1. Patience is key
Higher inventory, coupled with lower demand due to rising interest rates, is causing sellers to drop their listing prices. Patient buyers have more negotiating power than they did before, as well as less competition from other buyers and investors in the area. Rather than worrying about bidding wars, buyers can now include contingencies in their offers, negotiate on a home’s price, and be more selective about the properties they consider.
Columbus real estate is spending the same amount of time on the market, although specific areas in Columbus are seeing longer market times. This creates more opportunities for buyers to wait out a good deal. In Short North, the days on the market have increased 269.2% since last year, up to 48 days. In German Village, the increase is even more severe at 387.5%, up to 39 days from its meager five days last year. Longer market times also lessen the pressure on buyers to choose a home quickly.
2. Understand the seller
Across Columbus, the average sales price has increased by 9.8% since last year. Buyers should keep this in mind when searching for properties in the area. German Village real estate has seen lower rates of appreciation, with the average sales price increasing by 6.3% over the past year. Meanwhile, certain neighborhoods like Short North have experienced a decrease in average sales prices, down 8.1% since 2021. Depending on where the seller is located, they may be more or less motivated to bargain.
Columbus, in general, has seen a decrease in closed sales, as well as a decrease in new listings. With lower sales and lower inventory, knowing how to act as a buyer can be complicated. Although lower inventory may be working in a seller’s favor, many sellers are also impacted by less buyer demand, causing a drop in prices. Buyers should remember this when starting their home search in the area.
3. Partner with an agent
One of the best things to do when searching for Columbus real estate is to partner with an agent in the area. An agent will be up to date with market information across Columbus and its neighborhoods and can use this information to help guide your search and purchase. They can learn about a seller through the seller’s agent, helping you to make a good offer. An agent will know when a home is overpriced and can point out potential red flags in a property.
An agent’s access to reliable market sources gives them the information necessary to give you objective opinions and informed advice. This can be especially helpful when market conditions are in flux, as they are in Columbus and across the US. Rather than trying to determine the impact of low inventory and low home sales prices yourself, an agent can explain how these factors work for and against your favor, then help you navigate through them.
Lastly, an agent can help you expand your search, which is especially helpful in Columbus’ low inventory market. They’ll have access to listing platforms like MLS, and they’ll have connections to sellers’ agents in the area, providing you with as much information about home listings as possible. When it comes time to negotiate, an agent will know how much leeway they have based on the market conditions when bargaining parts of the offer, like contingencies, dates, and prices.