CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte's housing market is on fire and it's pushing realtors and buyers alike to do things they've never done before just to close a deal.
"Honestly, it's getting kind of crazy out there," said David Bolinger.
Other realtors are all saying the same thing. Selling a house in Charlotte is an experience unlike anything else right now, short of riding Fury 325 at Carowinds.
"One word: Frenzy," said Jill Castle. "It is fast-paced, it is not for the weary if you're a buyer. It's crazy even if you're a seller, it is just a frenzy."
"You're seeing people basically do whatever they have to do in order to secure a house," said Charlie Williams.
Bolinger admitted he's doing things he's never done before to help his clients find their dream home, including going door-to-door in hot neighborhoods.
"I have been trying to get off-market homes so I've sent out letters to certain neighbors that clients are looking at," he said.
Other times, Bolinger said prospective buyers themselves are sending personal, handwritten notes to owners in their desired neighborhood, all in the hopes of getting the inside track on a potential sale. That's nothing compared to what Castle's heard is happening on the West Coast.
"Some of my peers are saying they're seeing people offer vacations to places like Italy to sweeten deals," Castle said. "I even heard of a buyer offering a new car to the seller."
In Charlotte, you probably won't get a new car, but there's a good chance you'll get more than the asking price and multiple offers. Castle said she's heard of some homes having as many as 50 offers made.
"In the last 90 days, nearly 3,500 homes have closed and from the list price to the closing price was 102%," Bolinger said.
That means the average house is going for at least what they're asking, if not more. And we aren't talking about just a couple thousand bucks, either.
"We went 100 grand over and we still didn't get it," Williams said. "Someone offered 125 [thousand] over and they got it."
"Buyers are waving appraisals, waiving the right to inspect," Castle said. "They're taking on the brunt of all repairs as a buyer and going with the seller's timeframe on everything."
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So what's driving the market? More people are relocating to Charlotte but also residents are looking for a change. Castle said the pandemic is a factor in people looking for something new.
"Buyers, having been in their homes are living differently now," Castle said. "Working from home, children may or may not be going to school. People are seeing home in a different light."
Another thing driving the market is new construction. It used to take six months to have a new home built. Now with COVID-19 delays and the lumber shortages, it's closer to a year.