Sales of existing homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro jumped 10 percent in February 2018 from a year earlier, reaching a record high for the North Texas area.

According to a recent post on NewsTalk Texas, the blog for the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, real estate agents sold 7,188 preowned single-family homes last month, the highest February sales total ever in North Texas.

Homes took an average of 52 days to sell in February, which is actually a 6% increase from a year earlier. However, the median sale price also increased by 6% from a year ago. Even if homes in North Texas are taking slightly longer to sell, the higher prices likely made it worth the wait for many sellers.

The median sale price for February 2018 was $248,000 — 6% higher than it was a year ago, according to data from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.

The median sale price coming in below $250,000 reflects the significant increase in demand for homes below that price point.

“The shortage of available housing below $250,000 is acute in D-FW. This is the part of the market that is experiencing the biggest year-over-year price gains,” said Ted Wilson in a statement to The Dallas Morning News. Wilson is an analyst for Residential Strategies, a housing research and consulting firm.

“Most builders have a hard time producing housing much under $250,000, so prospective buyers have to turn to the preowned market,” Wilson continued. “The leading edge of the millennial demographic is entering its first-time homebuyer years, so we see no letting up of demand in this price channel.”

Meanwhile, luxury homes in higher price points continue to fall. According to the data, sales of million-dollar homes are down 7 percent so far in 2018.

While supply may be lower, there were actually 6% more listings in February 2018 than there were in the same month a year ago. According to the data, there were 17,529 homes listed for sale in the real estate agents’ multiple listing service (MLS). That equates to a two-month supply at the current sales pace, which indicates a strong seller’s market.

A six-month supply indicates a fairly balanced market, while anything lower indicates low supply and high demand (seller’s market) and anything higher indicates high supply and low demand (buyer’s market). With North Texas seeing a strong seller’s market, it’s not surprising that home prices continue to rise. For buyers, it would make sense to do whatever they can to better position themselves for making a strong offer.

If you’re considering buying a home in today’s North Texas housing market, consider doing the following:

Get Preapproved – Having a preapproval letter makes you a stronger buyer because it shows the seller that you’re serious and you’ve already started the process of getting financing.

Work with an experienced real estate agent – Having an agent who knows the market and knows the neighborhood can be very valuable. He or she can help you narrow down your search, identify homes in your price range, and help you create a strong offer.

Don’t lowball and don’t nit-pick negotiations – In a seller’s market, buyers have a lot more competition. Bidding wars are not uncommon, and some buyers are willing to pay above asking price for the right home. So don’t lowball! You’re just wasting your time and your agent’s time.

While we’re at it, don’t play the negotiating game or nit-pick when it comes to minor repairs, or whether the washer and dryer convey, etc. Sellers who are eager to sell quickly will get frustrated with a lot of back and forth negotiations and may simply move on to the next offer.