There’s a bidding frenzy going on in Columbus. It’s just like in the “good old days”, when the housing boom was at its peak and listings lasted just a day, before they were snapped up by eager home buyers.

The current boom is only temporary and certainly won’t last very long. Most likely this buying frenzy was artificially fueled by the the home buyer tax credit, which will expire in just 9 days. Beginning May 1 everything will be back to normal.

Let me give you a little insight of what you are running into, if you are trying to buy a house.

Last week 2 of my customers lost out on a number of offers for Columbus OH homes for sale. These were all bank-owned (REOs) homes. It seems they are listed for a day, are priced well below market and in move-in condition. On two separate occasions I called the listing agent a day after the house appeared on the MLS, only to be told that it’s already in contract.

Another example of this boiling hot real estate market in Central Ohio is the one and only HUD house in Upper Arlington. It is located at 3089 Bembridge Road just a block from the Kingsdale Shopping Center and a 5 minute walk to the High School. Definitely a very desirable location.

This rare find – there are hardly and HUD homes for sale in Upper Arlington – went in contract earlier this week for $198,700, after it was listed for $175,000 for 10 days. That’s 13% above asking price for a home that needs a lot of updating in kitchen and bathrooms.

Here are my 3 tips on how to deal with this situation, if you want to buy a house:

  1. Delay writing an offer until May. You won’t get the tax credit, however, the seller may accept a lower price as you have less competition. This is worthwhile, if you don’t qualify for the tax credit or if you can find a home for $8,000 less after May 1, 2010.
  2. Write reasonable offers. If you absolutely have to get the tax credit and must write a contract by April 30, don’t low-ball. Work with an experienced Columbus real estate agent like me. I will make sure you don’t overpay, but I will also make sure you have a reasonable chance to get the offer accepted.
  3. Select a house with less competition. There are houses that get less attention and therefore, the competition may be lower. This could be the case, if a house is overpriced. Everyone wants to see the “cheap” homes – the ones that are listed way below market value. But nobody looks at the more expensive ones. With a little bit of luck and negotiation help from your realtor, the seller may take an offer lower than their asking price.

Give me a call at 614-975-9650! I am sure I can find a house for you that’s a great value at a very reasonable price, even if the market is super hot like today!

Thanks for reading the Blog!
Posted by: Susanne Novak, ABR, FIS, GRI
Columbus Real Estate Agent helping First Time Buyers.
(614) 975-9650