Check back often for new posts, updates on events and local activities and advice on buying or selling Portland real estate, condos, homes and properties.
We always want our sellers to have the most valuable information when staging, prepping and selling, which is why we've compiled a list of our favorite and most important home selling/staging/and cleaning tips out there. Pick your favorite or read them all... they will give you countless ways to make your home the most amazing listing on the market.
The closing process happens when you finalize all the documents and paperwork necessary for buying real estate and all deeds are recorded and funds are dispersed. This closing can only happen when every notch falls into place and there are a lot of notches! So, there's a chance that something can fall through. You're dealing with a lot of involved parties when buying property, the title and escrow company, several real estate agents, buyers and sellers, appraisers, inspectors, and lenders. So, for everything to come together it can be challenging. And... you don't want to sabotage that sale. So here are 4 things that can ruin your closing.
Your lender should give you a good faith estimate as to exactly how much you'll be paying for the property in terms of closing costs, actual purchase price, down payment, and any other fees. If for some reason you don't bring the amount of closing costs needed to the table, the property cannot close. It's important to be preapproved for a loan before finalizing any closing documents. A buyer and a seller may need to cover some closing costs such as the title search, home inspection, or any prorated homeowner association dues or taxes. This can add up to several thousands of dollars to bring to the closing table and if for some reason either party does not have those funds, it can cause a major glitch in the closing process. Be sure to contact your lender and know exactly what you need to bring to the table at closing.
If you lease your home while you are trying to sell it you now have other people involved. Let's go back to that list of people involved in the process and add another one, tenants. Make sure your lease agreement provides enough time for renters to move on before closing so that it's not an awkward eviction situation.
Most homeowners will have a home inspection completed before final closing but if you are unable to prove that your home is been treated for pests or do something seriously wrong with pests or pest damage, buyers may back out of the deal and ruin the closing situation. Many contracts are drafted with contingencies that allow the buyer to inspect the property before finalizing the sale. Make sure you have completed anything and everything on the home inspection report contingency before finalizing documents.
Before selling a property you have to be the sole owner of the property or the one allowed to sell the property and if you have any unpaid bills from delinquent property taxes, homeowners association dues, or even additional mortgages, it could put a major glitch on your closing. Title searches will make sure that any liens found in public records are completed before closing, but if things are found at the last minute, it could really terminate or at the very minimum, delay the closing process.
As a seller, and even as a buyer, finalizing these documents before being called in by escrow to sign is really the key to a smooth and stress-free closing. Good communication with your listing agent and the buyers lender can make sure that all of these loose ends are tied up so that you don't have a huge surprise at the closing table.
More on Closing
The real estate market in Portland may be different than let’s say, Florida or Hawaii. When some parts of the country go into their busy season, we slow down and fall and winter start to press down on us. But that doesn’t mean people stop buying and selling homes. If you relocate, have a family change, or just need a bigger or smaller house, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is.. you need to move on.
But what if you’re moving here from overseas or a different part of the country and you have to buy a home sight-unseen? How is that even possible? Do people do that? How do you really know what you’re getting?
Most people start their real estate search from the comfort of their own home online. If you come across a property you love while searching it may mean finding a trustworthy agent to help you jump in and buy the property sight unseen.
The key to buying a home without physically walking through it is to find a very reputable real estate agent with experience in helping clients buy properties without being physically present. Upon finding an agent don’t be afraid to ask right off the bat about their experience in these types of sales and describe the process and services they offer to buyers for a sight-unseen transaction.
They have the challenge of describing the property to someone who is not there. This can be a big benefit as the more details you know about the property the better prepared you are in making a decision to buy. You may end up getting more information on a home in a sight unseen transaction than a traditional one. Make sure your agent offers to take a video tour of the home and pictures of every room and things that may need fixing or updating as well as the surrounding land and views. Sometimes a real estate agent will be able to Skype or have a live video interaction with you as they tour the home and you can ask questions while they walk through the property for you.
After showing you a video and pictures of the property you have fallen in love with have your realtor suggest a qualified home inspector in the area with attention to detail. Inspectors that have dealt in sight unseen real estate sales will take pictures of every area they inspect as well and report back everything in great detail because they are aware of the importance of finding every issue and making sure to communicate it clearly. Again this is a great benefit as you may end up with a more careful inspection than you would typically receive in a traditional sale.
Having the wealth of video and pictures will also allow you to look through the home several more times and really know that you do love the property. This isn’t an option with walking through the home physically because one look is what you get. What a benefit to be able to watch a video over and over again to make sure you didn’t miss anything and be sure you want to buy.
Buying a home in Portland or Vancouver without physically seeing it does seem a bit risky, but with a trustworthy agent and an inspector on top of their game, it doesn’t have to be. If you are looking at houses online don’t wait until you can visit a property you love because it may not be for sale when you get here.
Back in 2017 - Oregon was on top too! "Oregon ranked second in the country in 2017 as a destination for people who moved into a new state, according to tracking statistics released by moving company United Van Lines."
But now, Portland has ranked among the nation's top moving destinations, which really isn't any surprise to us Portlandians. According to Updater, a moving app that ranked the top 15 moving destinations of 2018, Portland came in at #12. The top five moving destinations in the Portland area include the Pearl District, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Vancouver, and downtown Portland.
Americans migrate to the states in the New England area, the southeast, and the West Coast primarily. Outbound migration is distributed across the states for multiple regions and Updater analyzed over 1 million anonymous households. More people were moving out of California, Alaska, New York, and a couple of Southern states where most people are moving into Washington Oregon, Idaho, and some of the Southeastern states. The entire state of Oregon got the top 10 inbound states for migration.
The median sales price in Portland is about $417,000 with the median rent at $2000. We've seen this number gradually increase with a huge spike around March and April of this year. However, going into the fall and winter season we are seeing the market cool off just a little bit. There's not as many bidding wars and know all cash offers from developers, which gives a lot of hope for first-time homebuyers. There might be a couple of multiple offer situations on a below market priced house, but most people are marketing at the correct price right now, so buyers and sellers are both satisfied.
If you're considering moving to Portland, give our office a call. Our team specializes in helping folks buy and sell homes and condominiums throughout the Portland Metro area including parts of Vancouver Washington and South into Tualatin and Tigard.
Summer concert series move over… It's time for the winter concert series and Portland pulls no punches when it comes to scheduling and organizing some of the best in the business. The December to Remember series has something for everyone so let's just take a little look at what's coming up in December and throughout the winter in the Portland concert series.
The Dandy Warhols - is coming to the Crystal ballroom on Saturday, December 1 at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $20.
Matt & Kim – this electro pop duo is touring on Tuesday, December 4 at the Crystal ballroom at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $38.
Metallica – coming to the Moda Center on December 5 at 7:30 PM. You can try resellers but they are currently sold out.
Alice Merton - is coming to the Crystal ballroom on December 8 at 8 PM. Tickets are less than $24.
Ezra Furman – at the Aladdin theater on December 11 at 8 PM. Tickets are $14-$16.
Young the Giant is coming to the Crystal ballroom on Thursday, December 13 at 8 PM.
Death cab for cutie – is coming to the Crystal ballroom on December 12 at 8:00 PM.
Ellie King is coming to the Crystal ballroom on December 5 at 8 PM. Tickets are about $30.
Cake – coming to Doug Fir Lounge - on December 13 at 9 PM.
Frankie Simone's Holigay Spectacular - This eclectic show is coming to Mississippi studios at 9 PM on December 15. Tickets are just $15.
Tenacious D is rocking the Crystal ballroom on Saturday, December 15 at 8:30 PM.
John Legend: Legendary Christmas at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on Wednesday, December 19 at 8:00 PM. Tickets are between $70 and $150.
Ural Thomas and the Pain - this legendary soul singer is coming to the Doug Fir Lounge on Friday, December 28 at 9 PM.
Calpurnia – this the low rock indie band is taking over the Crystal ballroom on January 4 at 8:30 PM.
Elton John is rocking the Moda Center on Saturday, January 12 at 8:00 PM. Tickets are currently sold out but you can try resellers at the RoseQuarter.com.
An open house... a showing on a holiday.. who are these people!? Do people really buy real estate on a holiday?
So how are sellers supposed to deal?
Well, believe it or not, I've had buyers that were just in town for the Thanksgiving holiday and needed to look at homes THAT DAY. Sometimes you can't help it and I get that. But what can buyers do? Here are some ideas for selling around the Thanksgiving weekend.
There is actually some effectiveness to having an open house held the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Typically buyers are milling around without a lot to do other than eat leftover turkey for the third time or bug their relatives. But, if people are moving to an area and they happen to be visiting during Thanksgiving, this weekend is a great opportunity to host an open house. This might be a lot to undertake for some sellers, but if you'd like to try the opportunity of nabbing those buyers in town for just this weekend, holding an open house might be ideal.
Here's what I tell all of my homeowners that have their house listed during the holidays. It can be stressful, yes, but I also think buyers are gracious enough to understand that you are having a holiday at your house. If at all possible, perhaps have Thanksgiving dinner somewhere else or at another relatives house so that your house can remain clean, uncluttered, and unoccupied. Then buyers can browse your home in peace and quiet, without feeling like they are interrupting a private family moment.
Some homeowners may celebrate holidays that the general public or most of America may not. In this case, buyers are simply unaware that you might be having a holiday occasion at your house and should be gracious enough to reschedule, especially if it's not a public holiday.
I don't know about you but pumpkins, fall leaves, and the general ambiance of fall decoration just screams warmth an invitation. So, having a few decorations put up in a tasteful way is not distracting, but actually welcoming. Going overboard on any type of decoration even if it's very neutral any time of the year, is just too much for buyers to take in.
Remember, if you have homebuyers browsing your home during a holiday season there probably serious. Those that are out are seriously looking and they may have deadlines in which they need to move by so by offering them a showing, even if it's inconvenient for you, usually means they're serious about homebuying at this time.
It's really up to you whether you choose to open your home during the holiday season or this Thanksgiving weekend to buyers. It's important to have a good line of communication with your real estate agent so that when buyers agents call-in for showing, we can really talk through the reason for the showing, the inconvenience, and if the buyers are serious.
Activities by PDXPipeline.com