Three things to know about the housing market outside Fort Smith

Alex Gladden
Fort Smith Times Record
Eagle Pride Realty is selling a house at 406 Maple St. in Paris.

Like everywhere else, realtors said the housing market outside Fort Smith and throughout Logan County is booming. Here are three things to know about it. 

Sell now 

Area realtors agree the time to sell houses is now. 

The demand for houses is larger than the number of houses for sale. Everything that is one the market is going quickly, said Sandy Pyles, the principal broker at First Booneville Realty. 

“The property’s go really fast," Pyles said. 

The market is aggressive, “just like it is everywhere else," said Angie Young, the owner of Arkansas Valley Insurance and Real Estate in Charleston. 

Pyles is seeing all kinds of properties sell quickly including land. The only kind of property she is not seeing sell quickly is commercial. 

Darla Davenport, the principal broker at Eagle Pride Realty in Paris, said she is seeing more business than she ever has before. 

Even houses that have been on the market for a long time are now selling, said Julie Snow, the executive broker at Eagle Pride Realty. 

“It’s a sellers' market," Snow said. 

The market is particularly scarce in houses that are $300,000 or less. They're selling very quickly, said Amy Jo Hutcherson, with McGraw Realtors in Greenwood. 

“So the market is very tight and moving very fast right now," Hutcherson said. 

To get their properties ready for sale, people need to have their houses show ready and have fixed everything that needs to be fixed, Pyles said. 

Marita Cooper, a sales associate with Eagle Pride Realty, said that people “need to get your home in tip-top shape." 

That means deep cleaning and putting away personal items, Cooper said. 

Pyles also said that people are moving into Arkansas from other states looking for lots of acreage. She is seeing people move to her coverage area from Texas, California and Illinois. 

“They’re coming in droves," Pyles said. 

Buy Now 

With interest rates low, realtors also agree that the time to buy houses is now. 

Area realtors are seeing rates range from as low as 2.25% to 4%. But with so few houses on the market, prospective buyers need to be ready to act fast. 

Owners had 3521 Highway 22, built in 1951, on the market for one day before getting an offer on the house. The home is 1,582 square feet and is on about an acre of property.

“Be ready to make an offer when you find a house or see something you like," Pyles said. 

Snow advised buyers to be careful with their credit scores before they buy houses. They should not make any big purchases before buying houses in the risk that they will not get approved for loans. 

“You can buy your toys later. Get your house first," Snow said.

Pyles said now is a good time for investors to buy houses to rent. She gets 20 to 30 calls a day from people looking to rent. 

“This is the time to buy fixer-uppers," not to sell but to rent out, Pyles said. 

“It’s a good opportunity all the way around: buyers, sellers, investors, everybody," Pyles said. 

Development 

Because of low-interest rates, Pyles said she is also seeing people building more homes. 

Developers started building more houses last year, Pyles said. 

Emily Rucker, with Rucker Fine Homes, agreed. Her company, which builds in Crawford, Sebastian and Franklin Counties, has continued to build houses amid the strong market and she has seen a lot of building throughout the area. 

Like realtors affirmed, all the houses Rucker is building are selling rapidly. 

A Justin Green CUstom Home as seen April 23 on Stoneledge Drive at River Pointe in Lavaca.

Even though the price of lumber, concrete, siding and insulation has gone up, people are continuing to build because the houses are selling so fast. 

In Paris, Davenport said she has seen a stall on building because of the rising cost of lumber. 

In all other areas though, realtors and builders said building has continued and increased. 

Rucker said there is a lot more custom work going on than in the past. 

“Because of COVID, home has become so important to people that they are willing to spend their savings to get in the house that they want, and they’re willing to spend more money for the house that they move into. They have the amenities in it that they really would like to have and realize the value of wanting home to be everything they want it to be," Rucker said.