Now is the time of year that buyers begin to hunt for condos and lofts in Portland’s Pearl District, Downtown and South Waterfront. When looking at these properties, please be aware of the importance of price per square foot. Most important, and I have said this before, the price per square foot can vary dramatically based on where the unit is located in the building! I often deal with agents who mostly work in the suburbs, presenting offers on listings based on price per square foot. Trouble is these units were far inferior to the one I had listed. You cannot compare a 12th floor unit with views of Mt. Hood or the West Hills to a 3rd floor unit that is looking into an apartment building. It is also difficult to compare a unit with a deck with city views to a unit that is ground floor with no outdoor living space and less security.
I specialize in condos because I want to be an expert in what I do. Today, too many agents try to be all things to all people. In the end, they become experts at nothing because you cannot understand every part of the city and the nuances of every area. If you are looking for a home in Alameda, I am not your guy! There are agents in that area who know the market very well. Why as a buyer, would you use an agent from who does not understand the delicate balance of pricing based on the difference of just a couple of blocks?
The same can be said of the condominium market. Why work with a buyer’s agent that does not understand the nuances of the condominium market or the pricing of this market? As a buyer, it does not cost you more to work with a specialist. The truth is, it pays! As for someone who is selling their condo, it becomes even more important to work with a specialist. Last year, I spoke to a seller who was told by a competing agent ( who works for a company that does a ton of marketing on TV, stating they can save their clients thousands of dollars) that they could sell their condo for 5% higher than the Zillow “Zestimate”. Problem was that the Zestimate was extremely low for this property, which is not unusual. ( Zillow has an even tougher time with comparables in the condo market than Redfin or agents from the suburbs.) Had that person only priced their condo 5% higher than Zillow’s Zestimate, it would have cost them many thousands of dollars. In addition, the same agent, whose company says it can save you money on commissions, could have cost that same client thousands of dollars because of the lack of experience.
In addition to correctly pricing a unit, sellers should consider this one thing: I am in the condo market EVERYDAY marketing to condo buyers EVERYDAY. Every week I speak with folks walking by my office on 11th Avenue who are up from the Bay area looking for a place to buy. This presents a huge marketing advantage. I have said this before, a typical agent cannot go from marketing homes in Lake Oswego one day and then flip a switch and fill up their pipeline with condo buyers overnight. It just does not work this way.
And for that same agent to understand condo pricing overnight? It does not happen.
Please visit my new website at LuxuryCondosofPortland.com. See some great aerial drone photography of many of downtown condo buildings! Just click on the Buildings page.
The answer is YES! Many times throughout the year I will see condos come on the market that may not be priced correctly. Most of the times it is because the agent does not know the condominium markets well and do not know how to price them correctly. Sometimes they over price them, sometimes they under price them…and create good buys for a buyer! This weekend. An example of this happened. It was at a very high price point, but still a good buy for the new owners! Last week I wrote about a couple of new listings that were coming to market. One was one of the beautiful townhomes on 11th. It was the combined unit that I thought would be priced at about $3,200,000 to $3,500,000 ( I believe I said low to mid 3 Million range). The agent that got the listing is a well known luxury agent that is known for high end homes, not condos. The listing came on the market at a surprising sub $3,000,000 price ( $2,975,000). As I said, YES, buyer’s can find deals in this market! To me, this shows a good example of working with a specialist. While the above…not mentioned agent, has a decent reputation for higher end homes in the west hills, this agents expertise is not in the condo market. I am not sure why the owners selected the agent but I have my suspicions! Some agents will try to sell their companies “wide global reach” in a sales pitch to get a listing in the high end of the market. To me, this is a little bit of smoke and mirrors because of the internet. With the internet, an agent with a good bit of knowledge of marketing on the internet, can easily get their listing “worldwide”. Keep in mind, condo specialist market to condo buyer’s everyday and maintain a pipeline of qualified buyer’s. Sometimes local, sometimes international. The point I want to make here gets back to today’s topic: Finding deals in this market. As long as you have agents that do not fully understand the condo market, you will always be able to find a deal because those agents will not always understand how to price a unit. Many don’t understand the difference between being on the west side 3rd floor vs 13th floor on the east side. Some don’t understand the difference from having a protected view vs an unprotected view and many of the other issues that come into play when pricing condos. Bottom line if you don’t want to be one of those seller’s that is creating a great buying opportunity for a buyer, make sure you interview a condo specialist!
Last week I mentioned what I called the “Cosmopolitan Effect” and how it was raising the bar for resale properties around the Pearl. In that blog post I mentioned that one of the signature town homes on 11th, priced at $1,899,000, came onto the market…and went pending in 3 days! Well, the seller’s are not carrying their bags of money to the bank just yet! The deal fell out of escrow and it is now back on the market.
A little about the property… #617 11th is a spectacular property featuring 2,698 square feet of upscale living right in the heart of the Pearl. This home features 2 bedrooms, 2 and a half baths, a library ( large enough to be 3rd bedroom) a spacious family/TV on the Mezzanine level, a large rooftop deck and a 2 car garage.
For those who might be selling their large suburban home, this could be the perfect transition to downsizing without giving up some of the space that is needed.
If you would like to tour this beautiful Pearl District town home, give me a call today and we can set up a tour of this amazing space!
As for the market in general, we are still battling with the lack of inventory. We have buyers in many upper end levels so if you own a condo in the Pearl, and are thinking in any way of selling, please give us a call today. For an instant assessment of your condo’s value, please visit http://www.PearlDistrictPrices.com
Brad Golik of Windermere Northwest and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com has distinguished himself in the field of (luxury) condominiums and townhomes sales by earning the prestigious Certified Condominum Specialist® designation. This national designation is given to select real estate agents who have demonstrated the specialized education, market knowledge, competence and experience in successfully and effectively listing and selling condominiums, townhomes, and other forms of common interest developments (CID).
The certification and designation are offered by the Council of Condominium Specialists® which is the national, premier independent authority in assisting real estate professionals in providing high quality service and superior market expertise to the buyers and sellers of condominiums and townhomes (CIDs).
Brad Golik is the first real estate agent in Oregon to receive the Certified Condominum Specialist® designation!
The designation indicates the recipient real estate agent has worked diligently to complete essential real estate training and has met specific performance standards to demonstrate expertise in their local condominium/townhome (CID) market to provide the high quality real estate services his clients deserve. Real estate sales are a complex and challenging field to begin with,” said Candy Peak, Director of the Council of Condominium Specialists®, “but selling a property that is in a common interest development (CID), which involves both an individual and shared ownership in real estate, such as a condominium, townhome, planned development or any other property that is part of a homeowners association, requires an agent with the specialized real estate knowledge and expertise to professionally navigate a buyer or seller through the intricate path of common interest development ownership and sales.
“My commitment is to provide outstanding service to my clients,” said Golik, and “the Certified Condominium Specialist® designation ads additional benefits for my ability to meet the needs of condominium and townhouse buyers and sellers in my area. My membership in the Council of Condominum Specialists® Network also provides me with the marketing tools and networking capabilities that bring added benefits to my clients.”
For current information on condominium and townhome sales in your neighborhood and to receive a market evaluation on your property, contact Brad Golik at 503-896-8856 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also visit http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com