Real estate is so local. I had a call from a consumer Monday who has a home that has been on the market for a year. He is in a small town, or probably out of town as the home is historic (built in the 1800's), it is huge and on acreage. There's 'gotta be' great stories about the home. Who built it, who owned it...
He found me "on the internet" I think his question was about the market in Ohio but I told him he was listed in the wrong MLS.
The house is outside of my market area. I knew the bigger, little town when he mentioned it (population 22,000 +/_) I have actually been there a couple of times. It is just about an hour away from Columbus. I did not recognize the two smaller towns he is located near but I looked them up. Isn't modern mapping grand?
He's had the property on the market for a year with a real estate agent with a name brand company out of one of the big C's. In Ohio only cities starting with C get really big, Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati.. Akron, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown never stood a chance. The property has been listed in the MLS of one of the big cities for a year with no showings. By my calculations the property is over an hour from the market where his real estate agent is (but maybe she is on the edge of that market.)
Ohio Geography for those out of state: Columbus is smack dab in the middle of the state. Cleveland is up on Lake Erie in northeast Ohio. Cincinnati is in the southwest part of the state. Cross the river from Cinci and you are in Kentucky. The Cincinnati airport is in Kentucky.
This man's property is between two big Ohio cities that start with C. Who should he be listed with? A local agent? An agent in one of the bigger cities? An agent who specializes in luxury properties? An agent who specializes in historic properties as the house was built in the 1840's?
Population of the bigger town, maybe it is a city: "Population (year 2000): 21,796. Estimated population in July 2005: 22,081 (+1.3% change)"*
Population of the smaller town: "Population (year 2000): 213. Estimated population in July 2005: 218 (+2.3% change)"*
Population in between town (in between town sizewise it is actually in another county from the two communities above closer to the Big C whose MLS it is listed in) Population (year 2000): 4,906. Estimated population in July 2005: 5,146 (+4.9% change.)
This is for the bigger town, the big city in the area:
"Estimated median household income in 2005: $32,100 (it was $32,500 in 2000)"
"Estimated median house/condo value in 2005: $71,100 (it was $62,900 in 2000)"
His large home on over 10 acres is priced considerably higher, I don't think he told me what price range it is in but it is not the average home in the market.
Our Columbus MLS has listings in one of the counties two of the communities he mentioned are in. Not a lot of listings. I don't know if there is another MLS there too. I did not know that we did have listings in that county in our MLS when I was on the phone with him. I kinda know where his property is but knowing the age, location, square footage and lot size, I can't find the house. I am not finding fault with the listing agent. Maybe it is not officially on the market right now. Maybe I am not that good at finding property via searches meant for consumers.
My parents advertised their rural Wisconsin home in Chicago papers when they were For Sale By Owner (ouch, ouch, double ouch) thinking a buyer for their home on acreage would come from outside the area. A local real estate agent sold their home after a long time on the market, long after their FSBO stint. Maybe this is why I believe listings should be local.
I think the man I spoke with should be listed with someone in his market. I think real estate is local. I think he ought to be listed with someone who has a great internet platform, someone who will do his property justice, but is that possible in a rural area? I see one ActiveRain profile in one county where his house might be. The second county there is no on on Active Rain. Maybe I am wrong.... maybe it would be impossible for a local agent to sell it.
Do you list property an hour a way? Is an hour away in an urban area different than an hour away in a rural area?
Dave Johnston is the "Old House Man" in Virginia, he covers a lot of ground but it is a niche, Antique Properties. Is there an Ohio version of Dave Johnston? If this house is primarily an old house... historic property (mansion) should it be listed with someone like Dave? Or should the home be listed with someone with luxury home selling credentials in one of the big C's? Maybe the house is just listed in the wrong big C... The property is a few minutes closer to Columbus than the city it's been listed in for a year with no showings. Or is it just the Ohio market?
What advice would you give this man? List local? List luxury?
"The Columbus Board of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) serves all of Franklin, Delaware, Fayette, Madison, Morrow and Union Counties and parts of Champagne, Clark, Licking, Fairfield, Knox, Logan, Marion and Pickaway Counties." according to our board magazine. Maybe this is old, maybe the Columbus Board of REALTORS® MLS now "serves" parts of the county the smallest and largest communities the consumer mentioned. There is a category for that county in our MLS. The middle sized community is one county over.
Population information is from City-Data.com
Maureen McCabe, Real Living HER, 614-825-8842