The Portland Condo Blog


Selling? What is “Buying a Listing?”

Buying a listing?

Have you ever heard the term in real estate “Buying a listing”? What does that mean? Does it mean a a buyer is making the purchase of a listed home? The answer is no! In simple terms buying a listing means that a real estate agent, knowing that he or she are in competition with another agent, tells a seller that the price they should sell their home for is much higher than the supporting comps. It is almost always higher than the price of the agent they are in competition with. For example, agent #1 comes into a listing appointment and presents a sales price that is supported by the comps and the current conditions of the market (ie. Low inventory, high inventory). This agent , for example, tells the sellers that the price should be $900,000. And this agent is pushing the price a little high thinking he can net the sellers a little more because of the current low inventory. Agent #2 comes in, knowing they are competing with another agent, and prices the home at $1,000,000. Now this agent knows the supporting comps show that this home should be priced at $900,000. But this agent also knows that if they come in with a price that is $50,000 to $100,000 over what the other agent said it will sell for, the sellers will be very tempted to go with the second agent. After all, who would not want to make an extra $50,000 to $100,000! What then happens? Well typically, the sellers will get less traffic because most agents know it is overpriced and they will take their chances that the price will be reduced at a later time. When this happens, in this market usually 1 to 3 months later, the listing agent tells the seller that they need to drop their price! And when they do drop the price, the listing has become stale at that point, and regardless of the price drop, the low ball offers start to come in! When this happens, units usually sell at a lower price ( most times lower than the original sales price mentioned by agent #1)


Why do some agents practice this way to solicit listings? Because they KNOW they will get the listing! And during the time the home is on the market, they will have built a relationship with the sellers and at some point, they will have the seller dramatically reduce the price and the home will sell and those agents will get their commission.

So how do you avoid this type of practice? Well start off with the old saying that if something is too good to be true… it usually is. While we all want the most in the sale of our homes, you also want to be realistic in your expectations. And how do we know if an agent practices this habit? Well I often tell sellers to look at the agents current listings because an agent that practices this method of acquiring listings will almost always have a couple of listings that have been on the market for 2 to 3 months (because they were way overpriced!) If it priced right in this low inventory market, It will sell. Anything much over a month to a month and a half is way overpriced. Usually under a month is the norm in this current market.

What do you do if this situation happens to you? I tell sellers to hold their agents feet to the fire! If they say they can sell it for $1,000,000, when another agent says the value is $900,000, hold them to it. $975,000 would be within reason. If they can’t, thank them for their efforts and hire the agent that told you the correct price all along. But when you do, be aware that the original $900,000 may now be difficult to get because of the time spent on the market.


Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties. Brad was the first agent in the country to use QR codes for his listings and is an internet marketing expert. Brad was a co-founding partner in , a group of condo specialist from around the country working together to provide the best marketing practices for their clients.

Luxury condos and Portland penthouses!

We have all heard the market in general is doing pretty well in terms of units selling reasonably quick. That is if they are priced correctly! Condos in the $300,000 to $700,000 price range have done well and there is not much current inventory. This is the reason they are selling reasonably quickly. How is the upper end of the market doing… units that are priced from $750,000 and up? Inventory levels in the Million dollar range is much better than the lower range. For example, in the $600,000 to $700,000 range there are only seven listings! In the $1,000,000 + area of the market there are 25 listings. How are the Million dollar listings selling? Very well, if priced right. Units that are not priced right will languish on the market and eventually, very typically, get punished with lowball offers. A great example of this scenario is the penthouse at Envoy that was just recently sold…after many years on the market. The last offering price on that penthouse unit was $2,249,500 it sold this week for $1,807,800…20% off its list price! In this market, with low inventory it is smart to price your unit on the high end of a range but there is a fine line and if you cross this line, it can cost you in the long run.

Portland Condos

In the high end of the market, units are selling. Three of the last $1,000,000+ units that have sold were cash buyers. This is something we have seen as very common the last year.  In the highest end of the market there are several really nice units available. Toping the list is the largest of the penthouse units at the Cosmopolitan priced at $3,883,000. If I had to guess, this will be the first one to sell of the three penthouses that are in the $3,000,000 price range. The other two, the penthouse at the Casey priced at $3,499,000 and the penthouse at the Elizabeth priced at $3,298,900 are very overpriced in my opinion. ( so is the one at the Cosmopolitan…but it will eventually sell very close to its asking price). The other two are priced in the $1000 a square foot vicinity. This is way too high, in my opinion, for units only on the 16th and 14th floors. Part of what you are paying the high price at the Cosmopolitan penthouse, is the likelihood of your views being uninterrupted. This happens when you are 28 floors up, not so much when you are on the 14th floor.  I happen to really like the unit at the Elizabeth and would love to show it to clients but when priced so high over the market, the reality of the sellers taking a realistic offer, which would be substantially less, is less likely to happen. The current price just scares buyers away from even viewing it! If it were priced right out of the gate, chances are, in this market, it would be sold by now!  If you are a buyer in the upper end of the market, a unit to not overlook is the penthouse at The Westerly priced at $2,950,000. This is the most spacious of the penthouse units with 3662 square feet. On top of that, two massive decks that offer some of the best outdoor living of any condo on the market! Not only are the views here better than the Cosmopolitan views ( remember, The Westerly, at a higher elevation looks OVER the Pearl District …kind of of like living on the the  80th floor of the Cosmopolitan… if it were available!!) the massive deck space makes entertaining an amazing event with these killer views! If this is a penthouse unit that you would like to view, give me a call because it is always a treat to show it to clients!
3UpWesterlyThe Westerly Penthouse

Rounding out the “near” $3,000,000 range,  while not a penthouse, is one of the most unique! The combined townhome in the iconic townhomes along 11th is a pretty special home. In August, the pricing on this townhome was reduced from $2,975,000 to $2,775,000. It offers 3888 square feet of living space with room for 4 cars to be parked. In addition, this townhome will not be burdened with the monthly HOA fees of the others, which run between $1,500 to $1,900 a month. While this townhome has yet to sell, I believe because of its eclectic design, the right buyers will come along and when they do they will be buying a pretty special place to call home.

Brad Golik is a luxury condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties. If you would like to view any of the above mentioned Portland penthouse condominiums, call Brad at 503-896-8856.

You can visit his website at

Prices in the Market Today

When you write in a blog, sometimes you will make statements that are right and other times you may be wrong. This is the risk that you make when you put yourself out there. At times I will mention that I think a unit that comes on the market might be overpriced, underpriced or priced just right. In the case of the new Cosmopolitan, the market has spoken! From the very beginning, I have said that I felt the Cosmopolitan was overpriced. Was I wrong? Well, the Cosmo is now about 85% sold out. The market has absorbed those high prices, prices that I mentioned were higher than Seattle’s Insignia development. How could I be so wrong? For the developer, Hoyt Street Properties, their timing was the perfect storm, in a good way. Not only did interest rates not go up as many have feared, they actually went down. The biggest reason the developer was able to capture these high prices… LACK of INVENTORY. This is where I was dead wrong in predicting what would happen in the market. I don’t believe anybody would have guessed we would have continued with the low inventory that we have continued to have.

Typically, as prices rise, owners who were underwater begin to see some equity and sell as prices begin to go up. This time around, it has not happened! This was the perfect storm for Hoyt. In regards to pricing, it really is the market that determines the price. Because buyers had no other options, they were forced to pay the high prices at The Cosmopolitan. In doing so, the developer never had to reduce prices like I thought they were going to need to do. So was I wrong in my saying they were priced too high? I am sticking to my guns in terms of my opinion on pricing. Again, I don’t determine prices nor does the developer, it is the market. Is Portland ready for $1000 a square foot prices? I still don’t believe so. Several agents have tried pricing a couple nice penthouses in town at the $1000 a ft. level and they are not selling. The real determination of pricing will come when these units go into the resale market. This has been my biggest fear in not wanting to put my clients in this building. While some are certainly willing to take that risk, it is hard to determine what the market will do between now and then. What I do believe though, is if the market were to turn around, I believe it will be very difficult to get the $800 to $1200 a sq. ft that the buyers paid. When things aren’t shiny and new it is more difficult. Will the extra height of the building justify those prices then? I am not so sure. The new Overton apartment building, which is slated for 26 floors, takes away some of the theory of not getting views blocked by being in a 28 story tower.


So was I wrong on pricing? Like I said, the market has spoken and the developer has won! However, somebody asked me the other day if my parents moved up from San Diego, would I sell them a unit there? My answer… NO!  I would do exactly what I said was an option early on. I would rather find them a nice unit at The Metropolitan, Park Place, The Henry or The Casey at $600 to $800 a sq. ft and have them put $100,000 to $150,000 into it. That way they would have the dream kitchen they want (which is not ultra contemporary) and they could do some other things to make it exactly how they want it. They could have a unit that I believe would far exceed, in terms of finishes and design, what they would be getting at the Cosmopolitan. And not that the ultra contemporary finishes at the Cosmopolitan are not nice, Pedini cabinets, your only choice, are just not for everybody’s taste.

To finish up I want to add just one thing. Everybody that is buying at The Cosmopolitan is not just buying an investment, they are buying their new home that they plan on living in for many years. So for those people who don’t have plans or need to sell anytime soon, they will be living in a very nice building in a very nice part of the Pearl District.  They will be in a building that offers many nice views and a building near several close by parks…it will be a nice place to call home!

Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties. I you are thinking about listing your Portland condominium, give Brad a call and learn about Portland’s best condo marketing program.
503-896-8856  l

YES…A deal in this market!!!

In a post I wrote a little while back I mentioned that even in a hot market, where everyone seems to believe that there are no deals in the market, that sometimes deals do come along. Today is one of those days! If you are in the market for a 2 bedroom unit with over 1400 square feet, this is your lucky day! Just a short walk north of the Fields Park in the Pearl District, you will find a wonderful 8 story condominium tower called Pacifica. I have sold many units in this building and know it probably better than any agent in town. Two days ago a unit came on the market priced at $575,000. This 3rd story unit has a spacious layout, 2 and half baths and a very large deck that looks over the Willamette River. The reason I know it is drastically under priced is that two years ago I sold the same unit, two floors up, for $575,000! In this time the market is certainly up more than 10-15%. Taking that into consideration, you would be looking at a price of $610,00– to $632,000. The current price, at $391 a square foot is VERY low to the comps in this building. I sold 4 or 5 units in this building between $418 to $450 a square foot last year! I will be pricing another unit there soon and we were going to be looking at $500 a square foot. This might be a little more difficult now with the agent selling unit #303 so far below market value.

Again, for those who are patient, and work with an agent that knows the condo market, there are good values that do come up in the market. Unit #303 at Pacifica Tower is one of them!


If you are a buyer and looking for a great 2 bedroom unit, there is not another unit under $750,000 in the market right now that I feel beats this one.

If you would like to go view this unit, give me a call today and I will set up a showing! Call me at 503-896-8856

Location, location, location!

Yesterday after finishing a showing at Atwater Place in South Waterfront, I stopped at the local coffee shop to check emails and have a cup of coffee. While there, I had made a couple calls. Afterward, the lady sitting at the table next to me struck up a conversation with me as she heard me talking real estate. (This happens often as people love to talk real estate!). The first thing she said to me was “Do you know that an agent opened a new real estate office here in South Waterfront?” I said yes, I was well aware of it. She asked me if it makes it hard on me to do business here with this agent doing so much focused marketing at Atwater Place, Meriwether and The John Ross. She also asked me if this agent has an advantage because of the location?

Here was my answer to her questions.

 Sometimes location is important (we have always heard location, location location!) In terms of hiring an agent to list your condo in South Waterfront, having that South Waterfront office location is not important.  What is important is the number of eyeballs ( more specifically, BUYER’S) that you can get that listing in front of. Here is the big difference. My office, Pearl District Properties, is in the heart of the Pearl District on the most walkable street in the Pearl. Every week we get hundreds of people pulling our listing flyers as they walk by. From New York to the San Francisco Bay area, we speak to buyers that are often in town for a few days looking to purchase a condo. How you ask, does this help seller’s in South Waterfront? These people are here to buy a condo. They have heard about the Pearl District because it is fairly well known across the country. Many of these people begin their search with the idea that they will buy in the Pearl. Many find that it is not the neighborhood for them. In fact, I often suggest to them to expand their search to a few buildings downtown and to South Waterfront, especially to those wanting a quieter neighborhood with a little less hustle and bustle.


To put it simply, if you are a condo owner in South Waterfront that is looking to sell, you will get far greater exposure to actual buyers! In addition, we are also condominium specialist with an office that has been around since 2002.  I believe my internet marketing is second to none (which is also hugely important!) is one of the most visited real estate websites in town for condominium buyer’s. In addition, I will feature your listing on one of my many “Search Specific” websites including,, as well as

With these websites we do a ton of cross marketing from my other 50+ condo websites. After all, someone looking at a quality building on the water, such as, will also click on a link on that website, to one of my South Waterfront websites and look at your listing!

If you are thinking about selling your condo in the near future (or just want to know it’s current value, please go to for a FREE valuation.

If you would like to know more about my full condominium listing program, which I believe is the best in the city for the luxury condo market, please give me a call!

Brad Golik is a condominium specialist in Portland, OR.

He is a founding member of and has trained many top luxury agents the art of internet marketing for real estate.

Portland’s best condominium blog?

“One lousy word, you call this a blog?” This was a response I got from my most recent, one word blog post about a new listing that came on the market at $2,100,000.

In actuality, I got several emails about this which I find very interesting. In this recent post I stated that this new listing priced at $2,100,000 was ‘under whelming”. I felt this was all I needed to say at the time I wrote. A friend of mine suggested that it was because I stood a better chance of making less punctuation and grammatical errors if I kept it to 1 word. Ouch! …but the truth hurts sometimes.

So at the request of several readers, I will elaborate. I believe that when you walk into anything in the Portland market that is priced in the $2,000,000 range it better have the “Wow” factor. When I walked into 625 11th Ave (the beautiful brick town homes on 11th in the Pearl) my first thought when I walked in the door was “That is a very cool dining set”. It was not a “Wow, this place is amazing!” While staging is important in showcasing a property, you know it is a problem when someone notices a dining set instead of the unit itself! Is this the problem of the stagers that were hired? No I don’t believe so as the staging was pretty low key. The problem was, in my opinion, expectations. That’s right expectations. When I go into a place with a $2,100,000 price tag I want to be WOWED! Simply put, I was not. In fact it was the opposite. When I walked into this town home, nothing yelled out to me that this was a $2,000,000 home, including the marketing materials. As I had mentioned in a previous blog, one of these town homes recently sold for $1,850,000. Same square footage, same location. At the very least, my expectations for this new listing (priced $250,000 higher) were that it was going to be more impressive than the one that sold for $1,850,000. Unfortunately, it was not! I don’t believe that the finishes were at the level of unit 618 or 633/637 (the combined unit for sale). The most impressive thing in this unit was the feature wall in the dining area that was  stacked railroad ties from somewhere in Asia. Other than that, it was reasonably forgettable.  In contrast, when I walked into the combined unit 633/637 it had the wow factor! It had the finishes and design elements that were worthy of a $2,775,000 unit.

So to those of you who did not like my 1 word post last week, I am sorry. I hope this helps

If you are a buyer in the +$1,000,000 market and would like to see some condos that do have the “Wow” factor, give me a call and we can set up a tour to view some amazing units. If your budget is under the $1,000,000 mark, don’t worry. You can still find units with lower prices that also have a certain “Wow” factor to them. It might be the views that it has or an amazing floor plan. Whatever it is you are looking for, no matter your budget, I can help you find your Portland condominium!

Call the condo specialist, Brad Golik at 503-896-8856.


Portland Condo Specialist

Today I toured 625 11th Ave. priced at $2,100,000…


Brick Townhomes on 11th

Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties. If you would like to tour this unit for sale or any other condominiums or townhomes, call Brad at 503-896-8856. Brad can also be reached through his website

I was only kidding!

In my last post I was discussing the high prices of some units that have come onto the market recently, in particular, I mentioned #617 11th. This is one of the iconic brick townhomes on 11th. When it sold at $1,850,000 I jokingly said “ Next thing you know some silly agent will price one of these units for $2,000,000!”  Well guess what? While not in the MLS, I got an email for a pocket listing for #625 and it is priced at…… $2,100,000! Are you kidding me? As I mentioned before, let’s look back just 13 months ago when #621 sold for $1,390,000. This is a 51% increase! The market is NOT up 51%!  Now I have no connection to the sellers of the combined #633/#637 unit priced at $2,950,000, but that price just got way more attractive! Especially when you consider the higher level of finishes and design that it has compared to #625.


With all joking aside, this market is a little scary to me. While very different than what we saw in the last bubble, it still is not the type of market you want to see.  I have made many comments about the pricing of the Cosmopolitan. It is priced higher than Seattle’s Insignia Towers( and because of our job markets, this NEVER happens), and yet it is now 80% sold. Many things are not making sense in this market. This is why I feel a little nervous about the market. As a buyer, it pays to be a little cautious and fight for the very best deal. Be ready to walk away from the negotiating table if it just doesn’t feel right. If the market were to turn right now, those paying a premium WILL get hammered, no question! In the higher end of the market, even with low inventory, it pays to be smart with your money. As a seller, I always push for a high price for my seller with the idea of not being too greedy. Also, when pushing for a higher price, make sure you have some reasonable comps to support your pricing because after all, it still has to appraise!


As a seller, keep this in mind, ANY agent can sell your place…but at what price? I have always been a strong believer that better marketing, and more marketing brings in a higher sales price. If you are selling (and asking for a premium price), you should have PREMIUM condo marketing to help you get that higher price! That means great photos, great print material, good videos and all done in a classy, well done format. If an agent is not going to do these things at a minimum, you should look for another agent that will. Will an agent sell a condo with bad photos? Yes! It happens all the time. But don’t you wonder if the photos were better and you had better overall marketing, it would have driven more buyers to the property which in turn helps you get a higher price? Good marketing works! It works for Coca Cola, it works for Apple and it works for selling real estate!

Not always right!

When writing in a blog, it is sometimes difficult because you put yourself out there to occasionally be wrong. When I get feedback from readers it is often appreciated. It is not always positive, but that is ok! After my post the other day about the $2,975,000 unit that I felt was actually under priced, I got an anonymous email from someone that wanted to call me out on a comment a made a short time ago about a unit right down the block I thought was overpriced. That particular unit was another one of the iconic townhomes on 11th that was priced at $1,899,000. That unit was recently sold for $1,850,000…a number I still think was too high. Remember, this townhome had a neighbor that sold about a year ago (with virtually the same high end finishes) for $1,390,000. Do you really believe the market is up 33% in that time span? It’s not! But let’s take a closer look.

11th st townhome

The listing agent did get a good price for the seller but this opens up a whole different issue because the agent also represented the buyer. While it could be said that he got the sellers a good price for their unit, the buyers, who he was also representing, overpaid! I am not a big fan of agents representing both sides in a transaction. Have I done them before? Yes, but it is with full and absolute disclosure. Do you think this agent told the new buyers it was overpriced? Now the market value is what someone is willing to pay. I agree with that but, buyers come to us for guidance and our experience and knowledge in pricing. You cannot be telling one party it is a great selling price and then at the same time be telling the buyers it is a good purchase price. As an agent, my duty to the seller is to get them the very best price that I can. In doing so, I will not put my integrity at risk just to get both sides of a transaction. This is where a good agent must step away from both sides of a transaction and focus on his or her duty of getting the best price for the seller. To be fair to the other agent, maybe this agent did disclose to the buyer that they were overpaying for the unit and they were ok with it. Do I believe that the agent said to the buyers “This unit is priced over 33% from it best comp that sold a year ago and the market is certainly not up 33%”.  I doubt it seriously.

I do not have a problem with an agent handling both sides of a transaction when something is reasonably priced and full disclosure has been made. When something is selling at 33% over its best comp…that is a whole different story.

As a buyers agent, I would not have advised my clients to pay over $1,750,000 for this unit( still over 26% from comp). If the buyers loved it and were ok overpaying for it, this is ok as it is their choice.  But if they are receiving guidance from an agent whose main responsibility is to maximize the sales price for the seller…? I wonder what that same agent would have thought it was worth working as a buyers agent only for someone? Unfortunately, it is sales like this that will mislead inexperienced agents into false pricing. The next thing you know is we will see some agent trying to price one of these single units for $2,000,000!

As for the person that wanted to call me out for being wrong, that is ok! It is people like you that keep me on top of my game so I actually appreciate you and thank you for your comments. I will not always be right but you will always get my honest opinion. Also keep in mind though, it is always good to have a good understanding of the whole picture before making comments, and this is something I always work towards. So in closing, yes, I still think 617 was in fact, overpriced!

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Not everything is overpriced!

Recently, in my blog post you have read about my comments on the Cosmopolitan. You have heard me say that it is overpriced and that it has raised prices on many resale units that are hitting the market.  One of those is the richly priced penthouse at the Elizabeth selling for a whopping $1000 a square foot ( and yet only 14 floors above the ground!. At least for $1000 a foot at the Cosmopolitan you are getting a 26th floor view that helps jusify it’s pricing in comparison…sort of! In the land of overpriced units, I wanted to touch on one listing that I think is underpriced! That’s right, I said underpriced in this market. This unit is one of the iconic brownstone like townhomes on 11th. The one that I like is the double unit #633 and #637 priced at only…$2,975,000! Now I know this is still a pretty big number but lets look at the numbers.

Pearl District

#633 Is a double unit offering 3,888 sq. ft. ( and for you Asian buyers, that 888 is a pretty good sign, right!) With this much square feet and priced at $2,975,000, the price per square feet is only $765! This is $304 a sq. ft less than the Casey penthouse priced at $3,499,000 and $235 a sq. ft less than the Elizabeth penthouse priced at $3,299,000. Add the Cosmopolitan into the mix and you have an absolute steal! The one thing I will say about the double unit townhome priced at $2,975,000 is that none of the other units mentioned, Cosmopolitan included will have better finishes! Hands down, this Jeffrey Lamb designed unit is far superior with substantial custom work throughout! The money spent on the unique and high quality custom finishes, including iron, stone, glass, stainless steel and a 2.5 ton travertine clad swinging door is something you are not likely to see anywhere else. Now some of you may be saying that the other units are higher up and have views. Well let me tell you this, I get a fair amount of buyers that do not like being high up in a high rise and do not put value on that. Some of these same people put more value on space. I also tend to put much value on quality, something your not going to get in a new high rise unless you do your own custom finishes. If you were to do that at the Cosmopolitan, you will be talking $1500 a sq. ft.


In this market you will not hear me make many comments about a unit being underpriced but in my opinion, this one is! When it first came on the market it got an offer in several days and that offer fell through. I don’t believe this unit should stay on the market long at this price. If you are a person that is not interested in a view and prefers a more neighborhood feel, this may be the right place for you. If you are in the market for one of  the Pearl Districts finest homes with some of the finest finishes, give me a call today and we can set up a tour of this unique place.

Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties. You can find him at and . Give him a call at 503-896-8856.


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