Redfin real estate expert tells me it's a seller's market now

Scott Nagel

Don't even think about buying or selling a home until you hear what Scott Nagel has to say about all of the changes in the real estate market this spring.

Nagel is the president of real estate operations for Redfin, a brokerage that operates in 22 markets across the country. (That's him on the left.)

Astounding as it may seem, he says it's now a seller's market in most of those cities.

The problem is an unexpected inventory crunch. There are just way too few homes on the market.

We entered the spring selling season with fewer than 2 million houses and condos for sale, according to the National Association of Realtors.

That's down more than 16% from March 2012 and the lowest inventory level for any March since 2000.

You know what's behind the crunch? There are 40% fewer foreclosures and short sales on the market than this time last year.

As a result, Nagel says, homes are routinely receiving multiple bids the first weekend they're on the market.

Sellers aren't getting just two or three offers. "Now in many places it is 20, 30," he says. "And I spoke to one agent in Silicon Valley, in one situation it was 65 offers."

Of course, that's driving up prices, Nagel says. "In San Francisco and L.A. and Seattle and D.C., you are going to need to pay over list price if you're in a popular neighborhood."

Take a listen to our entire conversation. It's an eye-opener.

The whole thing's not that long, but our tech guys divided it into two parts. Here's the first one:

This is the second half:

Click here for a transcript of our podcast with Scott Nagel.

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