Closing Costs Explained

When you’re buying a home, there’s a lot more to factor in beyond just the purchase price. One of the crucial considerations is closing costs. But what exactly are these costs, and why should you care?

What are closing costs?

Closing costs refer to the various fees and expenses you incur when finalizing the purchase of your new home. They typically range from 2% to 3% of the loan amount and cover essential services like loan origination fees, title insurance, attorney fees, and more. These costs matter because they can significantly impact your overall budget for buying a home. 

Understanding and preparing for closing costs is vital because they ensure the legal transfer of property ownership and protect both you and the lender. By budgeting for these expenses upfront, you can avoid last-minute financial surprises and smoothly navigate the home-buying process with confidence.

In Ohio, closing costs usually include the following:

  • Loan Origination Fees: These are charged by your lender for processing your loan. They typically cover document preparation, underwriting, and other administrative services.

  • Appraisal Fees: Before a lender approves your loan, they need to know the home’s value. An appraisal fee pays for a professional to assess the property’s worth.

  • Title Insurance: Ohio requires both an owner’s title insurance policy and a lender’s title insurance policy. This ensures that both parties are protected against potential claims against the property.

  • Attorney Fees: While it’s not mandatory to hire an attorney for closing in Ohio, it’s highly recommended. An attorney can help review the title work, handle any legal issues, and ensure that the closing documents are accurate.

  • Recording Fees: Local governments charge a fee to officially record the sale of the property, making the transfer of ownership public record.

  • Transfer Taxes: Ohio imposes a transfer tax on real estate transactions, which is typically $1 per $1,000 of the sale price. Some counties may have additional transfer fees.

  • Settlement Fees: Also known as closing or escrow fees, these are typically split between the buyer and the seller in Ohio. These fees cover the cost of the closing agent or title company managing the closing process.

  • Costs associated with property taxes, homeowners’ insurance, mortgage interest, and the home inspection are typically paid upfront rather than at closing.

Who Pays Closing Costs in Ohio?

In Ohio, who pays closing costs can vary and is often negotiable. Typically, the buyer pays for loan-related fees. Title fees, on the other hand, are sometimes split between the buyer and seller, but in Central Ohio, the seller often pays for it entirely. If the selling isn’t covering the costs at closing, you will be required to pay all costs in the form of “guaranteed funds” such as a cashier’s check or wire transfer. Your escrow office or mortgage lender will notify you of the exact amount.

Closing costs are an essential part of buying a home, and knowing what they are and planning for them can make your journey to homeownership much smoother and less stressful. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be ready to close on your new home with confidence.

At Vutech | Ruff, Cutler Real Estate, we’re here to make your home-buying or selling experience seamless and enjoyable. We recognize that every buying and selling situation is unique, and we tailor our approach to fit your specific needs and make the whole process as easy as possible for you.

Contact us to get started! 

What to Expect During a Home Inspection

Purchasing a home is incredibly exciting, but before you celebrate it’s important to do your due diligence to determine the overall condition of the home. A home inspection does just that.

Conducted by a licensed professional, a home inspection offers valuable insight into a home’s condition, identifying any “reasonably discoverable” problems with the home, such as a leaky roof or faulty plumbing. With this information, buyers can make informed decisions, negotiate repairs or price adjustments, and, if done proactively by the seller, can help them address issues before listing the property.

What to expect during a home inspection

A home inspection is a visual assessment of a house’s physical structure and mechanical systems, including the roof, ceilings, walls, floors, windows, and doors. Generally, the home inspector will check that major appliances are functional, examine the heating and air-conditioning system, assess plumbing and electrical systems, and poke around the attic and basement. 

During a home inspection, a professional examines the condition of the property, ensuring it is safe, structurally secure, and not a potential money pit with a long list of concealed, but necessary, repairs. To do this, the inspector will look at various aspects of the property, such as: 

  • Exterior:
  • Roof condition 
  • Siding, trim, and exterior paint 
  • Foundation and grading around the house 
  • Driveways, walkways, and steps 
  • Decks, porches, and balconies 

  • Interior: 
  • Walls, ceilings, and floors for damage or defects 
  • Doors and windows for proper operation and sealing 
  • Stairways and railings for safety

  • Structural Components:
  • Foundation integrity 
  • Basement and crawl spaces for moisture and damage 
  • Attic for insulation and ventilation

  • Systems and Appliances:
  • Electrical system, including outlets, switches, and circuit breakers 
  • Plumbing system, including pipes, fixtures, and water heater 
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems 
  • Kitchen appliances for functionality

  • Safety Features:
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors 
  • Fireplaces and chimneys 
  • Garage doors and automatic openers

What a home inspection does not include

Home inspections, while comprehensive, typically don’t cover certain areas and systems, such as:

  • Underground Storage Tanks: Inspectors usually do not assess these due to the difficulty of access and the need for specialized equipment. 

  • Lawn Irrigation Systems: These are often excluded because they require specialized knowledge and equipment to evaluate properly. 

  • Septic Systems: Evaluating septic systems requires a separate, specialized inspection. 

  • Swimming Pools and Spas: These may not be covered in a standard inspection and might need a separate evaluation.

  • Asbestos, Radon, and Lead Paint: Inspectors typically do not test for these hazardous materials; specialized testing is required.

  • Pest Infestations: While inspectors might note visible signs of pests, a thorough pest inspection usually requires a pest control specialist. 

  • Chimneys and Fireplaces: Inspectors may check for basic functionality but often do not conduct in-depth inspections of chimneys and flues. 

  • Cosmetic Issues: Minor aesthetic flaws, such as paint chips or small cracks, are generally not the focus of a home inspection unless they could point to a bigger problem, such as a ceiling water stain.

For these areas, buyers may need to arrange for additional specialized inspections to get a complete assessment of the property. 

When all is said and done, the home inspector will document their findings and provide a detailed report highlighting any issues or potential problems. This report can help you make informed decisions about the property, negotiate repairs, or plan for future maintenance. Any serious issues that arise should be brought to the attention of the seller, and your agent will help you negotiate who should take care of the problems.  

When you work with Vutech | Ruff, Cutler Real Estate, you can rest assured that you have a team behind you ready to help with any questions you might have throughout the buying or selling process, including the home inspection.

Agent Spotlight: Jacquie Goumas Fox

Tell Us a little bit about your path to becoming a Realtor:

My parents moved to Ohio when I was a senior in high school. When they were on their house hunting trip I came along and as upset as I was about moving, leaving my friends, etc. That trip stayed with me. I was fascinated with the agent and the process of looking at homes as I had never moved before. I went off to college and after I came home (without a clue as to what I was going to do) I had a conversation with my parents and my father reached out to his Realtor and asked her to give me a shot. Little did I know at the time that they had no desire to take a chance on a 22-year-old kid, as at that time the industry was made up of older people, retirees, and part-time agents. I became licensed at 22 years old and haven’t looked back since.

I have worked in residential Real Estate, Commercial Real Estate, and for 15 years I owned a Title Agency, but came back to residential sales, as that is where my heart has always been.

Flashback as a 10-year-old kid. What did you want to become?

A Nurse, as I always wanted to help people. Little did I know then that is exactly what I get to do every day, just in a different capacity.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Central Ohio?

The seasons. Ohio is beautiful all of the time! Each season brings its own beauty.

What excites you most about the Central Ohio Housing Market?

The growth and the direction we are going. It literally changes every day. It continues to grow and improve; the appreciation values are incredible, and we don’t see it slowing down. It’s a great place to invest.

Typical Day:

There is nothing typical about my days as no 2 are the same the only consistency is my mornings and evenings:

Wake up between 5 and 6 am, take care of my cats and plants, meditate and exercise, in the shower, and be ready for the day coffee in hand by 8:00 am.  My typical day morning consists of Social Media posting/film/editing, database work for my past, present, and future clients, and Client outreach or preparation work. The middle of the day varies depending on what is going on but showing homes, attending inspections, closings, walk-throughs, listing appointments, working with agents in the office, marketing, and the list goes on! My evenings usually consist of cooking dinner, volunteer work, and time with friends and family.

What sets Vutech Ruff apart from other brokerages:

The people. Our team is an amazing group of individuals who are collaborative, humble professional, and hardworking. Always willing to lend a hand to help. We also have a lot of fun together; weekly office meetings always involve a lot of laughter.  It’s amazing when you can work and laugh with the same group of people.

Special Skills and Talents:

I love to cook and bake. I’m known to bring a great from-scratch cake or throw a wonderful dinner party.

Tell us a little about your family:

I’m lucky enough to have a blended family. I have 1 amazing son and 3 stepkids and 1 daughter in law.

Although they are all grown and on their own, my favorite times are when we are together.

I have amazing parents who are in great health and that I love to spend time with and a wonderful brother and his family. Our family gatherings are some of the highlights of my life.

In the fall my brother and I go away for a week with my parents every year, just the 4 of us like when we were kids. Spouses and Kids are not invited. We head to the beach and just spend quality time with each other. This year will be our 10th anniversary trip and we cherish every moment of it. I consider my family my greatest accomplishment.

In my spare time:

I honestly don’t get a lot of spare time but (Don’t laugh)I love to clean! There is just something so satisfying about working on a great home project and completing it.

Three things I couldn’t live without would be:

My Family

My Cats

My new Jura Coffee Machine. (I’m obsessed)

Downsizing for Retirement: Do or Don’t?

Retirement is a major life change that may lead you to reevaluate your priorities, and how they might impact where and how you live. If your kids are grown and you no longer need as much space and the upkeep is becoming too much (or just isn’t how you want to spend your time), you might be asking yourself: should I downsize?

The truth is there is no one-size-fits-all answer; choosing to downsize is a big decision that requires careful consideration. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

The Financial Advantage

On the one hand, downsizing can offer financial freedom and flexibility. By selling a larger home, you can reduce your mortgage or eliminate it, freeing up funds for travel, hobbies, or simply enjoying retirement to the fullest. And you’re not just shrinking your living space; you’re also downsizing the accompanying utility bills, property taxes, and maintenance costs. This can be especially beneficial for retirees on fixed incomes who need to carefully manage their expenses.

However, downsizing after retirement doesn’t always guarantee financial gains. While selling your home and moving to a smaller place can potentially free up equity and reduce living expenses, you still need to consider factors like…

  • The Real Estate Market: The value of your current home and the affordability of smaller properties in your desired location can fluctuate based on market conditions. Downsizing during a seller’s market might yield higher returns, while doing so in a buyer’s market could result in lower selling prices.  
     
  • Transaction Costs: Selling your home involves transaction costs such as real estate agent commissions, closing costs, and potential capital gains taxes. These expenses can eat into any potential financial gains from downsizing.  
     
  • Housing Costs: While downsizing can reduce certain housing-related expenses like mortgage payments, property taxes, and maintenance costs, it’s essential to consider other factors like HOA fees, insurance premiums, and utility costs in your new location.  
     
  • Quality of Life: Downsizing shouldn’t be solely about financial gains. Consider how the move will affect your lifestyle, proximity to family and friends, access to amenities, and overall happiness in your new home.  
     
  • Investment of Proceeds: If you’re planning to invest the proceeds from selling your larger home, consider the potential returns and risks associated with your investment strategy.  
     
  • Long-Term Goals: Evaluate how downsizing fits into your long-term financial goals, such as retirement savings, healthcare expenses, and legacy planning.
     

Practical Benefits

Downsizing also presents an opportunity to simplify life and declutter. After decades of accumulating possessions, many retirees find that downsizing forces them to evaluate what truly matters to them, let go of unnecessary belongings, and create a living space that is more manageable and easier to maintain.

Navigating the Downsizing Process

Ultimately, the choice to downsize depends on your individual preferences, priorities, and circumstances. It’s essential for retirees to carefully consider their financial situation and lifestyle goals to make a choice that aligns with their priorities for their golden years.  

If you do choose to downsize or are at least considering it, the team at Vutech|Ruff team is here to help. Our local real estate agents can help you set the right price for your current house when you sell, find the home that best fits your needs, and understand what you can afford at today’s mortgage rate. With our expert guidance, you can navigate the downsizing process seamlessly and transition to your new home with ease. 

Agent Spotlight: Edward Searle

Tell us a little bit about your path to becoming a realtor.  

Prior to real estate, I was a full-time dance studio owner, specializing in Irish Dancing and traveling the world conducting dance workshops. Before that, I was a dancer touring the world and worked in direct sales. I was educated at King Edward VI Grammar School for boys in Birmingham.

Flashback to when you were 10 years old. What do you want to be when you grow up? 

At 10, I really had no idea, honestly. I was just enjoying being a 10-year-old!

Why did you choose to become a realtor? 

I absolutely love property and genuinely have a passion for helping others. I believe combining the many years of experience I had in competitive dance, which had taught me great discipline and what it takes to win, along with that love I have for property, would be a great recipe for success in Real Estate.

What is your favorite thing about living in Central Ohio? 

I love that Columbus has so many charming neighborhoods. I enjoy being in easy reach of other destinations within the US. The people here are welcoming and friendly!

What excites you the most about the Central Ohio housing market? 

The absolutely fabulous and ongoing renovations of beautiful historic homes throughout Central Ohio.

Describe your typical day for us. 

My day always starts with a hearty glass of lemon water or cup of tea to kick start the day, followed by a walk around the neighborhood with my two Boson Terriers. I usually then get ready to go into the office and start tackling my to-do list which often involves checking up on things for the buyers and sellers I am working with. I typically work out early in the afternoon, 3 days per week, then have my lunch. Every day is different but from 3 pm onwards I often meet new clients, attend listing appointments, or show homes. My day ends with writing out my to-do list for the following day and a nice read of the newspapers on the phone in bed!

What sets Vutech | Ruff, Cuter Real Estate apart from other brokerages? 

We are a very down-to-earth, hard-working bunch who are consistently in the top handful of real estate teams throughout central Ohio.

What special skills or talents do you have that others may not know about? 

I am a former World Irish Dance Champion (2005) and the winner of every major Irish Dance title around the World. I have had the opportunity to travel the World in various Irish Dance productions such as Riverdance, as well as conducting dance workshops in all four corners of the globe from the age of 18. As a young instructor, I trained the first-ever female World Irish Dance Champion from Columbus and worked alongside my partner Byron to build a dance studio from, just 6 students to almost 175.

Tell us a little bit about your family. 

My mom and brother live in the UK. My partner Byron’s family are all here in Columbus.

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

Travel, volunteer in my local community, and sit on my porch!

What are three things you cannot live without? 

Dogs, pen and paper, traveling to London.

Exploring Condos in Downtown Columbus

Considering a condo purchase in downtown Columbus, Ohio? You may be ready to embrace maintenance-free living or feel drawn to the vibrant atmosphere of downtown living.

Whatever the reason you are considering the purchase of a downtown Columbus condo, we are happy to tell you about a few of our favorites. Downtown Columbus offers a variety of diverse sub-neighborhoods each with a unique vibe that feeds into an overall energetic lifestyle and the same is true for the various condo communities available.

 

The Dakota

Located in the heart of the Short North Arts District at 845 N. High Street, The Dakota offers urban luxury condo living at its finest. Within walking distance to Goodale Park, restaurants, art galleries, boutique shops, it will be hard to find another condo with easier access to the entertainment, dining, and nightlife that downtown living has to offer.   

Sterling Lofts 

Located in the Brewery District at 544 S. Front Street, Sterling Lofts offers spectacular floor plans combined with low-maintenance urban living. Just a short walk from German Village, the restaurants, and entertainment venues in downtown Columbus, Sterling Lofts also offers easy access to parks and green space including Audobon Metro Park.  

Beck Place Condominiums 

Beck Place has been carefully designed for comfort, style, and convenience while honoring the rich history of German Village.  The townhome exteriors complement the traditional German Village facades familiar in the area while offering secured rear gated access. Beck Place Condos are located at 651 S. Grant Avenue and offer 20 unique floorplans with terraces that offer a piece of the outdoors. 

The Jackson on High 

The Jackson embraces the vibrant Short North lifestyle and stands on its own as a true work of art in the Arts District. Situated on the north side of the Shor North, The Jackson on High offers a sophisticated and luxurious living experience in one of the city’s most vibrant and dynamic areas. It is conveniently located near historical neighborhoods like Italian Village and Victorian Village and other major entertainment districts including Downtown Columbus, the Arena District, and The Ohio State University District.

 

The Condominiums at North Bank Park 

Built in 2007, The Condominiums at North Bank Park combines a spirit of old meets new. The tower features unobstructed views of the downtown area, with more modern finishes, while the industrial warehouse offers more traditional loft living. North Bank is a 20-story high-rise on the southeast end of the Arena District, located at 300 W Spring St.

Parks Edge  

Parks Edge condominiums feature 200 homes with breathtaking views of the downtown skyline and Scioto River. Residents enjoy a resort-style rooftop pool and hot tub, a fitness center, and more. 

The Buggyworks 

Located in the Arena District, The Buggyworks is a renovated historic warehouse originally developed by The Columbus Buggy Company in 1902. The 68 authentic urban loft condominiums are within walking distance of Nationwide Arena, Huntington Park, New Crew Stadium, The North Market, Goodale, and North Bank Parks. 

Miranova 

Miranova is a luxury, 27-story condominium tower located just south of downtown Columbus along the Scioto River. Towering 314 feet in the air, Miranova is one of the tallest residential buildings in Ohio. The unique design and rounded glass allow all of the main rooms of each home to have the best views of the city and skyline.

Waterford Tower 

One of the premier high-rise condominiums on the downtown Columbus riverfront, The Waterford faces a breathtaking view of the city’s riverfront skyline. It is steps away from the Scioto Mile, Arena District, and Theater District. 

Burnham Square 

Designed to look both suburban and metropolitan, Burnham Square offers some of the best amenities around. This lush yet urban community features everything from brick-paved boulevards and open plazas to world-class venues and downtown conveniences, which means you’ll never have to travel far for fun. 

Hartman Lofts 

The Hartman Lofts, at 150 E Main Street, is an urban oasis near the Arena District in the heart of downtown Columbus. The Hartman Lofts are residential condominiums in a historical building that was originally a hotel dating back to 1901. Evoking a modern feel with mahogany wood ceilings and exposed brick walls. This six-story building features high-end lofts which were converted from hotel rooms to condos in 2006. In addition, the location couldn’t be more convenient with ample amounts of shopping, nightlife, and major freeways minutes away. 

Neighborhood Launch 

Located at the corner of Fourth and Gay, this nine-block community features brand-new brownstones that come in a variety of floorplans. There is also ample green space and gathering areas, as well as secure parking. The goal of Neighborhood Launch is to offer more than just a cluster of homes—it’s to create a network of neighbors who live, work, and play together. 

At Vutech & Ruff, Cutler Real Estate, our commitment extends beyond merely finding you a property; we’re dedicated to making your home-buying journey a seamless and enjoyable experience. Discover the charm, convenience, and allure of condo living in Central Ohio through our blog, where expertise meets passion, and your dream home awaits.  

Agent Spotlight: Kate Sanders

Tell us a little bit about your path to becoming a realtor…Education background, work experience. 

I went to college both at Kent State University and The Ohio State University. I spent years in the hospitality industry and in Business to Business sales before becoming a licensed agent in 2015.

Flashback to when you were 10 years old. What do you want to be when you grow up? 

The President of The United States of America

Why did you choose to become a realtor? 

In 2014, I was looking for a career change and a friend said to me, “You are such a champion of this city, and you love helping people who are new to Columbus in finding the best neighborhoods, restaurants, etc. You should look into selling real estate”. I decided to research the industry, met with a few brokers, and took about a year to think it through before deciding to take the plunge and get my license in 2015. 

What’s your favorite thing about living in Central Ohio? 

I live downtown and I love that there is always something to do in my free time whether it be taking a scenic walk down the Scioto Mile, meeting friends for dinner and drinks in the Short North, or spending a relaxing afternoon in Goodale or Schiller Park. 

What excites you the most about the Central Ohio housing market? 

Columbus has a very strong housing market and local economy. I am excited to see my city continue to grow and bring in talented professionals from around the country who are looking for an affordable city that has a lot to offer in the way of diversity, the arts, and business opportunities. 

Describe your typical day for us. 

I am a firm believer in having a morning ritual to start your day off right. I like to begin with a cup of coffee and one of my favorite podcasts. I am mindful not to look at my emails or social media first thing in the morning so that I have time instead to set intentions for the day and start my workday with a good attitude. I work throughout the day, taking time for a midday workout and often work throughout the evening – whether that be out on listing appointments, showings, or writing/negotiating an offer. No matter how busy my day is, I always end the day by writing down something I’m grateful for and adding it to my gratitude jar and reading before bed. 

What sets Vutech | Ruff, Cuter Real Estate apart from other brokerages? 

Our team is a true family of top-tier agents who value each other and our clients. We truly care about the work we do and we spend a lot of time learning how to grow as real estate experts in an ever-changing market to best serve our Seller and Buyer clients. 

What special skills or talents do you have that others may not know about? 

Albert Einstein once said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious”  

Instead, I’ll tell you a fun fact that most people don’t know: I am obsessed with Jeopardy! and my dream is to one day be a contestant on the show. 

Tell us a little bit about your family. 

I have two elderly cats. That’s it lol 

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I love to travel, hike, play golf, go to concerts, art exhibits, festivals and plays. I spend time volunteering in my community and run a fundraiser every year to provide both foster children and children in domestic violence shelters with Christmas gifts. 

What are three things you can’t live without? 

Books, music and coffee 

All About Down Payments

You might be eager to buy a new home, but the down payment has you questioning whether it is a realistic dream. The good news is that it may be more achievable than you think.  

While a 20 percent down payment has been the traditional standard for purchasing a home, the fact is that it is not mandatory and there are loan options that have a much lower minimum requirement. That means you could be closer to your homebuying dream than you realize. 

How Much Down Payment Do You Need to Buy a House? 

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median down payment hasn’t been over 20% since 2005. In fact, for all homebuyers today it’s only 15%; and just 8% for first-time homebuyers.   

Lenders and government programs have different down payment requirements, depending on the type of loan being used. While most home buyers purchase homes with conventional loans, other financing options are available.  

Types of Mortgage Loans 

  • Conventional loan: These loans don’t have backing from a governmental program and, therefore, have stricter standards for credit scores, debt-to-income ratio (DTI), and down payments. Specifically, first-time home buyers must provide a down payment of 3% or higher, and experienced home buyers must put down at least 5%. 
     
  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan: Backed by the FHA, these loans require private lenders to follow government regulations when providing loans to borrowers with weaker credit and lower incomes. Because of the more flexible loan requirements, FHA loans require a 3.5% down payment for all buyers. 
     
  • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loan: VA loans are for veteran and active-duty military members and eligible surviving spouses. have minimal financial hurdles, and oftentimes do not require a down payment. 
     
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan: USDA loans are for borrowers in qualifying rural areas with moderate financial requirements, and borrowers don’t have to have a down payment to qualify. 

Down Payment Assistance 

There also are a variety of resources available to help with a down payment. In fact, there are over 2,000 homebuyer assistance programs in the U.S., many intended to help with down payments. Your lender can help identify programs for which you may qualify. If you’re ready to become a homeowner, lean on your trusted advisors to find resources that can help you make your dreams a reality.  

At Vutech | Ruff, Cutler Real Estate, our team is ready to help. We pride ourselves on our in-depth knowledge of the Ohio real estate market and financing options available for our clients. 

Finding your dream home is one thing. Your dream experience is another. Contact us and let’s have a conversation. 

Prepping for Spring

As the weather warms up, so does the real estate market. This means now is the perfect time to prepare your home to sell in anticipation of a busy spring selling season in Central Ohio.  

Although it may seem a bit overwhelming to get your home ready to sell, there are a few simple things you can do to ensure your home gives a great first impression to potential buyers.  

Curb Appeal

Spring is the ideal time to spruce up your home’s exterior. Start by giving your lawn a fresh mow and trimming any unruly bushes or trees. Consider adding pops of color with seasonal flowers or potted plants to enhance curb appeal. A well-maintained exterior sets a positive tone before buyers even step foot inside. 

Declutter

Create an inviting atmosphere by decluttering and depersonalizing your space. Clear countertops, shelves, and closets of excess items to make rooms feel more spacious and allow buyers to envision themselves living there. Pack away personal photos and belongings to help buyers focus on the potential of the home itself. 

Let There Be Light

Welcome the natural light of spring into your home by opening curtains and blinds during showings. Replace any outdated light fixtures or bulbs to brighten up rooms and create a warm, inviting ambiance. Adequate lighting can make spaces feel larger and more inviting to potential buyers. 

Deep Clean and Organize

A thorough cleaning is essential to showcase your home in its best light. Pay attention to often overlooked areas such as baseboards, light switches, and ceiling fans. Consider hiring professionals for deep cleaning, including carpets and upholstery. An organized and sparkling clean home speaks volumes to buyers about the care and maintenance of the property. 

Neutralize Color Palettes

While you may love bold colors, potential buyers might prefer a blank canvas. Consider repainting walls in neutral tones to appeal to a broader range of tastes and make it easier for buyers to imagine themselves in the space. Neutral colors also help rooms feel more spacious and allow buyers to focus on the architectural features of your home. 

Showcase Outdoor Living Spaces

Take advantage of the warmer weather by highlighting outdoor living spaces. Clean and stage patios, decks, and backyard areas to showcase their potential for entertaining and relaxation. Invest in outdoor furniture or accessories to create inviting outdoor vignettes that inspire buyers to envision themselves enjoying the space. 

Make Necessary Repairs

Address any lingering maintenance issues to ensure your home is in top condition for potential buyers. Fix leaky faucets, squeaky doors, and any other minor repairs that could detract from the overall appeal of your home. Investing in these repairs upfront can prevent potential buyers from negotiating down the asking price later. 

Once your home is prepped for sale, it’s time to find a real estate agent to help guide you through the selling of your home.  Your agent should be knowledgeable about the market, know the listings on the MLS in your area, as well as what is coming soon, and be familiar with recent comparable sales in your neighborhood.  

From pricing the home to suggesting minor updates and fixes around the house to get it ready for selling, your agent can guide you through the process to closing. 

At Vutech | Ruff, Cutler Real Estate, we stand ready to offer our expertise. We consistently rank among the highest-producing teams in Central Ohio. Explore our qualifications or initiate the home-selling process by reaching us at 614-897-0618 or contacting us online today. 

What To Expect in the Central Ohio Housing Market: Fall 2023 

When we talk about the housing market in Central Ohio, the common theme is around interest rates – higher rates. Sellers only want to sell if necessary, and buyers continue to have difficulty finding homes due to low inventory.  

It can be hard to understand what is happening right now, as well as what to expect as we head into the final quarter of 2023. Based on our years of experience, here are three trends we expect to continue in the Central Ohio housing market this fall. 

Sellers will have a decision to make 

Sellers are deciding if they really “have” to move. The frenzy of record-high housing prices we have seen over the last few years is starting to cool down as the market is trending toward stabilization. 

Keep in mind that many homeowners have established equity in their homes and are sitting on a mortgage payment with a record low of 2-4% interest rate. In fact, the Columbus Board of Realtors recently reported that between January 1 and June 30, homes, on average, appreciated by over 20%. And they will continue to increase in value, contributing to higher home prices. 

The good news is that we are seeing an increase in inventory and fewer bidding wars.  

Buyers regain negotiating power 

Now that the buyers have more options, they have gained some leverage. While still contingent on factors including financial situation, property, neighborhood, etc., buyers are beginning to see opportunities such as:

  • • Opportunities for negotiation 
  • • The ability to offer under-asking if they have cash 
  • • Less money out of pocket 
  • • Less waiving of appraisals, contingencies, etc.

Less focus on interest rates 

Interest rates are higher; there is no way to avoid that. But there are other ways to save money when buying a new home in the current market. Remember those opportunities for negotiation that we mentioned?  

Our seasoned real estate expert Jacquie Goumas Fox notes, “People have grown accustomed to the higher interest rates. They have accepted them for what they are and factor that into their budget.”  

The bottom line 

The supply/demand imbalance will continue in Central Ohio. With the news of Intel, there are plenty of economic drivers for business, and entertainment opportunities are abundant. The fact is that while we have always known that Central Ohio is a great place to live, the rest of the world is figuring it out for themselves and the desire to live here will remain high.  

When you are ready to have a conversation about buying or selling, turn to our trusted team at Vutech | Ruff to help you navigate the complexities of the Central Ohio real estate market. We go beyond the standard practice and work collaboratively and creatively to help you reach your desired outcome.

It’s one thing to find your dream home, it’s another to have your dream experience.