Back in March I wrote about a luxury condo that came on the market that I said was “way” overpriced. In fact. I took a little heat for my comments about that listing! This particular condo at The Casey came on the market for $1,699,901. When I ran my comps on that unit at the time the market value I had was $1,350,000. In my article I wrote about the potential problems with overpricing a unit so much. What I said what would probably happen is that the condo would stay on the market for awhile with little to no showings and then the agent would have the owner drop it $100,000. That would still not be enough so they would again drop it another $100,000. Then what would probably happen is it will get “Stale” on the market and when it does get an offer it will be a lowball offer!
Here is what actually happened with that condo:
It was originally priced at $1,699,901. After a month of no interest, the owner dropped the price $100,000. After another month had passed, and no interest, the agent had the owner drop the price another $100,000…now down to $1,499,000. After another couple months they finally got an offer ( yes a lowball offer) and it closed finally after 6 months on the market at $1,315,000, or another $184,000 off of the most recent list price!
Now I didn’t have a crystal ball that told me exactly what was going to happen, but I have been in business long enough to know that this was a classic overpricing and you could just feel what was going to happen. At the time it originally came on the market, inventory was low. While I said the market value was $1,350,000, the owner probably could have pushed the price to $1,400,000 and ended somewhere between that number and $1,350,000. While the owner, at the end accepted an offer for $1,315,000, his end number was actually worse because of his cost to carry. While it was on the market for 6 months, he still had to pay property taxes ($916/mo.) HOA fees ( $1,067/mo.) and mortgage payments ($5,000/mo.) total additional cost of $41,900 netting him an actual number of $1,273,100 before actual closing costs.
As a good listing agent, I always want to maximize the total return to the seller and I will always try to push the price for my clients. I am not an agent that promotes “SOLD in 2 days!” because that in my eyes is not always a positive! There is a fine line between pushing the price a little and overpricing a unit. In pushing the price a little, this is almost always a case by case situation depending on the listing and the timing of the market. More often than not, an excessive overpricing usually leads to a number well below the market value of where it should have sold!
The other comment I would like to make in regards to overpricing, if you are going to push the price a little, make sure that you have GREAT marketing. This starts with great professional photos and much, much more. Nothing is more frustrating then seeing a condo that is overpriced and has lousy marketing. At least with really good marketing you will increase the traffic to your listing and increase the probability of getting a better offer.
If you would like to know what the value of you condo is in today’s market CLICK HERE. Or give a call today to Brad Golik, Portland’s condo specialist! 503-896-8856
The other day I was at meeting with many other fellow real estate agents and overheard one of the agents talking to a group of other agents. Here is what she said: “I am so tired of people not considering us as professionals and viewing us 1 step above a car salesman!” I found this to be very interesting and only supported a belief that I have, and that is the fact that many agents are not very professional! As I looked at this person, one thing instantly came to my mind. Here she was at a “professionals” meeting and she was wearing jeans and looking anything but professional, as were about 3/4 of the agents there.. ( Have you ever watched House Hunters on HGTV? Many times you will see the same thing!) The second thing that came to my mind was the fact that I had just taken my car for an oil change at the Cadillac dealership. While there, I noticed the salesman. Every one of them had a suit and tie on!
The point I want to touch on here is if you want to be considered a professional, then act like one. No, wearing a suit does not make you a professional, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. The funny thing about the real estate business is that you have many different types and quality of real estate agents. The true professionals (usually dress everyday like they may meet a potential client that day) make a point to learn the business. They understand contracts, learn strong negotiation skills, have strong marketing skills. In other words, they take the time and make the effort to become a true “Professional”. Last week I went to view a million dollar condo for a client. I was pretty shocked when I showed up to see the listing agent in jeans who was trying to sell a million dollar condo. Again…a suit does not make you a professional but come on people. You want people to consider our profession as professional, start acting like it. You do have cultures within companies like Nike and Intel where it is appropriate to dress more casual, but we are not Nike and Intel.
There are over 8,000 real estate agents in the Portland area. Many more are becoming agents because they think it is an easy profession to make money in. (and they will soon learn how wrong they are.) Many of these agents are part time agents ( though you will NEVER hear that from their mouths!) It is very difficult to be a professional at anything unless you are giving it a majority of your time and you are spending that time to improve your skills.
If you are a seller or a buyer of a new home… hire a professional! If you are looking to buy or sell a condo, I would love the opportunity to interview for the job! If you are in the suburbs and looking for a “Professional” agent, give me a call and I will gladly direct you to a true professional.
Here is my take on professionalism in the real estate business. Professionals are good at what they do and they are worth every penny they charge! The ones who are not, and I believe that is a majority, can cost you plenty in a transaction.
It pays to hire a true professional!
Portland Condominium Specialist
Here is a partial list of condo sales from downtown, Pearl to South Waterfront:
If there is one thing I have learned from writing a blog, it’s that you can’t please everybody! When I started writing my blog originally, the purpose was to give good, objective advice so that potential buyers and sellers could be assisted in making solid decisions when it came time for them to buy or to sell their Portland condominium. Over the last couple years I have gotten tremendous positive feedback and at times, not so positive feedback. Most of the negative feedback will come from someone in a building in which I made a comment that does not support a price of a listed unit in that building. ( after all, everybody would love for any unit to sell above it’s market price in their building) Earlier this year I wrote about a unit in the Casey that I thought was way overpriced. (and I am not going to mention the unit #) In my blog I mentioned that when a unit like this gets overpriced it will sit on the market with no traffic or offers. After some time the owners will drop the price $100,000 to try and get traffic. After dropping the price and still not getting traffic, the owners will drop it another $100,000. Well guess what has happened to this unit? The unit has had 2 price reductions of $100,000 each and still no sale. What has happened though is another unit in the building came onto the market that was correctly priced at $1,375,000 and it received an offer in 42 days and is currently pending. While this unit was 230 square feet smaller, and $124,000 less, it was also on the 15th floor looking due East…fantastic views! It was very fortunate for the listing agent of this unit that he was able to use the other unit on a lower floor to help sell his Casey listing!
If a buyer is out looking at condos and is a frequent reader of my blog, I feel they will be able to pick up some very valuable advice and be able to make a better informed purchase when the time is right. Again, my comments in my blog will not always make everyone happy but I think the majority will get much more of a positive experience than negative.
What looks good out there right now? Well it depends on your price point. There are still some pretty good deals being had over at Waterfront Pearl, in fact, last month they sold a considerable number of units in the higher price points. What about Penthouses? My favorite listing on the market right now is the penthouse unit #1405 at The Elizabeth…this is a fantastic unit! (and no…this is not one of my listings! ) With a recent price reduction of $100,000, I will say I was a little surprised that the penthouse unit over at Park Place sold first! That unit, originally priced at $1769,000, dropped it’s price to $1,650,000 and received an offer a month later. If you would like to schedule a time to view the beautiful penthouse unit at The Elizabeth, give me a call today and we can get it arranged.
If you are looking for a value in a luxury condo with great river views, you might want to check out unit #209 at Pacifica Tower. Because of the surrounding construction going on, this unit is priced under $600,000. You will not find anything like this unit in the Pearl for under $600,000. Not only does this unit have a spacious deck that looks out onto the Willamette River and has amazing bridge views, it also has a huge master suite…something very rare in condo living!
There are more units that are now starting to hit the market. If you are in the market for a new condo, give me a call and we can set up a tour of available units. If you are thinking about selling your condo, we truly believe we have some of the best, if not the best, condo marketing around and we would love to sit down and share with you how we are very different than the typical real estate agent out there!
Brad Golik is a Portland Condo Specialist!
Please visit: http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
The condo market is still experiencing low inventory levels even as spring arrives. While we are beginning to see more condos come on the market, it is still well below what we normally see in this time of the year. Part of the problem… negative equity is still a problem for many owners, even after the nice appreciation we had in 2013. Please click on the link below for more information!
If you are in the market to buy a condo, call Brad Golik, the Portland condominium specialist!
Recently I was asked by a fellow Realtor why I spend so much money on my listings. My answer was simple… I told her “because they pay me to MARKET their home!”
If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you will know by now that I am a huge believer in doing a great job of marketing. You have also heard me say that “Any agent can sell your condominium… but at what price?” Everyday I see new listings come onto the market where I see that the agent has done a less than professional job of marketing someone’s condominium listing. To me, this is a big frustration as I still do not understand why? Sometimes the sellers choose the agent who helped them purchase their condo, sometimes sellers are referred to an agent (often to agents who rarely sell condos and do very little marketing). You have often heard me say that a real estate agent who does not pay for professional photos on a million dollar listing does not deserve to “Market” a million dollar listing! (Honestly, I feel the same about $250,000 listings as well) Today a new listing came on the market that was priced over $950,000. The listing agent did not use professional photography! I have a buyer that wants to see this particular building and is in this price range. I had to tell my client to disregard the photos and that we should still take a look at the unit. If they were just judging the unit by the bad photos, they may have never looked at this unit!
In past postings on my blog, we have played a game called… guess the $1,000,000 condo! Today we are going to do it again… just to make a point! Below are two links to 2 different condo listings. Although one is on a Windermere site, it is not a Windermere agent ( we do not want to disrespect the agent by posting their name). When you click on these links, do not look at the text, only the photos. Which one has better photos? Which one makes you want to see the listing? Which one looks like a million dollar condo?
Which one looks like a million dollar condo? Well if I’m being honest, neither of them do. Which is really too bad for the one that is because it is a nice unit. As for the $305,000 studio condo, It may not look like a million dollar condo either but we do everything we can to make it look like a million… including professional photos!
If you plan on listing your condo in the future, give Brad Golik a call to see a full marketing program that will be designed just for YOUR condo!
Last week I wrote about two new Portland penthouses that came on the market. Today I toured the one priced at $1995,000 and I must say I was pretty impressed. This penthouse condo at The Elizabeth was stunning! While East facing, you would expect fantastic views of Mt. Hood, which this place delivers. Being in the NE corner of the building also gives you great views of Mt St. Helens and Mt. Adams. Back to the interior… this unit is only 300 square feet larger than the penthouse we wrote about last week (and $200,000 cheaper!) but the unit feels so much larger and less cramped. The layout of this Elizabeth Loft penthouse just flows very comfortably and while it is officially a two bed room unit, the owners of this penthouse are using the spacious second bedroom as a theatre room. This brings up my only negative of this wonderful penthouse….a 45 inch TV in the media room? Give me a 70 inch screen and this becomes a tough choice to say no to!
The owners of this penthouse obviously have very fine taste in their furnishings (which are for sale) which one almost has to look past when viewing this unit because it is so beautifully done. The first thing I noticed when I walked in is the elegant dining area with the crystal chandelier and then the wall of windows looking east to an amazing view. As you walk into the well appointed kitchen not only do you get those great views to the East, but also the mountains to the North.
For those buyers that need more bedrooms, the media room could easily be converted back to a second bedroom and in fact, a third bedroom/ Den could be added if needed. Of the current penthouses on the market right now, hands down, this unit is by far the one that impresses me the most.
If you are a buyer and would like to set up a tour of this beautiful penthouse, give me a call today. (I don’t believe this one will stay on the market too long!) We can also set up a tour of other available units so that you get a real good understanding of condos in this price point. If you are in need of more space, don’t overlook two available units at Waterfront Pearl. Two penthouse units at Waterfront Pearl offer over 3,000 square feet. One offers river views while the other has fantastic city views.
Brad Golik 503-896-8856
This week there were two new penthouse condos that came on the market. One was priced at $1,995,000 and the other at $2,200,000. Yesterday I toured the unit with the higher price. The agent is pushing the fact that it was named “Top 10 penthouses to die for” on MSN Real Estate… I however, was not as impressed. Let’s start with what is right with this beautiful unit. The architectural elements throughout this penthouse were very nice. Warm woods on the floors and ceiling gave a cozy feeling to the unit. But when paying over $2,000,000, cozy is maybe not the feeling I would want! Having three bedrooms and three parking spaces is a nice plus. The finishes in the bathrooms and kitchen were very nice. Now with what I did not like about this unit. I felt somewhat cramped in this 2,239 square foot unit. The main living area seemed very tight to me. While the kitchen was nice, it featured GE Monogram appliances instead of the typical higher end Sub Zero and Wolf appliances we are accustomed to seeing in this price point. The biggest disappointment was the outdoor living area. While the deck was a spacious 800+ square feet, it faces west directly into the 405 freeway noise! The freeway is only one block away. In addition, this is a mid rise building, and while yes it is a penthouse, you still have the neighbors next door at Avenue Lofts and Irving Street Lofts looking down onto your deck so not much privacy. At $2,200,000, my expectations in this price would be something more like the PH3 that sold at the Metropolitan last year for $2,240,000. That penthouse had 3,245 square feet and a massive deck that was pretty much on top of the world with total privacy in one of Portland’s most desirable buildings!
The other unit that came on the market was priced at $1,995,000 and away from the freeways in the heart of the Pearl District. Slightly larger with 2,550 square feet, this unit just lives much larger. While the deck space is smaller than the other penthouse, it still has plenty of space with 628 square feet with 3 mountain views and a much quieter location so that you would actually use your deck! This unit is in one of my favorite loft style buildings… The Elizabeth!
If you would like to tour either of these Portland penthouse units or any other luxury condominiums in Portland, give me a call and we can set up a tour and take a look at some of Portland’s most beautiful condominiums. If you are looking to buy a condo in Portland, OR., why not work with Portland’s condo specialist!
Brad Golik 503-896-8856
As we wind down the year and look back at the condo sales for November, one thing is for sure… it was a pretty good year in the condominium and loft markets! Sales for the month of November, however, were down 25% from the previous month were we had 63 sales in the area we cover, which includes the Pearl District, South Waterfront, Uptown and Downtown. These numbers are based on condo prices above $200,000.
Leading the way in November was the Waterfront Pearl which recorded 5 sales from $362,500 for a 1 bed/1 bath 1080 sq. ft unit to a 2 bed/2 bath unit with 1735 sq. ft that sold for $835,000. We had 2 condos that sold in the +$1,000,000 price range this month. The first was a penthouse condo at McKenzie Lofts which sold for $1,025,000. The second, a beautiful penthouse loft at Marshall Wells Lofts that sold for $1,515,000.
A question I get asked all the time is “Are there any deals out there?” The answer is YES! For the patient buyer, there are always condos that will get put on the market that are under priced. How is this possible you might ask. The condo market is very different the suburban residential markets. Many agents that are usually out in the suburbs don’t always have the best grasp of pricing for downtown condos. A good example of deals in the market can be seen by one of my clients recent purchase. My buyers made on offer on a loft in The Elizabeth, a building that has current litigation issues. With this problem comes the problem of financing, most banks will not finance these building so it becomes a cash only situation. Naturally, this takes many buyers out of the market and some listing agents will drop the price because of this. In my situation, my clients made an offer on a unit at the Elizabeth for $635,000. The appraisal on this unit came in at $690,000! A similar unit in the building on a lower floor is for sale at $678,000, and it only has 1 parking space.. Another was sold last month on a much lower floor. Unit #604 had less desirable views than my buyers Mt Hood view, only had 1 parking space and was virtually the same floor plan and it sold for $745,000. So, for my buyers, they were able to make a purchase at $635,000 on a unit that had 2 parking spaces, fantastic NE views, on a high floor and they paid well below the appraisal and the unit that sold this month! Yes, there are still deals in the market!
One thing to keep in mind is that while something may seem difficult, that is not always the case. There are actually a lot of all cash buyers in the market right now. In fact, 4 out of my last 5 closing have been cash buyers and they were all above $500,000.
If you are in the market to buy a condo or loft in the downtown area, please feel free to give me a call and we can get you started with a tour of the many available buildings such as The Meriwether in South Waterfront, Eliot Tower in downtown Portland or perhaps The Metropolitan or The Henry in The Pearl District. There are many great options and we would be thrilled to get you started in the search for your new home.
Also, if you have heard about the Pearl District’s newest high rise condominium project Park Central, feel free to give us a call to learn more about this fantastic new project!
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