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Residential Market Snapshot, January 2022

Understanding how to navigate the real estate market is key to helping you buy or sell your home. A market that has less than 6 months of inventory is considered a “seller’s market”; a neutral market is one that has 6 months of inventory; and 7 or more months of inventory is a “buyer’s market.” At the close of January, Moore County had 0.7 months of residential inventory, making it a very strong seller’s market.

How does this translate to you? If you’ve been on the fence about whether to sell your primary residence, rental, or vacation property, now would be an ideal time. Average sales prices are up 15.8% from January 2021, and the sale to list price is still averaging over 100%. Agents are still seeing multiple offers, escalation clauses, and addendums with offer expirations. There aren’t many houses available in price ranges below $500k and, even in the heaviest market concentration, only 47 homes sold in the 400k – 500k price range. A quick sale isn’t beyond the scope of possibility, either, because the average days on market for January was only 18 days and, with a limited number of active single-family homes currently on the market, that trend is likely to continue.

If you’re trying to buy in this market, here are a few tips that can help you gain an edge:

  1. Cash is king. If you can pay cash for the home, you have an almost instant edge. Sellers like the idea of not having the deal drawn out with mortgage lenders and their requirements.
  2. If you will need a loan to purchase your home, get pre-approved. Most sellers are not even entertaining offers from buyers who have not proven they have the funds.
  3. If you find a home you like, don’t wait to make your offer – the house may be under contract by the time you feel ready. Consider this: make your offer immediately and, if for some reason you change your mind, you can withdraw your offer before the end of your due diligence period. All you will lose is your due diligence fee. The key is to make sure you withdraw in writing before 5:00 p.m. (EST) on the last date of your due diligence period.
  4. Make your best offer your first offer. You may just outbid another and not lose out by doing so.
  5. Get guidance from a trusted, local real estate agent. Local agents have experience and in-depth knowledge of the current market and can advise you on the best course of action. They’ve seen what the transactions are like in this busy market and can give their opinion about your best move in any given situation. Ultimately, the choice is up to you, but why not tap into their expertise?

Whether you’re buying, selling, or just watching the market, the forecast is more of the same in the coming months. With the spring selling season around the corner, things may heat up even more!

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