The market is slowing down…and not just a little! This is not a bad thing. In fact, I think it is very healthy for the market and helps us avoid a big tumble in the market.
Here are a few interesting numbers that support what was just said….
Inventory: Inventory in the area I focus on, from Pacifica Tower just north of the Freemont Bridge to South of South Waterfront, inventory levels are up 21% since June 1st! That is a pretty big jump in such a short period.
Price reductions: Since July 1st, in the Pearl District, 40% of the listed condos reduced their price.
Days on Market: This one is a bit tricky. Days on market has gone up but one must look at this stat carefully. There is a recent trend that is happening more and more. In a practice that I do not believe in, agents will cancel a listing and then re-list it. It is an attempt to make a listing look “fresh” and show less days on the market to buyers. This is why we must look at Cumulative Days on Market. Now if an agent has it on the market for a month and then cancels and re-list it, the number will reflect those 30 days prior.
What this means in the marketplace? For buyer’s, there is not such an urgency to make a quick offer. Buyer’s are able to look around for the perfect place and have a much better foot to stand on at the negotiating table. For sellers, trying for a premium price may hurt you as your condo may stay on the market longer than it should and in the end it may sell for a lower amount than it would have if priced correctly.
An example of this is one I believe I have discussed on my blog. A little over 4 months ago I went to a Broker’s open house on a beautiful penthouse unit. At that time, the agent listed it for $3,550,000. The agent, knowing that I specialize with condos, asked for my opinion on price. I clearly remember my answer: “ I think it needs to be at $2,999,000 and I think it will sell a little below that.” Well today, after 2 price reductions, it is now priced at $2,995,000. But now, after 4.5 months on the market, you will probably get the sharks swimming around it ready to offer $2,600,000. (It has actually been on the market much longer with another agent that was priced even higher!) … again, this is where you need to look at cumulative days on the market!
Moving forward in this new market, correct pricing will be very important in the sale of your condo or loft!
A good part of real estate is sales and marketing! Most agents do not have a sales and marketing background. Brad Golik is a strong believer in the power of a good marketing program.
Yesterday I attended a Mastermind meeting that was an invite only meeting for some of Portland’s top agents. The speaker was very good and covered many good real estate topics. One thing that stood out to me though was something very simple and something we, as agents, hear every year. The National Association of Realtors does a survey every year with real estate customers asking them what is the most important thing to them in working with an agent. You might be thinking it should be a “Knowledgable” agent or something about commissions. Once again the #1 answer was honesty! Buyers and sellers want an honest agent, someone they can trust to have their backs.
I bring this up in my blog because of some recent things I have seen in the market. One of those things is the recent bombardment of ads from Redfin and their new 1% listing fee. Right out of the gate, they are missing the #1 thing people want from their broker, honesty! That 1% listing fee is very misleading because the actual cost to the seller is 3.5% ( On top of the 1% they still have to pay the buyer’s agent 2.5%) One of the reasons that the Redfins and Zillows of the world are not doing great is because they are corporations that care about the bottom line…and not the client! Starting off with a lie, in any business, is not your best way to build trust! Unlike the corporations, agents are independent contractors ( even if they work for a larger chain brokerage firm) These independent contractors care about their clients more …it is their livelihood at stake.
I see many ads that are misleading or just plain wrong. I recently saw a website of a new agent. On their website and Instagram site, they state that they are a “Luxury Home” specialist! It is very funny to me, and not exactly honest, that someone who has not been in the market but a few months and not sold a home over $700,000 claims to be a “Luxury Home” specialist? The worst thing is that I know this person. I really wanted to call her and say to her that the #1 thing people want is honesty and you are starting off with something that is not true. I did not call her because I feel it is not my place to do so, but I wish somebody would because it would do her more good in the long run.
Honesty comes in many different forms. I very much appreciate agents that are trying to get a new listing that are honest in their pricing! I see so often agents that overpromise the pricing to get a listing over another agent. What happens in the end is VERY familiar, the home sits on the market forever with no offers, the agent then starts doing multiple price reductions and then finally the home sells well below where it should have if it were priced correctly. Unfortunately that agent still gets rewarded and the agent that was honest in their pricing, the one that might have sold it for a higher price , gets nothing!
There are many really good agents out there. There are many that give you all that they have to do the job right…and that means putting their needs aside and working for the clients best interest to capture the best price for their clients and take care of all of their needs.
In years to come, you may have multiple options in selling your home. We have begun to see programs that are trying to disrupt the way homes are sold. The interesting thing here is that none of these new programs care about getting you a premium when you sell. It is just about selling the home and collecting a fee. I know, as a person that has been in real estate for 15 years, if I had someone sell a house for me it would be someone that I know has my back and truly cares about me and my finances. It would be someone that I know would spend money to market my home in many different avenues to give it the most exposure ( the big corporate discounters will NOT be doing this!) When an agent does this, more times than not, they will sell that home for a premium price…a price that far exceeds the amount of discount that the corporation says they will be “Saving” you.
Please visit my page on marketing: http://www.luxurycondosofportland.com/marketing
In the end it all gets back to what clients are looking for…honesty! The client can be reassured that the person they hired really does care about them and their finances. The agent is upfront from the beginning ( no bate and switch) They can be comfortable in knowing that that the price they are suggesting is accurate and in the end, that agent will do everything that they said they would do!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Total Property Resources and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com You can reach him at 503-896-8856 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Any agent can continuously reduce pricing of a condo…and at some point, it will sell! Our goal is not to just sell a condo but to maximize the price for the seller and still sell in a reasonable amount of time. There are many agents out there that do little to no marketing for their listings because they believe it will sell on it’s own by just being in the MLS (see Redfin) Some think they can get away with only point and shoot photos and that is the extent of their “Marketing”. I am here to say that as things slow down an agent must get that listing in front of buyer’s and buyer’s agents as often as possible. I have seen many agents get fired because of their lack of advertising a listing… I have yet to see an agent fired because they did too much advertising! Now, doing a lot of advertising does not mean that is the best route. But when you combine a good quality campaign around a listing, feature it often in a classy, professional way, I believe the quality of the offers, not just the quantity of offers that come in will also be better!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Total Property Resources and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com You can reach Brad at 503-896-8856 or by email at email@example.com
It’s that time of year for many, graduation! How does that relate to real estate? For those newly empty nesters, it may mean that it is time to downsize. Many of the condo buyers I have worked with over the years were in this very same position. One of the common dilemmas they each face is if they are able to go from a 3,000—4,500 square foot home , down to a 1,300—2,000 square foot condo. Now the one thing many are giving up is a spacious yard…sometimes this is a blessing in disguise. Many decide they are ok spending more time on the golf course and less time pulling weeds!
Adjusting to smaller spaces. The one thing I always ask potential buyer’s is where do they spend their time in their current house? The most common answers…the kitchen, the family room and the master bedroom. This my friends is a condo! Do you really need that 3rd and 4th bedroom? Do you really need that 1500 square foot
finished basement that rarely gets use? What most people find is that they can easily adjust to the smaller spaces and what they really enjoy is the new benefit of more time to be doing what they enjoy and less time slaving over a large yard.
Another added perk to condo living… nearby restaurants! While many of you may enjoy your time in the kitchen, after years of trying to figure what to cook for your family every night, it is nice to have the option to just go down an elevator and walk to you favorite eatery!
Another thing I see with those that choose to downsize, selling the big home in the suburbs and buying two smaller condos. Many buy a condo in the downtown area and possibly a second in areas like Palm Springs or Scottsdale Az. Now this may be a luxury for many, but as the kids leave home, many are ok with having a little more “Me Time”.
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Total Property Resources and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
You can set up condo tours with Brad by calling him at 503-896-8856
Brad Golik is a condo specialist with LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Total Property Resources in the Pearl District. You can reach Brad at 503-896-8856 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yesterday morning I was at a coffee shop reviewing new condo listings that just came on the market. I noticed that the lady next to me was looking at my laptop watching what I was doing. After not too long, she asked me if I was a real estate agent. I said that I was…and then she unloaded with a recent experience she had had in buying a condo. The woman, whom I will call Jan, told me she had such a frustrating experience with the agent she had used. To make matters even worse, this agent also happened to be an agent that was referred to her by a friend of hers. As I dug a little deeper to how this agent was referred, it turns out the friend referred her because she was a very nice person! Now I have been in this business for almost 15 years and the one thing I can say is there are MANY nice people in the business. But, I can also say that many of these same people are not agents that I would hire knowing what I know! Jan told me that it was very frustrating during the searching period because this agent knew very little about the condominium market. She said she spent so much time walking around buildings looking for lockboxes…and this was her first clue that she did not deal with condominiums very often. The second thing that she said was frustrating was that whenever she asked her about the pricing of a condo they looked at, the standard answer was “It seems fairly priced!”
This is a very typical situation that I see all of the time in the Pearl District, South Waterfront and Downtown. Many buyers may get referred to an agent that a friend suggest…maybe an agent they had used or heard about out in the suburbs. The condo market is very different than dealing with homes out in Lake Oswego or Tigard. I have often written on the importance of working with a specialist. If I were selling a home in Lake Oswego, you can bet that I would want to use an agent that sells there often and knows the pricing and other aspects of selling in that area or at the very least, someone that is VERY good with marketing! Same goes with condos and lofts. I have often said to sellers that a typical agent cannot just flip on a switch and be great at marketing to condo buyers when 99.5% of their time they are marketing to buyers of suburban homes…in several different areas!
One of the reasons you hire an agent is for their expertise and knowledge, or at least it should be! An agent can be nice, but they also need to know what they are doing. Being nice is fine but when it comes to negotiating, that agent needs to be tough and always put their clients best interest first and not “cave” with another agent that is tougher with negotiating! When the time comes for a person to sell their condo, a condo specialist is even more important! Having an agent that is constantly marketing to condo buyers is important. Hiring an agent that spends most of their time marketing to buyers looking in Tigard, Gresham or Wilsonville may not be the best way to go…even if that agent is a very nice person!
Jan said the last straw was when she got to closing she was surprised that she had to pay a Move-in/Move-Out fee that was close to $400 and also was shocked to find out she had to pay a 1 time capital contribution fee equal to 2 months HOA fees… 2 things her agent never mentioned because she did not know about. (this is disclosed in the HOA documents) I felt bad for Jan but it is something I see all of the time.
Every week as I look at new listings, as I was doing in the coffee shop, I am amazed at the number of new listings that come on the market that are listed by agents that don’t deal with condominiums. The one thing that always amazes me is I never get a postcard or an email about their condo listing! As a condo specialist, I make sure that every agent that deals with condos and lofts gets a video about my new condo listing. Why? Because I know that the other agents that deal with condos often have their pipelines filled with CONDO buyers!
I enjoyed my conversation with Jan and in the process met a new friend over a cup of coffee! In time, hopefully Jan will refer me to a friend. But hopefully, it will not be because I am nice. Hopefully it will be because I am nice…with knowledge!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Total Property Resources in the Pearl District. You can reach Brad at 503-896-8856
Yesterday I viewed a penthouse that just came on the market. The unit, #1102 at The Gregory, is listed at $2,350,000. This unit is 2400 square feet and includes a wrap-around terrace that adds living space. With two bedrooms and a spacious den, this unit is very open and great for entertaining. The kitchen has been remodeled and the light gray palette throughout this unit makes it very inviting. I think the price, at $2,350,000 is right about where it should be because unit #1202, directly above, sold last October for $2,400,000. At the time, I thought the buyer paid a little too much for that property. Given the cost of the remodel in unit #1102, and the square footage being just slightly less, I think the $2,350,000 asking price is reasonable.
In the $3,000,000 and up market, two units stand out. The penthouse at The Strand, Unit #1301, is $3,550,000. You can check out this unit at www.PortlandPenthouse.com. (Click on the feature penthouse button) I believe the price is still a little high. It was just re-listed with a new agent and unfortunately, the previous agent had it priced ridiculously high in August of 2017 at $4,200,000. I believe this will be one of those times when an overpricing will eventually hurt the seller in the long run… and is no fault of the current agent. While I believe it should be priced closer to $3,250,000, the listing is at least in the ballpark. In the end, I am guessing this one should sell closer to $2,600,000 to $2,800,000. This unit features a huge rooftop deck, but because of the nearby freeway noise, the future owners will probably use the lower decks more often.
The third penthouse to compare is one I had briefly mentioned when it came on the market back in February. It is #1502 at The Elizabeth. I really like this penthouse unit. With two levels and a very open floor plan it has a lot to offer, and it better at $3,300,000…down from its original price of $3,650,000. This unit scores high in style and while the listing agent is a little generous in saying it has a “chef’s” kitchen, it does have the potential to be even more stunning than it is already. This is a building that I like and know very well. I thought the $3,650,000 was very high but I believe that the buyer who buys this beautiful Portland penthouse, somewhere between $2,800,000 to $3,000,000, will be getting a truly beautiful penthouse at a reasonable price!
If you are a buyer that is in the market for one of Portland’s beautiful luxury condominiums, please give me a call and we can set up a tour to go and view some of the stunning units that are on the market right now.
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Total Property Resources. You can best reach him at 503-896-8856 or at email@example.com
Just yesterday I was having a conversation with two other agents who do a fair number of condo sales. The topic of conversation was the market and the consensus was that it has definitely seen a slowdown in pricing. With the increase in inventory, we are noticing a slowdown in terms of appreciating prices. In some cases, the pricing could even be slightly less than what we have been experiencing for so long.
And then this happens! Just this morning, on the MLS, a penthouse unit at The Casey went from pending to sold. The unit never hit the market. The sold price, brace yourself, $4.5 million cash! Unit #1503, is a 3667 square foot condo that faces the West Hills. Consider these numbers for a moment. At $4.5 million, this is $1227 per square foot! Let’s compare this to the recent penthouse sales at The Cosmopolitan. Now keep in mind, for comparison sake I will use the penthouse units from the 27th and 28th floors at the Cosmo. The combined unit on the 27th floor sold for $5,441,294, or $1216 a square foot. The two top floor penthouses on the 28th floor sold for $1215 and $1225 a square foot. These units are 13 stories higher and have superior views of the Mt. Hood, Mt St. Helens, the city and the Willamette River.
I will say, The Casey has always been one of my favorite buildings… but really? Is this unit worth nearly a million more than a 28th floor, true penthouse that is 13 floors higher? While the Casey unit does have around 400 square feet more space, (which does not really mean that much once you get over 3,000 square feet) the potential for having views blocked are much higher for a unit that is only 15 stories compared to a unit that is 28 stories. After all, one of the reasons people paid such a premium for these Cosmo units is the fact that the views will be protected much more by being that high up.
What is even more interesting is when we compare the sale of this unit to one that just recently sold at the Casey, unit #1602. This true penthouse unit one floor above has similar views. It has 3273 square feet and sold for $2.75million or $840 a square foot….WOW!
Contact Brad Golik at 503-896-8856 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit us at www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
See Cosmopolitan views here: http://www.luxurycondosofportland.com/thecosmopolitanportland