NAR’s Chief Economist provides Ohio REALTORS with a 2017 outlook

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS, gave Ohio REALTORS an overview of the economy during a presentation at the organization’s Winter Conference. The program offered insights on state and national economic trends, as well as a look at what to expect for the housing marketplace this year.

Click here to access his presentation.

Tags: research

Rate of home sales across Ohio reaches record-breaking level in 2016

red sold and roof

By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations

The Ohio housing marketplace was extremely robust in 2016, as the sector established record-setting levels in the rate of sales activity, average sales price and total dollar volume, according to the Ohio Association of REALTORS.

Homes sales finished 2016 with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 148,952, a 6.7 percent increase from the 2015 year-end rate of 139,632. The average sales price across Ohio in 2016 reached $163,503, a 5.1 percent increase from the $155,505 mark posted during 2015.

The previous best-ever annualized rate of home sales in Ohio was recorded in 2005, when the market reached a pace of 145,565.

“It was a remarkable year for the Ohio housing market, as we experienced record gains in sales and average prices,” said OAR President Pete Kopf. “Ohio’s REALTOR community played an integral role in helping people navigate the complexities of the home buying process and, most importantly, were trusted partners in making the dream of ownership a reality.

“The steady growth in sales over the past year, combined with the positive gains in average pricing, serves as a solid, stable foundation for Ohio’s housing marketplace moving forward.”

Sales in December reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 152,892, a 3.0 percent increase from the 148,456 level posted in November 2016. The market experienced a 4.7 percent increase in sales from December 2015’s seasonally adjusted annual rate of 146,028. Sales during December 2016 reached the highest level for the month since OAR began tracking Ohio sales data in 1998.

December’s average home price of $159,531 reflects a 4.8 percent increase from the $152,200 mark posted in December 2015.

Around the state, 15 of the 18 markets tracked reported year-over-year increases in sales activity levels for the year. Every local market showed an increase in average sale price compared to 2015.

Home sales during the fourth quarter of 2016 increased from the same three-month period a year ago. Specifically, fourth quarter 2016’s seasonally adjusted annual rate reached 154,149, an 11.1 percent increase from the fourth quarter 2015 mark of 138,811. Total dollar volume in 2016 reached a record-breaking $24.8 billion, a 13 percent increase from the 2015 level of $21.9 billion.

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

Legally speaking: Does an earnest money dispute preclude a new contract?

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, “Legally Speaking” spotlights some of the timely questions that are being asked by REALTORS. This week involves whether a seller can proceed with selling his property when a previous contract hasn’t been released…

Q: I have a listing on which there was an accepted purchase contract. An inspection was done and the buyers asked the seller to make some repairs. The seller refuses because he disagrees with the inspector’s findings. The buyers have notified the seller that they are not going through with the contract and submitted a release requesting their earnest money. The seller is also demanding the earnest money and therefore refuses to sign the release. He has instructed me to put the property back on the market. Can I do this if the first contract hasn’t been released? Can a seller accept another offer if there is still a dispute going on with a previous buyer over earnest money? Should I advise him to wait until the first  purchase contract expires?

A: Whenever it is clear that a transaction is not going to close the best case scenario is usually for the parties to resolve their contractual obligations so they can each move forward and not worry about lingering liability to the other party. This is usually accomplished by signing a mutual release that also addresses how the earnest money will be disbursed. However a seller who believes that the buyer does not have a legal basis for refusing to perform often won’t sign a mutual release, sometimes out of spite, sometimes because they want the earnest money and occasionally because the seller wants to leave the door open to pursue a breach of contract action against the buyer.

Even though no release is signed, a seller in this situation can certainly place his property back on the market. In fact, if the seller wants to pursue a breach of contract action against the buyer, it will be important that he be able to demonstrate that he attempted to mitigate his damages by trying to find another buyer for the property on the same or better terms.

As to the seller’s ability to accept another offer and whether there is any advantage to wait until the first contract expires, the answer depends on the unique facts and circumstances of each situation. Often REALTORS in this situation will make the second contract contingent on the first purchase contract being released. However in some instances such a release cannot be negotiated. In that case there is nothing in Ohio law that prohibits a seller from proceeding with a subsequent purchase contract with another buyer. Without a release the only risk the seller runs is that the first buyers will change their minds and try to enforce their purchase contract. In the scenario posed in this question, however, that seems unlikely since the buyers indicated that they are exercising their right under the inspection provision to terminate the purchase contract. And of course that possibility will be even more unlikely once the purchase contract has expired.

Even though the possibility that the buyers in this scenario will change their mind and decide to purchase the property may be small, in other fact situations it may be less clear. As most REALTORS have experienced firsthand, buyers and sellers frequently change their minds and sometimes act in a manner that is difficult to predict. For this reason, REALTORS, should never advise their client as to the potential liability of moving forward with a new contract without being released from a previous contract. Doing so could expose the REALTOR to potential liability if their advice proves to be wrong and a possible allegation that they engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. Instead REALTORS should always recommend that their clients consult with legal counsel in this situation.


Legal articles provided in the OAR Daily Buzz are intended to provide broad, general information about the law and is not intended to be legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific legal problem, readers are urged to seek advice from an attorney. 

Tags: legal, Legally Speaking

Congratulations to the 2016 OAR Leadership Academy graduates!

2017 OARLA Graduating Class

2016 Ohio Association of REALTORS Leadership Academy graduates — (Front row, from left) Joe Marino III, Dan McQuillen, Joe Mock, Phil Morrical III, Chris Pedon, and Fred Troyer; (Back row, from left) 2017 OAR President Pete Kopf, 2017 OAR President-elect Tiffany Meyer, Michelle Billings, Heather Dunn, Sandra Green, Cindy Jacobs, Ralph Mantica, Debbie Milnar, and 2017 OAR Treasurer Anjanette Frye.


The Ohio Association of REALTORS graduated its first-ever Leadership Academy class during the organization’s Winter Conference, Jan. 15-17, in Columbus.

The 12-member Leadership Academy class completed an intense, nine-month program focused on goal-setting, communication, business relationships and personal growth. It afforded participants the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally by gaining the knowledge, skills and confidence to excel as a leader.

Here’s what each graduate had to say about their OAR Leadership Academy experience:

Michelle Billings (Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS) — “Leadership Academy has challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone and therefore has helped me grow both personally and professionally.”

Heather Dunn (Columbus REALTORS) — “Leadership Academy has been the most impactful investment I have made in my real estate career, yet. I leave each session feeling empowered, fulfilled, more knowledgeable and ready to make positive change. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to take their business and their life to the next level!

Sandra Green (Scioto Valley Association of REALTORS) — “Leadership Academy taught me that leadership is more than a position — it is a responsibility.”

Cindy Jacobs (Guernsey-Muskingum Valley Association of REALTORS) — “For me personally, the OAR Leadership Academy has helped to strengthen my leadership abilities and given me more self confidence in my leadership roles. Not only have I learned valuable insights from the various instructors but also from my peers in the class with whom I have developed close connections and friendships with. I’m so honored to have been a part of the inaugural class!”

Ralph Mantica (Dayton Area Board of REALTORS) — “This leadership class has exposed me to a higher level of self-development, and has set the ground work for improving my confidence in my own leadership skills.

Joe Marino III (Stark County Association of REALTORS) — “Leadership Academy has given me terrific insight into the world of leadership and the REALTOR organization. It’s given me the courage to seek to be more involved in my community and our Associations. It has taught me that leadership is a team venture and no one can do it alone. Most importantly, it has shown me who I am as a leader and a team member so I can better serve the needs of the Association of REALTORS.”

Dan McQuillen (Toledo Regional Association of REALTORS) — “OAR Leadership Academy has helped me understand myself better and has taught me how to lead and motivate people who are wired differently than I am. OARLA has also helped me create a network of 11 other individuals across the state that I can rely on as a real estate resource.”

Debbie Milnar (Toledo Regional Association of REALTORS) — “This Leadership Academy has helped me discover my natural strengths and learn to use them to not only my benefit, but the benefit of those I’m leading.”

Joe Mock (Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS) — “OAR Leadership Academy helped me with…Self Awareness…Self Improvement…Self Growth…Now it’s time to stop focusing on Self and focus on Others.”

Phil Morrical (Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS) — “The OAR Leadership Academy has enabled me to build friendships and enhanced my skills as an individual.”

Chris Pedon (Columbus REALTORS) — “The Leadership Academy has been a rewarding experience in terms of personal growth, peer bonding and experiential learning.

Fred Troyer (Wayne Holmes Association of REALTORS) — “I think for me on a personal level was the opportunity to get to know 11 strangers that are now close friends with a unique relationship which in turn benefits me professionally by expanding my sphere of influence for greater opportunities in the future.


OAR Leadership Academy participants work through a comprehensive training program that combines individual study, group retreats and unique initiatives to enhance leadership skills. Nationally recognized speakers assist in helping you tap into skills that will position you as a leader within the organization, the industry and your community.

The deadline to apply for inclusion in the 2017 Leadership Academy is Jan. 25! Click here for more details on the program…as well as access the application.

Tags: Association news

Coaching Corner: If you are considering the Leadership Academy…

By “Coach” Marilou Butcher Roth

Today’s blog post won’t be for everyone. This particular message is for those of you who are considering participating in the Ohio Association of REALTORS Leadership Academy, aka, OARLA. At the Winter Conference held earlier this week, our inaugural class of 12 participants rocked the house with their graduation! It was so cool to observe, hear and see the benefits that came from those brave first 12 that chose to dive into a program to enhance their own growth, as a leader and as a person!

If you are thinking you might want to be in the next class, which begins in March, you may have already pulled up the application and looked at the criteria. We have received some feedback that the application was somewhat of a deterrent for some, feeling that they did not have the experience and/or participation to adequately answer the questions posed. The questions listed on the application are designed to allow the Academy’s Advisory Board to get an idea of who you are and what is important to you.

If you are finding difficulty with either the application or need some clarity around the process, please reach out to me or Stacey Dawson, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Stacey Dawson can be reached at OAR, (614) 225-6227 or

If you haven’t gotten as far as the application, you can access the information at OAR’s website by clicking here. Bur act soon…the deadline is Wednesday, Jan. 25.


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

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