GREENSBORO, N.C. — If you’ve tried to buy a house in North Carolina in the past year, you know the housing market is hot and competition is fierce.

“Buyers are having to move extremely quickly, and they’re having to make decisions without really even thinking,” Triad’s Finest Real Estate realtor Karen Kimrey said. “We’re seeing competition at all price points.”


        What You Need To Know

  • North Carolina realtors (and thus, homebuyers) are facing big corporations when buying real estate
  • Karen Kimrey, a Triad realtor, says some corporations are buying 60,000 to 80,000 houses a year
  • They pay in cash and easily outbid local families because they have extremely high budgets


For Kimrey, it’s a hectic time to be a realtor — a little different than when she started in 2003.

“I was working for a home builder at the time, and there were no openings for on-site sales agents,” she said. “So, I met a phenomenal agent at the time who encouraged me to get my license and join her team.”

Nineteen years later, she’s never seen a market like this.

“Never,” Kimrey said. “Not, in the almost 20 years, that I’ve been in this business, have I ever seen a market like this.”

But for North Carolina realtors, there’s just one big problem.

“So when a property hits the market, for example, I just had one hit the market in the mid-200 range. We had 21 offers, 14 of them were from corporate investors,” Kimrey said. “So, they are coming in very heavily and competing with mostly cash offers against our first-time home-buyers.”

Because these big companies have enormous amounts of money and seemingly unlimited spending, it can be difficult for local families to keep up.

“When they come in and some of them are buying 60,000 to 80,000 houses a year, they’re buying in such volume and going so high over asking, buyers just don’t have a competitive advantage anymore,” Kimrey said.

Now, families are having to bid way over asking price to try and win a home. You might think that realtors love this type of market, but that isn’t the case.

“We are just as frustrated with it as our clients are. When we work with a buyer, it may take a year to get through the process, and we may have to write 10 to 12 offers before one gets accepted,” Kimrey said. “Even on the seller’s end, it’s hard for us to tell 11 people that they didn’t get the house, even though one of them did.”

Still though, even on a rainy day running from appointment to appointment, it’s worth it to see the joy after finally securing a house for a client.

“That is the best part, I just closed some first-time home-buyers, and there were tears all around the table, both me and the clients,” Kimrey said. “It feels like you’ve won the lottery in this market when you finally do get to close on a house.”