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Home Sales in the Valley Going Through the Roof

WHEELING — Local realtors are running up against a conundrum that they might not mind experiencing — they are running out of homes to sell.

From the ground up, local home sales are through the roof and local inventory is dwindling, according to local realtors.

They say demand is up, prices are up, and it’s a good time for sellers to market their homes.

Conversely, low interest rates are helping to encourage home buyers to take the plunge.

“What we are finding — with the interest rates continuing to be low, and with the inventory this spring low — is that we are in situations where we get multiple bids on properties. It’s a very hot market,” said Lee Paull IV, president and broker with Paull and Associates realtors.

“I think the only way we will have a slow down is if we continue to sell the homes we have, and there is no more inventory.”

He expects home prices to continue to rise through the remainder of this year. Paull said his firm had its best year on record last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and 2021 seems to be outpacing 2020 so far.

“It was strange because we couldn’t get into some properties,” he said. “There were properties where we had to wear a mask and gloves and not touch anything.

“But many of them still sold, sight unseen. People viewed them online only or through the app.”

While realtors use many marketing tools, they really haven’t had to use them in recent months. Drone shots to promote properties haven’t been necessary, as Paull said many listings sell the same day they are put on the market.

He attributes a strong economy and low interest rates for driving the boom.

“When the interest rate is only 3% on a 30-year loan, people are really ready to dive in,” Paull said. “We’re not going to see any time soon after this wave of marketing.”

A 20-year mortgage can be obtained at an interest rate in the 2.5 % range, he said.

“It’s also a good time to sell your home, and we’re getting high prices all over and in all categories. You could get top dollar for your home,” he said.

Jeff Knierim, a seller with First Choice Realtors, agrees potential home buyers looking at properties have fewer choices and are ready to jump if they see the right opportunity.

“If you have a good home with good value, it will sell quickly,” he said.

Knierim said from his experience, most people looking for home already live in the Wheeling area and aren’t moving from outside the region. Many are older people looking to downsize.

“There is always a demand for one-floor homes in Wheeling, and there is not enough to go around,” he said. “There is also not much of a choice in condors, so we see people wanting smaller one-floor homes.”

Others are looking for family-sized starter homes with three or four bedrooms, and updated kitchens with stainless appliances and quartz countertops. They want remodeled bathrooms, and well-maintained homes.

There are also some people still looking for a “project” house they can renovate, according to Knierim.

“The DIY people are looking for value in homes they can fix up,” he said. “They are looking for a bargain to fix up to their specifications.”

Knierim also sees home prices continuing to climb.

“Prices are going up, and the appreciation of homes will continue to escalate,” Knierim said. “It’s better to buy now than pay more later. Buy now if you see something you like. You can bet the price is going to go up.”

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