Real estate agent offers tips to compete in Columbus housing market – 10TV

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus real estate agents say the market isn’t slowing down anytime soon, even with the high price tags and high interest rates.
To complete in today’s market, buyers have to get creative and make some compromises.
Real estate agent Gary Cooke says a house could be sold on the market within three days and most are well above what buyers were paying even back in 2018.
He says first-time homebuyers have adapted to the high interest rates, because they don’t know any better, but the market is very tough right now to compete.
“It’s a quick supply, meaning that with our buyers, we tell our buyers all the time, if you see a house that’s coming soon, let us know so we can schedule a showing right away,” Cooke said.
He says areas with more affordable housing include up and coming residential spots like Forest Park, Southern Orchards and Franklinton.
“You go into the suburbs and it’s just… it’s insane,” said Cooke. “All of them, I mean Worthington, Westerville, Dublin, Reynoldsburg, Pickerington, Hilliard, I mean everything.”
Cooke said the price range for a first-time homebuyer has increased dramatically.
“We’re up to $350,000 for a first-time homebuyer house. To me, been in the business 30 years, that’s insane!” he said.
First-time homebuyer Jacob Coleman says he currently has three offers on the table and needs to find a home soon.
“Just the whole process of making an offer, and then dealing with the disappointment when it doesn’t work out. It’s been tough. We just keep moving forward,” says Coleman.
Eastmoor resident Megan Asa says buying a fixer upper was the key with a single-income household.
“What I ended up finding is a house that needed some extra love but was in the neighborhood I really enjoyed. And so, what that allowed me to do is put my own time and effort into a fixer upper, because you can always change the house, but you can’t change the location,” she said.
Asa, who has been documenting her renovation process on social media, says she takes pride in taking on one project at a time and making her home beautiful.
“I can put that time and energy into it and really make it my own. And I think honestly like there’s an opportunity to be really proud of your work,” she said.
With fierce competition, Cooke says buyers have to up the ante and get creative with their offers.
“They’re going up against cash buyers and conventional buyers that are putting down 30% and that makes it really rough on them, and you feel bad for them, but there’s nothing you can do,” he said.
Cooke recommends getting pre-approval with a known bank in Columbus, knowing your negotiating plan ahead of time and having appraisal protection money.
“If you’re putting down 20%, instead of putting down 20%, put 15% down, keep 5% back, and hold onto that 5% so you can use that as your appraisal protection,” said Cooke.
He also warns against the fear of high interest rates, and says even in today’s economy, it is still wise to invest in real estate in Columbus.
“Marry the house, date the rate!’ Cooke said. “Everything can change, and if the rates drop, we can refinance, and we can drop your PMI.”
For sellers, he recommends investing in flooring and paint, which can increase the value by 100-200%. Also, family photos can help the buyer visualize their future in your home.
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