As the buyer of a condo, you want your purchase to be the very best possible deal that you can get. More often than not, going in with a super low ball offer is not the best suggestion. In a recent transaction I had, in which I was the listing agent, the condo sat on the market for some time as the seller just did not want to drop their price. After awhile, the rising market did catch up with our price and not only did we finally get an offer, we got 3 in the same weekend. For an example, we will use fictitious numbers.
The condo was listed for $575,000. The first offer came in at $510,000. This was a ridicules number based on recent comps available to us. We sat on the offer with no real intention of giving a counter offer as it was just not a serious offer. We told this to the other agent and just as we did, we got another offer that came in at $550,000. We told the first agent that his buyer needed to step up with a serious offer if interested. He came back with an offer also at $550,000. In these situations, we often go back to the buyers and let them know we had identical offers and if they wanted the home then they needed to put their best foot forward. As this was taking place, a third offer came in. As it played out, the second offer that came in at $550,000 came back with an offer of $557,000. This was very close to the number where the sellers were willing to sell at. The final offer that came in made their offer at $559,000. The first offer that came in…the one that was originally the $510,000 offer came in at $560,000, the highest of the three.
After reviewing the offers, my sellers choose to go with the offer of $559,000. Mostly, they did not want to deal with the person that gave them such a low offer originally, even though they came in at the highest price. In the end, my buyers choose the middle offer because they thought the buyers were nice people, they were expecting a new child and they had fantastic credit!…and the guy that offered them $510,000 originally, made them mad!
A lesson to learn: If you are going to give somebody a lowball offer, make sure you understand the possible consequences. Also, know your numbers! If you are going to make any low offers, make sure you have comps in your hand that justify a low offer! The comps can at times provide an upside potential for you the buyer if you can buy it right! That happens when a buyer is prepared by knowing the comps or if there is a situation involved that forces a sale at a low price.
When looking to buy a new condo, it pays to work with a specialist that knows the market! In my next blog posting we will discuss if there still any deals in the Portland condo market. Hint: Yes!
This week I was at a coffee shop in the Pearl and was sitting outdoors while doing a little work. While checking emails, a lady at the table next to mine, after seeing some real estate marketing on my table, asked if I was a realtor. After I said yes, she told me that she lived in a nearby building and that she had a friend that was thinking about selling their condo. Naturally, I asked if her friend had an agent selected to sell it? She said that she was thinking about using one of the “Building” agents. What she meant by this was that she was talking to one of the “on site” agents that works for the developers. She mentioned that she was going to use them because … in her words, “They really know the building!” It turns out that this agent also lived in the building.
While speaking with this very nice lady, it was interesting because she kept asking me some very good questions. One of the first things she asked me was whether it was really important or not to really know the building? My answer was NO! As a condo specialist, I make it my business to really understand and get to know each building but when selling a condo it is way more important to know how to market that building. With that said, I got out my tablet and showed her what I meant. I asked her to think like a buyer and then asked her a few questions. When we did some searches I pointed out many of my websites that showed up in those searches. I also pointed out that when we did some searches in regards to her building, this other agent that “really knows the building” was no where in site. More importantly, none of her listings showed up either! This is not uncommon with the onsite agents at these newer buildings. You will not find one of them that shows up with high rankings on Google or Bing. Most of these onsite agents don’t do a very good job of marketing. Part of the reason is that they typically don’t have to as the developer pays for all the marketing for new sales. When it comes to using one of these agents for resale, they are not the best choice for selling your condo.
Agents that specialize in selling condos (some…not all) spend much time, energy and money to insure that they show up on Google and Bing because that is where condo buyers are looking. I personally have many websites that show up because that is how I get my clients listings in front of buyers. When a buyer knows they like the Metropolitan, they will do some research on the building. They will check to see what the amenities are, what the HOA fees might be. This is where my listings show up. In front of serious buyers! You will never find an “onsite” agent show up here nor will you ever find their listings. You can read more about whether you should hire an onsite agent on one of my websites at : Should I hire an onsite agent to sell my condo?
You have many options to look at when selling your condo. To me, the most important two things to look at when hiring an agent to sell your condo should be that the agent is a strong negotiator and second, they should have a strong marketing program that focuses on condominium buyers! How well you know the building does NOT put buyers in front of your listing!
If you are thinking about selling your condo or loft in the future, or know of someone who might be, please keep us in mind. We would love to sit down with you and share our very unique marketing program with you. Feel free to visit us online at www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
Today, like every day, I get notified of any new Portland condominiums that come on the market. As a condo specialist, I feel it is important to know every condo on the market and when it comes on the market to check to see if it priced right. Today I was once again surprised to see a +$1,000,000 condo at Eliot Tower come on the market where the listing agent did not use professional photos! OK, so I was not surprised. Why? Because I see it all the time. This got me thinking about how many condo listings in the +$1,000,000 range actually get put on the market without good, quality photos. In my research, I had my assistant go back and review the condos that were sold over the last year, and the current pendings and active listings. Altogether, there were 54 condos of which 29 were sold. Of these 54, 26 DID NOT have good quality photos! To me this is astonishing. How can a real estate agent take a million dollar listing and not use a professional photographer? Really? On a transaction where the listing agent may make $25,000 or more and they can’t spend a couple hundred dollars to do the best job for their client. To me, I believe these agents are not deserving of such listings. Many times, the listing agent was the same one that helped them originally purchase the condo.
I am a big believer in good marketing to do the best job for my clients and it all starts with great photos! Good marketing tries to create the “Wow” factor, something that gets people to really want to see a property. If that agent can’t spend a few bucks to do a good job with the photos, how do you think that the rest of the marketing will be? Will they spend money to make sure it is being seen in the best light in the most likely places like the internet in a way that inspires people to go see it?
When selling your home or condo, you have a choice. A choice to select a typical real estate agent or a real estate professional. What is the difference? A professional takes the time to be better. A professional goes above and beyond what is expected. (A professional uses professional photography) Many people select an agent that may have been referred to them. Is this the right person to help you? It may or may not be. If you are selling a condo and this person usually sells homes in Lake Oswego, they are probably not the right agent for you even if they were referred to you. Often I see condo owners use the person that helped them purchase their condo. Is this the right person to use for selling your condo? It depends. Does this agent focus on marketing to the condo market and potential condo buyers everyday? Usually not. There are only a handful of condo specialist that I consider to be real professionals. I have said it before… a typical real estate agent cannot flip on a switch and become an expert at marketing to condo buyers overnight. It just doesn’t work this way.
If you are selling your Portland condominium and would like additional information on our marketing program, please give us a call. If you are a buyer and have some general questions such as “What are the prices of condos in the Pearl District” give us a call and we would be happy to sit down and show you how we might be able to help you.
How were Portland condominium sales last month?
Answer: Very Good!
Sales for Portland condos and lofts jumped 107% over sales from February where we recorded just 28 sales in the +$150,000 markets that include The Pearl District, Downtown and South Waterfront condominiums.
Leading the way with the most sales once again was The Encore condominiums in The Pearl District with 4 sales for the month and new to the mix… condos for sale at Waterfront Pearl! Waterfront Pearl also recorded 4 sales as they emerge from being a leased property to new condo sales. Following in 3rd place was Atwater Place down in South Waterfront. In all, 58 sales were recorded in our target area and of those sales, 35 were below $500,000 and 23 were Portland condos priced above $500,000.
A question I often get asked is “How much is it to buy a 2 bedroom condo in the Pearl District”? To give you a more accurate number, it needs to be pre-qualified a little with… it depends! To get into a “Grade A” building, which most of the high and mid rise buildings are, last month a 2 bedroom unit at The Pinnacle sold for $480,000. There was also a 2 bedroom unit at the Lexis condominiums that sold for $415,000. The Lexis is in my opinion, a little lower quality building and should be priced a little bit lower. So, you can get into a 2 bedroom condo in the Pearl District for under $450,000, but it also depends on certain things, like which building it’s in, does it face directly into another building etc.Sometimes a unit just gets under-priced, like a 2 bedroom unit that was priced at $399,000 and went pending immediately. If you can move just a little distance from the Pearl District, you can find 2, 2 bedroom units for sale at Benson Tower for under $450,000. Another option might be Portland Plaza on 5th. While an older building than Benson Tower and The Eliot, it does offer a good amount of square footage for the money!
How were sales in the upper end of the market? Again, very good! In the $1,000,000 market, 2 sales happened. One was an 1820 sq. ft. penthouse at The Encore that sold for $1,125,000. Waterfront Pearl recorded 3 sales that were sold at $690,000, $815,000 and $915,000.
As we move through April, we should see a pretty active market with inventory levels still very low! There are currently 105 condos in a pending status including the beautiful penthouse at The Metropolitan that we wrote about last month. Priced at $2,249,000, in my opinion…about $200,000 too low, it went pending in 16 days. As I mentioned when I last wrote about it, it was one of my two favorite penthouses on the market. It is in a premium building, in a premium location and deserves a premium price especially when compared to the other penthouses on the market!
If you are in the market for a Portland condominium or loft, call us today to set up a tour of available units. If you are thinking about selling your condo or loft, let us show you one of the most unique and extensive marketing programs in Portland!
Remember, if you are thinking about buying or selling a Portland condominium, it doesn’t cost you to work with a condo specialist… it pays!
Portland condominium sales were down for the month of November. For the month of November, in our designated area of coverage from The Pearl District, Downtown to South Waterfront and in the price range of $200,000 and higher, 35 sales closed. Pending sales were also down this month which is not unusual for this time of year. What is unusual is the high number of showings that active condominiums are getting. Part of this could be due to the low inventory levels we are seeing.
Leading the way in sales once again for the month of November is Atwater Place in South Waterfront and Encore in The Pearl District. Atwater Place and Encore each had 3 sales for the month. For the first time in a while, there were no condos that sold in $1,000,000 and higher price range. This will change next month as there are several $1,000,000 condos that are in a Pending status. 77% of the condominiums sold this month were under the $500,000 range. This will change dramatically next month as we see many more condominiums and lofts above that range in a pending status, including 6 at Atwater Place that Priced from $515,000 to $1,150,000.
Remember, if you are in the market to buy a Portland condominium, work with a condominium specialist! Why risk what may be one of your largest purchases with an agent that does not fully understand this market? If you are thinking about selling your Portland condominium, why not select an agent that has marketing that is directed towards buyers everyday?
In our next blog about Portland condominiums we will be discussing Portland penthouses!
Please visit us at www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
Once again, condo sales are up over the previous months sales. September sales for the downtown, Pearl District and South Waterfront areas were at 61 sales for the month, nearly an 11% gain for the month! Leading the way once again for total sales for the month was Atwater Place, representing 10% of total sales. The lower end of the market was very active this month with 67% of sales being sold for under $400,000. We saw only 2 condos sold this month in the $1,000,000 and up price range. One was a townhome in The Pearl and the other a condo in Uptown.
Are you looking to buy a condo or loft?
If you have been watching our blog, you probably saw the post about the accuracy of websites. If you want to find the most accurate search results, you will be best served if you stick to using a brokerage website. As an advertiser on Trulia, I get a majority of calls from this website from people looking to buy something that is no longer active. Remember, on Trulia and Zillow that 37% of the condos shown on these websites are not even on the market any longer!
The best path to take is to work with someone who specializes in the condo and loft markets. I will not only send you listings that are active, but I can also point out to you, homes that I feel may be undervalued and not stay on the market very long.
Do you know someone that is thinking about selling their condominium or loft?
If you do, please let them know about us and our unique marketing program. We truly believe we have the best condo marketing program in town and we would love to sit down and share with them what makes us different!
August was a very good month in the Portland condo and loft market with sales up 34% over July sales. Once again leading the pack was Encore in the Pearl District and Atwater Place in South Waterfront, both with 5 sales for the month. Two of the Atwater Place sales were resale units. The most remarkable thing about the 55 sales for the month was that only 2 of these sales were bank owned properties and just one was a short sale! With that said, there are currently 24 condos and lofts in the Pearl, Downtown and South Waterfront areas that are in a short sale pending status.
Buyers continue to find decent deals in the Portland condo market. An example of this can be found in the recent sale of unit at City Lofts. After being way overpriced at $1,100,000, and being on the market well in excess of 400 days, buyers were able to pick up this 2,456 sq. ft. unit for $760,000, more than 30% off its original list price. This shows us two things: 1)There are good buys to be had in the market and… 2) Sellers, don’t overprice your unit when you go to sell it. It will end up costing you more money in the long run!
At LuxuryCondosofPortland.com we are excited about the market! If you are in the market for a new Portland condominium, give us a call and we will get you out to see everything that Portland has to offer. If you are thinking about selling your condo or loft, again we encourage you to work with a condominium specialist. We don’t believe that an agent can’t just flip on a switch and become an expert in marketing to condo buyers overnight! We have worked hard to create a marketing program that targets serious condo buyers everyday. And, like marketing for any product, the more exposure it gets, the better your chances of getting a higher price!
Condo and loft sales for the Portland area from The Pearl District down to South Waterfront decreased slightly over last month with 41 sales in the +$200,000 market. In July we were expecting more closed sales as there were over 90 that were in a pending status last month. Delays in short sale and bank owned closings are most likely the reason we did not see more. In the upper end market, last month there were no sales in the $1,000,000+ market, this month we had 4!
Leading the way in condo sales for the month of July was Encore with 6 sales priced from $305,000 to $1,234,500. August should be another good month for Encore Condominiums as they currently have 8 units in a Pending status. Following Encore in number of sales for the month is Atwater Place in South Waterfront with 3 sales and Marshall Wells Lofts also with 3 sales in the month of July.
The sales of $1,000,000+ condos this month took place at The Casey, The Metropolitan, Encore and the townhomes on Riverscape near Pacifica Tower. 21% of sales this month were in the $750,000 and up market
If you are looking to buy a condo or loft in the near future we suggest using a condo specialist!
If you have plans on selling your Portland condo or loft or know someone who is, we feel our condo and loft marketing program is second to none and we would like to sit down with you and show you our program. After all, condo buyers are smarter than ever and you can no longer afford to have an agent who will just put your condo in the MLS and wait!
For the last several years we have heard from so called experts that we have hit a bottom in the housing market. Those who made that call a couple years ago were very wrong. But today, I think we are very close! While very much like the stock market, it is very difficult to call a bottom. All the signs are starting to point to a true bottom and leading indicators to me are the decreasing inventory and the reappearance of…multiple offers!
A recent story in the Wall Street Journal stated that “Economists aren’t always right, but on this at least they agree: A new Wall Street Journal survey of forecasters found 44 believe the housing market has reached its bottom; only three don’t.
I personally don’t always have the most faith in economist, in fact, I used to say that you could switch all the economist with all weatherman and no one would know the difference! Times have changed…weathermen now have doppler radar!
Condo and loft sales for the Portland area from The Pearl District down to South Waterfront continues to move along nicely. With 43 sales in the +$200,000 market we are pretty much staying steady with where we have been on the monthly totals the last few months. July could be very different though as we currently have 90 properties in a Pending status for this area of the condo and loft market.
Lower end condos outpaced the high end this month with no closings over the $1,000,000 mark. The low end of the market certainly looks as though we have hit bottom with newer listings in some areas getting multiple offers. Part of the reason for this seems to be the low inventory we are seeing which is somewhat unusual for this time of year. One possible reason for this low inventory seems to be that more people are renting out their condos instead of putting them on the market…somewhat of a catch 22 here. The rental market is hot and monthly rentals have gone up. Now with inventory low, sellers are able to push their price a little as choices for buyers are limited. Not a bad time for owners to sell with current inventory under 4 months!
Are you thinking about selling and would like to know what your condo or loft is worth?
Give us a call today and we will also share with you what we feel is the best condo marketing program in the city!