4 Tips to Sell a Home in Portland Without Losing Your Mind

tips to easy home selling in Portland

The number of closed sales, pending sales and new listings in the Portland real estate market are down since last year, according to the RMLS report for May 2017. Is Portland still a sellers’ market?

Absolutely — but it does appear that the Portland real estate market has slowed down a bit from 2016. If you have a home in Portland that’s ready to be put on the market, get ready for an average of 38 days to sell (June’s numbers) or possibly more (typically July and August are a little slower than June). Some real estate analysts say it is a “seller’s market” until the average time to sell exceeds 90 days, in my experience, I’d say that’s close, but maybe more like 60 days in Portland. By the way the average time to sell a home in Portland can hit close to or even just a touch over 60 days between mid-Nov. and mid-Jan. (typically the worst time to sell in the our year).

Here are my Portland Real Estate Agent Survival Strategies for getting through a summer Portland home sale.

1. Get to know your listing agent. How? Pick up the phone and call. I enjoy my client’s phone calls, especially during Mon. – Fri. working hours. Sometimes the meaning can get lost in translation in texts and emails, as convenient as those mediums are. If you are considering hiring (interviewing) a real estate agent, call or text them a few times after your meeting, test them to see how long it takes them to get back to you (during reasonable hours please, not at 11pm!). If they get back in a few minutes or even at least in an hour or two, that’s a good sign. If they don’t get back to you until the next day or later, watch out. The summer is real estate agent’s busy season, have they structured their business in a way that allows them to be “busy” and to provide great customer service at the same time? I hope so.

2. Price your home for the market. While it is true that you are your own home’s best expert, it is really easy to see all the positives in your home and not in your neighbor’s down the street. Try to be realistic and don’t go with the real estate agent that simply tells you the highest price. That agent may be willing to wait around until you lower the price, just hoping you do so before the contract ends. In July and August of 2017, for most pockets and suburbs around Portland (but not all) there will be a lot of inventory. These two months tend to be a high-water mark in inventory for the year. Listen to your real estate agent, if there are a number of homes in your local area that are not selling, it is a warning sign to price reasonably. If there is nothing available, you can be more aggressive with your home pricing. Ask any agents you’re interviewing for a Comparative Market Analysis.

Homes may or may not be selling quickly in your area, and you might get lucky and get an offer even if your home is way overpriced. However, that’s a big risk to take — most often, no buyers will not nibble on an overpriced home, and your home will languish on the market.

3. Disclose early. Your real estate agent will price your home based on their research and information you give them. If you don’t mention some issues, and it later comes to light in the home inspection, you may end up getting less for your home than it would if you had priced your home to reflect potential work that buyers will need to do. Of course, be sure to properly disclose everything in your signed seller disclosures that are passed onto the buyer in a sale transaction.

4. Keep it in perspective. Don’t let selling your home consume your life. A good listing agent will do their best to sell your home, while you focus on what you need to prepare for what comes next. If your home does not sell right away, don’t panic. Get another market analysis from your real estate agent. If the market has gone soft, you can either lower the price, wait until the market season improves (inventory goes down in your area, or we get through a slower month), or just take your home off the market and then put it back on later when the market is in better shape (or you have a more realistic price). Of course, many homes do sell right away, but many don’t. If you’re left behind, the worst thing you can do is panic, instead, work with your real estate partner. Trust me, they want to sell your home!

Check out my listing package, and let’s put this Portland sellers’ market to work for you!

July 24, 2017

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.

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