Durham, N.C. — New realtors are piling into the Triangle’s red-hot housing market. Shawn Hays, the president of the Durham Regional Association of Realtors, says there are nearly seven agents for one home on the market.
As of Friday, there were nearly 2,000 active homes for sale – out of 13,500 realtors in the area.
Hays said he recently helped one buyer close on a home in Durham earlier this week. The couple bought the home for $25K over asking price without even setting foot inside.
While the competition is tough and buyers have many options to choose from, experts said your best bet is using an agent with lots of experience.
“In a hot market like this, when there’s such low inventory … How do you win? Winning means you get the house that you want,” said Hays. “What drives that is the expertise of the agent that you’re working with. It could be their experience and knowing how to negotiate, it could be finding properties that aren’t on the market yet or it could be their connections with local builders or national builders.”
As the real estate industry continues to get more competitive, a surge of agents are joining the ‘housing gold rush’ in the Triangle.
“This is a trend that happens, when there’s a hot real estate market, you will typically see more people getting into and becoming a real estate agent, and consequently, becoming a realtor,” said Hays.
The coronavirus pandemic is also contributing to the influx of realtors, Hays said.
“We’re seeing more people that have had time to get their license because the education has changed to online from in person. It become more accessible,” he said.
North Carolina State University economist Mike Walden says new realtors may be looking to cash in as housing prices soar.
“This is no different than other professions that get hot — people get into them,” said Walden. “The labor market in any area will seek it’s own balance … but definitely I would tell anyone looking at real estate as a career to maybe hold off. It’s probably going to be over-populated with agents this year.”
Walden says increasing interest rates on homes could weed some industry newcomers out if the demand to purchase a home drops.
“Some people in the real estate market, as agents, may say, ‘All right, I’m going to get out for a while and do something else,'” said Walden.
“[Realtors] do have to update their license periodically but you can be an agent and just choose to do something else for a while,” he added.
With many options to choose from, Hays said using an realtor with experience will be your best bet for success.
“As a buyer and a seller, you have choices. “It’s knowing the market, knowing the numbers and knowing how to put the deal together that makes you stand out for your clients,” said Hays. “If they’re looking to buy, they need to be patient. [You’re] going to lose out a couple of times before finding the home you want.”
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