LAS VEGAS -- Erik Molzen knows the housing market all too well. His previous house he got rid of by short selling it. He then turned around and bought a short sale house that he is living in now.
"There's not a lot of steals like there were last year," he said. "It really is a sellers' market and it's making buyers jump a lot faster to try and find the right house at the right price."
The number of houses for sale is limited, and some home sellers are finding that it is a good time to put their houses on the market.
Sellers are listing their homes for prices above the appraisal value and in some cases getting what they ask for. But for buyers, plenty of options are still available.
Molzen speaks from experience. He entered the real estate profession four years ago, during the peak of the housing crisis. The recent increase of home prices for the sixth straight month, he said, is in part to more short sales happening compared to in the past.
"Prices are slowly creeping up," he said. "I think that sellers are realizing that with the lack of inventory there are a lot of options for them. They don't need to grab the first buyer who comes knocking on their door. They can wait maybe a week or two till a better buyer comes along."
According to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, banks have helped in the constant rise of home prices.
"I think most of the banks are realizing it's more beneficial for buyers, sellers and themselves to go through a short sale, than to go through a foreclosure," said Kolleen Kelley, of the realtors association.
Those looking to sell their homes are taking advantage of the new shift in market.
"Homeowners are bidding in higher than the appraised amount and bringing in cash for the difference," broker Dave Tina said. "This brings up the appraisal value for the next home and that's where we see a lot of the increases."
Tina offers this advice for home buyers in what now seems to be a home sellers market.
"Look at the comparable sales that happened with the last 30 days," he said. "What a lot of them tend to do is look at something that happened three to four months ago."
Realtors report about 3,500 homes sold in July.
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