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  • Carol J Sommer

Who do you know that might be ready to sell?

According to the latest reports out of Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service, these are just some of the facts that show a desperate need for local inventory.

Inventory declines yet again in February

At the end of February, the TOTAL number of homes and condos for sale was down to 3,376, which is just slightly (0.1) percent lower than January and 21.2 percent less than February 2017. This marks the 85th consecutive month of year over year declines in inventory and left central Ohio with a 1.2 months supply of inventory at the current sales pace, according to the ColumbusREALTORS® Multiple Listing Service.

The average sale price of a home during the month of February in central Ohio was $210,791, which is 10.4 percent more than the same month a year ago. The median sale price was $177,000, up 9.3 percent from a year ago. “New listings are on the rise, but we are still in need of more inventory. There is no question the number of sales would be much higher if we had more homes and condos available to sell.”

For months, and frankly for the past several years, the housing shortage in the Central Ohio area has caused many sellers to realize staggering profits on the sale of their homes. Buyers continue raising the stakes by utilizing more and more “creative tactics” to make their offers extremely competitive and elevated to the head of the pack. Multiple offer situations are fairly standard and it’s not unusual for a property to be in contract within hours of being offered to the public. 

Buyers who still rely on internet websites such as Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and other popular sources to find property are generally disappointed. Because of the speed of property going into contract, a buyer will need to be well qualified to buy, pre-approved (including letter in hand) by the lender and understand the immediacy of making an offer. It is not to say buyers can’t negotiate terms, but working with a real estate professional, puts them at a huge advantage in the transaction. More often than not, they will be involved in a fast paced and often tense negotiation process. The term ‘time is of the essence” is not lost on this market!

It’s a great time to be a seller and now is the perfect time to list. Reluctance by a seller to list for fear they may have nowhere else to go, is a fallacy. Creativity and choice works for both buyers and sellers in the hands of a knowledgeable REALTOR®. That is the Key, no pun intended…

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