Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Save Energy by Staying Warm and Cozy

The arctic air that seems to be coming our way is ushering in the bitter cold weather a littler sooner
than we'd wished.  It doesn't look to be quite like the middle of January of 2014, but the winterizing tips shared in the link below will help you stay warm and maximize the energy-efficiency of your home as the temperatures drop.

Saving Energy and Staying Warm and Cozy

I really enjoy house logic.com (source of the article) for the variety of articles that they provide on just about any house-related topic you are looking for.  Once you get a few tips on house logic, turn over to YouTube for a video so that you an get step by step directions to do-it-yourself.  If you aren't a DIY person, I'd be happy to provide you a list of handymen and companies that can help you with maintenance on your home at an affordable price.  Just email me using the link below and let me know what kind of work you want done!

Take care,
Scott Morrison
scottmorrison@kw.com
614-383-8502

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New Homeowners

Congratulations to Austin and Lynzee!  You are officially homeowners!!! 


The Waddles have been waiting for this moment for a long time.  Last Spring we sat down with the great folks at MI Homes and designed the perfect home for Austin and Lynzee (& Henry).  It's now a reality and it's time to move in!

Special shout out to Robyn (Kracker) Miller for referring them.  I'm extremely grateful for each and every referral that I receive.

Congrats once again to the Waddles!  What a fun couple... I wish you many years of happiness in your lovely home.

Take care,
Scott

Sunday, October 26, 2014

There Must Be Something Wrong

Yesterday I showed a house to buyer clients that has been on the market for just over 100 days.

As we looked around the question came up, "so it's been on the market 100 days, what is wrong with it?"

This is not only a common question but one that is very justified.  Especially in a healthy real estate market like ours has been in 2014, sitting on the market for 100 days just isn't the norm.  My answer, unfortunately, is just a list of guesses based upon previous experience and stories that I've heard.

Here are some reasons a home could be on the market for longer than expected..

1.  It's the norm!- The first thing to keep in mind is that 100 days may not actually be a long time on the market.  Without assistance from your Realtor to look at the comparable properties in the area, you'll never know if any of these reasons are true, or if 100 days is actually the average amount of time homes in a certain area stay on the market.

2.  Home overpriced-  I've always been told by folks that I trust in the business that if a home isn't selling, it's overpriced.  Seems too easy right?  Pricing a home to sell is the most important thing a seller can do from the very beginning.  Most showing activity on a home will happen in the first 20 days or so.  If you are overpriced during this time, you are putting a bad taste in the mouth of your most willing buyers.  The chances of them coming back to see your home after you drop the price aren't good!  Remember, it doesn't matter what your neighbor sold for, what you need to pay off your mortgage, or what you would like to get... The price is set by the market.  Overpricing is detrimental to your bottom line.

3.  Condition, floor plan, amenities, location-  Yes, there could be a problem.  It could be a major structural problem, could be on a busy street that no buyers are interested in, could be in a school district that is continually failing levies, or it could just be a floor plan that was popular 10 years ago but is not the current trend.  Sellers need to now that even with any of these problems, an appropriate price will sell.

4.  Stigma-  There may be nothing wrong with the home.  It may be appropriately priced and in good condition.  But, since it has been on the market for so many days, it may have a stigma of having something wrong.  This is most frustrating for sellers, but it's a reality.

5.  Liens, financing- The reason the home has been on the market for so long may have nothing to do with the physical structure of the home.  There could be liens against the property that prevent it from selling or it could be in an area with financing and insurance issues.

I'm sure there are several more reasons to list here, but this is my personal list that I have mentally compiled to share with buyers in the scenario I began this post with.  After covering all of these reasons, I always come back to... "Let me worry about the 100 days.  I'll try to find out what is wrong, you guys just try to find out if you love the home."

Take care,
Scott Morrison
scottmorrison@kw.com

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Stats Can Say Anything

I'm always highly entertained with the way information is presented.  This time of year is especially entertaining with all of the political ads that are out there as we approach voting time.

When I watched this month's edition of This Month In Real Estate (seen below), I chuckled a bit because I just had the conversation about September being a rather slow month with a few friends this week.

In the video you'll see that the statistics presented show home prices to be down from the prior month.  Alarms should go off right?  Not exactly.  We are presented September (traditionally a slower month) versus August (traditionally a better month for sales).

From KWRI:

The video does show that prices are up from the same time in 2013, so there is a hint of good news included.  

I'm not saying that the drop in price from August to September is automatically skewed information or should even contain a red flag at all... What I want to point out is that there isn't any need to panic, no need for rumors of a crash.  I'm just showing that we need to process the information, not just jump to conclusions.  

The market, especially in Central Ohio, is very healthy right now.  Buying and selling is far more about personal needs than overall health of the market.  

Take care, 
Scott Morrison

SOLD: 364 Cottage Grove

SOLD!
364 Cottage Grove
Congratulations to Courtney and Andy on the sale of their home.  There are many people that played a role in making this sale happen, too many to list.  Three fantastic recommendations from others for companies to make repairs brought fair prices for excellent work. 

Special thanks to Heinmiller Plumbing, Wetherall Garage Doors, and Mike Doran LLC for handywork.  I'd be more than happy to pass along the information for these folks.

Take care, 
Scott Morrison




Sunday, September 21, 2014

Don't Forget About Inspections

The most frustrating part of the buying or selling is often the inspection period.  What the inspection period provides is an opportunity for the buyer to have a comprehensive inspection on the home that they've offered to purchase to find any defects in the home that may influence the value of the property or the desire for the buyer to purchase the home.  Sellers often forget that the buyer has this right, and buyers don't factor this into the equation nearly enough when searching for a home.  Here is a look at the inspection from the two perspectives:

SELLERS
As a seller, you must always keep in mind that the buyer has the right to an inspection.  Often times sellers get excited about their home being in contract, and then when the inspection time comes up they are taken back or surprised by the findings and the excitement turns to dismay.  The sellers find that they'll need to put $1200 into the home to get it sold and then emotion becomes too much a part of the deal.  My advice to sellers is to always keep this in your mind that inspectors are likely to find something that no longer meets code or something that needed repair.  At the same time, remember that what the buyers request to be repaired or replaced is not final.  This is a negotiation.  You have the right to counter the buyer and/or completely turn down their request.  They can walk away, but it is a negotiation and if you aren't satisfied with their requests, you have the power to say no.

BUYERS
When you search for a home, you shouldn't try to play inspector along the way.  Don't worry about small things, the inspection will catch those.  Find a home that provides the location, layout, and amenities that you want, and trust that the inspection period will provide the details you need to make sure the home is a good investment.  Too often buyers pass judgement on a home that may be perfect for them without considering that the item that influenced that decision is one that would show up as either a non-issue or an item that the seller would repair or replace.

Both parties should always consider that the inspection period is not in place to make sure that the home is perfect.  The general unwritten rule is that items that the buyer requests that the seller repair should only be items that impact the health or safety of the occupants.  There are obviously exceptions to the rule, but it is very important to recognize why the inspection available and to honor that code.  If you view the inspection as an opportunity to ask for all kinds of small things that I call "part of home ownership" you are only destined to have deals go sour.

For more information on inspections or to find an inspector, email me directly at scottmorrison@kw.com 

Take care,
Scott



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Tracking Numbers in Gahanna

September 13th snapshot of the Gahanna real estate market:

For this search I used the search criteria of the property being a single family residence, and the listing must be marked as resting within the limits of Gahanna Jefferson Public Schools.  (note: school district is an optional portion of the MLS, so some Realtors do not report this in the listing)

Activity is from August 1 of this year through September 13:

156 homes currently listed for sale
92 homes currently under contract
76 homes closed during this time period

- Closed sales ranged from $61,000 to $547,000
- Of the 168 homes to close or go into contract during this time, 66 of them were on the market less than 10 days before receiving an offer
- 14 of the 76 closed contracts have closed this month (Sept)
-  Last year during the same time period, 71 homes closed.

Going into average sales prices and other specifics would be misleading because Gahanna is a very hyperlocal area.  Each neighborhood or subdivision needs to be reported separately to gain an accurate idea of what homes are worth in that area.  This fall, I'll be posting neighborhood specific reports to the blog, but if you'd like to obtain a report sooner than later, please email me using the address below.

Take care,
Scott Morrison
scottmorrison@kw.com

From KWRI:

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mortgages: You Can't Just Shop Rate

A common conversation that I inevitably have with buyers begins with them telling me that they are either shopping lenders for the best rate or will be contacting a few different lenders to see where they can get the best rate.  

While low interest rates can be awfully inviting, your financial decisions have to be made on more than factors than just interest rate.  

Here are a few things to consider when searching for the best loan whether you are purchasing or just refinancing... 

1.  You cannot just shop interest rates-  When speaking with a lender make sure that you ask about all of the costs associated with a loan.  A small percentage difference looks enticing when you think about it over a 30 year term, but if that small percentage only saves you $50 a month, it takes a long time to make up for $2500 that you pay for higher closing costs (numbers are only an example, bottom line is to investigate all costs before making a decision).

2.  Have a plan for your stay-  How long will you plan on living in the home?  This is especially important for a refinance.  If it costs you $2000 to refinance your loan, but you'll only save $100 a month... make sure you are going to live in the home a minimum of 20 more months.  Otherwise, the refinance will cost you money in the long run.  

3.  Examine the loan terms-  One thing that often gets lost in the shuffle is the length of the loan.  If you are refinancing a loan that has 20 years left, a lower rate and a lower monthly payment may make sense in the short term.  However, if your loan is refinanced back into a 30 year term, you've just added 10 years of paying interest back into your situation.  The lower monthly payment helps your immediate cash flow, but it likely set you back in terms of paying down the principal.  A good exercise for this is to see use the new loan terms, but calculate how much you'd save if you paid it off in the time frame of the old loan (in this example, 20 years).

Best advice:  Find a lender you trust-  Mortgage are complicated, rely on the experts. Sit down and go through several scenarios with a lender that you trust to help you through the process.  Ask questions that help you see the entire picture, not just the interest rate.  You want to be able to afford the monthly payment, but not at the detriment of your long-term financial health.  

Take care, 
Scott Morrison


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bryn Mawr Subdivision Home Sales

JUST SOLD!!
1133 Black Gold Place  Gahanna, OH
Congratulations to Ron and Deanna on the successful closing of their home.  Best wishes to you and your family on your new adventure!  It was a pleasure working with you.

The Bryn Mawr area has had a very healthy summer with sales prices averaging above $285,000 and having 18 homes sell in the past 90 days.  Within the same time period last year, only 7 homes sold with an average sales price of approximately $275,000.  A few sales well below that number brought the average down a significant amount, so the price differential may be a bit misleading, but the number of sales is certainly a sign of a healthy market.

Take care,
Scott Morrison
scottmorrison@kw.com 


Sunday, August 10, 2014

WHAT!?! The Auditor's Value is TOO LOW!

Even if you are not in the market to buy or sell, there aren't any homeowners that do not like to hear good news about the housing market.  Over the past few months I've been reporting some very good news on this blog.  Homes are selling quickly, and selling for very good prices!  

This past week you may have received a note in the mail from the County Auditor (see this article in the Columbus Dispatch).  Eager to see that the value of your home has gone up, you open the small envelope.  

"WHAT!?!?!... My home is worth WAY more than that!" 

Don't panic.  

Here are two things you should know.. 

1.  If it's low, let me know-  Send me an email or use this home value tool on my site and I'll send you back a market analysis.  This will give you a more accurate valuation of your home because... 

2.  The market value for your home is not the same as the Auditor's value-  I sat in a class about a year ago and there was a group of appraisers that stood in front of us and let us know that an appraiser will rarely, if ever, look at the Auditor's site when valuing your home.  Appraiser's will value your home using the same methods that Realtor's do.  Comparing your home with recent activity in your neighborhood is the best way to determine what you could get for your home.  

Take care, 
Scott Morrison

Friday, August 8, 2014

Favorable Numbers

Is the market back?  Are we at the peak?  Should we sell now?

I can't give a definitive answer to any of those questions, but what I can tell you is that going by the measurable numbers and statistics available to us, the real estate market is very healthy.  Just as the national numbers show (see video below), the numbers here locally in Gahanna report the same things.  Mortgage rates are low, home sales are high, sale prices are high, and the days on the market are getting lower and lower as inventory goes down.
If you are looking to sell, now is a good time.  That isn't to say that next spring would be a bad time, but trying to time the market is always a dangerous strategy to getting the most that you can for your home.  If you are in the market to buy, it's becoming more and more important to go through the proper steps to prepare for what could be an extremely quick process.  When you see the one you want, you've got to be ready to buy, there is very little chance to think, you've got to know.

Take care,
Scott Morrison
scottmorrison@kw.com

Friday, July 25, 2014

Another Sale in Gahanna Heights

SOLD!
299 Milan Drive Gahanna, OH 43230
Listed on June 17 for $197,900 and in contract on June 17 for $206,000!  There is no denying the desirability of Gahanna Heights with the data received from this experience.  Showings came almost immediately following the listing and multiple offers were present.  The owners did a fantastic job of preparing themselves, and the home, for the current market and it showed in the results.

The housing market is in phenomenal shape across Gahanna.  Homes are selling very fast and are getting within a few percentage points of their list price very consistently.  Mortgage rates vary but are in the 4.5% range on average and there are many programs offered by lenders to make the process very affordable for buyers.

Check for the value of your home here: Home Value Analysis


Take care,
Scott Morrison
614-383-8502
scottmorrison@kw.com

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Get Prepared: Gahanna Homes are Selling FAST

Look no further than the most recent issue of The Columbus Dispatch to find the latest news about how fast homes are selling in Central Ohio.  The market is healthy all over Columbus, including right here in Gahanna.

If you are looking to buy a home in Gahanna, here are a few tips to better prepare yourself for a home buying process that is going to move a little quicker than normal:

1.  Know the market:  Reading this blog and reading news from the area will get you into the right mindset.  Be prepared to be decisive and move quickly.

2.  Get pre approved for financing:  I feel like I say this in most of my blog posts, but I cannot stress enough the importance of getting your finances in order prior to begin your home search.  So many issues can be avoided by starting out with a good lender.

3.  Trust a connected Realtor:  You need information as soon as it is available.  Not every other day, not whenever your Realtor has time, not ________.  You need to know about homes immediately, and you need to tour them immediately.  Make sure your Realtor has you set up with email alerts, text alerts, or whatever communication method is going to be best... It is crucial to be ahead of the pack.

4.  Don't rush:  Yes, I know I said that things go fast and you need to act quickly.  But, also keep in mind that there is no need to rush into a situation that isn't ideal.  Trust that more homes will hit the market if the one for you isn't out there.  If you've done #'s 1, 2, and 3 on this list, #4 is much easier!

Take care,
Scott Morrison
scottmorrison@kw.com

For information about selling your home click here

Saturday, June 21, 2014

I'll Market My Home When I find Something

This past week I listed a ranch home in Gahanna Heights.  The market in this particular subdivision is  very healthy and we received requests for multiple showings within hours of listing.  Less than 12 hours after going on the market, a buyer offered, and the home was in contract.

Since that time I've received a number of calls from people inquiring about the home.  Two of the calls were from folks interested in down sizing, needing to ditch the stairs and find a ranch.  Unfortunately, both of those calls also commented that they don't want to part with their current home until they find something they like... Not going to happen!

Because of the current market conditions, if you have a home to sell and are searching for your next home, you are setting yourself up for disappointment after disappointment.  Sellers today are not accepting contracts that are contingent upon the sale of a home (unless it is firmly in contract).  It just isn't necessary to lock yourself into a deal when there are plenty of buyers out there ready and willing to make an offer (even as quickly as the example I gave above).

So, if you are looking to move you'll need to:

1.  Get positioned for financing:  Speak with a Realtor about the pricing of your current home.  Speak with a lender about how much home you can afford considering the sale of your current home.

2.  Stage your home:  Tidy up, begin moving things out into storage if you have clutter, and be ready to list your home.

3.  Get your home on the market:  Price it right for the condition and you'll be moving soon!

4.  Start searching for the next home:  If you've priced your home correctly, you can reasonably expect to be in contract within 3-4 weeks, if not sooner.  If you find the next home and still aren't in contract, it's a race to find a buyer.

5.  Determine the best offer:  Offers with contingencies such as financing, inspections, and even closings of the buyer's current residence can hold up the closing of your home.  Offers without contingencies, or with fewer, are stronger because your future is more certain.

There is certainly much more involved than the steps above, but the bottom line is that you had better be ready to market your current residence before you move into the mindset of searching for the next one.  "I'll market my home when I find something" is a mindset that will only set you up for frustration.

Take care,
Scott Morrison
scottmorrison@kw.com

Take a look at properties for sale in Gahanna

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Home For Sale in Gahanna Heights

299 Milan Drive


A GEM in Gahanna Heights!  Ranch style home with fully finished basement that includes an additional bedroom and bathroom.  It's a challenge to find something that hasn't been updated!  Fenced backyard with mature trees offers privacy while enjoying a beautifully landscaped lawn.  Walk to Creekside, Jefferson Elementary, and downtown Gahanna.

See more details of featured listings
                                     ** Please allow 24 hours for details of 299 Milan to sync with site

Showings are done by appointment only.  Please call or email to set up your tour!  Pre-qualified buyers only.  

Take care, 
Scott Morrison
614-383-8502
scottmorrison@kw.com

Search for additional listings in Gahanna here

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New Gahanna Homeowners

NEW GAHANNA HOMEOWNERS!


Congratulations to Adam and Kristina on the purchase of their new home right here in Gahanna.  It is very exciting to watch anyone buy, and especially exciting for first-time homebuyers!  

Here's wishing you many years of happiness in your new home!

Take care, 
Scott



Sunday, June 8, 2014

OPEN HOUSE IN GAHANNA

OPEN HOUSE:  Sunday JUNE 8 from 2-4pm


Full listing details here:  1133 Black Gold

Where:  1133 Black Gold Place in Gahanna

Who:  Everyone is invited.  Neighbors, friends, family, buyers, sellers... all are welcome!  Bring a friend and don't forget to tell anyone that you know who may be interested to join as well!

Schools:  High Point Elementary, Middle School East, Lincoln High School

Directions:  From 62 (E. Johnstown) turn East onto Riva Ridge.  Turn right on Venetian Way, Left on Black Gold, Left into the cul-de-sac.  RED OPEN HOUSE signs are out throughout the neighborhood.  

I'll see you this afternoon!

Take care, 
Scott Morrison

Compare this listing to others on the market:  Gahanna Home Search

Saturday, June 7, 2014

How Much Home Can I Afford?

As I've written about many times, the first step towards home ownership is getting pre approved by a lender.  It's a simple process that defines the amount of home you can afford given your credit scores, debts, assets, employment, and income (among others).

One of the major factors in determining how much home you can afford is the current interest rate that you can obtain.  Right now, as you'll see in the video below, the average rate is about 4.14%.  This varies based upon a number of factors, including your qualifications, but is very influential in determining your eventual purchase price.

I've read on a number of occasions that a 1% variation in interest rate can influence your purchasing power by 10-12%.  This means that if you are pre approved to purchase a $200,000 home today, but sign another year lease because you want to save up more money, if interest rates jump up a percentage point by next year, there is a strong possibility that you'll only be able to afford a home at $180,000 or so.

The example above is merely an example.  There are many factors that go into this equation, but the possibility of interest rate hikes are a factor that very few potential buyers consider when making their decisions.


The bottom line is that nobody should purchase a home just to guard against possible interest rate hikes.  There is very little sense in attempting to predict the market, the best time to buy or sell is when you are ready to buy or sell.  But, if you are on the fence, don't forget to discuss affordability, interest rates, and market conditions with your lender so that you can make your decision an educated decision.

Take care,
Scott Morrison
scottmorrison@kw.com


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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

NEW LISTING in BRYN MAWR

1133 Black Gold Place


ONE OF A KIND!  Resting on one of Bryn Mawr's finest lots, this 4 bed, 2.5 bath home boasts a number of unique features that are sure to please any buyer!  The wrap-around front porch will catch your eye as you drive up the cul-de-sac, and the 1/2 acre lot complete with a custom patio and beautiful landscaping are huge bonuses to the 2450 sq ft of well-kept living space.  See it soon!

Click here for a video tour of 1133 Black Gold Place

Showings available by appointment

Open house planned for Sunday June 8 from 2:00 - 4:00pm 

Take care,
Scott Morrison
scottmorrison@kw.com

Use the tabs at the top of the blog for access to several real estate tools and resources
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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Congratulations Cullens!

CONGRATULATIONS TO DUSTIN, ERIN, & FAMILY!

Proud new homeowners!  Thank you for allowing me the chance to help you along the way.  

Take care, 
Scott Morrison


Monday, May 26, 2014

Help Wanted: Need Quality Referrals

Occasionally I'll get an email that asks me to refer someone to a handyman, cleaning service, landscaper, or (insert trade here).  This past week, it has become top-of-mind because I've received several requests and what I've found is that I need more contacts that I can refer out.

I have certain contacts that have assisted me on my own home or a client's home in the past.  I keep a contact list, but my contact list is somewhat incomplete.  That's why I'm reaching out to ask for help… 

If you, or someone you know, could be of assistance in any form (home repairs, remodeling, upkeep, cleaning, plumbing, electrical, etc etc etc..) please email me using the address below.  This is a great opportunity for me to create a partnership as my client base grows.  

I appreciate your help!

Take care, 
Scott Morrison

Check out new listings in GAHANNA

Saturday, May 24, 2014

New Homeowners

The end of the month is always exciting because of the new beginnings that are created by a simple trip to the title company.

Closings an happen anytime, but most happen in the last few days of the month to lessen the amount that a buyer must pay towards accrued interest.  When you close on a mortgage, you pay up front for the interest from the closing day through the end of the month.  So, conventional wisdom says to close as close to the end of the month as possible.  There are some drawbacks for waiting until the end of the month, but neither the positives or negatives to the closing date are significant enough to make the end of the month a top priority.

The real reason for this post is to say:

CONGRATULATIONS BRANDON & KELSEY!

Brandon and Kelsey just closed on their first home!  It's always a wonderful experience to help clients
take the next step in their lives, but first-time owners are one-of-a-kind.  Best of luck to the two of you as you start your new lives together!

Take care,
Scott Morrison
scottmorrison@kw.com

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Selling: Return on Investment

Return on investment.  Those are the keywords that I take away from the video below from Keller Williams Realty's Youtube channel.  ROI is spoken of in terms of staging in the video, but it is one of the concepts that I often find myself discussing with sellers when we meet to discuss the value of their home.


Everyone wants to sell their home for the maximum possible price, that is no secret.  However, one thing I find that sellers often lose track of is how much they have to spend in order to get their maximum value.  Without going through elementary examples, the advice is to be certain that putting money into a home is going to get money out of a home.  If you spend $3000 on improvements, make sure that there is no doubt you are going to get more than $3000 out of the sale. 

That sounds extremely simple, but many sellers only see the scenario where $3000 will get them $10,000+ out of the sale.  It might, but if you have to lower your list price, or fix something that is uncovered as a result of the renovations, the dangers of losing money on those improvements become more and more into play.  

Bottom line:  carefully consider all outcomes, not just the outcome that fetches the highest selling price. If you are going to put money into a home prior to the sale, it needs to be treated as an investment, and should provide significant financial gain.

Take care,
Scott Morrison







Thursday, May 1, 2014

New Home for Robyn & Wes

Happy First Week to Robyn and Wes!!

Last Thursday, Robyn and Wes closed on their brand new MI Home in Gahanna!  I wish them the best as they continue to get settled and prepared for their wedding here in a few weeks… What an exciting time!


I was pleased to receive the picture above less than an hour after closing.  The shadowbox that I presented them as a closing gift was the first decoration to begin the personalizing of their home.   

Congratulations Robyn, Wes, & Brutus!

Take care, 
Scott Morrison

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Market HEATING UP in Gahanna

We're nearly 1/3 of the way through 2014 and the real estate market in Gahanna is heating up.  Yes, I purposefully used "heating up" because of the deep freeze that brought the market along slowly to begin 2014.

The sub-zero temperatures did the real estate business zero favors.  A close business friend of mine, Jason Kiley of Great American Title, told me that the January market was the worst month that he had seen in over 15 years.  Who can blame the consumer?… it was ZERO degrees outside!

So, how do we know it is heating up?

Closed volume is down because anything that closed in March likely went into contract during the frigid February weather.  Closed transactions decreased by a little over 10% for the first quarter of 2014 compared to 2013.

Spring breakers brought back a little sun with them and April has seen 105 single family homes go into contract in it's first 20 days.  105 is a huge number when you see that only 129 total sales were completed in the first 90 days of the year.  Compare this to last year and the first 20 days of April saw only 90 homes go into contract, an increase of over 16%.

It seems like the market is healthy, what's available and when should I list my home? 
Photo taken from the Columbus Board of Realtors MLS system on 4/20/2014
Each green mark on the picture above is a home that is currently for sale in the Gahanna area (email me for a full report).  The picture makes it seem like there are a large number available, but the truth is that inventory is low and there are buyers eagerly awaiting new properties to hit the market.  The average sale price of homes sold in 2014 is around $220,000.  The lowest sale went for $68,000 and the highest for $527,500.  Gahanna's real estate market is strong so the sooner you can get your home onto the market the better.

Helpful links:
Home Value Analysis
Homes for Sale in Gahanna
Free Real Estate Mobile App with GPS technology so that you can find the list price of any home you drive by

Take care,
Scott Morrison
614-383-8502
scottmorrison@kw.com

** All statistics were computed using a search on the Columbus Board of Realtors MLS.  Search was completed on 4/20/2014 and does not include all transactions, only those entered properly into the MLS**

Saturday, April 12, 2014

DIY Home Searches are Failing!

Research shows (as noted in the video by KWRI below) that 89% of home buyers begin their search online.

Yeah, so what is the big deal?

Buyers:
The internet can become a source of extreme frustration.  It's a playground for home seekers that is all fun and exciting until you realize that the homes you are looking at are often already in contract, or have sold months ago.  Relying on a DIY (Do It Yourself) home search for the entire process is going to lead you to a whole lot of dead leads.  It's appropriate to begin your search, and realize what you like and dislike, but once it becomes time to get serious, it is time to get a Realtor involved, especially in Today's market.  My least favorite email back to clients is the "I'm sorry, that home went into contract (insert number of months here) months ago."  The client has now gotten their hopes up, and I feel like the bad guy.  Unfortunately, I sent three of these in the past two days.



Sellers:
If you are looking to sell your home, it is important that your home is properly represented online.  Open houses, yard signs, flyers, and all of the other items that people think are important, are really secondary to the online presence.  I pride myself in making the internet a priority for a listing.  It is one thing to get a listing online, it is another to market the home online.  89% of people are getting their first impression before they even consider stepping foot in an open house or driving by your house to pick up a flyer.

Thinking of selling... start here getting an idea of the current market value of your home

The online world is great if used appropriately.  Consult your Realtor as soon as you are ready to get searching and/or selling.  It is never too early to get a head start on the search engines.

Take care,
Scott Morrison
614-383-8502
scottmorrison@kw.com

Saturday, April 5, 2014

SOLD: 8206 Arbor Rose

SOLD!

8206 Arbor Rose Way  Blacklick OH 43004

Congrats to Beth & Jeremy on the sale of their home!

The market in the area is in full swing.  The below-zero temperatures didn't help buyers or sellers through January and February, but a bit of sunshine has created some very anxious buyers.  Inventory is low creating a bit of a seller's market, so now is a great time to list your home!

Take care,
Scott Morrison
614-383-8502
scottmorrison@kw.com

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Seller's Market is BACK!

From KWRI:


Feel free to use my website at your convenience to search for a home for sale or to receive a home value report to prepare your home for sale.  

Have a great spring break Gahanna!

Take care, 
Scott Morrison

614-383-8502
scottmorrison@kw.com

Thursday, March 20, 2014

NEW LISTING: 1278 Carnoustie Circle

1278 Carnoustie Cr




Beautiful home for sale!  This is a 5 level split in The Landings at Pinnacle in Grove City.  It is a perfect location to access Stringtown road, I-71, 270, and is just a short drive to downtown Columbus.  Any friend or family member of yours looking to move into the Columbus area will be thrilled to learn that this available and will thank you for your recommendation.  

Take care, 
Scott Morrison

Call or text: 614-383-8502

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Homeowner Tax Breaks

Whether you are a DIY tax preparer, or you have your taxes done professionally, tax season brings a great deal of the unknown for most people.  Will I get a refund back?  Will I owe?  Can I write this off?

With two months to go until your taxes are due, it's time to get serious about gathering your data and getting that refund back!

I am trying something new this year.  Through the recommendation of a close friend, I'll be using Charitax.com to get the most from my return.  I've been a DIY for the past few years, and it's time that I  stop pretending to know what I'm doing.  

Eric Bisignano, founder of Charitax, and I spoke over the phone this week.  I feel more comfortable than ever in recommending his service to anyone reading.  Not only did he make me feel comfortable about preparing my documents for filing, but the mission and goals of Charitax make this a local organization I am proud to support.  If you are going to spend money getting your taxes done, it's nice to know that some of it is going to charity! 


I'd recommend talking to Eric about your Home Tax Deductions, but if you are a DIY tax preparer, this article on Don't-Miss Home Tax Breaks should at least get you started with getting the most from your home this tax season.  

Happy filing!

Take care, 
Scott Morrison
text: 614-383-8502
scottmorrison@kw.com


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Home Sales vs Mother Nature

There is no doubt that Mother Nature's decision to send us the arctic air has slowed the local real estate market.  Below zero temperatures and multiple inches of snow have significantly reduced the traffic going through listings and are causing current homeowners to delay selling until the weather turns.

So what does this mean?

For potential home sellers, past data tells us that there will be a flood of homes that hit the market over the next 60 days.  Because of the rough winter weather, numbers may be higher than usual this spring as folks have delayed listing.  So, competition will be high.  Typically when competition is high, prices tend to venture downward in order to get homes sold.  Having your home prepared to sell, and pricing it right on day 1 are the best ways to get top dollar as the spring season hits.

For potential buyers, the flood to the market for homeowners means that there will be a lot of homes to choose from.  However, there are a ton of buyers out there that are eager to find a home they love.  Because of the lower numbers this winter, many anxious buyers are waiting for the right home to present itself.  So, the good news of more inventory being on the horizon means that your options will increase.  But, more buyers will be in the market, so the best way to find the home that is right for you is to be prepared and ready to follow these tips for buying right.

I've reminded a number of buyers lately of the scenarios above.  The dangers of searching for a home during these times is that you get tired of the process and end up convincing yourself to buy something that isn't right for you.  Remain patient, do not get frustrated, people will always need to sell homes, and because of the bitter cold winter, your options will greatly increase in the very near future.

For help with getting pre-approved for a loan or starting your search for a home with my mobile app call, email, or text me... I'd be happy to help!

Take care,
Scott Morrison
text: 614-383-8502
scottmorrison@kw.com

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Selling Your Home Faster

If you've made the decision to sell your home, that should be exactly what you focus on, SELLING your home.  

I am always amazed when someone talks about wanting to "price it high to see what I can get" despite the research that shows how detrimental this could be.  In today's market, homebuyers have limitless access to information and agents are mostly savvy enough to point out overpriced listings ahead of time.  These factors contribute to buyers steering clear of your home all together.  The first walkthrough is typically online, as is the second.  Then the buyer will research price and other criteria by themselves.  They'll contact their Realtor for an opinion, and then likely go back online again, all before a showing.

Bottom line: If your home is overpriced, there are a lot of opportunities to disqualify your home long before they step inside.  Pricing right is the most important factor when it comes to getting the home sold.  


Pricing your home to sell isn't a game, it's a science (and an inexact one at that).  If you are serious about selling, work with your Realtor to get it right.  And if the price that is recommended isn't something you can do, you aren't ready to sell. 

Take care, 
Scott Morrison
scottmorrison@kw.com 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

4 Important Tips For Buying Right

I've met with several people this month that are ready to purchase a home.  Like a teacher that has a group of students eager to learn, I have come away from these meetings energized and excited to see these folks take the next step in their lives.  It adds an extra layer of the rewarding feeling for me when the future buyers are cautiously anxious and looking for guidance and education before jumping in.

Here are the 4 tips that I would offer to anyone looking to purchase a home.  If you skip steps, modify the directions, or assume that one or more aren't for you, the opportunity for a bad experience slowly creeps into the equation.

1.  Get in touch with professionals early:  Realtor and Lender.  
Making contact with both of these professionals is essential.  I'd recommend contacting your Realtor first, not for house related matters, but for a referral to a lender with whom they work closely.  A quality  lender is a Realtor's best friend.  Nothing is more frustrating for the Realtor and the client than having a deal go sour because of financing, so regardless of who you know in the business, where you do your banking, or any other circumstance, trust your Realtor and go with a lender that they know can get you a loan.  You'll meet with a lender to get pre-approved for a loan, thus setting you up for the most appropriate price range to search within for your finances and financial goals.

2.  Get your questions answered 
After meeting with the lender to get the financial side settled, sit down with your Realtor to go through the home buying process.  Gain an understanding for everything that is involved so that you can concentrate on the homes you are looking at, not all of the little things that come up during the search, the offer, the inspection, the loan process, title, approval, closing etc etc etc.

The home buying process can seem very complex, so the goal is to understand the general path before you begin.  Surprises make everyone uncomfortable, so get all of your questions answered before moving on so that your comfort level is where you need it to be to make confident and educated decisions.

3.  Embrace the process
Remember, the goal of your Realtor is to successfully get you into a home of your desires with the fewest amount of bumps in the road along the way.  A simple direction such as "drive by the home to make sure it is a neighborhood that you want to live in and that you really love the curb appeal before you ask me to schedule a showing" is in place to make it easier for you to get to that ultimate goal.  The systems that I have to help my buyers are constantly being revised as I learn something new with each experience.  A strategic approach is the best way for me to ensure a successful outcome.

4.  Be Picky
Don't settle for something that isn't right.  Too many times people want to be shoppers.  What I mean by that is that people will see something they don't like in a picture, or start to consider a home in a neighborhood they don't like, and rather than sticking with the plan to avoid those details, they go shopping hoping something catches their eye so that they can avoid that bit of the criteria that they had previously eliminated.

Rarely does this scenario work out well.  Buying a home is a life changing event.  It is often the largest financial transaction to date, and will shape your life for at least the next 7-10 years.  Be picky, it'll pay off for everyone involved.


Take care,
Scott Morrison
text: 614-383-8502
scottmorrison@kw.com

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Real Estate On Your Phone

You're driving home from work and notice a for sale sign out in front of a house.  Regardless of whether this is your neighbor, or a home on the other side of town, you almost always wonder "how much is that listed for?"

You see a QR code on the sign, but who is getting out of their car to scan that?  You see the phone number on the sign, but you really don't care all that much so you don't want to talk to a salesman.  So, naturally you look at the address and hope to remember it when you get home so that you can google the listing.  

I HAVE A SOLUTION FOR YOU!

Whether you are one of those people who attempt to remember the address, or you get your phone and try googling as you drive, you no longer need to worry about remembering anything.  Just pull over, click on my app, and the GPS software will locate you and all of the homes nearby that are for sale, not just the one you are sitting in front of.  


The app is free, and anyone can use it.  If you are someone that is just always curious when you are in the scenario above, or if you are really considering buying or selling soon, I cannot tell you how awesome it is to have this just a click away.  
If you already have the app from Zillow or Realtor.com or another big national website, you may be thinking that you don't need to get another app.  If it is working for you, great, but I guarantee that the KW app is more up-to-date and more accurate because the listing information is pulled directly from the Columbus MLS, whereas the other apps are often so full of information that they fail to sync themselves properly and you'll often find homes either not listed or homes that have sold months before still listed that will crowd your search.  
enter: KW1ZHYT1U at start up  

Below are some additional screenshots I've taken to show you a bit about the app.  Most of you may learn better by simply downloading the app and playing around with it, so skip to that part if you are ready to go!  As always, feel free to email me for questions (or just hit the "contact agent" button on the app.  If you've correctly put in the code I've given you, the response will come from me, not some random salesman).





_______________________________
Nearby Homes will scroll on top
using GPS technology
Once you click "nearby homes" the top right
corner offers a list view or map view.  I prefer map view.
Your location is the blue dot, so if you pull over to
search,  you'll see everything in the neighborhood. 
Draw a shape on the map to
focus your search on any area. 
Then you'll get any listing inside your focus area
I could go on and on with the features of this app, but I'll save it for a future post.  Download the app, follow the brief instructions, and have all of the necessary real estate information just a click away. 

Take care, 
Scott Morrison
614-383-8502
scottmorrison@kw.com
KW1ZHYT1U
KW1ZHYT1U

Thursday, January 9, 2014

To Sell in the Spring, List Your Home Now

From KWRI:


I love this message!  One of the many misunderstandings that consumers have with the business of real estate is the concept of time.  To avoid these misconceptions, if you are planning to sell your home, or planning to purchase a home in the near future, the best thing you can do is to sit down and make a plan well in advance. 

The average time a home sits on the market is somewhere between 40 and 60 days.  The goal is to sell it quicker, but anything less is always just gravy on top.  Once the home is off the market, it is still 30-45 days to get to closing.  For the best results, plan ahead and get your Realtor involved as soon as you are thinking of moving... Don't wait until selling is urgent.  

When buying a home, the same 30-45 days to get to closing remains, but buyers have to figure it is going to take time to find their home as well.  Ideally you'll find the right home right away, but more than likely it'll take 3-6 weeks or more.  Use my site to get started with your home search.  Browse until you are within 2-3 months of wanting to be in your home, then it is time to take action and schedule some showings! 

Bottom line:  Don't wait.  If you are planning a move this year, contact me Today and let me help you get on the right timeline to make the process as smooth as possible. 

Take care, 
Scott Morrison
text: 614-383-8502
scottmorrison@kw.com

Monday, January 6, 2014

Protect Your Home in Freezing Temperatures

Happy New Year!

2014 is off to a frigid start.  As I sit down to write this it is 7 degrees outside and only going to get colder!  Make sure you take the necessary steps to protect your house in freezing temperatures.

You can find endless amounts of articles like the one I've linked to above with a simple google search.  My post this afternoon is more to remind you to consider your home during these temperatures than to give you exact steps.

A few simple preventative measures can help you avoid disaster.

While you are all curled up on the couch with a warm blanket, search for a home for sale.  All of the properties you'll see are pulled directly from the Columbus MLS and cover all of Central Ohio.  Happy searching!

Stay Warm,
Scott Morrison
scottmorrison@kw.com