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.
Sometime ago, in one of my blog post, I wrote about the fact that I will always deliver my honest opinion. Sometimes that does not make everyone happy. Sometime it might be a seller in a building with an overpriced unit in a building in which I might have made comments about. Others include developers such as those who are selling The Cosmopolitan. As we speak, The Cosmopolitan continues to sell units at prices I have said to be very inflated. I have gotten my fair share of nasty emails for some of my comments and that is ok…because, as I stated earlier, you will ALWAYS get my honest opinion and I will not buckle because of what others ( or their lawyers) have to say. I believe the reason the sales continue (about 60% sold) over there are simple, a lack of inventory in the market has made people nervous about being able to buy something so they jump in with both feet. When I work with buyer’s the one thing I will always tell them is to think about the resale of that unit in the future. For those buying at The Cosmopolitan, and are buying there because that is where they want to be and don’t care about the price, or resale. I would say to enjoy your unit and the building. It will be a great place to live! For those that have concerns about resale, especially in a changing market, hear me out! In previous blog post I have made comparisons to the Seattle market because I feel it is the most like ours, except more expensive. Inventory levels in Seattle are even worse than ours currently. For those of you who may have not been onboard with comparisons I have made in the past, let me SHOW you! For comparison sake, I will be comparing to Bellevue Towers. In my opinion, a slightly higher quality building in terms of amenities and views with quality of each being pretty close. Let’s compare: Now, for those of you that know The Cosmopolitan will be a nice building with nice amenities, here is what you get at Bellevue Towers. To me, these comparisons are pretty alarming. If the market turns ever so slightly in a downward trend, it will not be a good situation for owners. The reality of the Bellevue Towers pricing is that it is market pricing… not hype adjusted! And if you need more convincing on the higher end. Compare the Penthouse at The Cosmopolitan. 3236 Squre Feet , 28th Floor priced at $3,883,000. Now compare it to a PH on the 41st Floor of Bellevue Towers…click here to see what you get! http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/500-106th-Ave-NE-Unit-4105_Bellevue_WA_98004_M15387-66117?row=4 Wow! So let’s review. The penthouse in Portland is smaller (167 sq. ft.) has nice views but not the spectacular views that the Seattle penthouse has and…. it is priced $533,000 MORE! This is why I am concerned! Brad Golik of Pearl District Properties is a condominium specialist in the Pearl District, South Waterfront and Downtown. If you own a Pearl District condominium and would like to know the value of your condo in todays market, get a FREE market valuation at http://www.PearlDistrictCondominiums.com