By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations
According to REALTOR.com’s March 2015 Housing Report, which tracks inventory of for-sale single-family homes and condos, median list prices, inventory levels and days on the market for 300 cities across the country:
The realtor.com March National Housing Trend Report shows that inventory has increased 1.2 percent month over month and decreased year over year.
In March, homes spent approximately 89 days on the market, which was a decrease of 12.8 percent both month over month and year over year. Median prices rose to $220,000, an increase of 2.8 percent month over month and 11.1 percent year over year.
Compared to the findings from a year ago, seven of the eight Ohio markets tracked reported an uptick in the median list price in March, while the time frame that homes are being marketed for sale shrank in all but two markets compared to 2014. Additionally, inventory levels throughout most of the state held steady.
March 2015 vs. March 2014
“Inventory levels of homes being marketed for sale, while beginning to show signs of stabilization compared to a year ago, are still a challenge throughout most of Ohio’s markets,” said Greg Hrabcak, president of the Ohio Association of REALTORS. “We’re hopeful that as we progress into the spring home buying season we’ll see an uptick in listings, as home buyers that have been on the fence opt to make a move to take advantage of the favorable market conditions and low interest rate environment. Certainly, the rising list prices and shorter marketing periods are an indication that the desire for home ownership remains strong across the Buckeye State.”
Ohio Senate President Keith Faber (R – Celina) and Ohio House Speaker Pro-Tempore Ron Amstutz (R – Wooster) provide an overview of the issues being debated by members of Ohio’s 131st General Assembly, including the latest developments on the biennial operating budget and initiatives to boost the state’s competitiveness, during the Ohio Association of REALTORS Legislative Conference, April 20-22, in Columbus.
By Lorie Garland, OAR Assistant Vice President of Legal Services
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 whether an agent can accept a gift from a title company…
Q: There is a title company in my area that has handled several of my closings. After my most recent closing the title agent thanked me for the business I have sent to the company and expressed his desire for that to continue. He stated that title agents are prohibited from making cash payments to real estate agents for referrals but that he could pay some of my marketing expenses, such as the cost of my business cards and promotional flyers. Is it permissible for a title agent to pay for a real estate agent’s marketing materials?
A: There are federal and state laws that prohibit any type of payments between title agents and real estate agents for the referral of business. With regard to federal law, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act prohibits the giving or receiving of a “thing of value” in exchange for the referral of a settlement service business. Real estate agents and title agents are both providers of settlement services. A “thing of value” is very broadly defined and would include paying for a real estate agent’s promotional materials or advertising expenses. The Ohio laws that regulate title insurance agents also prohibit such payments. So, not only are cash payments for referrals prohibited, but any type of payment for the referral of the services is prohibited.
The Ohio Association of REALTORS is offering a special webinar on how you can integrate apps that will help your real estate business, as well as assist your clients.
Julie Beall, CRS, RN, MBA, a technology expert and author of OAR’s Tech Talk column, will host the online session on May 5, from 3 to 4 p.m. Says Julie:
This webinar will be more than just listing fun and great apps for your business. We are all beyond this “data dumping” now aren’t we? No, this webinar is going to show you how to implement these productive apps into your business. But uniquely this webinar is also going to help you empower your buyers and sellers too. We will show you what apps your clients need that will make your job much easier and make them feel like they have control. We all know they need and want control anyway, right? Don’t miss this webinar!
Participants can earn one hour of Ohio real estate continuing education credit.
Click here to register…or for more information.
By “Coach” Marilou Butcher Roth
Think back to this time last year — the market was beginning to pick up but it still seemed to be a market where the buyer’s were calling more of the shots. Now fast forward to today and the market we are experiencing. Slightly different…isn’t it?
We had the OAR Legislative Spring Conference this week and I had countless conversations with REALTORS who were finding themselves busier than they had been in years. Now, no one was complaining mind you, but there are some issues that arise with an active market that can pose a problem down the road if not handled. And that is precisely what we are going to chat about today.
What I am referring to is how we become so involved in writing contracts and closing houses that taking the time to find new business goes by the wayside. I can hear the sighs now! Come on now, unless your crystal ball is shinier than mine, there is no way that any of us can accurately predict the future of how real estate trends will go.
You want consistency in your business, I know you do. And…to achieve that consistency, you need to participate in activities that consistently keep your pipeline full — yes full! So listen up — starting today, determine what that will look like for you. I realize this requires something called discipline and I also realize that the vast majority of us are not born with this quality. It needs to be developed and nurtured. So think consistency, even if you only have 10 minutes on any given day to contribute to your consistency plan. You will find that your confidence and your abilities build from this.
You asked for a busier market and here it is, now don’t forget the rest of what you need to do that will truly bring you what you want! Get to it!!!!
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