September brought cooler weather to the Portland area but it didn’t cool down the real estate market! Yes, this is a time of seasonal quieting for home buyers and sellers, but the year overall is proving to be a bright one for Portland real estate agents and their clients. A look at the latest RMLS Market Action Report shows why.
Pending sales were the highlight of the report this month, rising a whopping 15% over last year’s. A pending sale is just that – pending. So what percentage of those sales make it to closing? When you compare the number of pending sales in September 2014, 2,551, to the number of closed sales that month, 2,378, you find that 93% of home buyers were able to successfully make it to closing.
When does a sale become “pending”? As you probably know already, there are many steps to get through from the buyer’s reaching out to their Portland real estate agent, deciding to buy a home, and then actually making the transaction final. Once an offer has been accepted, the buyer must secure financing and draw up a contract with their real estate agent. The buyer’s agent must then present that contract to the seller’s agent and negotiate over the various terms it entails – what is included with the property, what kind of inspections will be performed, and so on. When the contract is accepted, the sale is “pending” until all of the inspections are over and the money is in the seller’s hands.
As you can imagine, there’s a lot that can go wrong here, which is why deals occasionally “fall through” or fail to transition from “pending” to “sold”. So what’s average? Last September (2013) saw fewer pending sales overall (2,219), but 97% of them turned into closed sales. In August this year, we had 2,704 pending sales in Portland, and 95% made it to closing.
It seems that the success rate for Portland real estate agents (and all of the other parties involved) to move a home from “pending” to “sold” is variable, but I think as long as we’re over 90%, we’re doing pretty well.
What can you, the home buyer or seller, do to help encourage the process? Pick a reliable lender who won’t change the terms of the loan at the last minute – your real estate agent can make a few recommendations. Likewise, the title company, home inspectors, etc. you use should be trusted, reliable, and experienced. The most important thing is probably to work with a real estate agent who can help you navigate all of these terms, one who has already closed hundreds of deals in the Portland area. I’d love to help. Call me anytime: 503-975-6853.