How You Can Buy A Houston Home, Even In A Seller’s Market

Houston's home sales hit an all-time high in 2013, thanks to the job market and low mortgage interest rates. While real estate agents were busy matching buyers with sellers, some doubt the pace can be maintained in 2014.

More than 73,000 single-family homes were sold in 2013, better than the previous record set in 2007. Tim Surratt with Kingwood Green Properties says in his 30 years as a realtor, he’s seen a lot in Houston’s housing market.

“We had the boom of the early-80s, and the oil bust in the mid-80s, and then everything in between 9/11 and anything else that can affect the real estate market we’ve been through.”

But realtors had to work with location and the low inventory of homes all year long.

“It’s not even just inside the loop; it’s from downtown all the way to Beltway 8.”

Chaille Ralph of Heritage Texas Properties chairs the Houston Association of Realtors. She says the low inventory of homes puts sellers in the driver’s seat.

“When we’re sitting with 2.6 months of inventory across the city, that’s going to limit what’s available and it’s certainly is a seller’s market at this time. But there are available listings and they do sell quickly. So, being able to make good decisions and fast decisions, I think are the critical points that people need to consider.”

Homes in Houston are listed on average for 90-days. Ralph says buyers must know as much as they can about a house they want to buy.

“If it is a market with little inventory, obviously we’re going to see a higher increase in values happening. The cleaner an offer can be, the more likely it is to be considered against an offer that has more contingencies tied to it.”

It’s expected that more people will put their homes on the market come spring which should pad the inventory.