ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Spring and summer are popular times for people to buy and sell homes. 2019 is a sellers market around the country and in the Roanoke Valley, but just because the demand is high, doesn't mean prices are skyrocketing.
Around the Roanoke Valley, "for sale" signs are signs of change, but you won't see many of them this year because the number of homes available are low.
"There's about one-third of the houses on the market now than were on the market in 2015," Neil Conner, President of Roanoke Valley Association of Realtors, said.
Now is a competitive environment to buy a home, but it's a great time to sell one- if you can find a different place to live.
"There's a lot of sellers who would put their house on the market if they could find what they wanted, but that's kind of a catch 22," Conner said.
He explained that Roanoke's economic growth has also positively impacted the real estate market in the last few years.
"You definitely see areas like Wasena for instance are extremely hot and a lot of that has to do with the economic development that's taken place [downtown]," he said.
But just because it's a good time for sellers, doesn't mean buyers should worry about astronomical prices.
"I don't want to make it seem like buyers are at a complete disadvantage because they're not," Conner clarified. "Prices have stayed in check. There has been modest increases in values, but the pricing is still reasonable. It hasn't gone off the charts."
Conner works for the The Real Estate Group in Salem. He gave practical tips on what to do to prepare your house to sell, which he said starts with consulting a realtor.
"Have them come out, take a look at your property. Most realtors will prepare a pricing report for you."
Next, get the house in as sellable shape as possible. The realtor will often suggest maintenance or aesthetic upgrades that could increase the value of the home. Then its time to put it on the market.
"The days on market have come down significantly," Conner said. "It varies from market to market. There's an awful lot of houses that go under contract in the first week they're on the market now. "
For buyers, getting pre-qualified and even pre-approved can give you an advantage.
"That's going to be very important if you're in a competitive situation on a house, to show your strongest financial position that you can," Conner said.
Overall, whether buying or selling, Conner said the Roanoke Valley is a great place to invest into your future.
"I absolutely think Roanoke is poised to grow and continue to positive economic outlook and the housing market has shown that with prices going up at a pretty decent clip here you know recently."