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'It's a pure competition': What one DFW realtor is seeing in a still red-hot housing market

We're checking in again with Realtor Joe Atkins, who says the real estate frenzy just keeps accelerating.

DALLAS — Throughout the pandemic I have been updating you on the unprecedented real estate market here. We’ve had several conversations with broker Joe Atkins of Joe Atkins Realty.

Atkins really just put into perspective what we have been seeing in North Texas. In the last year, home prices here are up in some places by more than 30%. Even if they’re just up 24% (and I say "just"—that’s huge appreciation in one year), that would mean each month, a home became two percent more expensive to buy.

“Competitive is the word," Atkins said. "It's a pure competition at this point.”

And that’s why Atkins said what used to be called the "list" price or "asking" price has been renamed. Now, “It's the starting price”.

Last May, I shared a story from Atkins about a million-dollar listing in Southlake, where a buyer bid $300,000 over to get the home. 

Atkins said a market comparison in that same neighborhood just showed that less than nine months later, the home that started at a million dollars and sold for $1.3 million would now fetch about $1.55 million. And it’s not just the higher-dollar homes. 

Atkins recalled a house in Frisco that listed for $375,000 in January.

“There was a total of 320 showings," Atkins said. "Total offers received: 52. There were 30 offers over 420 (thousand), and there were 10 offers over 450 (thousand). And there were 11 cash offers out of all those.”

Watch our full interview with Joe Atkins:

Homes are drawing so many offers that Atkins regularly starts a spreadsheet for each home just to keep track of all the bids.

“Oh yeah, we're using spreadsheets for sure," Atkins said.

How do you compete? Many people are waiving appraisal contingencies. 

If you have financing and waive appraisal contingencies and offer $500,000, but the bank decided it’s only worth $465,000, you would have to come up with the extra $35,000 or risk being in violation of the contract and losing your earnest money. But people are doing it because the faster you are, the more competitive you are.

“So what we're telling buyers now is if you're pre-approved and your budget is $500,000…honestly, you probably shouldn't be looking north of $400 (thousand)," Atkins said. "Because you're going to need about a $50,000 to $100,000 cushion…to go over."

If it helps, Atkins said most new listings he sees seem to come on the market Thursdays and Fridays. 

Good luck out there.