By Greg Stitz, OAR Director of Research
For 27 percent of Ohio REALTORS all their transactions have closed over the past year, according to findings from a recent Ohio Association of REALTORS Housing Confidence survey. For those experiencing transactions that aren’t closing, 42 percent blame it on inspection issues. This percentage is down only five points from last year when the question was last asked. Also this year, finance issues and appraisal issues were indicated as the number two and three reasons transactions are not closing by 26 and 25 percent of respondents, respectively.
Survey results are based on responses to a monthly survey, designed to capture the effects of the existing economic conditions and trends on the real estate industry, sent to a pool of 1,500 OAR participants. Click here to participate in future OAR Housing Confidence Surveys.
By “Coach” Marilou Butcher Roth
In talking to agents, I am constantly reminded of the importance of having a buyer consultation with your clients. It will vary, depending on the client and their experience, but this industry changes rapidly and making sure your client is up to speed is crucial!
So why don’t we do them? Some of the reasons I hear are that there isn’t enough time, or the agent doesn’t want to pressure the client. Sometimes it is because they do not know what to say during a consultation. Much of the perceived reasoning comes back to how confident you feel in this particular activity.
Let’s put on your consumer hat for a moment — in thinking from a consumer standpoint, what might be the benefit of your REALTOR giving you relevant information regarding your upcoming transaction? What might you expect to learn or receive? Your answer to these questions will be telling.
It seems that many issues might be averted with clear communication and discussion of expectations early on, rather than trying to put out fires that can occur during the course of a deal. So what do YOU need to do to prepare for a buyer consultation?
First, you, (yes you) need to get comfortable with presenting the idea to your client? If you are not comfortable, it will be difficult to get them on board with the benefit. The next important piece is to get curious and think about what you want and need to know from them so that you can be of most service to them. Every client and situation will be different, and yet, there will always be some basic questions you will have.
What materials do you want to go over and which ones will you be giving to them? Knowing that you are not a “cookie cutter” agent will prompt you into discovering what will provide the most relevancy to each client.
Possible topics may include: Agency (an absolute), the timeline of buying, the financing timeline and how that works, the showing process, the paperwork that they will be signing (do you fully understand each of these?), the negotiation process, the current marketplace and how that will impact them, the possibility of multiple offers, the inspection process, the appraisal process and the closing process (including title insurance). Depending on the experience of your buyer, you will tailor each consultation meet their individual needs, adding other talking points as needed.
Your buyers will be starting out much further ahead, and you will be continuing to add more professionalism to this industry!
Marilou Butcher Roth is the owner of The MBR Group, a coaching and training company working primarily with REALTORS who have a desire to work and live from a more inspired place. She is also the Broker/Owner of Group REALTORS in Cincinnati.
Marilou is a member of the OAR Board of Directors and past chairman of the organization’s Communications Committee. Feel free to contact Marilou to see if coaching is right for you: Marilou@mbr-group.com
The Ohio Association of REALTORS is looking to establish a Political Advocacy Fund to help strengthen the industry’s voice on issues at the state and local level and reaffirm the REALTOR role in protecting private property rights and the free enterprise system. Tiffany Meyer, OAR’s 2016 Treasurer, offers an overview of the proposal that will be considered by the OAR Board of Directors during the Annual Convention & Expo, Sept. 19-21, in Cleveland.
By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations
Ohio experienced a record rate of home sales in May, according to the Ohio Association of REALTORS.
Sales activity in May rose 6.2 percent from the level posted during the month a year ago, the market’s 20th consecutive monthly year-over-year gain. Additionally, May’s sales reached the highest seasonally adjusted annual rate for the month since OAR began tracking data in 1998.
“Homes sales activity throughout the Buckeye State is extremely strong, as our sales totals achieved a best-ever mark for May,” said OAR President Sara Calo. “Additionally, the marketplace is continuing to experience a steady rise in the average sale price. It’s becoming increasingly evident that Ohioans are regaining confidence that housing is a solid long-term investment.
“We remain hopeful that we’ll see an uptick in the number of homes being marketed for sale – helping to maintain the positive momentum that the market is experiencing.”
May’s average home price of $167,861 reflects a 3.1 percent increase from the $162,819 mark posted during the month last year.
Sales in May reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 149,818, a 6.2 percent gain from the 141,071 level during the month a year ago. The market also experienced a 2.6 percent decline in sales from the April 2016 seasonally adjusted annual rate of 153,863.
The May 2016 sales rate of 149,818 marks the months best-ever rate since OAR began tracking sales in 1998. The previous record pace was set in May 2005, when seasonally annualized sales reached 145,057.
Around the state, 12 of the 18 markets tracked reported upswings in the average sales price during April. Additionally, 11 markets showed an increase in the level of sales activity.
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 29,000 members, is the largest professional trade association in Ohio.
This is the first installment of a three-part report prepared by the National Association of REALTORS‘ Information Services. The series — Internet Security Best Practices — offers a number of security practices to help keep you and your business safe online.
Internet Chicanery: The Basics
You’ve probably heard all of the buzzwords related to duplicitous acts and schemes that take place on the web — clones, phishing, malware, worms, viruses, and Trojan horses. But what you may not know is the difference between each type of activity. In this article, we’ll break down the basics of each:
Attack of the clones!
Cloning is perhaps the least dire of the illegal activity that takes place on the Internet. Nonetheless, it certainly can prove distressing. Essentially, the cybercriminal takes a combination of your name, an image of your likeness and perhaps other information personal to you, and creates a new social media profile. One day, you might see your face and name pop up in the “people you might know” bar on Facebook or LinkedIn and feel alarmed, or perhaps a friend sends you a message alerting you to a cloned profile.
Alternately, cybercriminals may set up cloned websites that look almost identical to say, your bank’s website, encouraging you to enter personal information. In fact, some scams entail a robocall with a recording that encourages calling back and typing in bank account numbers, or visiting a mock, cloned website.
Phishing for your information and malwaring-up your computer devices
We’ve all received at least one email from a Nigerian Prince, looking for assistance in a lucrative investment opportunity, or perhaps a “Look at this funny video of you” message from a friend on a social media site. Flattering as such messages may feel, by now we know they are scams. Typically such messages contain malicious “phishing” links that you are encouraged to click on. Once you click on such a link, bad things happen. Malicious software — known as “malware” or “spyware” — is often installed on your computer, recording your every keystroke to garner logins and passwords to all of the sites you frequent. Before you know it, the cybercriminals responsible for the attack suddenly have access to your email, bank accounts, credit cards, and much more. Malware comes in many forms, each form seeking a specific type of malicious action. Viruses, Worms, and Trojan horses are all types of malware.
Worms, and not the garden-friendly kind
Behaving much like bacteria, computer worms are a type of malware that seek to self-replicate, using the infected computer or device as a “host” to spread damage to additional computers and devices. Often they operate under the radar by not altering files on their host computer, but rather using the host computer as a means to access and infect additional computers and devices. Worms operate independently and do not need a human’s guidance to replicate and cause damage. Worms often take advantage of holes or weaknesses in software programs; this is why it is vital to keep software programs, such as Microsoft Windows and Adobe Flash, up-to-date (“What is a Computer Worm,” n.d.). Worms can cause extensive damage to an entire network of computers.
Outbreak: You’ve got a virus!
Viruses are also in the malware family and can cause great harm, often rendering computers and devices in a permanent state of disrepair. Through an executable file, viruses alter the existing framework and files on the infected computer or device. Viruses start with one infected file that is transferred and “executed” on one or more computers. Virus files are executed when one downloads an executable file that contains a virus, and then allows his/her computer to run the executable file. Viruses require human interaction in order to propagate.
Trojan horse rampage
For those familiar with Homer’s story The Odyssey, the concept of a Trojan horse is nothing new. For those not familiar: the story has it that the Greeks built a giant wooden horse, used to conceal armed warriors, and presented it as a “gift” to the City of Troy; whilst the city slept, the warriors crept from the horse and conquered. Not unlike the historical Trojan horse, the computer malware Trojan horse arrives in the form of an enticing website link or useful “software update” request; upon clicking or accepting such requests, the Trojan horse is installed on the computer and begins a series of malicious actions, similar to that of a computer virus.
With all of the above items, prevention is key. Cisco offers that, “The vast majority [of malicious software] are installed by some action from a user, such as clicking an e-mail attachment or downloading a file from the Internet.” In our next article, learn the steps to prevent malware from penetrating your computers and mobile devices.
What is the difference: Viruses, Worms, Trojans, and Bots?, (Cisco, n.d.).
What is a Computer Worm?, (Symantec, n.d.).
Source: National Association of REALTORS