Portland Market Report – March Highlights

The RMLS “Market Action” report for the March 2014 period has been released and even with more properties coming on the market (3,090 new listings), our inventory is still VERY low at 3.1 months.

Active Listings March 2014 - Courtesy of RMLS

Active Listings March 2014 – Courtesy of RMLS

Currently there are 5,811 active residential listings in the Portland Metro area and average Days on Market for closed sales is at 85 days. That is down 15 days from February.

The average price for the first quarter is at $322,700, that is a rise of 11.2% from first quarter of 2013.

If you would like your own copy of the complete 7 page report, just send me a message

Lockbox Activity Continues to Rise in 2014

This morning the report for January 20-26 shows a 3.4% rise in showings, up again. It’s been up every week in 2014 so far! If you are on the fence about selling, this is letting you know, there ARE lots of buyers out there looking!

week ending 1-26-14

SentriLock stats for Oregon through Jan 26 2014

 

RMLS members opened 18,658 lockboxes! Compared to last year at this time, that is up some 4,000 openings!

Home Seller Mistakes to Avoid

One of the many places I go to in order to stay current on real estate practices is Active Rain, a website of real estate professionals’ blogs. Over the years I have gleaned some very useful tidbits there. This infographic is right in line with my experience in seller real estate here in Portland, Oregon. It’s based on a survey of agents they took.

Data provided by ActiveRain.com. ActiveRain is an online community of real estate professionals who exchange best practices, write real estate blogs, and get free education from the industry and their peers.

Let’s take these one at a time, from the most common.
Overpriced homes. Our inventory right now (January 2014) in Portland, especially in the ‘close-in’ neighborhoods, is painfully low. This may sound great for sellers but if their home is overpriced, they may still not get offers. OR an educated buyer may offer full price then try to ‘get revenge’ when the inspection and repair period happens. If it’s priced right, they will likely get multiple offers in this market, then they can select the strongest one.

Showing availability. If buyers can’t see it, they will have a hard time appreciating it and making an offer! This sounds obvious, right? Usually the biggest barrier to showings is pets. If the sellers are not home during the day and have indoor pets, I ask if they have a neighbor or other family nearby who can take them for a walk during a showing? If it is a tenant occupied house, can the seller incentivize the tenants to be cooperative with showings? I have had clients offer a rent reduction to tenants to waive the 24 hour notice that is required by Oregon law.

Cluttered space. This is something we cannot see for ourselves when we live in a home. I tell my clients, “Since you are moving soon, start packing before you get on the market. Buyers have a hard time looking past your things and picturing themselves living in the home. If you are not going to use it in the next 90 days, put it in a box. Period.” Short term storage is not expensive but that is not an option and if there is no storage in the basement, attic or garage, then sometimes family or friends will help you out.

Unpleasant Odors. Sorry kitty! Although pet odors can be a problem, in the Portland area they may come in second to moisture. As you may have heard, we get some rain here! So the first thing agents (and most buyers) do when entering a basement is sniff. Does it smell damp? What about smokers? Again, if you live with it, you probably don’t think about it anymore. Ask a trusted friend (or your real estate agent) to be honest with you!

Unwillingness to negotiate. And right behind that, Won’t Make Repairs. These two often go hand in hand. Sellers: Know what your bottom line is before you go on the market. What are you willing to bend on? Is selling fast more important than a specific price? When a seller says, “We won’t do any repairs. We just won’t, not at this price.” they may be killing a good sale. Buyers will have an inspection. The inspector will find something. From something as minor as a cracked switchplate cover (yes, I have had that appear on an inspection report) to something as major as recommending a new roof, the inspection report will point out things that could be better. That is the inspector’s job. If they sent out reports saying ‘Nothing wrong with this house!” they would not be getting much repeat business. No home is perfect! If it’s something that affects the ability of a buyer to obtain a loan on the home, the seller may HAVE to make that repair or replacment in order to get the home sold. Cash buyers are out there but they want an even better bargain than the average homebuyer.

There are more mistakes out there but these were deemed the most common. Helping sellers avoid these and other pitfalls is my job, and I love doing it! Let me know if I can do it for you! – See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4309831/don-t-make-these-common-seller-mistakes-#sthash.xNMiY5fI.dpuf

“We want to wait until spring to put the house on the market.” Really?

Many homeowners who want to sell their homes believe they should wait, even if they are ready, to sell their house until the ‘spring market’. While home sales do follow certain trends, this chart is from last year’s RMLS Market Action shows the larger picture.

WinterSales

Credit: RMLS Market Action December 2012

If you look at closed sales for each month of the year for the last 5 years (for the current Market Action, shoot me an email) you can see, last year, when the market was still ‘turning around’, even in January and February, well over 1,000 homes sold each month in January and February. December is also overlooked as a good sale month, some people really want to be in their new home before year end, for tax reasons.

So, if you are thinking about selling, don’t buy the myth that homes don’t sell in the wintertime!

New Listing in Gresham – Convenient Location & Move-in Ready

DSCN1076aMy new listing in Gresham is a peach! The sellers have put in new carpet (with hardwoods under) and painted, but have been doing updates constantly the last few years. Since 2009 it has had a new roof, new skylight in the family room, new insulation blown in, new vinyl windows (including this cute garden window in the kitchen), new doors inside and the kitchen appliance are newer too! Call me for a showing 503-314-2384!

Wouldn't this be a nice view? And you won't be doing so many dishes, my client says the dishwasher is the best she's ever had!

Wouldn’t this be a nice view? And you won’t be doing so many dishes, my client says the dishwasher is the best she’s ever had!

 

Busy Busy Busy!

There is a saying in Real Estate, the best way to attract business is to go on vacation! I believe it! I have a new listing in Montavilla, another one going live on Thursday and our housesitter/dogsitter is getting here Friday morning so my husband and I can take a trip to Kauai! Now my phone is ringing off the hook! I have already lined up 2 appointments for Labor Day weekend when I will be back and passed a buyer off to another broker in my office to work with since I will be gone and the market is so hot she wants to see things right now! One of the blessings and curses of my job is, you can do it almost anywhere and 24 hours a day if you are not careful. With the market finally moving in a positive direction, it’s a good thing the people who love me make sure I keep a balance! Robins_Photos_344-RELAX

Sneak Peek! My New Montavilla Listing!

Going Live this Thursday, I will holding Open Houses on

Saturday from noon to 3pm and Sunday from 1 to 4pm.

I am very excited about this house, it has had a makeover and looks great!

This house will ‘go live’ Thursday August 8!

New Listing - Goes Live on Thursday, August 8

New Listing – Goes Live on Thursday, August 8

Back yard has raised beds, fire pit, patio and much more!
Back yard has raised beds, fire pit, patio and much more!

 

Falling in love…

Falling in love…with a house

True story: I wanted to buy a house once because of the interior paint. The house was in a dodgy neighborhood, on a street with zero parking, the rooms were too small for our furniture and the upstairs ‘bedroom’ had ceilings my husband would have been constantly bumping his head on.  “But it’s so CUTE!” I kept repeating.  Then we went back to our list of ‘wants and needs and dealbreakers’ . All the things we had agreed were important for us. I realized it would never work. When we found the right house (on a quiet street with lots of parking, a living/dining room that we can seat 20 people at for Thanksgiving and 10 foot ceilings on the main floor) then guess what? We PAINTED almost every wall in the house!  We also took up all the wall to wall carpet on the main floor and finished the fir floors. Looks like a different house than the listing pictures and I would not trade it for anything.

What is the point of this story?  There are things in houses, just like people, that you have to accept you cannot change. It’s part of the package. That would include factors like the location. Not just the neighborhood but maybe you prefer a particular county for tax reasons. Does traffic bother you?  A busy street is rarely going to get LESS busy, or maybe it’s close to a freeway on- or off-ramp that will result in more cars than you like.  HOA or condo fees. If you feel they are too high, don’t expect that to change once you buy. If you want a certain size lot, better make sure your agent is aware of that. Don’t go in hoping you can get a neighbor to sell you all or part of their land down the road.

The good news? There are so many things you CAN control or change. Something I hear about a lot is counter tops.  You like granite and they have laminate. Guess what? If you install it, you get to pick the color!  Cabinets, flooring, same thing! Wall coverings – learn to look beyond ugly wallpaper. Or, visualize that cute border you always wanted on the beige wall you see in front of you. J

You might see an otherwise awful house with a ‘dream bath’ you can duplicate in your dream HOUSE. Something that scares a lot of buyers away is oil heat. Conversions happen all the time. Need more parking? Build a garage or carport if you have a driveway. Need more space? Add a room. I’m not saying these things come without a cost, of course you are going to have to pay to get what you want, but the option is THERE for you. Do your homework! If you know that, for instance, an egress window added to a basement room to make it a legal (and safe) bedroom is roughly $3,000 for a simple one, then you can make an informed decision whether that house just became what you were looking for.

So, keep in mind when you make your ‘wants, needs and dealbreakers’ list, which of those things are within your power to change or add and which are ‘part of the package’.

Another happy client review!

Robin Healy reviews

My friend/client Kristin just posted a very positive review of my services on Zillow. I advertise there for clients and also use their listing promotions when I list houses for sale. I always tell my clients, a ‘Zestimate’ only tells part of the story and Zillow is the first to admit their estimates can be off by pretty big margin, but everyone KNOWS Zillow and MOST people have looked on there, just to get a feel for the market, even when they go on to use a full service broker like myself.

Read the review and if this is the kind of service you are looking for in a real estate broker, give me a call!