I’m sure everyone has heard by now the Columbus Ohio real estate market is not the best for sellers in 2008. Columbus Ohio and many Central Ohio suburbs are currently experiencing a “buyer’s market.” Depending on your situation though, it might still be a good time for you to sell your Central Ohio home. For example, if you want to move up and buy another home in Central Ohio, your current home might sell for less than you hope for, but you’re likely to save more on what you purchase because it is selling for proportionately less too.
While some real estate markets in the Columbus Ohio area are certainly doing better than others, in general, homes that are priced appropriately and prepared properly are still selling. If you are serious about selling your home in the Columbus and Central Ohio area read on to learn more about preparing your home. Contact Petra at 614-895-0496 to discuss selling your home in the Columbus Ohio area or visit: ColumbusCastles.com – Learn how Petra can help successfully sell your home in Columbus and Central Ohio.
August 2008 Columbus Ohio Real Estate Market Update for Home Sellers in Central Ohio
Some good news for home sellers in Columbus Ohio! According to the Columbus Board of REALTORS®, Columbus Ohio real estate sales inventory of homes for sale in Central Ohio, has been decreasing throughout 2008. In August 2008, there were 16,975 homes for sale in the central Ohio area, which is 14.2 percent lower than last year at the same time. The average sales price of a home in the central Ohio area is down 4.8 percent from one year ago. However, the average sales price in August was $175,632 approximately 15 percent higher than the average sales price of $152,790 in January 2008! Some areas in Central Ohio are holding their value better than others and are not necessarily experiencing these same declining values.
Should you need to sell your Columbus Ohio home in this current buyer’s market, it needs to be prepared properly, priced appropriately and staged effectively to attract buyers. Based upon my years of experience working with Central Ohio home buyers, I hear first hand what they like and don’t like in homes. I’m going to share some tips to help your home stand out from the competition and be more appealing to buyers in any market.
- PRICE IT RIGHT. Set a realistic price based upon recent comparable sales of homes sold in the last 6 months. Your home’s value has nothing to do with what you paid for it or what the Franklin County Auditor has assessed it at. It is worth what other buyers have recently paid for homes similar to yours and that’s where your home should be priced. If you owe more than it is worth in the current Columbus Ohio real estate market and can’t wait to sell, then you may want to consider a short sale to avoid foreclosure. Call Petra at 614-895-0496 to discuss your options.
- PAINT . . . PAINT AND MORE PAINT!! Paint is probably the cheapest update you can do yourself and it can make your home feel like it’s move in ready inside. You may like red, green and yellow walls or striped wall paper – but what if those colors don’t coordinate with a new buyer’s furnishings? What do you think the chances are that most buyers will have decor that goes with your paint colors? If your walls aren’t neutral – PAINT THEM. If buyers think they have to paint every room in the house – they will feel like the home needs too much work and pass it by in favor of another home that is neutral and feels more ready to move in. Remember, buyers have lots of homes to choose from, in today’s Columbus Ohio real estate market and most will prefer a home that is move in ready over one that needs every room painted.
- DE-CLUTTER. It is important to keep the buyer’s focus on the home not on your family. Remove most of your personal collections, family photos, political statements, etc. These can distract buyers from the important mission that brought them to your home. Remember you want buyer’s to envision their furnishings in your home so they can see themselves living there. They can better focus on where to place their furniture when there’s less of your clutter and excess furnishings in the way.
- UPDATE FLOORING. Dirty, dated or smelly carpet, busy linoleum, worn hardwood floors, cracked ceramic tiles, etc. are a real turn off for buyers. To them it seems obvious that these should be replaced. Either replace it up front or acknowledge they need replaced by offering a flooring allowance. It’s typically best to just replace it up front, if you can afford to because it will make your home feel more updated to the buyer.
- PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP SHOWS. Take care of any glaring repair and maintenance issues. The buyer must establish a sense of trust in your home. Buyers feel more positive about a home when it looks like it’s been well maintained and taken care of.
- SHOWING YOUR HOME. Presentation should be meticulous – your home should be sparkling clean throughout. Make your home feel light and bright with drapes open and lights on. Eliminate any pet, smoke or food odors. If you’re going to use air fresheners or candles, make sure the scent is clean, refreshing and subtle. I’ve been in some homes where the air freshener scent was so strong we could hardly breathe. The right scent can make your home feel more welcoming and relaxing, but the wrong scent can set the tone for buyers to go through the home trying to find out what you’re covering up with such a strong scent.
Showing your home is an important step in winning the heart of a buyer. Remember that buying a home is an emotional decision and buyers use all of their senses to experience your home. A dark interior, unpleasant smell, barking dog, or uncomfortable temperature can eliminate your home from their list. I know your home may not be new like a model home, but your home can still show like one with a thorough cleaning, fresh paint and updated flooring.
- GO AWAY FOR SHOWINGS. It’s not a good idea to be present when buyers come to see your home because they may shorten their time spent in your home feeling like they are intruding on your privacy. Or, they may not feel comfortable discussing your home as freely as they would if you weren’t there. I’ve also seen sellers try to offer certain information they thought was helpful, only to turn the buyer off. Showing your home is not a social visit and it’s best to not make assumptions about what a buyer wants.
REMEMBER – if buyer’s want a fixer upper . . . there are plenty of Columbus Ohio foreclosure properties in the Central Ohio real estate market they can get for a bargain. Unless you want to sell your home at a bargain, it should be in move in condition. The current Columbus Ohio real estate market is for SERIOUS SELLERS ONLY!
The Columbus Board of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) includes real estate listings and sales data for all of Franklin, Delaware, Fayette, Madison, Morrow and Union Counties and parts of Champagne, Clark, Hocking, Licking, Fairfield, Knox, Logan, Marion, Pickaway and Ross Counties.