Buyer’s standards should not falter no matter what the circumstances the market creates. Homes for sale in Columbus, Ohio have continued to grow, which means the market remains a seller’s market.The Midwest is crisp and cool this fall, but Ohio and Northern Kentucky real estate markets are still hot. If you’re a seller, it’s like that toasty, inviting mug of goodness that warms you to the core, but if you’re a buyer… well, it may feel like a splash of cold water on your face as you contemplate competing for the perfect home.


Sure, sellers are swooning over the steady surge in home prices in the Buckeye State – a 3.6% hike was recorded from August 2015 to 2016. The numbers are even stronger for Franklin County, home to Ohio’s capital city, where residential real estate values soared by an even greater 5.4 percent. And it’s only getting stronger.


CoreLogic reports “Home prices are now just 6 percent below the nominal peak reached in April 2006…With prices estimated to increase by 5 percent over the next year, prices will be back to their peak level in 2017.”


Housing market concept image with graph and toy house



But where does this news leave buyers in such a time as this? One area that’ll bring you some holiday cheer is mortgage rates. For several years running, rates have stayed at historic lows; four years ago this month, 30-year rates were at a rock-bottom 3.31 percent. Today rates hover around 3.52%.

This is great news, but are you planning to purchase and feeling like you could use a warm blanket of encouragement, in addition to great interest rates?

As prices continue to rise, it’s important to move quickly in order to get the house of your dreams, but it’s even more important that buyers do their homework to avoid making a desperate offer. Here are some key reminders to stay strong as you keep your sights set on coming home to not just any place, but the right place.



Keep your Standards High

As you select the perfect details, gifts and trimmings to make the holiday season come to life, do the same for communicating what you’re looking for in your dream home. All good little boys and girls know they won’t get everything on their wish lists, but it’s important to communicate your “most wanted” details to your trusted Barker Team Realtor. Qualities like a great school system, thriving local businesses and solid comparable homes all point to high value areas. This is something that’s great for the seller now, but great for you as you make this house home and possibly look to sell in the future. Since most homeowners stay in one place for an average 13 years, don’t lower your standards and make sacrifices you know you’re unsure about. Beware rushing the process just to get “a” home, when what you really want is “the” home.



Beware Cutting Corners on Contingencies

As you work with your agent to map out your shoo-in strategy, they’ll be sure to share some tips and tricks of the trade that may set you apart. One strategy buyers have begun exercising is offering to forgo remedies or even an inspection altogether. While it may seem like an out-of-the-box clincher to remove a seller’s stress, buyers could be in a heap of expenses if it does not work out in their favor. Instead of cutting important corners like a home inspection, consider the following: having a letter of pre-approval, a strong down payment or a compelling story that may swing the odds in your favor, even if you are not the highest offer.



Know the Secrets of a Solid Home Inspection… And Don’t Skip this Step!

Most buyers know not to miss the obvious– the foundation, HVAC and roof; but keep in mind any cracks, insect damage or rotting, as well as age. Experts also remind us to be vigilant about a home’s intricacies like plumbing, wiring and fireplaces. All should be thoroughly investigated and deemed safe before signing on the dotted line.

As your trusted source for real estate knowledge, we recommend a quality, thorough inspector who will objectively share what you need to know that may make or break the deal. Not all issues are worth caving for, so ask specific questions and get a second opinion if you are feeling hesitant. If your report comes back with cosmetic issues like chipped paint or other superficial issues, or if you get a laundry list of problems that are easily remedied, don’t fret. In this market, buyers surely should not make mountains out of molehills.

And don’t skip the inspection. There’s a reason 95 percent of home buyers invest in this important step – even in new builds, it’s better to have peace of mind knowing all the nooks and crannies have been checked out, so you can feel great about offering on your dream home… your future.

We as your Realtors are your best resource and can help you navigate the process quickly, but still ensuring that you can keep your standards. You getting the right house at the right price – from a place of confidence is our goal.

Questions? Contact Us!
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