Portland Local Business

How to choose the right seller's agent

In a previous post, we talked about how to choose the right buyer’s agent by doing your research and assessing important factors like communication style, knowledge, and negotiation skills. In addition to that advice, we’ve compiled additional tips to help you choose the right listing seller’s agent.

(Scroll down to learn more...)

When choosing a seller’s agent, consider the following:

  • The CMA (Comparative Market Analysis): Does the value of your home seem accurate based on current market conditions, and are the comparable properties used to determine value located in the same neighborhood?

Beware of agents that give you a much higher market value than similar comparable properties and that other agents you’re interviewing have given. This could mean they are just telling you what you want to hear to earn your business, and your home won’t actually sell for that amount. Additionally, overpricing when you first list your home for sale can keep your home on the market longer, and still won’t sell for the asking price. 

  • Marketing Strategy: How does the agent plan on marketing your home? Is this in line with your goals? Is there something specific you want in the marketing plan that you’re not seeing? If so, ask if the agent can add it.

Marketing is more important to some than to others. If you have a specific vision for marketing your home to potential buyers (or, conversely, you want very little marketing), make sure you’re on board with the marketing strategy your real estate agents plans to use.

  • Commission Amount, and Split: How much commission will you be charged? What are you getting for this fee? How is the commission split between your agent and the buyer’s agent?

Often times, agents that charge very minimal commissions do very little to represent you. For instance, an agent may only charge 3.5% to a seller, where 2.5% is going to the buyer’s agent commission and they are only taking 1%. Be sure to ask exactly what this agent will be doing for this commission. Often times, these agents will only be facilitating paperwork – not hiring a photographer, doing marketing, or negotiating on your behalf.

Have more questions? Contact us! We're happy to offer expert advice on selling your home.

 

Follow our Facebook events page, or visit our Instagram or Twitter feeds to see the most current open house updates and details.

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Pros and Cons of Tiny Homes

Pros of living in a tiny home:

  1. Tiny homes are less expensive.

Tiny homes are much less expensive than traditional homes, starting at about $25,000. Of course, this does not account for the cost of land to place your tiny house, which would need to be leased or purchased as well.

  1. Tiny homes use less energy.

Tiny houses are generally about 100-400 square feet. Less space means less energy usage. Additionally, since only 1-2 people can live in a tiny house comfortably, this means modest water, sewer, and garbage waste. This will also bring your utility expenses down.

  1. Tiny homes can be mobile.

Since tiny homes are so small and are usually built with wheels, they are easily transportable. That means if you decide you want to move somewhere else, it’s relatively easy to move your house with you.

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Cons of living in a tiny home:

  1. Zoning laws may restrict where you can place a tiny home.

Depending on your area, there are restrictions to where you can or can’t put a tiny home. Since most tiny houses are considered vehicles rather than residences, it can be tricky to find land to permanently place your tiny home.

  1. Tiny houses have little, if any, storage space.

Since tiny houses are so small there isn’t much storage space. If you’re not used to such a confined space, or are hoping to downsize, you’ll probably have to get rid of many of your belongings or rent a storage unit for them (which can be expensive).

  1. There’s no room for entertaining in your tiny house.

Again, since tiny homes have very little square footage, it’s difficult to have more than 1-2 people in one at the same time. This highly limits your ability to host any indoor gatherings or even host a small dinner.

  1. You can’t finance a tiny home with a mortgage if it’s mobile.

Traditional mortgage financing is not available for tiny homes that are movable because they are considered “recreational vehicles”. This means if you don’t have the cash to purchase one, you’ll likely need to take out a personal loan or an RV loan at a higher interest rate.

One way to own a tiny home without so many restrictions is to have it built on a foundation on land that you own or purchase. There is usually a minimum size requirement for homes built this way (depending on your area) but it may be the best option for those who desire a tiny home and aren’t concerned with mobility. Another upside to this option is that it could also make your tiny house eligible for a traditional home mortgage, or allow it to qualify as an ADU (additional dwelling unit) on your current property.

Still have more questions about tiny homes, or want to know your options for buying one? Contact us

 

Follow our Facebook events page, or visit our Instagram or Twitter feeds to see the most current open house updates and details.

Join us on Tuesdays at 1pm PST for our "Dear Claire" Facebook Live series. Subscribe to our YouTube channel today to help us reach our goal of 100 subscribers.

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Open House Update :: September 8 & 9

While enjoying the gorgeous weekend, we'd love to see you this weekend at these amazing homes during our open house viewings. Stop by and check them out!

2207 NE 14th Ave, Portland (map/directions); Listing Price: $725k
Open House: Sept 8, Saturday, 1-3p


Details: Unique opportunity to own a grand 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom duplex home in Irvington. Currently rented for $3200/month, you can have a duplex in one of Portland's premier neighborhoods or convert it back to a single family home, it's up to you! This home has original woodwork and an expansive front porch. The home opens up to a huge, open plan kitchen and the living room is complemented by two fireplaces. The bedrooms and bathrooms are bright and spacious. The basement has all the space you need and is wired separately for you to use as your own personal shop! This house is a one-of-a-kind! (Listing by: Heather Paris)

1836 SE 45th, Portland (map/directions); NEW PRICE: $425k
Open House: Sept 8 & 9, Sat & Sun, 2-4p


Details: An investors dream come true! This 3-bedroom,1-bathroom classic bungalow home is perfectly located between the amazing districts of Hawthorne and Division, so you're just blocks away from all the excitement. There's plenty of potential in this fixer-upper. The kitchen and living rooms are bright and inviting, ready for all of your additions. The loft space is spacious, perfect to refurbish as a den or as a space to host guests. The 960 sq ft unfinished basement would be great addition as a family room or movie room. Bring your vision and your tool belt! Link coming soon! (Listing by: Chelsea McAlister)

1300 NE 68th Ave #12, Portland (map/directions); Listing Price: $250k
Open House: Sept 9, Sunday, 12-1p

Details: 
Sophisticated and affordable, this 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom condo in easily accessible Montavilla. Open floor plan with wood floors and remodeled kitchen. Two nicely appointed bedrooms and remodeled bath. Two covered parking spaces and private storage unit to boot. Shared outdoor deck and BBQ ideal for hosting get-togethers with friends.(Listing by: Claire Paris)

4401 SE 66th Ave, Portland (map/directions); Listing Price: $325k
Open House: Sept 9, Sunday, 12-2p

Details: Best bargain in Foster/Powell! This 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom includes an open living/dining room with warm wood floors. Nicely appointed, remodeled kitchen and an amazing yard, with an end of summer harvest waiting for you. Alley access to your garage for your cars and bikes. Link coming soon! Contact us for details. (Listing by: Claire Paris)

4724 N Missouri Ave, Portland (map/directions); Listing Price: $435k
Open House: Sept 9, Sunday, 1-3p

Details:
 This spacious 4-bedroom, 1.1 bathroom home is close to Mississippi District's cafes, shops, restaurants, and more! Well-appointed and remodeled with large picture windows facing west, charming built-ins, and hardwood floors gleaming with light. With an easy flow from inside to the deck and backyard, it's ideal for entertaining during these gorgeous late summer nights. (Listing by: Claire Paris)

9119 N Richmond Ave, Portland (map/directions); Price: $375k
Open House: Sept 9, Sunday, 1-3p

Details:
 This charming Victorian 2-bedroom, 1.1 bathroom home is located just blocks from downtown St. Johns! Features include high ceilings, warm wood floors, stained glass window, and French doors that lead out to your private deck and yard. The remodeled kitchen makes entertaining easy, and with 2 bathrooms - including a claw-foot tub! - hosting overnight guests is a breeze. The additional 200 square feet basement space makes for a great storage solution. A must-see gem! (Listing by: Claire Paris)

 

Can't make this weekend? Contact us to schedule a visit by email or phone, 503.998.4878.

Our end-of-year goal is to reach 100 YouTube subscribers! Help us reach our goal by subscribing here.
Don't forget to turn on the notification bell to get all the updates!

Join us on Tuesdays at 1p for our "Dear Claire" Facebook Live series!

Follow us on facebook and instagram to learn about our upcoming open houses

Do sellers have to clean the house or are buyers responsible for cleaning a new house before moving in?

how to leave your home upon moving out

There are a few crucial steps every responsible seller must do when selling their home and moving out. It can be quite the journey to selling your home. Your home is a place where you have spent a lot of time and made a lot of memories and when you have a house cleaning after moving, it gives the buyer a chance to relax, as well. When all the furniture is gone, and the moving boxes are packed away, there are still a few things to keep in mind before you close the door, literally. Here’s an easy to follow checklist of steps for house cleaning after moving; time to get out the rubber gloves!

Item 1: Cleaning a house before moving out

Cleaning your home should go beyond the usual weekly or day-to-day chore. If you don’t have the time to commit to deep cleaning every corner of your home, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to help. When you deep clean your house before moving it helps to emphasize your commitment to the selling process and it doesn’t hurt to make your last impression for your buyers a positive one. Make sure to take everything with you. Unless the buyer specifically asks for a piece of furniture or an appliance, pack everything up and double-check all the rooms, especially basements and attics, for items you may have missed.

cleaning a house before moving out

Item 2: Disconnect all your utilities

When thinking through cleaning a house before moving out, make sure you take the time to turn off everything electric, disconnect all the appliances you aren’t taking with you, and most importantly, disconnecting all the water sources in your home. A small leak can cause a massive financial headache, if left untreated.

Item 3: Be meticulous inside and outside

It will be important to make a thorough cleaning checklist of every room in the space. Maybe it’s time to fix that leaky faucet or those cracks in the bathroom tiles. As far as the exterior of the home goes, start with front door, the focal point of the home and a fresh coat of paint can go a long way. Putting in the extra effort will show the buyers of your home a level of appreciation for the home buying process.

Item 4: Agreed-upon items

As you are in the process of deep cleaning, make sure any previously agreed-upon items (like furniture or appliances left for the new buyer) are properly repaired or replaced, as agreed upon in the final documents, or are scheduled to be repaired.

Feel free to reach out to me with your additional questions at any time! Through phone or by email, I’m ready to help you through the home-selling process.

 

Our end-of-year goal is to reach 100 YouTube subscribers! Help us reach our goal by subscribing here. Don't forget to turn on the notification bell to get all the updates!

 

Join us on Tuesdays at 1p for our "Dear Claire" Facebook Live series!

Follow us on facebook and instagram to learn about our upcoming open houses
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What Happens at Closing for the Buyer?

Closing day is an exciting day for home buyers. You’ve made it to the finish line and the end is in sight finally! However, there are just a few final steps that need to happen. We’ve outlined what happens at closing for the buyer, to help your closing process be stress-free.

How to Prepare for Closing on a House

Make sure to review the closing disclosure, which outlines the final monetary terms of your loan, any closing costs, and outstanding fees. Your lender will send you all of those documents at least three days before closing on a house, so you have a chance to review it. This way, you can read ahead, before you officially sign the documents at the title agency. Two items you will want to do; schedule a final walk-through of the home with your agent, checking for any home-related issues; and transfer the utility bills to your name, starting on the day of closing.

What to bring when closing on a house

What to Bring when Closing on a House

Part of what happens at closing is reviewing all of the legal documents to sign, but make sure to bring these 3 things with you on the day of closing:

  • Each buyer needs a government issued photo I.D., such as a driver’s license
  • A certified or cashier’s check for the closing costs that you will owe and made out to the title or closing company
  • Any additional paperwork that you have not yet provided to the title company or mortgage loan officer (i.e., a condo approval letter or originals of copies you’ve provided for the other documents)

Documents Received when Closing on a House

When you sit down at the table at your title office, this is a rough outline of the paperwork you’ll sign:

  1. The loan estimate: this includes the interest rate of your loan and closing costs;
  2. The closing disclosure: the details of your mortgage payments;
  3. The escrow statement: this includes payments the lender will pay from your escrow account;
  4. Mortgage note: this document states your commitment to pay your mortgage;
  5. Deed of trust: this document secures the mortgage note and the title to the property is given to you;
  6. Certificate of occupancy: if you’re buying a newly-constructed home, this is a legal document stating you can move in.

Once you’ve reviewed and signed all the documents, the keys will soon be yours! You’re a brand-new homeowner!

Have more questions about what happens at closing? Give me a call or we can meet and talk further!

 

Our end-of-year goal is to reach 100 YouTube subscribers! Help us reach our goal by subscribing here. Don't forget to turn on the notification bell to get all the updates!

 

Join us on Tuesdays at 1p for our "Dear Claire" Facebook Live series!

Follow us on facebook and instagram to learn about our upcoming open houses
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Portland Air Quality: How Do I Clean my Indoor Air?

Portland forecasts are looking very smokey in these next few days. The National Weather Service issued an Air Quality Advisory for much of Western Oregon and Southwest Washington, which is expected to last through noon on Wednesday. Earlier this week, air quality was already listed in the "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" category, which means those with heart disease, the elderly and children are most affected by these unhealthy conditions. Even for those not covered in the category, stay indoors if you can! Smoke inhalation leads to a variety of health concerns, the most problematic being aggravated asthma and other lung problems.

In this week's Dear Claire, we've been getting a lot of questions on the air quality and we want to help you improve it with a few easy tips for the smokey days ahead.

Most homes have a forced air gas furnace in your basement and, coupled with your thermostat function "fan," it will start to circulate your indoor air through your filter, ridding yourself of the airborne smoke particles. Also important--remember to change your air filters! A clean filter will make all the difference in filtering out all of the unwanted smoke in your home.

If you need more information on what the air quality is like in your city, the Oregon DEQ has a helpful map to keep you safe indoors and outdoors this week.

 

Our summer goal is to reach 100 YouTube subscribers! Help us reach our goal by subscribing here. Don't forget to turn on the notification bell to get all the updates!

 

Join us on Tuesdays at 1p for our "Dear Claire" Facebook Live series!

Follow us on facebook and instagram to learn about our upcoming open houses
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Open House Update :: August 18

We hope you are enjoying your Friday and looking forward to the weekend ahead, I know we are! This weekend, we're showing these two gorgeous homes in NE and SE Portland. See you out there!

4405 NE 75th Ave, Portland (map/directions); NEW PRICE: $465,000
Open House: Aug 18 (Sat) 12-1p

Details: This fantastic 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom home in NE Portland has everything you could want! A large living room, an upstairs lounge, and basement movie room provide plenty of living and entertaining space. Hardwood floors, Schoolhouse Electric fixtures, and ample light provide abundant charm throughout. A big backyard makes it ideal for summer evening gatherings and BBQs. (Listing by: Claire Paris)

8616 SE Raymond Ct, Portland (map/directions); Price: $300,000
Open House: Aug 19 (Sun) 1-3p

Details: This thoughtfully updated Lents 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom bungalow has everything you need! It received a 10/10 home energy score – and its low utilities make living affordable and easy. Wood floors and updated kitchen and bath make this home the rare combination of comfortable and stylish. Enjoy your numerous producing fruit trees and lush garden oasis after a long day, or just relax in your ultra comfortable home and watch the sunset. An oversized garage with workbench means you have plenty of room to store your toys and tools. (Listing by: Claire Paris)

 

Can't make this weekend? Contact us to schedule a visit by email or phone, 503.998.4878.

 

Our summer goal is to reach 100 YouTube subscribers! Help us reach our goal by subscribing here. Don't forget to turn on the notification bell to get all the updates!

 

Join us on Tuesdays at 1p for our "Dear Claire" Facebook Live series!

Follow us on facebook and instagram to learn about our upcoming open houses
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Open House Update :: August 11 & 12

August is here in full bloom. We're enjoying the summer days spent outside with friends, maybe barbequing or trying out a new dinner recipe. While you're out and about this weekend, stop by and see us for three open houses this weekend (one of which is a new listing!) We'll see you out there!

1836 SE 45th, Portland (map/directions); Price: $450,000
Open House: Aug 11 & 12 (Sat & Sun), 12-2p

Details: An investors dream come true! This 3-bedroom,1-bathroom classic bungalow home is perfectly located between the amazing districts of Hawthorne and Division, so you're just blocks away from all the excitement. There's plenty of potential in this fixer-upper. The kitchen and living rooms are bright and inviting, ready for all of your additions. The loft space is spacious, perfect to refurbish as a den or as a space to host guests. The 960 sq ft unfinished basement would be great addition as a family room or movie room. Bring your vision and your tool belt! Link coming soon! (Listing by: Chelsea McAlister)

4724 N Missouri Ave, Portland (map/directions); Price: $475,000
Open House: Aug 11 (Sat), 1-3p

Details: This spacious 4-bedroom, 1.1 bathroom home is close to Mississippi District's cafes, shops, restaurants, and more! Well-appointed and remodeled with large picture windows facing west, charming built-ins, and hardwood floors gleaming with light. With an easy flow from inside to the deck and backyard, it's ideal for entertaining in these long summer nights. (Listing by: Claire Paris)

4405 NE 75th Ave, Portland (map/directions); NEW PRICE: $465,000
Open House: Aug 11, 10a-12p & Aug 12, 1-3p

Details: This fantastic 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom home in NE Portland has everything you could want! A large living room, an upstairs lounge, and basement movie room provide plenty of living and entertaining space. Hardwood floors, Schoolhouse Electric fixtures, and ample light provide abundant charm throughout. A big backyard makes it ideal for summer evening gatherings and BBQs. (Listing by: Claire Paris)

 

Can't make this weekend? Contact us to schedule a visit by email or phone, 503.998.4878.

 

Our summer goal is to reach 100 YouTube subscribers! Help us reach our goal by subscribing here. Don't forget to turn on the notification bell to get all the updates!

 

Join us on Tuesdays at 1p for our "Dear Claire" Facebook Live series!

Follow us on facebook and instagram to learn about our upcoming open houses
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How Much Portland Real Estate Inventory Is Out There?

Portland real estate inventory

With scenic outdoor wilderness and charming neighborhoods, it’s easy to see why Portland ranks in the top lists of places to live. If you’re thinking of buying or selling your home this summer, understanding what the Portland real estate inventory looks like and its future projections, will help with your decision-making process.

What is Real Estate Inventory?

Also called “active listings” or “homes for sale,” real estate inventory refers to the number homes on the market. Any time a seller lists a property, it’s considered part of the real estate inventory. The level of inventory calculated is variable, since it's a balance statement rather than a cumulative measure. Changes in the market can happen quickly, which is why the numbers for real estate inventory are captured at the end of each month. And there's a formula to figure it out: divide the number of homes on the market by the number of homes sold per month (on average) during the previous year. For example, if there are 56 active homes currently on the market and last year 236 homes sold in the same area (or 19.67 homes sold per month), that means there’s a 2.85 months supply of inventory - so just shy of 3 months.

What did Portland Real Estate Inventory look like this past Summer?

For Buyers
For buyers, more than 6 months of real estate inventory leads to lower prices and offers that are more likely to be accepted under the listed price. Since 2012, Portland real estate inventory has been rising steadily, especially this past July. Low housing inventory creates a competitive real estate market, but for Portland, real estate inventory is at 2.1 (just over 2 months), a 31.3% increase compared to last year. 

For Sellers
As a seller, a balanced market is considered 6 months, so despite the increase in real estate inventory, it's still a seller’s market. Less than 6 months of inventory favors sellers because there are less homes for a potential buyer to chose from. If you’re looking to sell your home, consider the inventory within your home's general area. The fastest selling areas in the Portland Metro area for this past June were Beaverton (20 days) and Hillsboro (22 days). The slowest selling areas were West Portland (57 days) and Lake Oswego (52 days).

If you have questions about the Portland real estate inventory, we're always reachable by phone and always available to help answer all of the questions you may have about real estate.

 

Our summer goal is to reach 100 YouTube subscribers! Help us reach our goal by subscribing here. Don't forget to turn on the notification bell to get all the updates!

 

Join us on Tuesdays at 1p for our "Dear Claire" Facebook Live series!

Follow us on facebook and instagram to learn about our upcoming open houses
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Open House Update :: August 5

The first week of August is already upon us; how time flies. We're looking forward to enjoying a much needed weekend. Whether you're stopping by a new vintage store or enjoying the day outside with friends, don't forget to stop by and visit us for two open houses (one newly listed!) this Sunday. We can't wait to see you out there!

8955 N Clarendon, Portland  (map/directions); Price: $525,000
Open House: Aug 5 (Sun), 1-3p

This impeccably maintained 4-bedroom, 2.1-bathroom home is just blocks from parks, New Seasons market, and downtown St. John’s. It features ample bedrooms, a den, beautifully designed bathrooms, an attached garage, and plenty of storage space. The open living and dining areas include walls of expansive windows, allowing you to truly appreciate the sophistication and loveliness of the Sean Hogan-designed, low-maintenance landscaping. Make meals and entertain indoors in your beautifully-appointed kitchen with quartz counters and gourmet range, or outdoors on your covered patio or deck. Experience both the ease and grace of living in this gorgeous home. (Listing by: Claire Paris)

4405 NE 75th Ave, Portland (map/directions); NEW PRICE: $465,000
Open House: Aug 5 (Sun), 1-3p

Details: This fantastic 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom home in NE Portland has everything you could want! A large living room, an upstairs lounge, and basement movie room provide plenty of living and entertaining space. Hardwood floors, Schoolhouse Electric fixtures, and ample light provide abundant charm throughout. A big backyard makes it ideal for summer evening gatherings and BBQs. (Listing by: Claire Paris)

 

Can't make this weekend? Contact us to schedule a visit by email or phone, 503.998.4878.

 

Our summer goal is to reach 100 YouTube subscribers! Help us reach our goal by subscribing here. Don't forget to turn on the notification bell to get all the updates!

 

Join us on Tuesdays at 1p for our "Dear Claire" Facebook Live series!

Follow us on facebook and instagram to learn about our upcoming open houses
facebook // instagram // pinterest // twitter // youtube