ORLANDO - Buying a house has become a race to get the keys.

Homes are flying off the market in Central Florida; some in a matter of hours.

Nationwide, homes sold faster last month then in any February since 2007.

It's a good sign for the housing market.


MetroCity Realty realtor Gregg Pull said buyers don't have the option of "sleeping on it."

"They need to react quickly because a lot of times we've seen the very next day the house is already bought," Pull said.

If you're looking for a home or condo between $100,000 and $200,000, you're in the danger zone.

Realtors are seeing buyers out bid by investors.

According to the National Association of Realtors, cash buyers accounted for 28 percent of existing home buyers in January.

Pull has watched his clients lose out on homes in a matter of hours.

"I've seen a listing posted on MLS at 10:30 and it was gone by 2:30 in the afternoon and they were done. It went that quickly on a condo," he explained.

Realtors say the best advice for buyers is to get your ducks in row before you start to look, so you can even get in the race.

"Pre-qualify, it doesn't cost anything," Pull said. "When you go in to make an offer on a home when you have a pre-authorization, pre-approval from the lender, it makes you a much more powerful buyer."

Some of the frenzy comes from a lack of inventory.

The economy is improving and buyers are ready, but sellers are waiting for prices to rebound more.

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