Best time to sell a house in the Portland real estate market.

portland real estate market

There is a lot of debate in the Portland real estate industry surrounding the best time of the year to sell a Portland home. What I’ve found listening to the debate is that most Portland real estate agents are talking about it based on their experience. Experience can be useful, but when you’re considering broad questions, a bigger data picture is much more useful than one agent’s experience. So I will share my experience as a top Portland real estate agent, but I will also use the official Portland real estate market data as obtained from RMLS. (You can also sign up here to get it for free.)

Big data picture for the Portland real estate market.

Take a look at the above photo. You’ll notice the big trend in every year is the small numbers cluster around the summer months and the big numbers cluster around the Portland winter months. (Jan. and Feb. 2014 numbers are also out and are in the 4’s. – fitting the trend from 2013 summer and fall.) The numbers represented are simply this: the number of months it would take to sell through the current active listing inventory. Bottom line, Portland homes sell faster in the summer months – a lot faster, regardless of what your Portland real estate agent might say. The argument for listing in the fall or winter months usually goes along the lines of reduced inventory, but the facts are clear – even though the inventory is much lower in the fall and winter months, it STILL takes a whole lot longer to sell through that lower inventory. Can you sell a home in the Portland fall or winter successfully and at a great price? Yes, you can with the right Portland real estate agent to help you. However, if you are not in a hurry and can pick and choose when you would list your home, I would always recommend April or May (read on to find out why).

Top Portland real estate agent experience for the Portland real estate market.

Portland folk love the sun shine. Give me any sunny weekend and I’ll probably end up getting offers on some of my active listings. Give me a weekend filled with rain and the foot traffic to my listings decreases by half or more. This is true in any part of the year, but as we all know, the summer months have the most sun filled weekends available. Also, there is a huge amount of activity the first and second week of June. The reason for this is simple, school is out. June is most often the best month of the year to have your home on the market. Funny enough, August is most often the second best month of the year to have your home on the market (with July coming in 3rd place). This is because all of those families who were searching for a Portland home all summer know they need to make a decision in August before school starts back up again. So why did I say (above) that April or May is the best time of year to list your home? It is because you want time to work for you and not against you. It helps to plan to list your home for 90 days or more. Let’s say you live in a hot Portland neighborhood where all the home sell in a couple days, that is a great thing. But you have to keep in mind that for any number of random reasons you could have a sale fail. Maybe the buyer got cold feet, maybe the inspections turned up a surprise, anything can happen. Now you have to find a buyer all over again weeks into the listing process. So it helps if the Portland real estate market is trending in your favor, getting better each month you are listed. This protect you and keeps you from having to drop the price, especially if prices (and activity level) is rising up to meet you where you started. So there you have it, the answer might be expected, the best time to sell a home in Portland is in the spring and summer months. Now if that is not an option for you, just make sure that you are working with an agent that can leverage the market conditions to fit your situation. You can try a higher price in the spring and summer, but a (slightly) lower price in the fall or winter can still bring buyers knocking down your door in a hurry to purchase your home. Let me know if you have any other questions, or would like a top real estate agent in town to give a free price analysis on your Portland home.

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April 9, 2014
AUTHOR

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. and a top 1% agent in the Portland Metro. Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales in the Portland Metro area. Call him direct: 503-714-1111. Pay less (4.5% commission max.) and get more with his top 1% listing team or buy your next home with his excellent top 1% buyer’s team.  For our Clark County, Washington buying and selling services go here.