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Is the housing market bouncing back?

By Bo Koltnow, Reporter, BKoltnow@wfmz.com
Published On: May 03 2013 03:32:25 PM CDT
Updated On: May 03 2013 06:12:45 PM CDT

Those looking for that perfect new home may not be alone.

Those looking for that perfect new home may not be alone.

Realtors said they're seeing something this spring they haven't seen in awhile -- a bundle of bids on the same home.

Unpacking boxes and putting away dishes are chores Scott and Loralee Smith are only too happy to do.

"We are very relaxed, very relaxed stress-free" they said.

But the couple said finding and moving into their home in Lower Nazareth Twp., Northampton Co., was a nightmare.

"Stressful. Wanted pull our hair out," the couple said.

In two months, the pair said they looked at 50 homes. They put offers on three, only to be outbid each time.

"We thought the market was slower because it took a year to sell our house. All of a sudden, the market gets hot," Scott explained.

"We are seeing more multiple bids on homes," said Jay Young, of Keller Williams, adding that he hasn't seen homes move this quickly in years. "Interest rates are at an all-time low. Less homes on the market and buyers are starting to come out and realize it's time to buy."

The Lehigh Valley Association of Realtors' latest figures show homes are selling 20 percent faster than in 2011, and the number of homes available is down 30 percent.

"What happens is there are people who inch people up little by little by saying there is another offer $5,000 more or give your highest and best so people become emotionally involved in a particular house," said Alice Fortunato, of The Frederick Group.

Fortuanto said there is no system to verify multiple offers on a home and warned, in the game of real estate, things aren't always what they appear to be.

"There are people out there who will say they have an offer every time. Is that true? I don't think so," Fortunato said.

Scott and Loralee Smith will never know if that was the case with them. They're just glad to have a new place to raise their growing family.

"Keep your chin up and have a positive attitude," the couple said.

Realtors said if you like a house, don't wait put an offer in right away and be pre-qualified.