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Disputing Your Property Tax Bill

by The Schuman Team

Guest Blog Post From Sleggs, Danzinger & Gill, Co., LPA

Ohio Deadline Approaching

Ohio property owners know that real estate values in many counties have stabilized but some properties are still under performing.

The deadline for Ohio property owners to file a complaint against the January 1, 2016 Assessment of Real Property in any county in Ohio is March 31, 2017 .

The following counties in Ohio have reappraised or updated their real property values for the Tax Year 2016, so a review of property values in these counties and all Ohio counties should be performed.

ohio property owners

We are available to assist you in all aspects of the property tax process, including:
• Conducting the initial review of your assessment
• Negotiating with the applicable taxing authorities before values are finalized
• Preparing the filing the Tax Compaint
• Litigating the Tax Appeal before all of the available forums

Sleggs, Danzinger & Gill, Co., LPA serves both Ohio property owners and property owners nationwide. The firm is a member of the National Property Tax Group (NPTG), a national affiliation of tax attorneys and consultants allowing SD&G to assist property owners nationwide. For additional information regarding our national practice and NPTG, please visit the website at http://nptg.com/

For further information and assistance, please contact our office at 216 771-8990 or use our simple CONTACT FORM.

Cleveland East Side Suburbs - Year In Review 2016

by The Schuman Team

Solon Sold homes

 

Here is our official 2016 real estate report for the East side suburbs of Cleveland. We did a comparison from last year to 2015. Suburbs are in alphabetical order.

BAINBRIDGE

Year           # of homes sold         Ave. Sales Price              Ave. Days on Market

2016                        39                         $391,721                             169

2015                        40                         $403,433                             156

Highest Sale = $870,000

Lowest Sale = $45,000

Luxury Sales     # of homes sold        Ave. Sales Price              Ave. Days on Market

2016                        14                            $630,314                               185

2015                        10                            $685,483                               162

 

BEACHWOOD

Year           # of homes sold         Ave. Sales Price              Ave. Days on Market

2016                       123                        $312,602                              81

2015                       102                        $291,245                              104

Highest Sale = $815,000

Lowest Sale = $80,000

Luxury Sales     # of homes sold        Ave. Sales Price              Ave. Days on Market

2016                        11                            $685,594                                84

2015                        10                            $584,240                               118

 

MORELAND HILLS

Year          # of homes sold         Ave. Sales Price              Ave. Days on Market

2016                        47                         $531,774                              173

2015                        44                         $425,694                              144

Highest Sale = $1,850,000

Lowest Sale = $98,000

Luxury Sales     # of homes sold        Ave. Sales Price              Ave. Days on Market

2016                        20                            $831,983                               195

2015                        12                            $742,533                                90

 

ORANGE

Year           # of homes sold         Ave. Sales Price              Ave. Days on Market

2016                        24                         $340,220                              126

2015                        19                         $339,639                              118

Highest Sale = $887,500

Lowest Sale = $105,000

 

PEPPER PIKE

Year           # of homes sold         Ave. Sales Price              Ave. Days on Market

2016                        116                        $425,281                             139

2015                        110                        $421,096                             128

Highest Sale = $1,045,000

Lowest Sale = $150,000

Luxury Sales     # of homes sold        Ave. Sales Price              Ave. Days on Market

2016                        32                            $661,389                               120

2015                        32                            $655,505                               123

 

SHAKER HEIGHTS

Year          # of Homes Sold        Ave. Sales Price   Ave. Days on Market

2016                      399                    $277,280               113

2015                      356                    $281,796               136

Highest Sale = $1,937,500

Lowest Sale = $13,000

Luxury Sales     # of homes sold        Ave. Sales Price              Ave. Days on Market

2016                       49                              $696,529                            176

2015                       34                              $672,500                            170

 

SOLON

Year          # of Homes Sold        Ave. Sales Price   Ave. Days on Market

2016                      335                    $309,712               111

2015                      303                    $310,027                98

Highest Sale = $840,000

Lowest Sale = $75,000

Luxury Sales     # of homes sold        Ave. Sales Price              Ave. Days on Market

2016                       48                              $656,169                            118

2015                       36                              $672,009                            115

 

TWINSBURG

Year           # of homes sold         Ave. Sales Price              Ave. Days on Market

2016                        278                         $242,521                             278

2015                        259                         $231,464                             259

Highest Sale = $530,000

Lowest Sale = $29,900

*source NEOHREX ( Regional MLS )

 

2017 MARKET OUTLOOK

First quarter sales will certainly be in line with last year as there are 111 homes currently under contract in the above mentioned communities. Inventories are low now so many buyers are on the sidelines waiting for the new crop of homes to hit the market over the next 30-60 days.

It's hard to imagine the market being better overall than in 2016, especially with a possibility of rates increasing. The determining factor may be available inventory over the next 3-4 months.

Homes will continue to sell for close to 96% of asking price. It certainly helps a seller if the home is properly priced and staged up front.

Buyers would be wise to get pre-approved well in advance so they can jump on the right home when it comes on the market. With limited inventory, especially early in the year, you can't afford to hesitate.

How's Your Curb Appeal?

by The Schuman Team

 

Curb appeal is a popular buzz word in real estate. Your home will be judged within seconds based on how it looks from the outside, regardless of how many interior upgrades you have done.

Knowing this, we highly recommend to our clients that they evaluate their landscaping on a yearly basis to ensure it is always looking its best.

BUT MY YARD LOOKS GREAT

Let’s be honest, no one is going to tell you that your landscaping looks awful. The homeowner is often the last person to realize their yard needs work.

Next time you approach your home, stop at the street and take an honest look to see how it appears. Also, compare it to the rest of the neighborhood. Is it beautiful and well maintained, or is it overgrown in places, needing a little work.

YOU WON'T SELL WHAT YOU CAN'T SEE

While having professionally maintained landscaping is great, all the time, money and effort you put into your yard is wasted if you can’t see your home due to overgrown trees and bushes.

While it may not be a big deal to you at this time, it will affect resale. Additionally, there are benefits you can enjoy immediately by trimming and removing overgrown trees and landscaping.

I personally had a tree get so big in my front yard that we couldn’t see half of my house. The fact that it was a great tree and looked so pretty in the fall kept me from seeing the reality that it needed to go.

We hired a well respected landscaper who made some recommendations including removing that tree. I fought him on it but now that it’s gone, I realize we should have done it much sooner.

Not only can we see our house again but we get a ton more sunlight in the rooms that were previously darkened by the shade of that tree.

NOW WHAT?

If you have the means, I highly recommend hiring a professional landscaper to assess your property. I realize it’s not a cheap endeavor but it’s a worthwhile investment, especially on higher end homes.

If cost is a concern, the internet has a ton of sites full of great do it yourself ideas. Fall is a great time to get good deals on trees, bushes and perennials, so now is the time to take action.

How the outside of your home looks is a reflection of you. So take some time to make sure it looks great.

Home Improvements - Cost vs. Value

by The Schuman Team

Our clients constantly ask us about the types of things they can do to add value to their home. Typically, you can never go wrong with kitchens, baths, and a decked-out lower level, things that today's buyers gravitate toward.

There are a lot of things to consider, however, including how long you plan to remain in your home. There's no reason to do a major kitchen remodel if you plan to move in 3 years. Sometimes just putting in granite, new fixtures, and painting can make a difference in terms of resale.

Here are the top 5 projects that will give you the biggest bang for your buck, in terms of percentage of costs recouped*:

1.  Garage Door - 109%

2.  Entry Door - 84.1%

3.  Siding - 79.9%

4.  Windows - 65.4%

5.  Kitchen - 62.9%

Here's a link to the cost vs. value report for the Cleveland area.

* Source: Remodeling Magazine

If you are planning on doing some projects around your home this fall, just be aware of expectations regarding your return on investment.

5 Winter Projects That Will Increase Your Home's Value

by The Schuman Team

Winter is the best time to do home improvement projects.

Why? Contractors are more available, material prices come down before the spring market, and you may personally have more free time on your hands, especially during winter vacation.

So with that in mind, here are 5 projects you should consider this winter to add value to your home.

1.Wow Your Walls - Adding trim, crown molding, accent walls or a sharp new paint color can provide an instant upgrade to any room.

2. Bring On The Backsplash - For a relatively small amount of money, a backsplash is an easy way to completely change the look of a kitchen.

3. Let There Be Light - Changing out dated light fixtures, ceiling fans, and adding lamps can make a room look more current and brighter.

4. Closet Organizers - Wire shelves scream "builder grade" to buyers. Spending a little money can add much needed space and organization to a closet and add resale value down the road.

5.  Hardware - Get off your ass and replace that brass! Most people have outdated hardware, including doorknobs and handles. Replacing all of your hardware is a project that will change the look of your entire home and can be easily done yourself.

These projects will help you fall in love with your home again and offer value down the road when you go to sell.

The Most Important Question You Can Ask Someone

by The Schuman Team

question to ask clients

 

Communication is key, whether it's a business or personal relationship.  If you have something to say, you certainly want your message to be received, don't you?

So it is important to ask people this one simple yet specific question, a question that could make or break you.

Want to know what it is?  Here you go:

 

"WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED METHOD OF COMMUNICATION?"

 

Let's face it, what you say, and when you say it are important, but nothing is more critical than how you say it.  As the old saying goes, if you give the people what they want, they'll keep coming back for more.

PHONE, TEXT, OR EMAIL?

Remember, this isn't about me or you, it's about those around us. Some people love email, while others rather text. There are also many folks that still prefer speaking by phone or face to face.  

While many of us don't give it much thought, it is important to recognize how other people prefer to get their information, otherwise the message can get lost.

My parents learned the hard way as they continued for years to try to call my kids by phone. They grew frustrated at the lack of response until I suggested they start texting instead. Now, communication between the two generations has never been better.

Even if you have a preferred method to communicate, the people around you may prefer a different way.  By asking this one simple question, it could make a huge impact and lead to better relationships with those around you.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. They specialize in relocation, Solon luxury homes, and move-up buyers.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

The Most Important Question You Can Ask Someone is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent.©September, 2015

7 Apps You Can't Live Without

by The Schuman Team

We all rely on apps to make business and personal life more efficient.

In an effort to help make all of your lives easier, we reached out to our past clients and asked what apps they cannot live without. Here's what they come up with:

 

Cozi - Helps families stay organized. Allows multiple family members to manage appointments and schedules with one account, as well as organize and update shopping and to-do lists. We personally use this and it rocks.

DarkSky - Predicts down to the minute weather conditions at your exact location.

Dropbox - Keeps your files safe and allows you to easily share photos, docs and videos.

Lastpass - Password manager. Saves your passwords and gives you secure access from every computer and mobile device.

TripAdvisor - Read reviews on hotels, restaurants, a must have when traveling.

True Caller - Identify missed calls, avoid telemarketers,  and keep current contact’s information up-to-date.

Waze - Nothing is worse than getting stuck in traffic. This app gets information from real drivers and will track real time traffic.

How To Dispute My Property Tax Bill

by The Schuman Team

We have been bombarded from friends and past clients lately regarding the recent notice that was mailed out last week regarding property taxes.

So, we decided to send out some information that we hope you will find helpful.

TO DISPUTE OR NOT DISPUTE

You need to first decide if the proposed 2015 value of your home is accurate. If it is, you don't have to do anything.

However, if you don't agree, you can formally dispute:

1. By going on line at www.fiscalofficer.cuyahogacounty.us

2. Mailing in the response form that was sent to you.

3. Attending an informal meeting in person.

All of these scenarios require you to provide documentation to support your claim. A recent appraisal is likely the best but if cost or time constraints won't allow this, there is other documentation you can provide such as:

Recent purchase agreement

Contractor estimates for deferred maintenance along with pictures

Recent sales of comparable properties

The last item is where we come in as we can provide that to you at no charge.

Let us know if you need our help.

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Oh, by the way, we are looking to grow our business. If you know of anyone looking to buy or sell a home, PLEASE give us their name and number so we can contact them. We promise to be a positive reflection of you and treat them like family.

We can be reached at 216-403-9189 or simply hit reply and send us your contacts information.

Thank you so much for thinking of us.

 

The Ugly Truth About Bidding Wars In Ohio

by The Schuman Team

Yes, it’s true – we are seeing multiple offer situations in Northeast Ohio.  Inventory has been low and when a sweet home comes on the market, buyers will jump to snatch it up before someone else does.

Bidding wars can get ugly fast but if you know what you're doing, you can end up getting the home of your dreams.

THE RULES ARE UNFAIR

Many buyers initially think there are certain rules that sellers must abide by in a multiple offer situation to make things fair for everyone.  Unfortunately, this is not true. They can do whatever they want. Here are some “ugly truths” you may not know:

  • Sellers do not need to follow any order in responding to an offer.  First offer in doesn’t win you first place in line for negotiations. 
  • Seller can respond to any and all (or none) of the offers in any way they see fit.
  • The listing agent does NOT need to disclose that there is more than one offer.  That means they can tell none, all, or even only some of the parties what is going on.
  • The highest purchase price doesn’t always win you the home. 

In a nutshell, the Listing Agent is bound to do WHATEVER the SELLER wants them to do.

Sound like fun yet? Wait, there's more.

  • Rejecting a sellers counter offer negates that offer. If you change your mind after and want to accept the sellers' counter, the seller must agree again to those terms.
  • Get it in writing!  A verbal acceptance of an offer from a seller is not binding in the State of Ohio.  If buyer and seller are in agreement, have your agent get it in writing ASAP.  You never know when someone may tempt the seller with a sweeter deal ( we've seen this happen ) .

Many buyers shy away from these transactions out of fear or ego. However, if you really love a home, don't be discouraged.

Most of our buyers end up winning in these situations because we are able to help them stand out from the competition.

HOW TO WIN A BIDDING WAR

Here are some things you can do to win out:

  1. Have a top notch agent by your side, one with experience working in these situations.
  2. Make sure your pre-approval is solid and from a recognizable lender. Giving the sellers an approval from an unknown internet lender may keep the sellers from wanting to work with you.
  3. Have your agent present your offer in person if possible.  He or she will be able to personalize the transaction and differentiate you from other buyers.
  4. Give the seller what they want, such as their preferred closing date and earnest money amount.
  5. Go in strong. If you go in with a weak offer, you probably won’t get another chance.

During a bidding war, someone is going to lose the home of their dreams. Don't let it be you.

 

Why Cleveland Real Estate Transactions Don't Close

by The Schuman Team

 

While bringing buyer and seller together is a challenge, keeping things together is even more difficult.

Today, we will discuss why real estate transactions fail to close and what can be done to avoid these problems.

MAIN REASONS FOR FAILURE

1. FINANCING

While all buyers get pre-approved prior to submitting an offer, things can still go wrong. Buyers lose their jobs, incur extra debt, or have unforeseen challenges when getting loan approval.

For example, we had a buyer who got paid salary and a bonus and used his total income to qualify for a loan. The underwriter would not allow the bonus to be included as it was not guaranteed and inconsistent from year to year. Therefore, the buyer could no longer qualify. 

The best way to avoid financing problems is to first hire a great loan officer, and then make sure nothing is left to chance. Communicate to your loan officer up front about everything to make sure you don’t run into last minute problems.

2. APPRAISALS

Regardless of what price buyer and seller agree to, the lender has final say. If their appraisal comes in below the purchase price, you could have a problem.

While a low appraisal doesn’t always kill a transaction, it does require either re-negotiation on price or willingness of the buyer to bring in the difference between purchase price and appraised value.

We always recommend our clients try to work something out with the other party. However, there are cases where the gap is just too big to overcome.

3. HOME INSPECTIONS

One of the biggest reasons that a transaction dies is due to the general home inspection. It’s not necessarily what’s on the report that quashes the deal, but how a buyer reacts to the information.

For example, while mold is fairly common, especially in attics, some buyers run for the hills at the mere mention of the word. 

The reality is that mold can be found in a large percentage of homes here in Cleveland and is easily treated. If a buyer is thoroughly informed up front what to expect during the inspection,  perhaps their expectations can be better managed. This entails thorough communication and education from their agent, which leads us to the next item.

4. COMMUNICATION

Lack of communication between client and their real estate agent can create huge problems.  There are issues that arise during every step of the transaction that , if not prepared, can cause a buyer or seller to react irrationally.

Nobody likes surprises, so a good communicator will prepare their client for potential problems and be able to effectively navigate them through the many obstacles they will surely encounter.

A real estate transaction is very complicated and it doesn’t take much for things to fall apart. Being aware of the main pitfalls and hiring a great agent will help keep things together and get you to the closing table.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 19

Contact Information

The Schuman Team
HOWARD HANNA REAL ESTATE SERVICES
3550 Lander Road
Pepper Pike OH 44122
Dan: 216-346-3235
Amy: 216-403-9189
Fax: 216-456-2333