Ohio Safety Series: Open house safety tips

think safety

Over the past 10-plus years hundreds of real estate professionals throughout the country have been murdered, violently assaulted, raped, beaten and robbed in the workplace. In fact, tragedy hit close to home four years ago when two of our own — Vivian Martin and Andrew VonStein — were killed in separate incidents on back-to-back days when showing vacant homes. More recently, the industry was shocked by the tragic, unfortunate murder of an Arkansas REALTOR who was similarly killed doing what a real estate professional does — simply showing a home. These incidents illustrate the importance of taking safety precautions in your daily activities. Our Ohio Safety Series is an ongoing effort to provide you with insights to ensure the safety of you and your clients.


Don’t advertise a listing as vacant

Establish escape routes from each level of the house

Call the office or a buddy hourly

Keep your keys and cell phone with you

Park where you can get out quickly


Arrive early and survey exits to establish escape routes from each level. Make sure all deadbolts are unlocked to facilitate a faster escape. Double check the backyard to make sure you can get past the fence if necessary. When leaving the property, secure the house and check all windows and doors.

Avoid attics, basements and getting trapped in small rooms; let them lead the way into rooms.

Notify neighbors in advance or, if time permits, introduce yourself to the neighbors and let them know when you will be showing a house. They will be more alert to unusual sounds and you will have somewhere to run to if you need help.

Remind sellers to put valuables in a safe, secure place. Do not leave your briefcase, purse or laptop sitting on a counter.

Beware of suspicious behavior and your surroundings.

Place one of your business cards, with the date and time on the back, and place it in a kitchen cupboard. When prospects begin arriving at the open house, jot down their car description, license plate number and a physical description of each person. This will assist you in remembering the names as well.

Tags: Ohio Safety Series, safety

Ohio’s October housing report: Low inventory of homes for sale, rising list prices & fewer days on the market

house with charts and graphs blue

By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations

The latest snapshot of the Ohio housing marketplace shows a continuing decline in the number of homes for sale, rising list prices and a drop in the number of days properties are being marketed compared to where the market stood a year ago.

According to REALTOR.com’s October 2014 Housing Report, which tracks inventory of for-sale single-family homes and condos, median list prices, inventory levels and days on the market for 146 cities across the country:

The realtor.com October National Housing Trend Report shows that inventory remains tight as total listings have decreased 2.9 percent month over month and 4.8 percent year over year.

In October, homes spent approximately 92 days on the market, which is an increase of 2.2 percent month over month and a decrease of 2.1 percent year over year. Pricing remained steady in October as the median list price of $214,900 has remained unchanged so far this fall.

Compared to the findings from a year ago, all but one Ohio market saw a significant drop in the number of homes on the market. Every Ohio market tracked experienced an uptick in the median list price in October. Additionally, homes across the state are being marketed for shorter time frames compared to 2013.


October 2014 vs. October 2013

Median List $
Total Listings Median Age of Inventory
Akron 1.7% -7.8% -7.6%
Cincinnati 11.1% -28.2% -10.6%
Cleveland-Lorain-Elyria 7.6% -11.1% -6.1%
Columbus 7.7% -31.4% -5.1%
Dayton-Springfield 10.0% -24.2% -6.1%
Toledo 4.8% 0.1% -1.1%
U.S. Average 8.0% -4.8% -2.1%


“The biggest challenge facing Ohio’s housing marketplace at this time is the extremely tight inventory of homes listed for sale we’re experiencing throughout the state,” said Chris Hall, president of the Ohio Association of REALTORS. “Tight inventory levels are undoubtedly contributing to rising list prices and reducing the amount of time that homes are being marketed for sale.”

Tags: research

Coaching Corner: Are you complete?

By “Coach” Marilou Butcher Roth

Those of you who follow this blog have read something similar to this in the past. It does, however, bear repeating. Each year, as it gets close to the end of December, I encourage my clients (and myself), to determine what needs to happen to complete the current year.

I love the idea of moving into 2015 feeling complete with 2014, and eager to jump into the new year!

Examine your business and see what loose ends are hanging. Are there systems that you wanted to put into place that you have not done? Are there classes that you wanted to take that just haven’t happened? And also in the mix needs to be any conversations you have not had that if you did would leave you feeling clear and clean.

Make your list and begin the activities and before you know it, you will be well on your way! Once you feel complete, think about what you want your new year to look like. You can do this in a formal business plan or you can just identify what you plan to accomplish.

Most importantly, do not make this a hardship — think about how good it feels to be complete! So, crank up the tunes and get to work!


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 Executive Committee and immediate 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


Tags: Coaching Corner, training

Ohio housing market experiences “robust” sales activity in October

sold homes on strings


By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations

The number of homes sold across Ohio in October increased 5.5 percent from the level posted in September. Activity also rose 8.5 percent from the level reached in October 2013, according to the Ohio Association of REALTORS.

“Activity throughout the Ohio housing market was robust in October, as the pace of sales reached the highest monthly level in nearly eight years,” said OAR President Chris Hall. “Equally as important as the uptick in sales, the average sales price has now reached 32 consecutive months of year-over-year gains.

“With each passing month, it’s becoming more evident that the housing sector is re-establishing a solid foundation throughout Ohio, one that is able to withstand any short-term variances that might occur due to current market conditions.”

October’s average home price of $147,133 reflects a 7.3 percent increase from the $137,161 mark posted in October 2013.

Sales in October reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 141,796, increasing 5.5 percent from the 134,397 level posted last month. The market also experienced an 8.5 percent increase in sales from October 2013’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of 130,733. Sales activity in October 2014 was the strongest monthly tally since December 2006.

Around the state, 15 of the 20 markets tracked reported increases in sales activity levels during the month. All but four local markets showed an increase in average sale price.

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

Ohio Market Watch: Area marketplaces meeting & exceeding sales expectations

By Greg Stitz, OAR Director of Research

Only 15 percent of Ohio REALTORS responding to OAR’s most recent housing market confidence survey find their area markets performing worse than expected. Survey participants were asked to reflect on the year so far and indicate to what extent their area market performance expectations have been met. For 85 percent of respondents, their expectations have been met or surpassed. More specifically, One-third (34 percent) experienced a market that was better than expected and half (51 percent) experienced a market that met their expectations.

Market-so-far-this-year-11_14Survey 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: Ohio Market Watch, research

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