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Cleveland Ohio Area Real Estate

Your Cleveland and Northeast Ohio Realtor

By Dominic Picione | Agent in North Royalton, OH
  • Pricing Your House Right The First Time

    Posted Under: General Area in Cleveland, Market Conditions in Cleveland, Home Selling in Cleveland  |  February 6, 2014 6:38 AM  |  618 views  |  No comments
    Pricing your house right the first time will help ensure that you not only get offers, but that the offers come in earlier than if you'd priced too high.

  • New Home Construction - Reasons To Have Realtor Representation

    Posted Under: General Area in Cleveland, Market Conditions in Cleveland, Home Buying in Cleveland  |  October 17, 2013 7:39 AM  |  535 views  |  No comments

    Buying a new home is exciting, and home construction is on the rise. You get to build your home the way you want it to be. But like any home purchase, new construction is an expensive transaction with many financial implications. 

    Here's why it’s a good idea to obtain representation from a Realtor when considering new construction:

    Sales Reps Work For The Builder. Builders usually have their own agents or representatives on site to discuss the home construction process, and help with a potential purchase. They can explain how the builder compares to competitors, differences between models and floor plans, go over your financing options, upgrades and specials, etc. But it’s important to know that builder reps represent the builder. 

    Fiduciary Duties. When you use Realtor representation, their responsibility is to you. You have a local expert who is looking out for your best interests, who’s contractually obligated to protect you. A buyer's agent can help you navigate the contract and help you understand the specific clauses, riders and upgrade, making sure you know what you need to before you sign on the dotted line.

    Negotiating. Finding the right model and choosing your upgrades is fun, and you should truly try to enjoy the experience. The contracts and negotiating terms and options is the not-so-fun part, and can be quite daunting.  Most buyers don't know they can even negotiate with a builder. Your agent can also present other financing options or possibly work with the builder’s lender directly to get you a better rate for your mortgage.

    Navigating You to Closing. Signing a contract with a builder is step one in the process. You must also line up financing, work with title companies, attend numerous inspections and make sure completion of the home meets the deadline. Your Realtor can manage that process to ensure you’re not missing anything at each stage of your new home's construction.

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  • Home Value Accuracy - Agent Versus Software Estimates

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Cleveland, Home Buying in Cleveland, Home Selling in Cleveland  |  October 10, 2013 7:24 AM  |  562 views  |  No comments
    If you're considering buying or selling a home, I'm sure you've probably looked at various real estate sites to see how much homes are valued for.  As a real estate professional, I get clients that ask me about these home value estimates all the time.  Some of them have almost decided not to buy or sell a home, because they trusted these estimated to be accurate, and they got the impression they could not meet their selling or purchasing goals.

    So, I decided to due my homework and see just how accurate these estimates are.  I went to the most well known site for home value estimates...Zillow.  Their "Zestimates," as they're called, provide home value estimates of any home, whether they're for sale or not.  Zillow states that this is not to be construed as an appraisal, but an opinion of value.

    The issue is, these values are derived from county tax values, last sales price, surrounding homes in different communities and school districts.  It may also use homes that while close in proximity, are of varying quality, size, condition, age, and/or distressed (foreclosure or short sale).  The homes could be in a better or worse location as well (train tracks, near highway, on a main road, etc).

    I attached a screen shot from Zillow's website that discloses the accuracy of their "Zestimates," which can be viewed at the following link as well.  ZESTIMATE ACCURACY

    Zillow Zestimate Accuracy Disclosure

    Being a Realtor in the Cleveland and Northeast Ohio area, I'll ask you to draw your attention to the Cleveland OH statistics. As you can see, the "Zestimates" are only 35.9% accurate within 5% of the true value, 63.7% within 10% of true value and 83.7% accurate within 20% of true value.  If an agent had accuracy numbers like these, he/she wouldn't be a very successful Realtor.

    To put this in perspective, if a seller owned a $250,000 home, the differences at these 5-20% levels of accuracy could range from $12,500-$50,000!  If the seller's home is one of the 16.3% that weren't even accurate within 20%, this number could be even higher.

    The point is, as I explain to all of my clients, using the internet to obtain real estate knowledge can be a great thing, but can also be misleading or incorrect.  Knowing the source of your information is very important, and it's the reason I wrote this article.  Specific to this topic, nothing replaces the valuation of a local real estate agent.  And when choosing a Realtor, be sure to interview more than one to make sure you're choosing a knowledgeable agent that will successfully guide you through your transaction.

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  • Realtor Confidence Levels Up Nationally, January 2013 Report

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Cleveland, Home Buying in Cleveland, Home Selling in Cleveland  |  January 24, 2013 6:05 AM  |  262 views  |  No comments
    Realtor confidence levels are up significantly across the nation. The market is still being held back by a few obstacles, but the national market showing great improvement and going in the right direction.

    Here is a recent article from the National Association of Realtors on the subject:

    The year 2012 ended on a high note. Based on information gathered from the  December 2012 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, the Current Conditions Confidence Index increased for all property types. The index for single family homes rose to 56 from from 32 a year ago, indicating a shift in expectations from “below moderate” to “above moderate”.  An index of 50 means moderate conditions or expectations.   The index for townhouses ended at 39 compared to 19 last year, while the index for condominiums was at 31 compared to 14 last year.

    REALTORS® generally reported brisker sales, rising home prices, and shorter days on the market.   However,  the market recovery continued to be held back by low inventory and  a tight  and drawn out underwriting process, especially for shortsales. Appraisal issues, the modest pace of economic recovery and job growth, and the potential adverse impact of ‘fiscal cliff” measures and  regulations on mortgage lending (e.g, Qualified Mortgage rules) were major concerns. REALTORS® also reported reduced activity in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy and  concerns over the potential dampening effect of higher flood insurance rates.

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  • 4th Quarter 2012 Real Estate Statistics, Cleveland and Northeast Ohio

    Posted Under: General Area in Cleveland, Market Conditions in Cleveland, Home Selling in Cleveland  |  January 22, 2013 5:35 AM  |  1,216 views  |  No comments
    Recent sales data in Northeast Ohio shows that out of every 100 homes listed for sale, 46 fail to sell.  This is actually an improvement over the first few quarters, where it was closer to a 50% fail rate.  This is mainly due to higher buyer demand relative to fewer homes for sale.

    Even with this improvement, of the 54 that did sell in the third quarter, 33 of the homes (60% of the homes that sold) required at least one price reduction.  That tells us that 79 out of every 100 homes are priced incorrectly at the time it is listed.

    To further dispel the the notion that pricing high at the beginning of the listing won't effect the sale or the price of the home, the graphic below shows the difference in homes that didn't require reductions versus homes that did.  Homes priced correctly sold in 34 days for over 96% of asking price, while the homes that required reductions sold in 191 days for 80% of asking price.


    The key to selling real estate is proper pricing from the start...it's a huge part of marketing your home effectively.  Related to that, is hiring an agent that has a solid marketing plan and can provide you with the proper research you need to make an informed decision on pricing.  That way, you're not wasting valuable time and money and wondering why your home is still on the market.

    I invite you to contact me anytime to discuss further.

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  • Federal Reserve: US, Cleveland Ohio Economy On The Mend 2013

    Posted Under: General Area in Cleveland, Market Conditions in Cleveland, Financing in Cleveland  |  January 18, 2013 7:03 AM  |  350 views  |  No comments
    According to a report from Bloomberg News, the local and national economies have picked up over the last month, and are being primarily fueled by home and auto sales.  Nationally, over the 12 districts, the pace of economic growth has been termed "modest" to "moderate."

    Cleveland, the fourth district, has seen the following:

    • Staffing across all industries has been slow. Job openings have been stagnant, with most vacancies were found primarily in manufacturing and healthcare.
      • Manufacturing reports indicated that new orders and production were flat or down slightly during the past six weeks. Increased manufacturing production was seen for companies that supply the auto industry.
        • New home construction has seen improved sales, with optimistic confidence levels heading into 2013. Listing and sales prices are increasing with higher demand (due to low interest rates) and fewer homes available for purchase.  Building material costs have gone up, also driving sales price for new construction.
          • Consumer spending reports indicate the holiday shopping season was solid, with improved sales expected in the first quarter of 2013. Auto sales and leasing have shown steady improvement over the past six weeks.

          For additional economic reporting for Cleveland, please view the full article HERE.
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          • Why Your Listing Expired, Why Your Home Didn't Sell

            Posted Under: General Area in North Royalton, Market Conditions in North Royalton, Home Selling in North Royalton  |  December 19, 2012 7:26 AM  |  330 views  |  No comments

            So, has your listing expired recently?  If you have experience with your listing expiring, I’m here to help you understand why your listing failed.  You really need to understand why your home didn’t sell, before relisting, otherwise, you’re risking a repeat result, wasting more of your time and money. 

            I recommend thinking back through entire process, from the initial agent interview to the moment your listing expired.  This will help you learn what may have gone wrong.  In the e-book, I offer a number of questions and topics to think about that will help you reflect back through the listing period.


            There are five primary reasons homes don’t sell.  Those reasons are:

            1. condition,
            2. location,
            3. poor marketing plan,
            4. the agent you selected, and
            5. the price.

            With exception of location, all of these reasons are items that you can change.  To successfully sell a home, you must set your home apart from the competition.  The home should be in the best condition possible, priced correctly, marketed extensively and creatively and handled by an agent that has what it takes to manage the process. 


            I know you may be discouraged by your expired listing, but please keep in mind:


            Once again, I go into more detail in my expired listing e-book.  To get a free copy of my e-book, simply fill out the form provided at www.expiredlistinghelp.com  and I’ll send it to you immediately.  

            Whether the home your selling is in the Cleveland/Northeast Ohio area or not, I invite you to call me anytime if I can be of further assistance.  Feel free to Contact Me anytime for more information.

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