The market is very busy, buyers are out and they are beating the bushes for homes. Homes that have been on the market for a while are selling quickly after sitting for months and new listings are flying off the shelves. And more than a few are being sold off market meaning they never go on the multiple listing service homes are being sold by word of mouth. Agents are networking and selling homes to agents they know and trust without going on the market at all.
Why do this? Most sellers do not relish the idea of people tramping through their house, poking in their closets, looking through their personal stuff, and if they have a number and a buyer will give it to them they sell. No open houses, no mad cleaning dashes before a showing, it really is appealing. Typically it is a smoother transaction the agents know each other and minor issues are smoothed over quickly.
What does this mean to you? It means get a good local agent, who is a good negotiator and has a good reputation in the community. Agents who have good reputations get their calls returned and answered from the busier agents. It is very likely a local agent will have connections to get you in a home either from an listing that has been withdrawn off the market, or is being prepared to go on the market.