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'Man, it turned. It turned big time': How DFW's crazy housing market changed the way realtors work

Low housing inventory and serious competition is changing the way agents help home buyers and sellers navigate the hot housing market.

KAUFMAN COUNTY, Texas — Skyrocketing home prices paired with rising interest rates and low housing inventory is a recipe for a crazy North Texas housing market, one that realtors never thought they would see.

“I just had a house go under contract that was on the market for 36 hours,” real estate agent Joey Stanbery said.

We met Stanbery while talking with two of his clients, Caroline and Tom Griffiths, as they navigated a search for a home in North Texas. The Griffiths had offered $100,000 over one a house, only to get rejected, and they were 0-for-15 on offers, overall.

Unfortunately for the Griffiths -- and their agent, Stanbery -- real estate horror stories aren't uncommon in this crazy market.

And the market is also changing the way agents like Stanbery approach their job.

Stanbery said he has noticed a huge shift in the way realtors sell and buy homes now compared to pre-pandemic. It’s not so much the 30-60-day range of finding and closing on a home that realtor and buyers were accustomed to.

“Man, it turned. It turned big time," Stanbery said. "Now, I walk in and talk to a potential seller and say ‘Look here’s what you need to do. A, B, C, and they’re like are you sure that’s all we need to do to the house?'" 

It's a different approach that doesn’t require the seller to do a whole lot of work to get their home ready to hit the market.

“The buyer knows there’s no inventory," Stanbery said, "that they need to get in and get the house and grab it quickly."

Social media like TikTok and Instagram are playing an even bigger role in selling and marketing homes today.

“You wouldn’t think that a video that lasts 15 seconds with a spin-up shot of a house would gain traction, but it does,” Stanbery said.

With so many people glued to their apps, agents are stepping up their social media game. However, Stanbery has recently seen other agents go back to full-time jobs to get a source of steady income as the home search get tougher for their clients.

“It took 7 months to land a deal - 7 months - and we’re talking painstaking hours of working, both of us me and the client working our rear-ends off to get them into a house," Stanbery said. "Well, 7 months on a commission-based salary is hard for a realtor. It’s difficult unless they have other streams of income coming in or unless they have other deals that are closing. So I think that that’s what’s pushing other real estate agents to go back to working and doing real estate part-time."

Even though the housing market is hard to read, one thing is clear: It’s a seller’s market.

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