The Cincinnati Housing Market A Niche-less Realtor Breaks Down the Trends




Photography by Daniel Smyth

Keli Williams, a Sibcy Cline real estate agent, didn’t grow up in Cincinnati, but she’s very familiar with most of its neighborhoods. That’s a rare feat for someone not from the region since Cincinnati’s peculiar history is similar to that of a European city in that is fragmented into small hamlets connected by roads that shun traditional grid patterns. 

Since Williams has had listings in many of the city’s neighborhoods, she’s gained a level of familiarity with the area that even most Cincinnati natives don’t have. Williams says, “Cincinnati is a fascinating city with so many amazing communities that each offer something a little different. Every area has its own personality.

“The largest share of my business is in Loveland because that’s where I live,” says Williams, whose four children were raised there. Her oldest daughter is now a language arts teacher at Loveland Middle School. “But my listings are really everywhere in Cincinnati – and my buyers want to look at homes in all different areas, too. People often move from one part of the city to another, so you want to help them understand the different communities. Many times my out-of-town clients relocating here don’t know where they want to live, so you have to be knowledgeable enough to show them different areas and be able to educate them on what those neighborhoods offer.

“I can’t really narrow down my focus to just one region and that is rare for a real estate agent. Most have a specific geographical area that works for them. I have found, however, that I’m successful in all markets. I really enjoy selling homes at every price point and in every area!” Williams works with buyers and sellers from starter home prices to luxury-priced residences.

As for the trendiest places in town, Williams lists the traditional favorites – Hyde Park, Oakley and Mt. Lookout – along with a few up-and-coming neighborhoods that appeal to young professionals such as Over-the-Rhine, Walnut Hills and Norwood. And of course, there are consistently demanded communities such as Terrace Park, Mariemont and Madeira. She notes that many buyers are also looking for open floor plans and updated kitchens. Homes that offer walkability are appealing, as are usable outdoor living spaces.

She also notes she has many sellers who have lived in a northern suburb, have raised their families and now want a whole different lifestyle requiring a move to a completely different area of the city. This type of lifestyle change is a very fun and exciting process for Williams. She enjoys introducing these clients to urban living residences or lock-and-leave condominiums along the Ohio River.

But when mentioning the trendiest places in Cincinnati to live, Williams also cites Loveland. “Loveland was just starting to boom when I moved here in the early 90s,” she says. “Now many of the families who have finished raising their kids and have an empty nest and are looking to move.” This means Loveland now has more homes available for the next generation of families who are starting to move into the area and are contributing to its economic vitality. “Loveland is a tight-knit community, and with the growth of the historic downtown area it continues to thrive and be a coveted place to live.”

Williams states that her favorite part of her real estate business is the people. “It is such a privilege to be a part of this time in someone’s life. People buy and sell homes for many reasons, sometimes for very exciting reasons, and sometimes not. But to have them put their trust and confidence in you is a true honor.” Williams says that 87 percent of her business is based on referrals from her past clients and people she personally knows. “When someone recommends me, I am truly touched and honored.”

Though Williams has achieved growth in her real estate sales every year since she began as a Realtor®, life hasn’t always been easy. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2003 and she won her battle against this disease with the Loveland community rallying behind her. Williams says, “It was awesome to see the Loveland community rally behind my family. Some folks we didn’t even know were a huge support!” 

Healthy once more, she stays very focused on her business. Williams has been Sibcy Cline’s No.1 Northeast agent for several years. “The inventory of homes for sale right now is very low and mortgage interest rates remain low. When homes are priced correctly, in good condition and ready for the market, they sell immediately. When Williams meets with her clients to strategize the marketing of their home for sale, she forms a plan of action to ensure that the home is considered “market ready” before it goes for sale.

“It’s been a great market. Last spring was great and this spring was even better!” Williams can’t wait to see what the rest of 2015 has in store. 

Keli Williams is an executive sales vice president at the Sibcy Cine office located at 7395 Mason Montgomery Road, Mason, OH 45040. You can reach her at 513.348.4548, by email at kswilliams@sibcycline.com or visit her website at www.keliwilliams.com.