Fierce Competition for Homes in Central Ohio

Fierce Competition for Homes in Central Ohio

The following report maintains there is still fierce competition for homes in central Ohio because there is no shortage of buyers looking for homes despite inventory levels being down and sales prices rising. The half percent drop in mortgage rates helps the market keep moving. Read on for more details…

Competition remains fierce for homes in central Ohio

Although inventory levels are down and sale prices are up, there appears to be no shortage of buyers. February home sales came in at 1,744 which was 3.7 higher than a year ago and 8.9 percent more homes sold than in January 2019.

The number of homes in contract trailed February 2018 by almost three percent, however pending sales were up almost six percent from January, according to the Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service.

Home sales were not the only good news for February. After peaking late last year at just over five percent, home mortgage rates have come down a half percent (or more) giving buyers the option of more home for their money.

“As mortgage interest rates have come down, more buyers have re-entered the market and competition remains fierce,” said John Myers, 2019 Columbus REALTORS® President. “REALTORS® report that, if a house comes on the market that is in good condition and is realistically priced, it is likely to sell quickly.”

There were 2,249 central Ohio homes and condos added to the market in February 2019, which was up 3.1 percent from January, but down 5.2 percent from a year ago.

The added inventory brought the total number of homes and condos for sale to 3,613 at the end of February, down 5.4 percent from the previous month.

Although there were more homes on the market last month versus one year ago, the steady decline of inventory over the last several years means the central Ohio market is still not hosting the number of homes for sale that we’ve seen historically.

The median sale price of a home in central Ohio sold last month was $189,700, up 7.2 percent from one year ago. The average sale price was $220,694, up 4.7 percent from February of 2018.

“As the end of winter is on the horizon, we’re going to see more houses listed for sale,” added Myers. “Sellers can take full advantage of the low inventory and higher prices by listing their home now.”

Current housing report – February 2019

Columbus REALTORS® is comprised of over 8,300 real estate professionals engaged in residential sales and leasing, commercial sales and leasing, property management, appraisal, consultation, real estate syndication, land development and more.

The Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) serves all of Franklin, Delaware, Fayette, Licking, Madison, Morrow, Pickaway, and Union Counties and parts of Athens, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Knox, Logan, Marion, Muskingum, Perry and Ross counties.

Is “For Sale by Owner” Right for You?

For many sellers, their REALTOR’s commission is a small price for making the home sale process go smoothly. For others, it’s enough to make them seriously consider selling their home themselves. Here are some of the jobs that a REALTOR does for a seller.

Ask yourself if you’re ready to take on these jobs: The answers can help you decide if “For Sale by Owner” or FSBO is right for you!

1. Pricing. You’ll need to find a list of 3-4 comparable homes that have recently sold in your community and be able to judge if those homes have similar features, size, and properties to yours. If you can’t find enough homes in your area, you’ll have to choose a comparable area and look there, too.

2. Paperwork. Will you be able to comfortably navigate the forms, laws, and requirements of selling your own home? You may want to hire a real estate lawyer if you’re unsure.

3. Free time. Do you have the time to research your asking price, market your home, and stay available for questions and requests via phone, email, and text?

4. Marketing. Are you feeling confident that you can effectively market your home? You’ll have to navigate FSBO websites, their fees and kits you can purchase for signs and MLS access.

5. Technology. Are you comfortable online? You’ll have to list your home online to generate interest, and that means editing and uploading photos, adding descriptions, and fielding email inquiries.  You’ll also need a way to promote the information so people can find your listing.

6. Temperament. Do you have the patience and detachment to endure criticism, questions, and repetitive showings of your own home? You’ll have to handle contingency requests and price negotiations with the buyers or their agents, too.

7. Finances. Are you willing to pay the buyer’s agent commission? Will you need a Real Estate lawyer to draw up contracts and closing documents? Not all the expenses of selling a home are in the Seller’s agent’s commission!

8. Organization. Are you organized and able to schedule multiple showings, inspections, manage contingency deadlines, and organize closing materials and schedules?

Are you wondering if FSBO is the right sales option for you? Contact The Columbus Team today, and we’ll be happy to walk you through the services we offer and you may decide there are things you’d rather NOT do yourself!

Win-Win Contracts for Buyers and Sellers

Win-Win Contracts for Buyers and Sellers


Buyers and Sellers are traditionally thought of as adversaries, and while it’s true they often square off during negotiations, it’s possible for both buyers and sellers to win in one home sale! Part of the secret is to understand the other point of view so you can negotiate a winning compromise!

Home Buyers

Buyers are looking for a lower price, the home of their dreams with features important to them, a home that’s ready to occupy, a home in great condition, and a home that will be a good investment over time.

Home Sellers

Sellers are looking for a price that gives them a good profit, recognition of the value they see in their current home, an easy sale without having to do improvements or fixes, feeling that they’ve gotten the full value out of every improvement they’ve already made, and to feel that this house was a good investment and served them well.

How Realtors Negotiate Win-Win Contracts for Buyers and Sellers

Your REALTOR uses their knowledge of buyers and sellers to negotiate every day. The more you understand about how the negotiations work, the more flexible you may feel about meeting in the middle ground and allowing both parties to win.

For instance, rather than offering an opening bid so low that it can’t generate a counter-offer, your REALTOR may offer comparable homes that have recently sold in the neighborhood as proof that a lower price is reasonable. That gives sellers a reason to compromise.

Sellers may not want to replace the carpet or cracked bathroom tile at their expense as they are trying to move and close on the home in question. So, sellers may offer an “allowance” to offset the cost of new carpet. This provides them with more time, but acknowledges to the buyer that the carpet is getting older.

Perhaps the buyers are in a hurry to move in, but the sellers’ new home isn’t ready yet. The parties can close on the home and the sellers may agree to rent another home for a month until their new home is ready, or the buyers may agree to rent the home back to the sellers.  There are many solutions that can be found with a Realtor who is willing to dig deep and find the key negotiating points.

Take a deep breath and consider how you’ll feel when it’s your turn on the other side of the deal. Then get creative with your real estate professional to find solutions that create a win for both parties!

Selling a Home at Auction

Selling a home at Auction

Selling and buying your home through an auction has been a growing trend.
Sales for 2008 totaled 56.8 billion dollars, according to the National Auctioneer Association, and the trend is growing, although still a small percentage of total residential sales.

There are 3 kinds of auctions:

1. Auction without Reserve: Also called an Absolute Auction, is an auction with no minimum bid. The property will sell at the final price, whatever that price may be. This type of auction often results in the highest price, as it attracts more buyers who then bid up the price against each other. It is, however the most risk for the seller.

2. Minimum Bid Auction: The seller sets the minimum price with the auctioneer, and the minimum price is advertised to the prospective buyers. This results in fewer buyers attending, but there is less risk for the seller.

3. Reserve Auction: Also called a Confirmed Bid Auction, it is an auction where the minimum price is not made public but the prospective buyers make bids, and the final bid must be confirmed by the seller as being acceptable before the sale is final. This type of auction attracts the fewest buyers, because there is no guarantee of having purchased a property even after investing the time and effort to place the highest bid.

Why sell at auction: Advantages for the seller:

• You know your home will sell on this date (unless you turn down the highest bid at a Reserve Auction.
• The buyer pays all closing and title costs
• There are no contingency clauses, no demands to be met, all sales are “as is.”
• Your property is only seen and bid upon by qualified, motivated buyers.

Why buy at auction: Advantages for the buyer:

• You know the seller is motivated and committed to the sale
• You control the price
• There is a ton of information about the property in the “due diligence” packet
• You know the sale and closing date
• A fast and firm sale

Buyer responsibilities

• Inspect the property and make sure it’s what you want/need.
• Get pre-approved by your lender, and know your maximum price (see below)
• Find out if the bid is the purchase price, or if there are fees added to the final bid.
• Be sure you want the property, that hefty deposit is often non-refundable. If the buyer backs out, the seller retains that deposit.

What are Seller costs?

The typical auction cost is about 8% of purchase price plus a promotion fee that is paid to the auctioneer at the start, by the seller. Despite this, and because the closing costs are covered by the buyer and there are no expensive contingencies, the result can be a net savings over a traditional sale for the sellers.

Are there bargains?

Can I sell at a good price? Auction sale prices average 95% to 105% of the suggested Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) price. Approximately 50% of auction sales actually go over the suggested CMA price. This means there are bargains to be had for savvy buyers, but sellers can be at ease knowing that although their price needs to be realistic, most homes at auction bring a good price near or over the CMA.

Should you consider an auction?

Yes. If your home must sell by a particular date, or you’re in a hurry to sell, an auction can give you that fast sale. Yes. If you’re pre-approved and willing to spend some time thoroughly vetting auction listings that interest you, you can find the right home fast.

No. If you are still looking for your own next dream home, or if you’re not sure if or when you’ll find it, you may want to sell your home in a traditional sale…giving yourself the gift of extra time, and the opportunity to change your mind. If as a buyer you make decisions over time and want to be able to negotiate contingencies, an auction is probably not for you.

10 Considerations for Sellers in a Multiple Offer Situation



You’ve listed your property and everyone who has seen it, LOVED it and now you’ve got multiple offers on the table.  It’s what every seller dreams of!  Multiple offers may not be as cut and dried as you imagine so here are some considerations to prepare you when you have multiple offers on your property.

10 Considerations for Sellers in a Multiple Offer Situation

  1. Work with a trusted agent who can guide you through this process efficiently.
  2. Understand that you are in the driver’s seat and ensure your agent gives you enough time to review, reflect and respond on the offers.
  3. Remain calm and focused on your goals. The highest offer is not always the best choice.
  4. Review the merits of each offer carefully to determine which one is in your best interest. The highest offer isn’t always the best deal.
  5. Consider the closing date. Will it work with your schedule?
  6. Have they offered a longer time in the house after closing if you need it for moving preparation?
  7. Earnest Funds. Have they offered a solid amount for escrow that is reflective of their seriousness in purchasing the property?
  8. Are they requiring they sell another property first?  Are their requests they are making that may make your move uncomfortable or inconvenient?
  9. Is it a cash or mortgage deal? If you are in a hurry to move securing a mortgage can delay the closing longer than a cash deal will.
  10. Have they requested inspections? There may be some repairs you will be required to complete.  Is there enough in the proceeds from your home to cover these costs?  For example, if you need a new roof valued at $10,000 and one buyer is offering you $5000 less but they are willing to cover the cost of the roof versus the buyer offering $5000 more but wants you to pay for the roof.  The lower offer nets you more money from the sale.

Most importantly, ensure your trusted agent is reliable, meets deadlines, and has excellent communication skills.  Juggling multiple offers can be quite challenging. You want to ensure your agent is focused and crystal clear on your goals and expectations.  Experience is very important when dealing with multiple offers.

If you want experience on your side, call  The Columbus Team to list your property.