was up 4.4 percent, the total sales volume was up 25.21 percent, and average days on the market dropped 13 percent to 89 days.
Even though sellers are in the driver’s seat now, it’s still important to find an experienced real estate agent who can help you price your home profitably yet competitively, help you get your home ready for showings, and connect you with serious buyers.
As far as any other advice for sellers? “Be ready to move,” Moffitt said.
If you’ve been thinking about selling your home, good timing is on your side right now as the tides have turned to offer profitable returns on your property investment. Let Intracoastal Realty help you take advantage of the bustling sellers’ market Southeastern North Carolina is experiencing. We are a full-service real estate brokerage operating since 1976, and we currently have 13 offices with over 400 agents and staff to serve Southeastern North Carolina, including the areas of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Southport, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Leland, Hampstead, and Topsail Island.