By Wes and Cathy Cleary 

To say it has been a crazy spring is an understatement – crazy in a good way, that is. There has been a significant increase in activity with buyers actively shopping and making offers. We continue to be quite busy and transactions are moving forward and closing on schedule.

Sales have increased tremendously as of the end of March and slightly in the beginning of April compared to the same period in 2019. Time will tell how the second quarter plays out. In the April 7th Canopy Realtor Association newsletter, 2020 Canopy Realtor® Association/Canopy MLS President John Kindbom stated, “First quarter housing activity showed that the Charlotte region was poised for a strong start to the spring selling season. Unfortunately, we will not know the impact of COVID-19 on the local housing market until April’s data is available. We are hopeful that this crisis will not linger long into the summer months, as there are buyers still trying to purchase homes and sellers interested in selling.”

While sales are up, inventory continues to decline. Kindbom also notes, “Even with mortgage rates on track to be the lowest on record, inventory declines are setting up a challenging situation for buyers, who will likely be competing this spring. The lower mortgage rates will certainly help with affordability, but the lack of supply is driving price growth.” 

Karen Maxwell, a local mortgage banker states, “While we navigate industry changes, we are still seeing steady purchase and refinance activity in our local markets.  While interest rates are low, it’s a good time to schedule a mortgage checkup with your trusted local lender to go over your financing options. “  Maxwell is a Sr. Mortgage Banker with Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, NMLS 415478 licensed in NC/SC.

For sellers, this means it is actually a good time to list your home. Some tips to prepare for selling your home include getting a deep clean and de-clutter inside and out, pressure washing, painting, landscaping, mulching, & planting flowers. This is also a good time to fix any problem areas with gutters, drainage, wood rot, etc. Solicit input from your Realtor®, as we can look at things more objectively and typically will have a better sense for what the first impression might be for your potential buyer. Most buyers in this market simply don’t want to deal with any immediate improvements or projects. Spending a little up-front will go a long way toward making your house more appealing to a wider variety of buyers, as well as help support local businesses.

We all have been presented with a lot of changes & challenges, regardless of where you live, work or play. The positive coming from all of this as it relates to real estate is that we have been able to quickly adapt as necessary to take care of business and keep transactions moving forward. Agents are doing more FaceTime appointments, virtual showings and are utilizing technology in ways they’ve not needed quite like before.  By the time this issue of the Breeze hits newsstands, we are hopeful the pandemic will be behind us, or at least on the downward end of the curve. As most Americans have found themselves at home with more time on their hands, they are keeping an eye on their favorite properties and inventory online. Once business resumes to normal we expect those who’ve been perusing the internet will be scheduling trips to the area, showings and ultimately making offers!

Wes and Cathy Cleary of Team Cleary are Broker/Realtors with Pinnacle Sotheby’s International Realty, with two locations in Lake Lure at 2992 Memorial Highway, by the Flowering Bridge and 1334 Buffalo Creek Road, opposite from the guardhouse of Rumbling Bald Resort. Team Cleary is licensed in NC/SC and work at the Buffalo Creek Road location.; 828-785-2115 or 828-808-6790. Each office is independently owned and operated.