September 22, 2016

Columbus-Area Home Sales Remain Strong Heading Into Fall

It was a busy summer for home sales! There were 3,116 central Ohio homes and condos sold during the month of August, a 4.8% increase over the previous year. This was the highest number of closed sales for the month of August ever recorded and the second highest month for 2016, according to the Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service.

“Central Ohio home buyers are still being very aggressive in their decisions to purchase homes" said 2016 Columbus REALTORS® President John Royer. “Since demand for homes continues to be so high, potential sellers are encouraged to get their home on the market – they don’t have anything to lose!"

The average sales price of a home in central Ohio during the month of August was $204,629, a 3.3% increase over August 2015.
During the month of August, central Ohio homes and condos spent an average of 34 days on the market, which is 29.2% (14 days) shorter than last year and just one day longer than July.

“Inventory and new listings are beginning to taper, but this is to be expected as we head into the fall selling season" Royer said. “However, it’s still a terrific time to list your home as buyers remain eager for inventory and home values remain high.”

According to the latest Housing Market Confidence Index by the Ohio Association of REALTORS®, 98% of central Ohio REALTORS® would describe the current housing market as moderate to strong. When asked what the single most important factor that they believed limited their buyers from purchasing a property so far this year, 92% said difficulty finding the right property because of low inventory.


“Homes are continuing to fly off the market, even as inventory begins to dwindle,” Royer said.”

September 7, 2016

Is Your Home Ready to Shoot?

We know how much is involved when getting your home ready to sell: the painting, cleaning, organizing, and maintenance tasks can seem endless. Once you're ready to put your home on the market, it will be professionally photographed for the MLS and social media. You'll be advised on how to stage each room and what changes should be made to make each room look its best.

When your photo shoot has been scheduled, walk through your home before the photographer arrives. You may even want to ask a friend to walk through it with you. Look at it with a fresh set of eyes and ask yourself, "Do I want potentially thousands of people to see my home looking like this?" These images will not only be on the MLS, but also on listing sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com--you want them to look as good as possible. You may want to look through home decorating magazines for ideas on how to make your bed look beautiful, your bathroom spa like, and your patio one to envy. 

The photo shoot will typically take an hour or two and will cover the entire interior and exterior of your property, except the inside of the garage (unless it has an amazing workbench or other upgrades) and the basement if it is unfinished. Do not be surprised if furniture and/or accessories have been moved for the sake of a better picture; that said, do not expect the photographer to do all of the heavy lifting and rearranging for you!

Here's a checklist to help you prepare:

Inside
  • Clean, vacuum, and dust every room. Remove soap scum, scuffs, scratches, and fingerprints from as many surfaces as possible. Clean air vents. Have carpets shampooed and wood floors buffed, if necessary.
  • We love pets, but not in the pictures! Keep them on a leash, in your arms, in the garage, or otherwise out of sight.
  • Clear off the counters in kitchen. Store sponges, dish towels, and soap under the sink. Minimize small appliances except for the coffee maker, where you may want to set out a pair of mugs. Fresh flowers always look pretty in photos, as does a nicely set table or a large bowl of fruit.
  • Remove photos, notes, drawings, sports schedules, calendars, magnets, menus, and papers from the refrigerator. When was the last time you saw it this empty?
  • Turn on all interior lights including under-cabinet lights, lamps, and recessed fixtures. Consider purchasing daylight bulbs if your light bulbs have a yellow cast to them.
  • Simplify rooms like the study or playroom that may be heavily furnished. Conversely, rearrange furniture to better fill sparse rooms. Make sure each room has a specific purpose so as not to confuse potential buyers.
  • Make all the beds and tidy bedrooms. Put clothes hampers in the closet and store toys in bins and baskets.
  • Add fluffy towels to the bathrooms and remove all tub toys, shampoo bottles, bathroom wipes, hair dryers, toothbrushes, and other personal items from the vanity and shower/tub. Put the toilet brush in the garage or under the sink. Close the toilet lid.
  • Open the curtains and blinds in all rooms.
  • Be selective with your accessories and knick knacks. Remove the wall of wedding and family photos and replace it with a gallery that combines art, maybe a decorative clock, and a few photos. 
  • Minimize religious art and political messages.
  • Put trash cans in a closet.
  • Turn off your computer.
  • Let us  know if your home contains valuable art or family heirlooms. We can make sure it is not included or is edited to be unrecognizable.
Outside
  • Put your garbage cans, recycling bins, and yard waste in the garage.
  • Store all gardening tools.
  • Mow and edge the yard. Remove all weeds, dead branches, and spent flowers. Add fresh mulch where necessary.
  • Add color to empty spaces with potted annuals or container gardens. Keep seasonal displays minimal and tasteful.
  • Sweep the walks, driveway, and front porch.
  • Turn on any outdoor features such as fountains or waterfalls. 
  • Remove all vehicles from the driveway and do not park directly in front of the house. Close the garage doors.
  • Wipe down the patio furniture and open the patio umbrella if you have one. 
  • View your home straight on from the street. Can you see the front door? Make sure hedges and tree branches are pruned to make the front door look inviting.
According to Realtor.org, nine out of 10 home buyers rely on the internet as one of their primary research sources, and 52% turn to the web as the first step in their home search.  The pictures of your home are important, and we want to make sure that your home shines in them.

September 6, 2016

What Do You Want in a Home?

Before your home search begins, we want to know as much as possible about the features and amenities you want so that we can select the right properties for you to see. Although it helps to be flexible in your search, we don't want to show you a shotgun home in German Village when what you really want is a Craftsman-style home in Clintonville. By narrowing down your "must haves" and the "would-be-nice-to-have" options, we can make the best use of your time and energy. 

 Here are some ideas to guide you in creating the wish list for your new home.


Features
  • Age: Do you prefer historic properties or newer ones?
  • Style: Do you have a special preference for ranches, bungalows, or another style of construction?
  • Bedrooms: How many?
  • Bathrooms: How many? Are they updated?
  • Living and dining areas: A traditional, formal layout, or a more open, contemporary plan?
  • Stories: How many?
  • Square feet: How much space?
  • Ceilings: How high?
  • Kitchen: How big? Recently updated? Open to other living areas?
  • Storage: Big closets, a shed, an extra-large garage?
  • Parking: A garage or carport? Room for how many cars?
  • Extras: Attic or basement?
Amenities
  • Office  
  • Play/exercise room 
  • Security system  
  • Sprinkler system  
  • Workshop/studio  
  • In-law suite 
  • Fireplace  
  • Pool/hot tub  
  • Sidewalk  
  • Wooded lot  
  • Patio, deck, or porch  
  • Laundry room

April 21, 2016

The Two Most Influential Rooms in Your Home

Which rooms in your home make the biggest difference to potential buyers? The KW Blog has the answers! According to buyers, the kitchen and the master bath are the most important rooms in your home. When deciding to undertake a remodeling project, the article advises to invest your money where it matters: by updating appliances and fixtures in these two rooms. For a kitchen, this may mean installing updated lighting, wooden cabinets, and stone or granite counter tops. To turn your master bath in to a spa, the article advises turning to decorative mirrors and updated faucets. For more information on how you can catch buyers' eyes with an updated kitchen and master bath, read the full article on the blog here.

April 7, 2016

Did You Know? Spring Cleaning Can Increase Property Value


Did You Know? Spring cleaning is more than just a seasonal ritual – it can also help you sell your home! The KW Blog advises that homeowners looking to sell should take on projects that will have a lasting effect on their home's value, such as fresh coats of paint on the interior and exterior of the home. Homeowners should also consider cleaning out gutters and power washing decks and driveways. These simple fixes can have a real impact on property values and help make a good impression on buyers. For the full list of spring cleaning tips, click here.

March 24, 2016

Central Ohio on $750,000

Photo via The Columbus Dispatch
Each month The Columbus Dispatch showcases a variety of homes within the Central Ohio area that fall within the same price range. For February, the Dispatch featured homes with prices close to $750,000. From a condo in Bexley to 20 acres in Mount Vernon, $750,000 can go a long way in Central Ohio. See the full list here.

March 21, 2016

Gas Versus Electric: Which is Better to Heat Your Home?


Record low gas prices – and spiking electricity costs – have many Central Ohioans rethinking the switch from gas to electric heat. Several years ago, many homeowners switched their heating system to electric in an effort to cut down on utility costs. These same homeowners are now finding that gas heating may have been the cheaper choice all along. Read the full article from The Columbus Dispatch here and let us know your thoughts. Do you have gas or electric heat? Which system is better for you and your family?