5 Steps to Buy a House in Portland’s Scorching Hot Seller’s Market

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We can hash out the details of why Portland is such a seller’s real estate market all we want. Demand is high, inventory is low, and that’s driving prices up. But digging into the dirty details doesn’t practically help buyers who are looking to secure a house in Portland now. Life doesn’t wait, and for some, when you’re ready to buy, you’re ready to buy – regardless of the market.

So should you be discouraged by the Portland real estate market right now? We say the answer is no. For one thing, home prices aren’t expected to stop increasing. With interest rates at record lows, this is still a good time to buy – if you have the right team behind you. We’ve got some insider tips for you to aid you in your home buying search and get you the information that you need to succeed.

1. Connect with an Agent Who Can See “Coming Soon” Listings

We’re going to jump right into some of the nitty-gritty of real estate listings. One way to get ahead in Portland’s hot sellers’ market is to look for homes coming on the market, that are not yet publically available. This used to be called pocket listings before it was effectively banned by the National Association of Realtors in 2019. But something similar was approved to replace pocket listings. These coming soon homes are now designated CSN in Portland. CSN stands for “Coming Soon, No Showings.”

CSN homes are on the local MLS, here RMLS. But you can’t see them. Only RMLS subscribers (mostly Realtors) can. Realtors can see what is coming before it hits the public market. Realtors can’t show them to you in person, but they can get you ready for them, share that they’re coming and exactly when they are going to hit. There is a ton of prep work an agent with CSN access can do for you, to help you get that home the moment it lands on the public market.

2. Use a Smart Real Estate Search Engine

Believe us, we know it can be easy to fall into a real estate hole. The blind searching and scrolling is enough to exhaust anyone. But there’s a better way. We recommend using Vestor Filters™ both to narrow down your search and to keep you alert to new developments in the Portland real estate market.

To keep ahead of the market, try searching specifically for homes that have been on the market for 1 day or 7 days or less. You can do this on PortlandHomesforSale.com by selecting the “DAYS” tab at the top of the filter bar.

Days on market search option on portlandhomesforsale.com

Search for homes that have been on the market for one to seven days to discover the newest listings ahead of other buyers. You’ll have the option to save your search by clicking on the heart at the top left of the screen.

Instant home alerts through portlandhomesforsale.com

Once you do this, you’ll see a box pop up offering instant home alerts. You can choose the frequency of when you’re notified about new homes coming on the market in Portland. In the current market, we recommend you choose to receive updates once a day or immediately. That way you’re ahead of the curve.

3. Stay on Top of Inventory as it Ages.

Go back to the days on market tab above and this time select 30 days or more. Look through them all and if nothing fits, create and save another home search criteria alert. As homes age on the market (hit 30 days) you’ll get an email update. Don’t let the price scare you. If the home has been sitting for more than thirty days in this hot seller’s market, there is a very strong possibility the seller will be willing to negotiate down.

4. Wait for More Inventory

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. With the vaccine rolling out on schedule, we may be seeing a big change in our historically low inventory. It’s hard to say for sure, but there’s a strong possibility that folks have been putting off listing their homes because of the pandemic. If that is the case, we could see a big wave of new inventory over the summer.

Typically in Portland, the late summer into early fall, especially August and September, is a fantastic time to buy a home. This is typically when you see the highest inventory, and when buyers have the most leverage. We could see a huge swing in the pendulum this year if the usual best time to buy a house coincides with the vaccine making more sellers ready to put their homes on the market. If you aren’t immediately looking for a new home, waiting for more inventory could be the smart choice.

5. Work with an Agent Who Is a Top Negotiator

The pressures of looking for a new home are real, and accordingly the trust you need to place in an agent is huge. It can be easy to just go with a friend of a friend. But a lot of the time, that’s not actually in your best interest.

Especially right now. Yes, there’s no doubt about the fact that we’re in a seller’s market. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a home at a fair price when you use the right tactics. And one of the best things you can do is work with an experienced agent who can navigate the complicated Portland real estate market on your behalf.

If you want to truly get the most out of your home buying process, seek out someone who is qualified and dedicated to you and your goals, not their own bottom line. Your best bet is to choose a Licensed Oregon Principal Broker. This certification means that you have the weight of both experience and higher education behind you. We recommend Kami Price, who has been licensed since 2004, and as a native Oregonian knows the Portland real estate market like the back of her hand.

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What My Clients Are Saying

When my wife and I decided to sell our home we started to search for agents who work for less than the 6% standard commission. Slightly skeptical, I decided to call Stephen for a consultation. Stephen came very prepared with comp sales, marketing techniques, and several other items pertaining to the sale I never would have considered. We sold in six days.