Fewer homes on the market in the valley, realtor says

STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) — According to Virginia Realtors, in just over the past year, the central region of Virginia — which includes areas from Winchester to Lexington — has seen an increase in prices and home sales.

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More houses being sold means fewer are staying on the market. A realtor said buyers are having to make quick decisions when looking for their next home because there is a lack of houses for sale and the homes are on the market are selling fast.

Because there is less to choose from, sellers are getting multiple offers and are able to raise the price.

According to the Greater Augusta Association of Realtors, or GAAR, they have been seeing houses fly off the market within hours and days rather than weeks and months.

"Well, the economy seems to be doing very well," said Phyllis Meador, GAAR president. "We have more buyers entering the market, so the new jobs and people transferring here, as well as people retiring."

Meador also said with rent rates increasing, tenants are also making the move to home ownership because they are realizing they can afford to buy a home for just as much as their monthly rent.

According to GAAR, properties that are less than $200,000 seem to be in high demand right now, especially for first-time buyers.

However, even though the market is fast-paced, that does not mean that you have to be.

"When we're in this type of market, we have to educate our buyers to be patient, wait for the right house, and don't just buy whatever comes along," said Meador.

Since a house is probably going to be one of the most expensive purchases you'll make, Meador said reaching out to professionals can help you be more successful in the buying or selling process.