Last week, representatives of the Akron Cleveland Association of Realtors® (ACAR) met with Maple Heights Mayor Annette Blackwell to discuss various aspects of the city’s point of sale inspection policy.
Unfortunately, Maple Heights has a reputation for having one of the most burdensome and costly point of sale inspection policies in the country. The meeting afforded Realtors(R) the opportunity to share a variety of experiences detailing the actual impact of the point of sale inspection policy on the home buying process. From significantly delayed closings to exorbitant escrow requirements, several agents shared that clients have walked away from what would have been a dream home due to the point of sale policy challenges.
Legislative Chair Maureen Wlodarczyk said, “One of the biggest areas for discussion was regarding the escrow requirement. In Maple Heights, an escrow is required for 100% of the estimated cost of repairs needed that are identified in the city’s inspection. This can be a deterrent to first time home buyers with smaller down payments and student loan debt.”
She went on to say, “As many Realtors®know, transactions can be challenging in the City, but we are excited about the possibility for progress in making Maple Heights more owner-occupant friendly.”
The group shared the steps taken by Mayor Vic Collova and the Garfield Heights City Council as a possible first step. In a study commissioned by ACAR*, residential real estate sales data trends in Garfield Heights indicate the market has been steadily improving in the city since it waived its escrow requirement.
Maple Heights is an important part of Northeast Ohio, and the group was pleased to learn about some of the improvements Mayor Blackwell has in the works. She noted an outdoor concert series is returning this summer, and she’s passionate about the city being transparent for its residents and businesses. Effective Friday, March 11th, the Building Department will re-open on Fridays, from 8:30am to 12:30pm. Additionally, the City is hosting an open house on Wednesday, March 9th from 6:00 to 7:30 PM. Residents and businesses are welcome at City Hall to see or visit the various departments serving the community.
Following the meeting, ACAR member and Past President Seth Task said, “Mayor Blackwell is, simply put, a breath of fresh air. Maple Heights has such potential and it is great to see real leadership in City Hall that truly wants to positively affect property owners.”
ACAR and Mayor Blackwell plan to continue discussions regarding the point of sale policy over the coming weeks and months. If you have an experience or testimonial to share, please complete the form at this link. It will help our efforts to understand what specific issues buyers and sellers are experiencing.
For more information, or if you have questions, please contact ACAR’s Government Affairs Director at (216) 525-4834, or jmcmillen@AkronClevelandRealtors.com.