San Antonio home sellers seeing multiple offers, ‘love letters’ from buyers

Low inventory of homes pushing prices up

SAN ANTONIO – A house had only been on the market for a day and a half when Sasha Kohl and her husband put in an offer.

“We knew we had to come in pretty competitive,” she said.

Knowing there would be multiple offers in the tight time period, the sellers were taking bids. They offered more than the asking price, and then Kohl got personal.

“We added a letter basically giving our backstory and why this is our forever home,” she said. “It gave an emotional touch to it. I believe that put it over the top.”

It is very much a seller’s market. Demand far exceeds the supply of homes for sale, and that continues to push prices up.

The average price of area homes that sold in March was just shy of $317,000, a 15% increase over the year prior, according to data from the San Antonio Board of Realtors, or SABOR.

Homes are being snapped up at a near-record pace. The average it’s taking to sell a home is just 45 days, and sometimes they sell a lot faster than that.

“What’s happening because we are in multiple offer situations, we are sometimes seeing sellers allow five days for everyone to get their offer in, and then they make their decision,” said Cher Miculka, SABOR chairwoman.

Rather than writing what is popularly known as “love letters” to sellers, which the National Association of Realtors says may raise fair housing concerns, Miculka recommends buyers come in with their best offer and be broad-minded when it comes to location or home style.

The spring selling season is off to a strong start. Despite the continued pandemic and the after-effects of the big freeze in February, March sales soared. According to SABOR, 3,516 existing homes sold that month, for a 16% increase over the year before, when the pandemic was beginning to affect commerce.

For now, realtors are hoping homeowners will plant more than spring flowers. They’d like to see more for sale signs.

“What I do see right now is we are in a boom and probably stay in a boom through August, at least,” Miculka said.

For now, interest rates continue to make borrowing attractive.

As for the Kohl family, their offer was accepted.

“Hoping in 30 days to be in our new home,” Kohls said.

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