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Real Estate in Winston Salem - Sellers Market, Buyers Market...or Both?!

Tuesday, May 09, 2017   /   by Jason Bush

Real Estate in Winston Salem - Sellers Market, Buyers Market...or Both?!

I'm sure you have read a few websites or facebook posts about the real estate market in Winston Salem. "Hot Market" or "The time to sell is NOW", are common themes. Are home prices rising? Is Winston a good market? Is the real estate market strong? These are all common questions we receive in our team nearly on a daily basis. The explanations and answers to these questions are detailed and varied. Just like any real estate market everything is local and national themes or trends you read or hear about may not necessarily apply to our market. The info below should help you understand what is going on in Winston Salem.

Lets take a look at the number of homes for sale. All the numbers we refer to below represent inventory (a home listed for sale) or closed transaction (a sold home) in Forsyth County. Inventory (homes listed for sale) for the year remains nearly perfectly flat. 1413 homes were available for sale in mid-Jan, and on 5/9 there was 1392 homes available. In all of 2017 the total number of homes for sale has consistently hovered around 1400. What that means generally is that the same number of homes are being bought as are made available. That sounds like a flat or stable market, but that isn't really the case. I'll explain more below. 
 
More homes have sold during the first 18 weeks of 2017 than in 2016. The increase is almost exactly 10% year to year. So far in 2017, 1666 homes were sold in the county, compared to 1519 in 2016 over the same period. So more homes are being sold than in 2016, but the more important questions are...what are the prices of homes that buyers are looking for (demand), what are the prices of homes that are available for sale (supply), and what does the push/pull of supply/demand mean for houses listed for sale a various price points.

Here is a chart we created to show the supply and demand of the homes for sale in Forsyth County compared to what has been purchased in the first part of 2017. 


Inventory (Homes Listed for Sale) vs. Homes Sold in 2017
Price Point ($1k) Active Listings 2017 Solds thru 5/5 Inventory Gaps Months Inventory
Under 100 246 17.6% 384 23.0% -5.4% 2.7
101-150 267 19.1% 430 25.8% -6.7% 2.6
151-200 198 14.2% 378 22.7% -8.5% 2.2
201-250 110 7.9% 185 11.1% -3.2% 2.5
251-300 98 7.0% 97 5.8% 1.2% 4.2
301-350 111 8.0% 54 3.2% 4.7% 8.6
350-500 178 12.8% 77 4.6% 8.1% 9.7
above 500 187 13.4% 61 3.7% 9.7% 12.9
1395 1666
This table shows us a few things. Price points below $250k are short on inventory (demand is greater than supply) when compared to the % of homes sold in those price points in early 2017 (the fields in red). The price point between $250-300k shows a slight seller market as the inventory % is consistent with early 2017 production, but the months of inventory is just above 4. All price points below $250k have inventory levels below 4, which is a clear sellers market. At $300k and above the months of inventory shows a clear buyers market, but the supply of active listings shows that supply is greater than early 2017 demand for homes in those price points. Both the supply % and the months of inventory are very high (green and blue boxes) above $300k.
So what does this mean for you as a buyer or a seller?

If you are a buyer and looking to purchase a home priced below $250k what should you you do?  1) If you are financing a purchase, please talk to a mortgage lender or get a recommendation from The Ginther Group for a great local lender. Homes below $250k are selling very quickly due to the high demand and low inventory. The last thing we want is have a buyer fall in love with a home but not be prepared to buy it. Another buyer will also love that home and will be able to submit an offer and put it under contract quickly if they are pre-approved. 2) Be prepared to write a strong offers. Unless the home is a complete wreck, writing a lowball offer will not work. The demand is too high for a lowball offer to be accepted in this market. 3) Be prepared to end up in a multiple offer scenario. Every week our buyers are submitting strong offers for homes at the same time as another buyer is doing the same thing. A smart seller will counter both offers and ask both buyers for their "best and final offer". When that happens the listing price becomes irrelevant and can be looked at as an invitation to submit an offer, not an indication of acceptable terms. We are experts at handling mutliple offer scenarios and get excited about offer strategies.
If you are a Seller below $250k?  Present your home in the best way possible, meet with an experienced agent that can give you a current view on value and may keep you spending a too much $ on presale improvements that might not be necessary.  Finally, be prepared to pack!  Of course we can help you find your next home too!
For sellers above $300k...sellers must prepare their homes well, and should seek a real estate team that will spend $ to market their home. Marketing your home aggressively will matter when buyers can be selective. Ask the agents you are considering using to sell your home for the details of their marketing plan (many agents consider placing a home on MLS and sticking a sign in the yard to be "marketing".  It is not!) Obtaining a solid price opinion from a skilled and experienced agent; preparing and sticking to a pricing strategy is an absolute must. Many sellers at price points above $300k can be under the impression that because a majority of our market is "hot" that their home will sell quickly, despite the price points clearly telling us that there is two distinct markets in Forsyth County.

So back to the original questions:
Is Winston Salem a hot real estate market?..Overall yes, but better for buyers or sellers within certain price points.
Is it the time to sell?...If the value of your home is under $250k now is a great time to have a home on the market.

About The Ginther Group
Please give us an opportunity to help you buy or sell a home. 
We represent more buyers and sellers than any other team in the Triad...we would love the opportunity to help you navigate this market.  Please give us a call at 336.283.8689 or visit www.theginthergroup.com
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