GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — You could call the housing market of 2021 a frenzy.

Homes were flying off the market with multiple offers, little to no inspections, large due diligence payments and many buyers paying well over asking price. 2021 was definitely a seller’s market, with home prices increasing nearly 20%.

Now, consumers are looking to 2022 for what they hope will be a calmer market. But with interest and mortgage rates slightly increasing, coupled with rising inflation and low inventory, is still proving tough competition in the market.

ENC realtor Jesse Lancaster said they’re “anticipating another very busy year.” Although he said, “I don’t think there is going to be much changing from what I’m hearing.”

Lancaster tells 9OYS January isn’t a good indicator for how the year ahead will go. It’s traditionally a slow month as people recoup from the holidays. However, Lancaster said this month appears to be leveling off somewhat between buyers and sellers.

He doesn’t see any major changes happening in the next year that would catastrophically impact the market. While they do expect another busy year, they don’t expect much change in leverage. He still sees sellers having the upper hand this year.

“We are still not seeing things like seller paid closing costs in most places, we are seeing a lot of things from the buyer’s side where we are going well over list price, a ton of money towards due diligence, and even appraisal gap addendums in place which still suggests buyers are somewhat at the mercy because of the amount of competition, they are at the mercy of the sellers in a way.”

Jesse Lancaster, ENC realtor

Brenda Wells and her husband have been house hunting since August of 2021 in what she can best describe as a “nightmare.”

They put in four offers before finally making a deal. Wells said she never offered over asking price and was shocked at high due diligence rates upwards of $10,000. She tells 9OYS they lost nearly $3,000 in due diligence and inspection fees because the seller didn’t want to make repairs.

“Twenty years ago you didn’t even have that, even ten years ago you didn’t have that. And now you do and it’s really hard on buyers. It’s ruling out a lot of first-time buyers because they can’t afford to lose that money,” she said.

Wells will be closing on a home in Chocowinity in February, what she says was just pure luck. She says “in this market you’ve got to be patient.”