Ohio housing market posts gains in sales & prices in July

By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations

The number of homes sold across Ohio in July increased 1.2 percent from the level posted in June, according to the Ohio Association of REALTORS.

Home sales activity in July nearly mirrored from the level reached during the month a year ago, recording a negligible 0.6 percent decrease.

“The Ohio housing market is continuing to display stability in 2014, as sales activity is keeping pace with prior levels and prices are experiencing modest gains,” said OAR President Chris Hall. “The minor ebbs and flows in sales activity that have occurred from month-to-month is simply a reflection of a return to a traditional, healthy marketplace.”

July’s average home price of $162,566 reflects a 3.7 percent increase from the $156,731 mark posted during the month last year.

Sales in July reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 134,009, increasing 1.2 percent from the 132,464 level posted last month. The market experienced a slight 0.6 percent decrease in sales from July 2013’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of 134,820.

Around the state, 13 of the 20 markets tracked reported decreases in sales activity levels during the month. All but five local markets showed an increase in average sales price.

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 27,000 members, is the largest professional trade association in Ohio.

Click here to view OAR’s seasonally adjusted Ohio home sales report. To access a market-by-market analysis of sales activity throughout Ohio, click here.

Tags: home sales, research

Free webinar marks the start of September’s REALTOR Safety Month

By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations

Each September the REALTOR community throughout Ohio and the nation is reminded of the dangers prevalent in the day-to-day practice of real estate.

To launch REALTOR Safety Month, the National Association is hosting a free safety webinar on Thursday, Sept. 9 starting at 2 p.m. on “Safety Tips to Share with Sellers.”

Simply click here to register for the free session being hosted by Sgt. Preston Taylor, a Northern Michigan policeman for 17 years, who will discuss how homeowners can safeguard their personal property while opening their home to potential buyers. This session will provide you with valuable advice and steps to share with your clients to help protect them against crime, including:

  • Items that need to be safely put away
  • How thieves are able to access personal information
  • What thieves target at open houses and how to be prepared
  • Safety tips to remember before and after showing a property

Additionally, the OAR Daily Buzz had previously joined forces with late Andrew Wooten to offer Ohio REALTORS with short, highly informative videos on personal and professional safety steps. Mr. Wooten, who passed away unexpectedly in 2013, was a nationally recognized safety expert who put together a variety of real life scenarios that REALTORS encounter throughout their daily business practice. The complete Ohio Safety Series can be accessed here.

Tags: Association news, safety

Chris Smith: Only quality creates quantity

Real estate visionary Chris Smith will be sharing 10 business principles designed to grow your profits for the next decade and beyond as the keynote speaker during the upcoming Ohio Association of REALTORS Annual Convention & Expo in Cleveland.

Smith is a highly sought after speaker on the cutting edge Peoplework movement…a new approach of running a people-first business in a digital-first world.

Last week we offered a look at another of his Peoplework principles — that person-to-person will be replacing business-to-business and business-to-consumer as a way to run your business. In this video, Smith looks at the principle that quality creates quantity. Specifically, that products and services of the highest quality, not the highest quantity, enjoy positive word-of-mouth, social sharing and business growth. In a word, they’re more remarkable:

Smith, recently named one of the most influential people in real estate, is co-founder of Curaytor and serves as chief peopleworker for dotloop. He also co-authored the book Peoplework with Austin Allison, founder and chief executive officer of dotloop. (SPECIAL NOTE: OAR will be giving away 500 copies of the book at the event!)

Click here to secure your seat for this one-of-a-kind, “must see” presentation on Sept. 9

Tags: Association news

Legally speaking: Don’t let divorcing sellers get you in hot water

By Peg Ritenour, OAR Vice President of Legal Services/Administration

The OAR Legal Assistance Hotline receives an array of real estate-related legal questions — including license law issues, disclosure, contract law, ethics and commission problems, among others. In an effort to help you work within the law, our “Legally Speaking” series spotlights some of the timely questions that are being asked by REALTORS. This one involves the delicate issue of selling a home when the owners are the midst of a divorce dispute…

I listed a property owned by a couple who are divorcing. I have been working with the wife exclusively, who is still living in the home. I’ve had the property in the MLS and a sign in the yard for about 10 days. I was just contacted by the husband who is demanding I take my for sale sign down and remove the listing from the MLS because he wants to list with another brokerage. I don’t have the husband’s signature on my listing because the wife told me she had the sole authority to list the house. According to her husband that is not true. What should I do? Can he list the house with someone else without his wife’s consent?

A:  Unfortunately, handling the sale of property where the owners are in the middle of a divorce can often result in agents getting caught in the cross hairs of disputes that have nothing to do with them.

In this situation the first thing you should do is ask your client  (the wife) for written documentation that she had sole authority to list the property. If she provides this, you should be fine. However, you should advise your client to contact her attorney to handle this issue, as her husband is obviously disputing this.

On the other hand, if the wife misled you and didn’t have the right to list the property on her own, you could have a problem.

Why? Because under Ohio license law, a licensee must have the consent of the owner or the owner’s authorized agent to do any of the following:

  • offer property for sale or lease;
  • advertise the property; or
  • put a sign on the property offering it for sale or lease.

The Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing takes the position that this provision requires a licensee to have the consent of ALL of the owners of a property before providing the services listed above. Therefore, now that you know that one of the owners (the husband) is objecting to your listing, to avoid a violation of the license law, I recommend that you stop offering the property for sale until this matter is resolved between the couple and their attorneys . This means you should take it out of the MLS, take your yard sign down and cease all other marketing efforts.

As to the husband’s ability to list with an agent of his choice, any other agent is also going to have to comply with the license law, meaning that his wife will likewise have to consent to that other agent offering the property for sale, advertising it or putting a sign in the yard.

To avoid problems when dealing with a divorce situation, I always recommend to REALTORS that both spouses sign the listing. This will provide documentation that you have the necessary consent of both owners before you spend time and money on marketing property. If one of the spouses claims to have the sole authority to list the property, I definitely recommend that you get documentation confirming that for your protection.

Tags: legal, Legally Speaking

Ohio Market Watch: Low appraisals continue to impact contract completions

(EDIT 8/19/2014:  A number of appraisers have expressed concerns with the way the survey findings have been presented. To clarify, this survey reflects REALTOR respondents that said they encountered problems with a contract due to low appraisals. 44 percent of REALTOR respondents said they have not encountered problems so far this year. This chart does not represent total purchase contracts written. For example, REALTOR “A” might have written 20 contracts and only expressed problems due to low appraisals with one. The post has been modified to more accurately reflect the findings. We apologize for any confusion.)


By Greg Stitz, OAR Director of Research

Consistent with findings over the past few years, 44 percent of Ohio REALTORS surveyed have not encountered contract problems attributable to low appraisals.

REALTORS say the issues arising from lower-than-anticipated appraisals include renegotiated contracts (40 percent), delays in the closing process (25 percent) and contract cancellations (23 percent). Respondents saying contracts have been cancelled or delayed due to appraisal issues are down from previous surveys. However, the percent claiming that contracts are being reworked has ticked upward from the level a year ago.

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.

Tags: Appraisal, Ohio Market Watch, research

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