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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Every Real Estate Agent should join eXp Realty – 5 Reasons Why

July 31, 2020

Okay, I know that is a bold title. But I honestly do believe every real estate agent, or nearly (we can leave out a few bad apples) should join eXp Realty. I’ve been licensed in Oregon since 2003 as a Broker initially and as a Principal Broker today. In the those last 17 or so years I’ve been a part of a (single) handful of Realty companies and have been recruited by most in town at one point or another. Let’s be honest to start, there are plenty of good Realty companies in and around Oregon and southern Washington. I have very particular reasons to share why I’m at eXp Realty and why I believe any other good real estate...


portland real estate suburbs

2020’s Top 5 Most Affordable Portland Suburbs

July 27, 2020

Despite the pandemic setback to the real estate market this spring, home prices in Portland are as strong as ever, especially at the low-to-mid range of the market. While this is great news for homeowners, those shopping for a home — especially a first home — can feel a bit daunted.  Fortunately, the Portland metro area, spanning three Oregon counties, offers plenty of options. And while the definition of “best suburb” can be difficult to pin down, “most affordable” is a little easier. These five Portland suburbs were selected for coming in with the lowest median sale price. But because things are changing so rapidly, we also included the July 2020 median home value for the area, as indexed by...


average real estate commission report

Average Real Estate Commission, Buyers Agent Rates – 2020 Report

July 24, 2020

When people think of real estate commission, they often think of 6%, 5%, or 4.5% (what we charge as our max. rate). The public is not generally in their mind dividing commission between the sellers agent and buyers agent. But in the vast majority of real estate transactions the commission is split between those two agents, and it is not typically split 50 / 50 like many would assume. No, each area has its own majority commission rate that is offered to the buyer’s agent. All real estate commissions are negotiable, what I’m providing here is research on the local commission rates offered in Portland, Oregon using the data available from RMLS, our local MLS provider where buyers agent commission...


home value estimates online realtor

Home Value Estimates – Online vs. Realtor

July 20, 2020

Online Home Value Estimates are Fast and Hassle Free There is no reason not check your home value online on occasion. In most cases the online value will be in the general range of its real estate market value. However, when you’re getting ready to sell, say anytime in the 12 months prior, you should have a professional, a top real estate agent come out and see your home and give a true value. Online estimates, even in 2020, are not at all close to the actual homes value! See our report on Zillow Zestimates in 2020, and how off they are (and how Zillow cheats to make them look better then they are). While there are more sources for...


real estate commission

Real Estate Commission Report – 2020 National Average

July 17, 2020

Real estate commission data is hard to come by. One of my goals as a real estate agent in Portland is to educate the public and provide transparency within the real estate industry on a number of topics – including commissions. Most of the information you can find online is dated or summary in nature, many without proper references. Realogy Brokerage Group has, “As of December 31, 2019, approximately 710 company owned brokerage offices and approximately 52,200 independent sales agents working with these company owned offices.” They report that their average commission per side was 2.41%, which would equal a 4.82% commission rate for the seller (since the seller typically pays both sides of the commission and the buyer does...


portland real estate mold home test

How to Test Your Portland Home for Mold: 2020 Update

July 13, 2020

Portland homeowners: Is your home harboring mold?  That was a trick question because mold occurs just about everywhere on the planet, including homes in Portland, Oregon. Invisible, or “ambient” mold spores float on the air waiting for an appropriate place to land and form the green, black and blue colonies we’re all familiar with.  The real question is, not whether there’s mold in your house, but if you have a mold growth problem. If you do, there’s probably an underlying issue that should be addressed. But what about toxic black mold? Thankfully, this strain of mold is not very common, and is rarely found in Portland homes. According to the CDC, “All molds should be treated the same with respect...


portland real estate foreclosure rate

Portland Real Estate Foreclosure Rate – 2020 Report

July 10, 2020

Over the past five years, the foreclosure rate in the Portland real estate market has been dropping, from close to 4% of total sales in 2015 to just under 1% this year. Even though the total number of foreclosures in Portland has gone down, we’re not back to zero foreclosures, which was the case prior to 2008. Last year, homebuyers successfully closed on just over 100 foreclosure deals (according to RMLS, our local MLS system) and 47 foreclosures have closed already in 2020. But the COVID-19 pandemic prompted lawmakers this spring to prohibit banks from pursuing new foreclosures until at least October. What will this mean for the Portland real estate foreclosure market? We can take a look back to...


portland real estate condo market

Portland Condo Buyers’ Guide 2020

July 6, 2020

Summer 2020 Portland real estate market provides an excellent opportunity to invest in a condo in Portland. We’re seeing a decrease in buyer activity and falling prices in response to COVID-19. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, a homeowner looking to downsize or in search of your perfect second home, here’s our definitive Condo Buyers’ Guide for Portland.  What is it like to live in a condo?  Condo owners enjoy many more amenities than the typical homeowner, from killer views atop high-rises to the privacy of a gated community with swimming pools and tennis courts. However, buyers must enter into HOA agreements carefully, and check the HOA’s financials to be sure that all of the shared costs will be covered.  From...


portland real estate market stories

Top 5 Portland Real Estate Market Stories of 2020 (so far)

July 3, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted real estate transactions in unprecedented ways in 2020, so it’s no surprise that most of our top news articles this year are related to that topic. But there have been a couple of other important stories that you may have missed in the crisis. Read on for everything you need to know about Portland real estate market in the first part of 2020. 1. Pandemic causes short Portland real estate crash, with near instant recovery. Starting in March, people began losing jobs at an alarming rate, many others lost savings when the stock market plunged, and the need for social distancing seemed to make buying and selling real estate impossible on a practical level. On...


home inspection vs appraisal results

Home Inspection VS. Appraisal: What’s the difference?

June 29, 2020

Home inspections and appraisals happen in the vast majority of real estate transactions. They both involve someone physically coming to the home and making an assessment. And both can have an influence on the eventual success or failure of the home sale. Note: This article is not focusing on refinance appraisals. With refi appraisals, it is more frequent that an appraiser doesn’t have to come inside the home (though often they still must). The appraisal must come in at value to get the whole refi loan you want, but you could go for less potentially. In our experience, the lender may appraise the home higher than its worth in a refi because it knows you have good credit or strong...