Portland Real Estate Blog

This is a top 100 real estate blog in the world according to Feedspot.com. In particular, this is a local real estate blog written by a top 1% real estate agent in the U.S., Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor. Stephen regularly reports on the greater Portland metro area’s real estate market including annual housing forecasts and best time to sell or buy a home reports. He gives home selling and home buying professional advice. He also writes informative articles on Portland neighborhoods and suburbs as they relate to the real estate market. Finally, he writes to inform the general public about real estate agents, such as annual average real estate agent commission reports and more.

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Real Estate Market News

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Should the Seller Pay for Closing Costs? 2021 Update

August 16, 2021

Closing costs constitute some of the most opaque parts of the home buying process. As you’re looking to sell, you might find yourself wondering exactly what it is that you owe to the buyer. What do closing costs entail, and who pays for them? We’re here to demystify this process. What Constitutes Closing Costs? When you’re closing on a home from the buyer’s side, you’re likely looking at some serious up front charges, and not just the down payment. Buyers also pay for the inspection and appraisal, and put down earnest money (typically 1% of the sales price in our area). That’s some serious cash! On the seller’s side, expect to pay half of the escrow and owner’s title insurance....


portland real estate forecast 2022

2022 Portland Real Estate Market Forecast (Prelim.)

August 13, 2021

The Portland real estate market has been on a wild ride since early 2020. The real estate market here was actually slowing and becoming more affordable back in 2017, and that trend continued until the pandemic hit. Year zero, or 2020, was the most unusual in my real estate career (licensed for 18+ years now in town). 2021 returned to seasonal selling norms (slow in winter, fast in spring, slower in the late summer months), and those market trends look like they will continue in 2022. Every year since 2003 (when I started keeping track) the Portland real estate market has followed the same seasonal trends, even in the previous hottest (2006, 2016) or slowest years (2008-2011). So if you’re...


checklist before selling a home

Checklist to Get your Home Ready for the Real Estate Market

August 9, 2021

Preparing your home for the real estate market is an involved process and a checklist can help. Licensed since 2003, I’ve overseen more than 2,000 home sales and believe this checklist will help you get ready. Keep reading after this home checklist for important home preparation advice. Our home preparations checklist is divided between exterior and interior tasks and tasks we recommend are completed right before the photographer arrives, to ensure the home puts its best foot forward before displaying on thousands of real estate websites. Home Preparations Checklist ✔ Done EXTERIOR Do this rightbefore photos. Yard mowed X All plants cut away from siding, roof X Windows Washed X Gutters cleaned X Powerwash siding, driveway, sidewalk X Fresh layer...


how to sell a home now

Home not selling? 3 Steps to Get it Sold Fast.

August 6, 2021

Unless you have avoided the news for the last eight months, it is clear that the real estate market is hot for sellers around the country. However, this can only make things feel even more frustrating if you’re one of the few homes that are not selling. Not so fun fact, did you know that in Portland of the 1067 detached Portland homes currently for sale a full 387 have been on the Portland market active for more than 30 days? That means 36% off all homes for sale in Portland right now have been sitting active, fingers crossed for an offer, for more than 30 days. Of those 387 homes that have been sitting on the market for more...


portland real estate market

Top 5 Portland Real Estate Market Stories of Summer 2021

August 2, 2021

It’s been a roller coaster ride of a year for the Portland real estate market. After over a year of a global pandemic, demand for single family housing shot through the roof, and Portland’s supply struggled to meet that demand. All year we’ve been monitoring the effects of this situation on the market. Accordingly, the top real estate market news stories of 2021 tend to revolve around the inventory crisis. Keep reading to find out crucial takeaways from the market so far this year. 1. Low Inventory Drives Home Prices Up Since the year’s start, inventory in Portland has hit record lows, the lowest point being May. Our monthly RMLS report calculates the ratio of new listings to closed sales...


affordable portland suburbs

5 Most Affordable Portland Suburbs in 2021

July 30, 2021

Unless you’ve been living off the grid, you’ve likely heard that soaring home prices have plagued the Portland metropolitan area – and the country – all year. So of course, the question of affordability looms. How much longer will home prices keep shooting up? Will this mean that Portland no longer ranks as an affordable area to live in? And the truth is that Portland’s affordability does appear to have taken a hit. So while we write this article once a year, this year the topic is more pressing than ever. Suburbs provide an excellent alternative to living in city limits for many home buyers. For one thing, you’re bound to be able to afford more space. And while we...


real estate commission cost

Average Real Estate Agent Commissions Drop Under 5% in 2021

July 28, 2021

Thinking of selling your home? The average real estate commission in the U.S. in 2021 is just under 5%. Most of the time this commission includes both the seller’s and buyer’s agent costs combined and paid by the homeowner. All real estate commissions in the U.S. are fully negotiable. Valid real estate commission information is hard to come by. There is only one legitimate research firm that reports on commission rates across the country, Real Trends. Also Realogy, the largest corporate group of various Realty brands in the U.S., occasionally publishes nationwide real estate commission reports. Other articles you will find online about real estate commission rates are conducted by biased real estate websites conducting their own surveys, but they...


exp realty portland real estate

5 Reasons Why Every Realtor Should Join eXp Realty in 2021

July 26, 2021

1. Online is the present and the future of real estate. Our clients are online. This is obvious. Homebuyers, for all intents and purposes, are exclusively shopping for homes online with the occasional open house stop along the way. Homeowners constantly check their home values online. More and more frequently homebuyers and homeowners are finding their next Realtor online too (whether it is through a social media platform or website). Realtors are online. Realtors primarily work from a smartphone and not an office. The NAR Member Profile Report 2021 says 96% of Realtors use a smartphone and 93% use text as the primary communication method with their clients. Only 25% of Realtors report any office expense whatsoever (exhibit 3-9). Home...


June Home Sales in Portland Real Estate Market Beat Out Past 10 Years

July 23, 2021

If you’ve read this blog at all this year, you know that one of the biggest stories we’ve been following is Portland’s low inventory. Yet if you read the title of this post, you know that home sales are still going through the roof. So how do these two truths not contradict? First, let’s talk about what inventory means. When we quote an inventory number, that number comes from our monthly RMLS reports. It’s calculated by dividing the number of active residential listings at the end of the month by the number of closed sales for that month. So you’re looking at a ratio: when it’s under 1.0, that means more homes sold than came on the market. For June,...


What is Escrow – And How Much Does it Cost in 2021?

July 21, 2021

The home buying process can feel like a wild ride. And most of that ride can be pretty fun – you’re looking at houses online, touring them in person, and imagining yourself in your new home. What’s not as fun, though? The closing process, with its twists and turns and complicated terms. Closing on a home, especially for first time buyers, can become a labyrinth of obscure words and processes. That’s what we’re here for! We believe the role of the real estate agent during this time encompasses many things, and one big one is to guide you through the closing. Whenever parties are exchanging big chunks of money, complication ensues. And that complication is there for a reason: to...