It’s a hot time to sell in Birmingham’s housing market. Here’s why.

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Did you know Birmingham’s housing market is super hot right now? Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Whether you’ve been paying attention to the housing market or not, you may have heard someone say that Birmingham is a seller’s market right now. But what is a seller’s market, and how does that affect buyers and sellers in Birmingham? I spoke with two agents at LAH Real Estate to learn more.

The Birmingham Housing Market

Thinking of selling or buying a home? Now is a great time! Photo courtesy of LAH Real Estate

Partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a shortage of homes on the market—meaning homeowners looking to sell their house have an upper hand. But according to LAH Real Estate, interest rates for housing loans are the lowest we’ve seen in years. So, potential home buyers will be able to get more bang for their buck. It’s a win-win for both buyers AND sellers.

I had some questions of my own about Birmingham’s housing market, so I reached out to two expert agents at LAH Real Estate.

Scott Smithson

Scott Smithson outside the LAH Real Estate office in Homewood. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Born and raised in Bessemer, Scott Smithson specializes in Over the Mountain homes for LAH Real Estate. Prior to joining the team, he owned & operated Smith Furniture Co., Inc. in downtown Ensley. I had a chance to sit down and speak with Scott about his experience in Birmingham’s current housing market.

Is it a good time to sell and buy in Birmingham?

Scott: Obviously, due to high demand, Birmingham is definitely a seller’s market right now. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad time to buy. In fact, interest rates are the lowest I’ve ever seen—I’ve had some clients get loans under 3%. With that kind of rate, you get much more house for your dollar.

What steps should a potential home-buyer take before looking at houses?

Scott: With so many people wanting to buy a home in Birmingham, houses are going fast. Most houses have several offers on them, so speed is key. Being prepared, talking to your lender and making sure you’re pre-approved can help speed up that process. And be sure to have a good real estate agent on your side—it makes a world of a difference.

If someone sells their home, should they be worried about where they will stay?

Scott: I’ve had some clients set up a reverse contingency, which essentially means they won’t sell their house until they have signed a lease on a new home. There are other options out there as well, such as Landing or Airbnb: fully-furnished, temporary apartments while you search for a home.

What precautions are LAH Real Estate agents taking to ensure their clients are safe while touring homes?

Scott: Some homes I see have their own specific health and safety instructions, but I always make sure to bring a facemask, gloves and other supplies just to be safe. In fact, all LAH agents are taking these extra precautions to keep themselves and their clients safe.

Meagan Phillips

Meagan Phillips outside her Homewood office. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Born and raised in The Magic City, Meagan Phillips graduated from Auburn University before coming back to her hometown to practice real estate. She is very excited about the opportunities that the Birmingham housing market is offering right now.

What’s the deal with the Birmingham housing market?

Meagan: It is a fantastic time to sell in Birmingham right now. The amount of houses on the market was already low, and now due to COVID-19, there are even fewer. But there are still so many buyers out there who need homes, so if you price your home right, you’ll likely get your asking price or even more.

If someone sells their home, should they be worried about where they will stay?

Meagan: In my situation, my husband and I have decided to live with my parents in town for the time being. But I’ve talked with several people who’ve stayed with Airbnb longterm. They simply put their belongings in storage and moved into a fully-furnished Airbnb while they found a new home. There are several options out there.

What precautions are LAH Real Estate agents taking to ensure their clients are safe while touring homes?

Meagan: Since LAH offers virtual tours, I’ll show my clients several homes via FaceTime. If they see something they like, we’ll set up an in-person tour. When I show a house, I provide facemasks, gloves, Lysol wipes and more for myself and my clients. In fact, every LAH agent is doing that—extra precautions to keep both sellers and buyers safe. For sellers, it can be scary to have strangers in your home, so we want to give that peace of mind to all of our clients.

Thinking About Selling Your Home?

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Whether you’re buying or selling, having a local real estate agent on your side can save you money, time and a lot of headaches. It’s so helpful to have an expert to walk you through the details—after all, it’s their job.

For more tips and advice, be sure to reach out to the team at your local LAH Real Estate branch.

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  • Tennessee native who fell in love with Birmingham during college. Graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2019. Passionate about Birmingham and its continued growth.