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Right time to sell

Low inventory, rising home prices benefit sellers

Created date

February 26th, 2013

When Harry and Marianne Guy listed their home in December 2012, a buyer showed up on their doorstep literally. Our [real estate agent] was putting the sign out in the yard when a lady stopped by, says Marianne. She made an appointment to see the house the following day and wrote us an offer before the house officially hit the market. Harry, a retired pharmacist, and Marianne, a retired nurse, accepted the offer, closed on the house two days after Christmas, and celebrated the New Year in their two-bedroom, one-and-a-half bath apartment home at Eagle s Trace, an Erickson Living community in West Houston. It was all a whirlwind, says Marianne. We certainly didn t expect everything to move so fast.

Houston s sizzling real estate market

While the timeline may have moved more quickly than Harry and Marianne anticipated, their experience is not atypical, says Lisa Hudgens, their real estate agent. There s a low volume of available homes on the market right now, says Hudgens, Whenever that happens it leads to price increases and generates more activity, giving sellers the advantage. Hudgens says that certain areas of Houston are seeing a flurry of real estate activity, including the Katy area where Harry and Marianne lived. We lived in a 55-plus community called Heritage Grand, says Marianne. Interestingly, we bought the house seven years ago from a couple who moved to Eagle s Trace. Now we re following suit.

Drawn by the amenities

Marianne says they were drawn to Eagle s Trace for its amenities. I love to do water aerobics, so the year-round indoor pool appeals to me, she says. Harry likes the woodworking shop, the putting green, and the gardening plots. There are more things to do here than we can count. The couple began making plans for a move just before Thanksgiving 2012. They contacted Jodie Schroeder, personal moving consultant at Eagle s Trace, who put them in touch with Hudgens. The holidays are not typically considered the best time to put your house on the market, but it turned out to be a wonderful time to sell, says Marianne.

Positive forecast for 2013

While 2012 saw an uptick in real estate activity, the 2013 forecast is even brighter, particularly heading into the busy spring and summer seasons. Sellers were hesitant to get into the market in 2012, says Jim Gaines, a research economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. 2013 should represent more opportunity. The numbers tell the same story. In December 2012, single-family resale homes reached their lowest inventory in 12 years, with a 3.7 month supply. According to data from the Houston Association of Realtors, home sales in November 2012 rose 27.3% compared to November 2011, and the average sale price jumped 10.5% year over year. I ve been in real estate for 16 years, and this is the busiest I ve ever been, says Hudgens. Homes that are well-maintained are selling quickly, some even generating multiple offers. That s good news for potential sellers who have been waiting for the opportune time to list their house. I ve had friends interested in selling their homes ask me about our experience, says Marianne. They re surprised to hear how quickly our house sold. Who knows? They may be moving to Eagle s Trace soon.

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