Pending home sales throughout Ohio reach best-ever level in January

sale pending sign

By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations

The Ohio Association of REALTORS reports the number of single-family homes and condominiums put under agreement in January 2017 reached a best-ever level for the month, increasing 1.0 percent from the level posted during the month a year ago.

Ohio’s January Pending Home Sales Index of 146.0, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 1.0 percent from January 2016 (144.6). Activity in January decreased 10.6 percent from the pace of agreements reached in December 2016 (163.4).

“The foundation of the Ohio housing market remains solid, as the number of homes put under contract in December reached an all-time high for the month and marks our 33rd consecutive month of year-over-year gains,” said OAR President Pete Kopf. “Ohio’s REALTOR community is confident that the momentum that has been established will continue to move the housing market forward as we approach the traditional spring buying season.”

Compared to 2008, a historically healthy market that marked the end of five consecutive record years for existing home sales and the onset of the recession, January’s Index score of 146.0 marks a 46.0 increase.

A pending sale or a sale “under agreement” is when the buyer and seller agree on terms of the sale of a home and have a signed purchase and sale agreement, but have yet to close and be recorded as such.

OAR, the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 30,000 members, is the only organization that compiles this state wide information from selected Multiple Listing Services each month. The tracking of “pending sales” provides reliable information about where the market is heading in coming months.

Tags: pending home sales, research

Coaching Corner: Mix it up!

By “Coach” Marilou Butcher Roth

It is not earth shattering news to say that we are all susceptible to falling into ruts. It may be how you get yourself ready in the morning or the route you take to the office. This week, let’s look at mixing it up a little — our brains will thank us for it!

For example, try brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand. This may require re-brushing but give it a whirl. I mentioned that we get may be driving the exact same streets to one of our regular destinations — take a few different turns. If you are an everyday oatmeal eater — make something different. Hmm, what sounds good to you?

If you read Coaching Corner on a regular basis, you will recognize my phrase of “being addicted to mediocrity.” Doing the exact same tasks may take you right down that road. Tune into YOU! Ask YOURSELF what you want throughout the day! Live your life from YOUR choices and not by default! It’s up to YOU!!


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:


Tags: Coaching Corner, training

Tax amnesty and voluntary disclosure programs: Using state programs to eliminate or reduce tax exposure

tax amnesty concept

By John R. Trippier, CPA, Director, Multistate Taxes (non-attorney professional) and Thomas R. Fagan, JD, Associate, Zanio Hall & Farrin LLC

If you know that you or your business has (or may have) exposure for state and local tax liabilities, including sales tax, use tax, income tax, gross receipts tax (for example, the Ohio Commercial Activity Tax), or franchise tax, you should explore your options to help eliminate or reduce such liability prior to being audited. States and localities offer special programs to help incentivize businesses to report most unreported liabilities. Two common programs offered by states are tax amnesty and voluntary disclosure.  

From time-to-time, states may offer tax amnesty programs to incentivize taxpayers to voluntarily report underpayments of tax in exchange for a waiver of penalties, and in many instances, a reduction in the interest due. Tax amnesty programs are generally open to taxpayers that are currently filing in the jurisdiction, as well as, non-filers. In order to qualify and receive the benefits of tax amnesty, an application, tax return and payment are generally due during a predetermined period of time. In some situations, the tax amnesty programs also impose additional penalties on taxpayers under audit that chose not participate in the tax amnesty program.  

If your state is not providing an amnesty program, don’t worry. Most states, with the exception of Delaware and New Mexico, offer a formal voluntary disclosure program for most business taxes (corporate income, sales and use, gross receipts, etc.) and personal income taxes. The advantages of participating in a voluntary disclosure program are that a taxpayer can limit the look-back period required to file returns, reduce or eliminate penalty and, in some situations, interest. Participation in a voluntary disclosure program is not generally restricted to a limited set period of time like a tax amnesty program. Each state has unique rules regarding its voluntary disclosure program. For example, many states allow current filers to participate in a voluntary disclosure program, while some states require that the entity requesting to participate in the voluntary disclosure program had never filed tax returns in the state. Most states do not allow a business to participate in a voluntary disclosure if it has been contacted by the state for audit. Often times, the voluntary disclosure programs are completed on an anonymous basis to protect the taxpayer’s identity and may offer the opportunity to negotiate with a particular jurisdiction.

As of the date of this SALT Buzz, below is a summary of the enacted and proposed tax amnesty programs:

Look for a future SALT Buzz that discusses the tax amnesty programs in more detail.

Amnesty v. Voluntary Disclosure

If you have a liability in a state that offers an amnesty program and has a voluntary disclosure program, you should understand the requirements and nuances of each program before selecting a program. You should calculate the total cost (tax, penalty and interest) under each program considering the length of the look-back period, reduction of penalty and reduction of interest to ensure the maximum benefit. 

If you would like to discuss upcoming state tax amnesty programs or state voluntary disclosure programs, please contact John Trippier, Tom Fagan or any of the other professionals at Zaino Hall & Farrin LLC.

Tags: politics, tax

Ohio home sales activity posts best-ever rate in January

By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations

The rate of home sales across Ohio reached a best-ever mark in January, increasing 1.3 percent from the level posted during the month a year ago, according to the Ohio Association of REALTORS.

“The start of a new year shows the Ohio marketplace is continuing to exhibit remarkable resiliency, with gains in both the rate of sales activity and average sales price helping build a strong foundation for our housing market,” said OAR President Pete Kopf. “Ohio’s professional REALTORS are poised to help consumers navigate through the complexities of the home buying and selling process to achieve the goal of property ownership.”

January’s average home price of $154,466 reflects a 7.5 percent increase from the $143,655 mark posted during the month last year.

Sales in January reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 150,431, a 1.3 percent increase from the month’s previous best-ever level of 148,502 posted a year ago. The market did experience a 2.0 percent decline in sales from December’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of 153,477.

Around the state, sales activity increased in 13 of the 18 markets tracked. Additionally, 11 markets posted gains or were unchanged 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 30,000 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

Division made aware of misleading email being received by real estate licensees

email questions

A number of real estate licensees notified the Ohio Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing about receiving an email with the subject line “Real Estate Coaching Survey for OH lic.” encouraging participation in an online survey. The survey suggests they were contacted based upon information from the Division.

Please be aware that the survey email is not coming from — nor is it being conducted  — by the Division. The Division notes that it doesn’t have any idea of the origin or legitimacy of the survey. The Division “gave” the owner of this survey licensees’ email address and credential information as a matter of public record, however no explicit or implied advocacy or endorsement of this survey was or is given, despite the message contained in the email.

The email message is identified as being sent by “Survey Club.” The message reads:

The Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing gave us your information as a licensed Real Estate Salesperson with License Number: SAL.XXXXXXXXXX.

We have an important survey for you about Real Estate Agent Coaching.

If you qualify, for completing this quick survey you will receive a $10 Amazon gift card!
Plus you will be helping to improve real estate coaching nationwide.

All responses are completely anonymous

Start Your Survey

Thanks in advance for your participation!

Your favorite SurveyClub Team

Tags: Association news

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