How many showings does it take to sell a home? 2018 Update

showings to sell a home

RMLS, our local multiple listing service, puts out a ton of useful data on home showings and more, and can help put the Portland real estate market into perspective. RMLS covers SW Washington and most of northern Oregon, all the way from the coast to the far east. It fully covers the Portland real estate market area and beyond.

When looking at that broader area we can see some real estate numbers that might surprise you. In the area, RMLS as of today, is reporting 22,493 active listings for sale and is reporting that 64,315 sold in the last 12 months. That’s not great. It also reported about 112,000 showings last month, which equaled about 4 showings a month per active listing for this broader area.

Home Showing Statistics

In this greater area, the number of home showings is tracked by lockbox activity. Lockboxes are handy little devices that securely hold a key to the house that is being shown. The RMLS publishes weekly charts showing the total number of lockbox openings in the RMLS real estate listing area. Most of these openings are done by real estate agents showing homes for sale. Unfortunately, these statistics are only broken down into Washington and Oregon, but they do help give a heartbeat on overall real estate market activity since the Portland metro area – by far – has the bulk of the homes for sale in this greater market area.

It is easy to say that a home in Portland would typically get more showings than a coastal or rural property in Oregon, let’s say 6 a month instead of 2 a month for the slower areas (based on the RMLS average time to sell in these areas) so with Portland’s average time to sell (if you sell) of 45 days, that would put you at about 9 showings to sell, if you sell, on average. This does not include all open house visitors as the lockbox is typically opened one time for an open house. Appointment setting buyers are much more valuable than the general public visits to an open. 9 showings to sell is as close to a figure as I can get given the available area statistics.

Portland Real Estate Market

The RMLS does drill down to the Portland real estate market itself (and even down to specific neighborhoods) in other important statistics. For example, in the Portland market 30,721 homes went up for sale up to the end of August 2018 and so far 20,572 have sold. Now there was 2017 inventory that carried into 2018, so there is not simply a 67% chance of selling your home in Portland as the numbers would initially suggest without a deeper look. Also, some of the homes that are currently listed may sell before the end of the year (but more will come up for sale that won’t). The numbers are pretty complex to give definitive numbers, but what we can tell you is that the success rate of selling your home has a lot to do with the best time of year to sell, whether your home is vacant, seller occupied, or tenant occupied, and more. We run a lot of numbers. When looking at them all, I’d venture to say that only around 65% of homeowners will end up selling in 2018 that tried to do so. That is a much lower success rate than most folks would guess.

Is Portland a buyer’s market?

Yes, Portland is slowly turning into a buyer’s market and if you are attempting to sell a condo or a luxury home in Portland right now (depending on the area) it is already likely a buyer’s market for you. There are currently over 450 condos for sale in downtown Portland, way too many, with numerous agents reporting next to no showings and offers. Portland homes under 400K and condos under 300K, if priced right, can still find themselves in a seller’s market.

Prices are dropping hard in some areas.

Certain neighborhoods are experiencing 10% price drops from the Portland real estate market spring prices to fall prices. Neighborhoods in some of the most difficult price segments, 600K to 800K are the hardest hit. Nice neighborhoods with big expensive homes that are far from Portland central, do not fare well when the market softens. Happy Valley and Bull Mountain, for example, are not performing well right now, except in the lower price ranges.

You can sell in any real estate market

Work with a top Portland real estate agent that knows their stuff. I’ve been licensed since 2003 and during the last recession, I watched homeowners chase the market, losing equity month over month and dropping their price month over month. If they would have gotten ahead of the curve at any point, they would have sold for more. Listen to your real estate agent and pick one who really knows their numbers and looks hard at the local sales with you. I know I can tell a homeowner what price will sell their home in any real estate market, the question is which homeowners will listen. I also understand sometimes homeowners would rather hold onto their property if they can’t get the price they need – that is completely understandable. Also, dropping to the lowest possible market price is a lazy tactic for any real estate agent. Each homeowner needs to be at the right price, with an unbeatable marketing program backing up their home sale to give them the best possible chance to sell.

October 1, 2018

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

4% max to sell a home in Portland and SW Washington.
4.25% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.