Overview of Buying a Home or Condo in Central Ohio


This is a quick overview of the exciting process of buying a home or condo in the Columbus Ohio area. As an experienced Realtor since 2001, and Accredited Buyer Representative, I am here to simplify the process and provide the guidance you need to make the best decisions. Services I provide as your buyer’s agent are FREE and include but not limited to:

  • Email and recommend available homes and keep you updated with new listings that meet your specific criteria.
  • Assist you in obtaining the best possible financing.
  • Share info on schools, neighborhoods, home prices and more.
  • Refer home inspectors, attorneys, handymen, etc.
  • Provide comparable sales data to help determine the right price on the property you choose.
  • Prepare contracts and negotiate the best possible price and terms for you.
  • Coordinate all the details to ensure a successful closing.
  • Remain easily accessible to answer any questions you have, throughout the process.

CONTACT PETRA @ 614-746-2115

Before visiting homes, you should be pre-approved for a mortgage and have an accurate understanding of your purchasing power. Pre-approval means you have submitted a loan application, necessary documentation to obtain a mortgage and your credit has been verified. There are hundreds of loan programs available depending on your credit status, employment history, debt to income ratio and down payment availability.

Taking this first step will also include evaluating the best loan option for you, which is necessary to know, before making an offer. ??Being pre-approved gives you a distinct advantage when making an offer on a property. A seller is more likely to accept an offer when they know you will not have a problem getting financing. It also makes the process less stressful, once you find a home.

It is important you find a local, reputable lender to work with and they should provide you with a “Good Faith Estimate” in writing so you’ll know all of the closing costs associated with your loan.

Apply for your FREE online pre-approval now

Buyers in Central Ohio are entitled to have FREE realtor representation because the seller and the seller’s broker have already agreed to co-op with buyer’s agent’s when listing real estate on the Columbus OHIO MLS – Multiple Listing Service. In most cases, properties being sold directly by the owner offer to pay a co-op fee to the buyer’s agent and Columbus Ohio home builders also encourage buyer broker representation.

I have helped clients buy existing homes, condos, new construction and for sale by owner properties. As your personal buyer’s agent, I can help you compare all your options, so you can decide which is best for you.

Communication is key! We’ll talk about what you want in your ideal home and discuss your options, to determine where to start. You can begin by subscribing to Petra’s FREE Home Finder Service. This will give you access to over 99% of homes for sale in Central Ohio, including all homes listed by any realtor in the Columbus Ohio MLS, such as new homes, condos, short sales, HUD and bank owned foreclosure properties and some for sale by owner properties.

You’ll get daily email updates of properties that meet your criteria, with all the details including addresses, photos and virtual tours if available, so you can choose what you want to see. This also gives you the opportunity to drive by, if you wish to consider the curb appeal and neighborhood, before choosing to see the inside. We’ll continue to fine tune your search, based upon feedback you provide after showings, until we find the right home for you.

Once we find the right home, you’re ready to make an offer. We need to determine the lowest price to offer without insulting the seller. This will vary for each property depending on:

  • the seller’s motivation.
  • how much the seller owes on their mortgage.
  • the condition of the home in comparison to other homes on the market.
  • what similar homes have sold for in the last year.
  • how many homes you have seen at this point, you may feel confident that the asking price is reasonable.

I will prepare all contract documents and include language to protect your best interests. The purchase contract describes the property, states the purchase price and terms, sets forth the method of payment and the date when closing or actual transfer of the property will occur.

I’ll walk you through the offer and present it to the seller (if a FSBO) or listing agent, on your behalf. Sometimes offers are accepted immediately or flat out refused, however, usually the seller will counter the offer. Whatever the case, I will be negotiating to get you the best price and terms, taking into consideration any weaknesses the seller may have. I can also work closely with your attorney, if you have one, to ensure your interests are well represented.

Your offer was accepted! Now it’s time to visit the property again with a professional home inspector to complete any inspections. ?The home inspection must be completed within the time period specified in the contract. At a minimum, the inspection should include a review of the following: appliances, air conditioning and heating, attic, electrical, foundation, plumbing, roof and the structure. Other inspections include: test for radon gas, mold, well or septic.

A home inspection is not designed to criticize every minor problem or defect in the home. It is intended to report major damage or serious problems that require repair. Should serious problems be indicated, the home inspector may recommend a structural engineer or other professional inspect the home as well.

A home cannot “pass or fail” an inspection and your inspector can not tell you whether the home is worth the money you are offering. The inspector’s job is to recommend necessary repairs.

After completing the inspection the buyer has several options. You may ask the seller to correct any serious conditions, the seller may agree to a price reduction or give you a credit at closing in lieu of making repairs (if your lender allows this), or you may terminate the contract, if you are not satisfied with the condition of the home (generally this must be a serious condition not minor repairs.) The home inspection clause in the contract, is not meant to be an escape because of a change of heart.

As your buyer’s agent, I will prepare a written “Request To Remedy” to submit recommended repairs to the seller. In this case, a realtor’s experience and ability to precisely word the request to remedy is of utmost importance, so nothing can be misinterpreted or overlooked.


"When we decided to purchase our first home, we selected Petra to be our agent, largely because we thought her German themed website was pretty cool. We knew nothing about REALTORS, but it turns out we had made the right selection! From the beginning, Petra listened carefully to what we were interested in and set up a personalized listing website where we scrutinized the offerings of probably 100 houses in the Greater Columbus area. As we continually changed what Columbus suburbs we wanted to look into, our price ranges, square footage requirements, and more over a several month span, Petra patiently and happily worked with us until we finally settled on the parameters that suited our family the best. When we finally selected a house, Petra stepped up her performance and even more as she guided us through the negotiating process. She also worked with us at any hour of the day. Because of her great experience and professionalism, we ended up getting an amazing deal on a house we love in an area that suits our needs perfectly. Thank you very much for your efforts every step of the way! (Helped them buy their first home in Gahanna, Ohio)

Drew Stafford and Candace Moser-Stafford

"We found Petra on the internet and called her to see our first house. She was very professional, very informative, and most importantly determined and passionate about finding a house to best suite our needs. Soon we were excited to learn her reputation was one of the best in Columbus. A couple weeks later we set up a day to view several houses. After viewing a few we still didn't have that "I gotta have that home feeling." Petra then convinced us to view a home that just went on the market. We didn't want to, but gave her the benefit of the doubt, and sure enough she was right. It was the home we were looking for. If it were not for Petra's expert opinion and determination we wouldn't have found "our" perfect fit. Petra's team was great and very flexible in meeting all of our demands and needs. THANK YOU!" (purchased a Gahanna home in Westerville schools)

Molly and Chris Harr - Gahanna, Ohio home owners


"My husband and I contacted Petra after finding her on the Internet and when I read all of the great success stories, I knew that she must have been pretty good. Mind you, I was a little nervous getting involved with someone I found on the Internet but it payed off wonderfully. I couldn't have asked for a better Realtor. She contacted me immediately after my first initial e-mail to her and she told us what we needed to have and do in order to get prepared as first time home buyers. Once we were ready, I contacted her again and she took it from there. The daily listings of homes were great. Very detailed and she sent exactly what we were looking for. Even when I wasn't sure what we wanted, it seemed that she knew exactly what we were looking for. She was always available when we needed to talk to her or if we had any questions for her and she never made us feel silly when we asked the same questions over and over. She found us a wonderful home in Reynoldsburg, within a few weeks and only after looking at a few homes. She gave her honest opinion about the homes and treated us like family by not letting us get into something she knew we wouldn't like in the long run. Petra is absolutely wonderful. We couldn't be happier with our home or our decision to work with Petra. I highly recommend her to anyone who wants an honest and down to earth Realtor such as herself. She even invited us to her house for Thanksgiving when she knew we weren't going to having one!!!! That says a lot about someones character. I can't say enough good things about her!!" Thank you Petra, you've truly made us one happy family. (moved from Gahanna to buy home in Reynoldsburg Ohio)

Brad & Heather Ellinger - Reynoldsburg, Ohio home owners

MORE @ Columbuscastles Testimonials