By Marilou Butcher Roth
A while ago, a friend of mine attended a conference featuring Marianne Williamson as the keynote speaker. The theme of her talk was “being of service,” which my friend and I discussed at length. This topic is so relevant in our industry. And, I know that you see this as a service industry, but what does that really mean to you? How do you see yourself as being of service?
This industry is at a point of change. We need to be open to how the consumer views the industry and us as representatives of this industry. I believe we, as REALTORS, need to change at our deepest levels. I believe we need to reconnect to our individual core values and project those values out into our business. This society has become one of fear. Consumers are finding themselves in situations where they feel they need to guard themselves, afraid that someone is going to get the best of them somehow. Agents are afraid that their clients might now buy, or might not buy from them, and they are afraid to present the Buyer contract to them, fearing they are being too pushy.
Where is the answer within all of this fear? We can only be responsible for ourselves. But…what if you became the change? What would happen if you shifted into wondering each morning how you might be of service? Just by asking the question, you will find yourself accessing answers that will surprise you.
I invite you to become an agent of change today! Reconnect to what is truly important in this world and find the difference YOU make!
By Carl Horst
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has issued a series of policy considerations that it contends will improve the Ohio housing market, ranging from solving the continued elevated foreclosure rates to addressing the prevalence of vacant, low-value housing.
Says the Cleveland Fed:
At the heart of Ohio’s housing woes are two long-running trends: decades of population loss and economic stagnation in many of Ohio’s older industrial cities that have given rise to a supply of housing in excess of local demand, too much of which stands vacant and abandoned; and spillover effects from a foreclosure rate that was elevated long before the recent recession. Together, these developments make Ohio a special case that does not fit neatly into the more familiar boom-bust narrative observed on a national scale.
Among the key findings identified in the Cleveland Fed’s “Policy Considerations for Improving Ohio’s Housing Markets” report:
A foreclosure fast track for vacant and abandoned properties: It takes an average of one to two years for mortgage loans to go from delinquency through the foreclosure process in Ohio. When a home is vacant and abandoned, efforts to protect the homeowners may unintentionally create costs with no corresponding benefits. These costs include physical damage to properties, crime, and downward pressure on neighboring property prices.
Elimination of minimum-bid requirements: Ohio law currently requires minimum bids of at least two-thirds of a foreclosed property’s appraised value at the first auction. Although this may provide some protection against unhealthy speculation, it may also price some well-meaning property rehabbers out of the market. Eliminating minimum-bid requirements could increase the number of potential purchasers.
Addressing harmful speculation: In extremely low-value housing markets, some entities engage in harmful speculation, purchasing distressed property with no intent to improve it or to pay property taxes. Requiring such entities to register with the Secretary of State and to pay back taxes or correct code violations before a property can be transferred could help local governments tackle this problem.
Expanded access to land banks: Nonprofit land banks have proven to be an effective means of acquiring, remediating, and putting into productive use vacant and abandoned properties. Eliminating the population requirement in land bank legislation would give every Ohio county access to this tool, should they need it.
Improved data collection and access: Understanding Ohio’s housing markets is especially difficult because of the dearth of standardized, electronically stored data. With reliable data, policymakers, businesses, and community development practitioners can better identify what works and what doesn’t, allowing them to allocate resources more efficiently.
The ongoing improvement in Ohio’s housing market over the past 22 months was the focus of the following tweet yesterday from Gov. John Kasich:
In another sign of continued momentum, Ohio’s housing market is reflecting strong economic growth. Let’s keep it up! twitter.com/JohnKasich/sta…
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) May 22, 2013
By Peg Ritenour, OAR Vice President of Legal Services/Administration
The EPA has recently updated the lead-based paint pamphlet required to be given to buyers and tenants of housing constructed before 1978. The new version of this pamphlet, titled “Protect Your Family From Lead in your Home,” is available on the EPA’s website here.
Although the new version of this pamphlet became effective at the end of last year, the EPA indicated that it will allow existing copies of the old forms to be depleted and doesn’t require that these be thrown out. However if you are printing new ones, make sure you are using the updated version.
Click here to access the OAR website that contains an array of information on the lead-based paint requirements.
By Carl Horst
The number of homes sold across Ohio rose 20.5 percent in April, as the market posted gains in activity for the 22nd consecutive month, according to the Ohio Association of REALTORS.
“The Ohio marketplace, with each passing month, continues to make significant progress in building a solid foundation for a sustained, growing housing sector,” said OAR President Thomas J. Williams. “We’ve not only posted 22 straight months of sales gains – our longest stretch of uninterrupted growth in 16 years of tracking Ohio housing activity – but we’re also seeing stability and steady gains in pricing which should help boost confidence that housing is a solid, long-term investment.”
Sales through the first four months of 2013 reached 35,412, a 15.6 percent increase from the 30,636 sales posted during the same period a year ago. The average sales price (January through April) this year is $128,547, a 5.1 percent increase from the $122,349 mark set during the period a year ago.
Total dollar volume this year is more than $4.5 billion, a 21.4 percent increase from the four-month mark of a year ago of $3.7 billion.
“The ongoing recovery of the Ohio housing market is widespread…with 17 of the 20 markets we track showing gains in activity so far in 2013,” Williams added. “Having so many of our individual markets record positives in a state as diverse as Ohio – with its unique blend of big urban markets and smaller, rural locales – is an indication that the Buckeye State is making significant headway in its recovery effort.”
Sales in April reached 10,991; a 20.5 percent increase from the 9,121 sales posted during the month in 2012, and reached the best mark since 2007. The average sales price of $134,388 was a 3.5 percent increase from the $129,858 average price posted in April 2012.
Data provided to OAR by Multiple Listing Services includes residential closings for new and existing single-family homes and condominiums/co-ops. The Ohio Association of REALTORS, with more than 26,000 members, is the largest professional trade association in Ohio.
Ohio Home Sales Activity
|Total Dollar Volume||$4,552,109,895||$3,748,294,551||21.4%|
|Total Dollar Volume||$1,477,053,566||$1,184,439,031||24.7%|