Central Ohio homeCentral Ohio home buyers have been out in force in recent weeks, many of them motivated by rising interest rates and a sense of urgency. Columbus Business First reports that home inventory during January 2017 was 2.2% lower than the same period a year ago.

Despite this, home sales have been robust. January 2017 home sales volumes were 1.3% higher than January 2016. Overall, 4.4% more homes went under contract during January 2017 compared to January 2016. Home sales also enjoyed a brisk pace, with homes averaging 50 days on market, representing a 10-day decline from a year ago.

Of course, the real estate industry news omits home sales that occur outside of the Columbus Regional Multiple Listing Service; namely, homes For Sale by Owner (FSBO) and homes for sale directly by home builders. In essence, any home sale that doesn’t involve a typical listing agent isn’t counted!

This means that home inventory is always a bit larger than what statistics reveal. In our own recent review of FSBO and home builder offerings in Central Ohio, we found several hundred properties available outside of the MLS! These are homes that we can show you when you become a Buyer-Client of Buyer’s Resource Realty Services!

And because we only represent home buyers, FSBO-sellers and home builders are happy to talk to us. This means you receive the benefits of our fiduciary representation, with no conflict of interests, and no extra costs!

Another reason for lean home inventory is the growing practice of “pocket listings” by seller agencies. Sometimes these are private listings withheld from the MLS by request of the home seller, who wishes to maintain confidentiality. But more often than not, pocket listings are becoming a way for agents to double-dip commissions while providing virtually no marketing to the home seller.

It works like this. The agent gets a signed listing contract, and before it’s published to the MLS, the agent announces it to other agents in the same brokerage, who may have anxious, pressured buyers. This “coming soon” announcement or “broker preview” can result in offers coming in before the property is officially on the market!

This is great for the brokerage, because they get both sides of the sales commission without having to share any of it with an outside agency. And, they collect it without spending a dime on all the marketing they promised the seller! Imagine a 6% commission for two days word-of-mouth “work!”

This is a tremendous disservice to both home sellers and home buyers. Home sellers would enjoy more offers, and likely higher offers, if the home was publically marketed to a wider pool of buyers! Selling agents aren’t too concerned about this, because the fast turnover means less work for them, less expense, higher commission income, and look-how-fast-it-sold statistics.

Because there’s no official tracking of “pocket listings” it’s impossible to say just how rampant this practice is, or how much it may be affecting home inventory numbers, home sale prices and therefore appraisal values. Dual-agency brokerages who are benefiting by in-house sales and double-dip commissions have no incentive to provide transparency on the matter.

Taken from their own words, the National Association of Realtors® doesn’t define what constitutes a pocket listing, nor do they have an official policy regarding the practice. This is just another reason why Exclusive Buyer Brokers are needed to protect buyers’ best interests throughout the home search and home buying process!

As your Exclusive Buyer’s Broker, we serve your best interests at all times! Unlike real estate agents and brokerages who represent sellers, as an Exclusive Buyer’s Broker, we only represent you, the buyer, getting you the best price and terms with no conflict of interest at all times.

Understanding this distinction could literally save you thousands of dollars not only on the purchase price and terms, but also on seller concessions and home inspection issues, whether you are a first-time homebuyer or an experienced homeowner!

Contact us with your home buying questions! Remember, we are with you every step of the way…all the way home!

Andrew Show
Broker, CEBA, CEBA-M, CNE, CSP, ABR-M, e-PRO, GREEN
Buyer’s Resource Realty Services
Serving Metro Columbus, Ohio with Exclusive Buyer’s Agents
7100 North High Street, Suite 204, Worthington, Ohio 43085
614-888-4110 | 888-888-4110 Toll Free | 614-839-4110 Fax

Columbus HomeHome flipping is on the upswing again in the Columbus Metro, according to a recent report in Columbus Business First. During 2016, 5.3% of Columbus area home sales were flips, up 1.3% from 2015. At its peak in 2006, flipped homes accounted for 6.3% of all Columbus home sales.

While Columbus isn’t exactly a hotbed of house-flipping activity, we are seeing enough of it that buyers should be prepared to encounter a flipped home for sale. Flips may show “like new” and seem enticing, but the quality of workmanship and materials can be anyone’s guess!

This is because certain home improvements in Columbus do not require a permit, nor professional installation. For example, painting, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops and other cosmetic or finish work does not require a permit. Nor does installing a new appliance. Minor mechanical repairs, like installing a new faucet, do not require a permit.

However, mechanical, electrical and plumbing projects require permits for any home additions, alterations, or replacement of existing trade work. You can find out more about home improvement permits at www.columbus.gov/bzs/Permits/.

Even when permits and city inspections are required, not all home flippers are complying with them. And unlike local home builders who have a public reputation to worry about, home flippers can wrap themselves up in an LLC and create a different business entity for each house they flip.

Furthermore, the Residential Property Disclosure Form is easy to fudge when the seller has owned the property about 90 days and has never lived in it. Not that it’s an automatic legal escape, but rather, the circumstances of brief ownership and non-occupancy lend themselves to a claim of ignorance of defects.

Columbus home buyers should use caution and diligence when considering any home. Often there’s no outward sign that the home is a “flip.” Generally, flipped homes may be several decades old, but look virtually brand-new on the inside. This doesn’t mean the home has bad “bones” or wouldn’t be worth consideration. But you may be paying a premium for the interior updates, while the roof still needs work.

Our free e-book, “How to Buy a Home Like a Pro” can help you look past the bells and whistles and evaluate each home objectively!

When you become a Buyer-Client of Buyer’s Resource Realty Services, we will help you examine each home based on its condition, and protect you with contractual contingencies for home inspections and any other concerns. When a seller claims to have made significant repairs, we will ask for proof of permits and copies of receipts. Quite frankly, we give home buyers the best representation and protections available in the industry!

As your Exclusive Buyer’s Broker, we serve your best interests at all times! Unlike real estate agents and brokerages who represent sellers, as an Exclusive Buyer’s Broker, we only represent you, the buyer, getting you the best price and terms with no conflict of interest at all times.

Understanding this distinction could literally save you thousands of dollars not only on the purchase price and terms, but also on seller concessions and home inspection issues, whether you are a first-time homebuyer or an experienced homeowner!

Contact us with your home buying questions! Remember, we are with you every step of the way…all the way home!

Andrew Show
Broker, CEBA, CEBA-M, CNE, CSP, ABR-M, e-PRO, GREEN
Buyer’s Resource Realty Services
Serving Metro Columbus, Ohio with Exclusive Buyer’s Agents
7100 North High Street, Suite 204, Worthington, Ohio 43085
614-888-4110 | 888-888-4110 Toll Free | 614-839-4110 Fax

Quarterly Market Statistics – 4th Quarter 2016

February 14, 2017

  Below you’ll find market statistics separated by school district, as well as last quarter’s closed sales and median sales price graphs. Bexley Pickerington (Corp.) Columbus CSD Reynoldsburg CSD Dublin CSD South-Western CSD (Grove City) Gahanna Jefferson CSD Sunbury (Corp.) Grandview Heights (Corp.) Upper Arlington CSD Hilliard CSD Westerville CSD New Albany Plain LSD Whitehall […]

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Avoid Buyer’s Remorse When Buying a Columbus Home!

February 7, 2017

Buying a Columbus home takes financial preparation, good planning, time and patience – as well as the expert guidance of an Exclusive Buyer’s Broker! Without these things, home buyers are apt to feel more frustrated by the process, and may experience buyer’s remorse after choosing a home that may not be right for their needs. […]

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February 2017 Events in Metro Columbus!

February 3, 2017

When you live in Metro Columbus, cabin fever isn’t a problem, because there’s something fun happening year-around! Bundle up, get out, and enjoy these special events and attractions happening in February! February 1-March 5: Orchid Exhibit at Franklin Park Conservatory: Think Spring as you browse among thousands of orchid blooms and tropical plants, artfully arranged […]

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2016 Robust Year for Central Ohio Home Sales

January 26, 2017

Central Ohio home buyers had a busy year in 2016! According to recent articles in Columbus Business First, Franklin County saw a post-recession record in property transactions last year, with 23,290 home sales completed. This is a gain of 12% from 2015. Franklin County’s median home price increased to $166,669 during 2016, up from $157,625 […]

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Think Spring with Columbus Home & Garden Shows!

January 18, 2017

Whether you are looking to buy your first home, or build your dream home, you can find inspiration at Columbus home shows! Learn how to tackle do-it-yourself projects and discover the latest trends in home design. Meet contractors, home builders and vendors from around the area. A word of caution: before you speak to any home builders, […]

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What Columbus Home Buyers Should Know About Homeowner Tax Deductions

January 13, 2017

Rarely does a person buy a home for the tax advantages alone. But for many Columbus home buyers, home ownership gives them enough deductible expenses to make it worth itemizing their income tax return. This opens the door to other tax deductions that an itemized return allows, and when combined, can make a significant difference […]

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Central Ohio Home Sales Wrap 2016 on Strong Note

January 5, 2017

Central Ohio home buyers were out in force during November. Here’s a look at the latest market data, as published in the Columbus Dispatch! November 2016 home sales in the Metro Columbus area are up by 15.8%, compared to home sales volumes in November 2015. The year-over-year gain is enough to mark a record high […]

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5 Great Reasons to Buy a Metro Columbus Home!

December 22, 2016

Now that mortgage interest rates have started to rise, and home prices have posted steady gains in the more desirable neighborhoods, you might think that you missed your chance to buy a home at the best price and terms. Nothing could be further from the truth! Interest rates alone do not motivate home buyers; neither […]

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