Central Florida housing market heating up, realtors say

Agents now knocking on doors to find listings

ORLANDO, Fla. - The housing market is hotter than it's been in years -- but good luck finding a home.

Several realtors tell Local 6, the inventor is single-family homes is too low to meet the demand.

In fact, some realtors are taking a very unusual approach to get more houses on the market -- literally knocking on doors, asking if a homeowner is willing to see.

For Orlando resident Brian Sommer, finding the home of his dreams wasn't easy. He had his heart set on the Wedgewood Groves community... and he had his heart broken after a couple deals there fell through.

"Those were two houses we really liked, really liked this neighborhood, but they just weren't available," says Sommer.

That's when his realtor got creative.

"He spent one afternoon going door to door in this neighborhood and talking to people who lived here to seeing if they were willing to sell they're home," says Sommer.

His realtor ultimately ended up at one doorstep in particular, where the homeowner said, let's make a deal.

"I was amazed, I didn't know that would ever work, I wouldn't think to do that," says Sommer.

Turns out, it does work, and realtors like RE/MAX agent Brian Mahoney are doing it. Of course, he does his research, studies the market -- but then it's face-to-face, door-to-door.

"I got people that were intrigued, their ears were piqued," says Mahoney. "Just a little bit of telling them what's happening in the market, they were very intrigued."

Here's what he told them: inventor is low, and demand is high.

Mahoney does a quick Multiple Listing Service search and finds tens of thousands of listings in Orange County. But only 2,200 of them are single-family homes, and only 802 have swimming pools.

What makes the market even tighter are big investment companies with a lot of cash who can muscle out the average family.

It's a nationwide trend -- the investors come in, scoop up houses, and turn them into rental properties.

"When something hits the market, you need to get out there the first day or two so you get a chance to look at it," says Mahoney.

Or you could tell your realtor to get out there and knock on doors. Brian Sommer is sure glad his agent did.

"We're fortunate that our realtor was able to go our extra step and do something that definitely was untraditional, and I wouldn't have thought of," says Sommer. "We were able to get a home where we wanted to live, and we still bought the home under the appraised value, which felt like a win-win for sure."

If you're a buyer, shop around with lenders first and get pre-approved for loan.

And for sellers, be ready to move. Local realtors tell us that right now, many properties are selling in 15 days or less.

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