By Andrew Greenberg
Now, more than ever, buyers need a great realtor in their corner if they’re serious about getting into home ownership. Why? Because buying a home in Charlotte today is more competitive than ever before. Real estate prices in the Charlotte region are at all-time highs with a median price of $335,000 (up 18.4% from $283,000 last June) and an average sales price of $405,000 (up 21.7% from $333,000 last June). At the same time, days on market are at an all-time low of 13 days (down 65.8% from 38 days last June). The market is so depleted that hypothetically, if no new listings came to market starting today, it would take only 21 days for the market’s inventory to be completely eliminated, whereas a “balanced” market would run dry of listings in 120-180 days under the same scenario.
In the current market conditions, I believe a buyer can be aided most by asking their agent these 3 questions:
1) What’s your feedback on my search criteria?
A great agent starts from scratch to review the basic and more detailed portions of a buyer’s criteria, makes some suggestions, and asks loads of questions. It’s more important to explore all avenues from the start and to apply the focusing lens over time. With so few listings, the days of showing multiple homes on a weekend are gone. A top-tier, full-time agent is ready to go any night of the week before a home is even listed.
2) Can I see a comparative market analysis (CMA)?
In NC real estate, there is a non-refundable deposit fee known as the due diligence fee. This is the second most important term to the offer’s purchase price. If there are appraisal or inspection issues, buyers will seek to negotiate, but depending on how much non-refundable fee was put down, the seller may contractually feel no need to. While a buyer can walk for any during the initial contract period, losing a large deposit could end their home search all together. A detailed CMA from their agent and review of numerous comps is needed to help the buyer understand the level of risk they may face in an appraisal gap.
3) What is the condition of the home I’m considering?
Clearly understanding many 1, 3, and 5-year repair items is critical when buyers are purchasing at their top budget, leaving little room for improvements post-closing. A formal inspection is highly recommended yet typically doesn’t take place until a buyer is under contract with a non-refundable deposit, making the initial showing by the agent such an important experience. A great agent knows how to date HVAC units, discover and explain basic electrical and plumbing types, and estimate any known issues or expected life spans with each. It’s also important to consider conditions when selecting comps to ensure they are of similar quality for an accurate analysis.
With the right expert by your side, you can still win in this market. Happy house-hunting!
A Charlotte resident since 1999, Andrew feels blessed with the opportunity to serve as a realtor and grow with a city as wonderful as Charlotte. Celebrating his sixth year of business at Keller Williams Ballantyne-Area this November, Andrew has enjoyed assisting over 140 buyers and sellers with their real estate goals. Andrew is a Virginia Tech graduate with a passion for residential home construction and design, providing construction experience as knowledge to primary resident and investor clients alike. Andrew has a full-time team including his wife, Heather, who is a transaction and listing coordinator, and a buyer/listing broker, Cooper. Collectively, they aspire to proactively prepare clients for the best real estate opportunities supporting wealth, health, and happiness. If you have questions or are interested in working with Andrew, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.