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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for sale by owner Portland

Should I Sell a FSBO (For Sale By Owner) in Portland?

November 12, 2013

According to the NAR (National Association of Realtors) 2013 report, only 9% of today’s sellers are FSBO (For Sale By Owner). This is close to the Portland Real Estate Market as well, where NAR report 8% of Urban market areas are FSBO. Are FSBO sellers successful? In a recent Fall 2012 survey a huge study was done of home sellers nationwide by HomeGain. The survey reported sellers who used real estate agents were twice as likely to sell their home than FSBO. About 2/3 of home sellers who used a real estate agent successfully sold their home, while only 1/3 of FSBO owners sold their home. Of those who did sell, according to the NAR report, 40% knew the buyer...

professional photography portland

Professional Photographs – should I use to sell my Portland home?

October 29, 2013

In a word, yes. Unless you are selling a fixer in as-is condition, professional photographs will make all the difference in marketing your Portland home for sale. The number one thing that makes homes sell these days is internet exposure (see our in-depth post here) and I strongly believe the number two thing is the pictures those buyers see online. Amazingly, many Portland real estate agents take terrible, and I mean terrible photos of their own listings. Personally as a licensed Realtor in Portland, I have taken a few classes on professional photography and bought for myself a top of the line Canon SLR with the appropriate lenses. And still, I recommend calling in the professionals – more often than...

portland real estate market

Portland Real Estate Market Update: Autumn as usual?

October 28, 2013

The Portland real estate market – just like real estate markets across the world – has its yearly cycle. For any number of reasons, buying and selling activity slows down in the winter, picks up in the spring, goes crazy in the summer, and quiets down again in the fall. Given these cycles, one would expect the September RMLS report for Portland to show numbers that reflect slightly less activity than August. Bingo – the number of closed sales is down 18%, the number of new listings is down 15%, and the average sales price for a Portland home slipped from $321,900 in August to 317,300 in September. To get a complete picture of what’s happening in the Portland real...

cohabitation in portland

Buying a Portland Home – with a little help from your friends

October 15, 2013

In the early 1970’s, Portland activists organized to collectively buy a home in Northeast Portland. They called it “Terrasquirma”. The idea was that by sharing the mortgage and other costs of running the household, the owners could have more time and resources to devote to their various causes. It worked – among other things, Terrasquirma’s residents created a recycling network that laid the groundwork for the city’s first municipal recycling system. Terrasquirma dissolved in 1979, but cooperative housing hung on in Portland. More recently, people who have no activist inclinations whatsoever have also begun to see the benefits of sharing a home title. The advantages of home ownership are well understood – tax breaks, a sense of freedom and security,...

real estate disclosures

Portland Real Estate Disclosures for Buyers and Sellers 2013

October 7, 2013

In the Portland real estate market, it is vital to provide the buyers and sellers with proper disclosures. These real estate disclosures change depending on whether the property is a regular sale, short sale, estate sale, or foreclosure sale. The disclosures will also change depending on the type of property, townhome, condo, detached, and year built. I’ve attached a few PDFs to this post that contain important Portland real estate disclosures for 2013. The real estate disclosures do not always change year to year, but they tend to change over time. What follows below is not even close to a comprehensive list for Portland real estate disclosures, but it does include some very important highlights. Oregon Real Estate Agency Disclosure...

portland real estate market

Portland Real Estate Market: Strong End to Summer

September 28, 2013

By all accounts in the real estate business, it was a successful summer in Portland. The August RMLS report for the Portland real estate market paints the picture in numbers: In August alone, 2,623 buyers closed on the perfect home – and, as it usually goes in the summer – there were even more closed sales in the previous two months. Home sellers were busy too, getting 3,423 new listings on the market this August. Overall, looking at the average and median sales prices for a Portland home from the beginning of the year to August, prices are up by around 15% compared to last year. The Portland real estate market usually winds down in August and September, so it’s...

yards in portland

Portland Home Selling Tips: Preparing Your Yard in the Fall

September 23, 2013

It’s that time of year again in the Northwest, the school bells are ringing and we begin to revaluate the quality of our rain gear. Fall in the Portland is a time of preparing and planning. As the average Portland home prices are rising, up 14% from the same time last year, it is also a time where we typically start preparing for a spring sale. One of the best and cost effective ways to begin to prepare your home for sale is to tend to our yards now. With the soil still warm from summer, and the fresh rain, roots grow faster and we are able to give our foliage a head start on next year’s growth. Portland home...

real estate questions

Back to School for your Portland Home

September 16, 2013

Here’s a quick quiz: What’s an R-value? What are the symptoms of mold? Is your Portland real estate agent required to disclose information about toxic lead paint? There’s a lot to learn about being a Portland home buyer or seller, and there’s a lot to learn about your home before you put it on the market. Luckily, you don’t have to take any tests, but your home should! Here are some common tests and audits that will make your home more buyer-friendly. The test: Mold and mildew investigation Required to sell home? No, but standard home inspection will pick up major signs of mold or water damage Why test? Mold and mildew tests are common after a water damage event...

tiny homes in portland

Tiny Homes are Big in Portland

August 29, 2013

Imagine coming home and taking two steps to the kitchen, grabbing some food, turning around, and sitting on the couch. When it’s time for bed, you stand up and go up the ladder to your loft. Your home is less than 100 square feet, cost less than $5,000 to build and is so small that it doesn’t qualify as a “permanent residential structure” under the building code, so it actually sits up on wheels. This might not be your reality, but it is for hundreds who are part of the Tiny House movement in Portland. Some do it because it’s affordable, others to be different, but most who live in tiny houses seem to just prefer it over anything else....

real estate agent commission

Real Estate Agent Commissions – Explained!

August 18, 2013

Being a real estate agent is definitely not on anyone’s list of jobs for a regular, predictable income. That’s because we don’t earn a salary. No regular pay days, no holiday bonuses, no raises based on performance. It’s true – real estate agents typically make their living only from commissions, or a percentage of the price of the home they help their client buy or sell. Does it make sense to shop around for a real estate agent with a lower rate? The answer is, absolutely. All real estate commission is negotiable. It’s still your money, and as Portland’s 2% listing agent, I am proud to offer a reasonable commission rate to my clients. Most of my clients selling a...