Every condo may or may not have the best location… in the building or within a neighborhood. So when you go to sell, what are you going to do? Watch this video if you want to see what I think are the three most important words in real estate!
Brad Golik is a condo specialist in Portland, OR. with a focus on the Pearl District, South Waterfront and downtown. You can reach him at 503-896-8856.
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.
There is a new 27th floor listing on the market and get this… it’s not selling above $1,100 a square foot! If you may recall, when the Cosmopolitan had two of its 27th floor penthouses on the market they were priced at $1,059 and $1,192 a ft. There are not many 27th floor properties that come on the market, because there are not that many taller buildings, but when they do come on the market… the views are spectacular!
This week I listed unit #2701 at Fountain Plaza at KOIN Tower. The price for this spacious 3,834 square foot unit is $1,795,000. At this price we are talking about a price per square foot of $468. Less than half of the 27th floor units at the Cosmo! Now, it is true that the Cosmopolitan is the newest and shiniest condos on the market and people will pay a little bit of a premium for new. But to be able to pick up a 27th floor condo for a price per square foot less than a majority of the condos for sale in the Pearl is crazy!
While, as I mentioned, the Cosmopolitan is the new kid on the block, KOIN Tower was the grand dame! Fountain Plaza, which later gained the new name of KOIN Tower was built in 1984 and, at the time, was the “Cosmopolitan” of its generation. Many of the units have had extensive remodeling, and many units have not. I believe we are starting to see a transition in this building as many of the original buyers are no longer with us. Currently there are six units for sale at Fountain Plaza and several are being sold by the estates of the previous owners. With that said, I believe we will start seeing a younger generation move into Fountain Plaza.
Fountan Plaza / Koin Tower is building that gives you the feeling of being in an upscale building in New York. Its ziggurat –like profile and its attention getting blue crown are reminiscent of the Art Deco skyscrapers that were built on the east coast in the 1920’s. Dottie, the lead concierge of the building, in my opinion, is one of the best in the city! Much like the doorman you find in New York, Dottie and one of the other concierges on her team, Chuck, make it a point to get up and open the doors and greet the owners as they leave and arrive. She also makes a point to train all other concierges to do the same. She would never stand for just pushing a button to open the doors and not greeting guest at the door!
If you are in the market for a spectacular unit with amazing views…welcome to #2701 at Fountain Plaza! This 3,834 square foot unit features 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, a den and a spacious 19×10 foot gym. The kitchen can be expanded into the adjacent large 16 x 6 foot pantry. While this beautiful unit is “Move-in” ready, it also has a wonderful footprint and someone that wants to put their own stamp on it could easily do so. Think about this. If you bought this beautiful unit, did a $250,000 remodel to expand the kitchen, give it an open concept, and a luxurious master suite… you are still only into it for $533 a square foot, again, still less than half of the price at The Cosmopolitan!
As I said above, I believe this building will start to go through a transition. We are not seeing as many new condo towers being built like in years past. We very well may see more buyers who are cautious with their money, buy properties in buildings like Fountain Plaza, make them spectacular with all of the money they are saving and being at the forefront of a resurgence in some of the older buildings.
If you are in the market for a large unit with simply stunning views, give me a call!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist at Pearl District Properties and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
You can reach him at 503-896-8856 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties and LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
You can contact him at 503-896-8856 or at email@example.com
We have been hearing over and over again how hot the market has been. Well, that is changing! While normally this is a slower time of the year, what is happening now is a little bit of a surprise when you listen to the national news and hear how crazy the market is (Seattle, San Francisco).
If you have ever walked past my office (717 NW 11th) in the heart of the Pearl District, you have probably stopped to glance at all the listings featured in our display window. What has changed in the window since last week? PRICE REDUCTIONS! And many of them. Is the market tanking? No, I believe it is a combination of things starting with what is always a typically slow time from the week before July 4th to the beginning of the school year. The reductions are not so much a depreciating market but more of a whack on the head for listing agents that overpriced many units. Sometimes when inventory is low and things are slow, an agent will “buy a listing”. What does this mean? If an agent is competing with another, there are some who will give the seller an unrealistically high value in hopes that will be enough to sway the seller to choose them… a VERY bad practice, but I see it all of the time. In fact, I just lost a $975,000 listing partially for this very reason. (The other part was the agent told the seller that his firm is stronger internationally and that they could attract “Chinese buyers.”) This is so 2015! Those days are pretty much past and in reality, there have been very few Chinese investors buying in Portland. In addition, when you have a strong internet presence like I do, you get seen around the world. The whole thing about their firm being better internationally is really smoke and mirrors!
Back to price reductions, here are a few examples:
In the Casey, a one bedroom unit on the 8th floor was originally listed at $729,000. Now a year and five price reductions later it is priced at $619,000…and it still has not sold.
A penthouse at the John Ross originally priced at $2,350,000 was just reduced $355,000 to $1,995,000.
Several units at Fountain Plaza have had huge reductions. One unit went from $2,295,000 to $1,895,000. Another went from $1,995,000 to $1,695,000 and a third went from $1,350,000 to $999,000 with none of them selling yet. What is moving in this market? While it is taking longer, the units that are priced correctly, or at least somewhat reasonably priced, are still being sold.
Here is a great example of what I have mean. A penthouse just came on the market today in downtown Portland for $3,250,000. I had shown this unit about four years ago when it was priced at $2,200,000. (It had been on the market for 5-6 years) Back then I told my buyers they should not pay more than 1.6-1.7 million for this unit. My reasoning was the neighborhood was deteriorating, it was an inferior building compared to a neighboring building (The Eliot) that has much higher quality finishes, the highest sale in that building in the last 3 years was $760,000, it had the two slowest elevators in the city… and this was a big one, there was no garbage chute! I do not often make guarantees, but this is one I am comfortable in predicting, “You will see some big price reductions on this unit moving forward!”
And on top of that, if you have read my blog you have heard me mention that if you want to try to capture a premium over the market value of a unit then you MUST have very good marketing and dare I say it… professional photos at the very least! And no, this $3,250,000 listing, if you can even believe it, does not have them!
Brad Golik is a luxury condominium specialist in Portland, Or. If you are in the market to make a purchase of a Portland penthouse or luxury condominium, call Brad today!
One debate I often hear is whether a real estate agent should represent both sides of a transaction. The question lies on whom you represent. I have been in real estate for 13 years and have done transactions where I represented both sides. I have guidelines that I personally use when deciding whether or not I would feel comfortable in doing so. Here are the things I consider:
1) Is it a win-win situation for both parties? In other words, is the seller getting what they wanted or maybe a little bit more? Is the buyer happy with the price and it is reasonable?
2) Did the listing stay on the market long enough to give the sellers an indication of demand, or lack of?
3) Are there good comps that support the price that the buyer is paying? If not, and I am selling for a record price in the building, I would not touch dual agency with a 10-foot pole! This is where it gets very tricky. If I am a listing agent, and I am selling for a record price, and there are no comps that justify my pricing…I just hit a grand slam for my selling clients! If the buyer’s agent allowed their client to pay that amount, well let’s just say I don’t want to be THAT agent! Especially as a dual agent! NEVER! Now I will say there have been times where I represented clients that had so much money they just did not care about the price, they just wanted the condo. In that situation, you make sure that you document that conversation.
Regarding #3, this is where representation comes into play. As a dual agent whom do you represent? You should be representing buyer and seller equally. But how is this possible when you have a situation like above? If you are getting a record price for your sellers, and there are NO COMPS to support the price, how can you be the buyer’s agent and say “I did a good job for my clients”? The answer: You can’t!
If this same agent acted only as the buyer’s agent, you can bet that he would be hammering on the seller’s agent that the unit is at a record price and might be overpriced? Now, records are meant to be broken. So how much of a record price is it? Is it $10 to $30 a square foot more? That is reasonable. Is it $50 to $100 a sq. foot more? This is when you have real problems. For one, the property would most likely not appraise. But what if the buyer is paying cash and an appraisal is not required? Well then the buyer is really at risk. This is when they REALLY should have a separate agent. ( and for peace of mind, the cash buyer might still consider getting the property appraised).
In multiple-offer situations, if an agent is representing both sides, he or she better make sure that their buyer’s client is the best offer! If it is, the listing agent and the seller are making the final decision as to which offer to select. In this situation, there is no problems in representing both.
So bottom line: If both parties are happy and well educated on pricing, and there are good comps to support the purchase and sale, there are no problems.
On the flip side. If there is a big difference in price from the comps, especially if it is a record price in the building for the seller or huge discount for a buyer. This is when you need two agents fighting it out for their client’s best interest. I would never do dual agency in this situation!
Brad Golik is a luxury condo specialist with LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and Pearl District Properties in Portland, OR. You can reach him at one of his websites including http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com and www.PortlandPenthouse.com or by calling him at 503-896-8856
Because I was short of time this week, I thought I would do a video post!
The $6,000,000 penthouse condo?
Will 2017 open the year with a $6,000,000 condo listing? And if so, which unit justifies a $6,000,000 price tag in Portland, OR.? In the last year we have seen the movement of several of Portland’s highest priced penthouse condos including the $3.8 Million penthouse condo at the new Cosmopolitan. Also, the most expensive sale of a condo in Portland, again at the Cosmopolitan, the combined 27th floor unit that sold for over $5,000,000!
So, what about this $6,000,000 condo? And, which building is it in? Well if you have $6,000,000 to spend and want to get the early jump on viewing this unit before it hits the MLS, give me a call! While I can’t disclose what building it is in (at this moment) what I can say is that it does have some of the most spectacular views in the city… and here is a hint, it has one of the most spectacular views “of” the city! If you want a nice condo with similar amazing views, for $2,500,000 less, don’t overlook the beautiful penthouse unit at The Westerly. I have said many times, the view from this building does not just look into the city of Portland…it looks over the city of Portland! And with over 4,000 square feet, it is one of my current favorites on the market right now. As for the $3,500,000 price? It could be a little lower considering that it’s next door neighbor just sold for $2,850,000 last year.
One sign of good news in Portland high end condo sales is that the Penthouse unit at The Casey finally went pending after 1 and a half years on the market. If you recall, this unit came on the market at what I believed to be an excessive price of $3,499,000. I would be surprised if it got it’s most recent price of $2,995,000 as it has been priced there for over 5 months now.
If you are in the market for one of Portland’s finest condominiums, give me a call. Part of good negotiating is having a good understanding of pricing. Many agents make the critical error of making a lowball offer on something that is fairly priced or priced low and has supporting comps. However, when something is overpriced we will fight to get you the very best price. Even when something is fairly priced, if the agent listens to things that are said, sometimes that can lead to clues that help the buyer get a great deal! And by the way…if you want the jump on that $6,000,000 condo, give me a call!
Brad Golik is a luxury condo specialist in Portland, OR. If you would like to view any of Portland’s nicest condos, call Brad Golik at 503-896-8856 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Design approval for Block 20 recently happened. For more information on this project, click Block 20 http://www.nextportland.com/2016/07/13/block-20-approved/#more-8144
Also, notice of pile driving went out recently!
So how will the timing be for the release of new condos at Block 20? I do not believe they will be as favorable as they were for the developers on The Cosmopolitan. If you remember reading on my blog, Hoyt Development had the perfect storm happen for them when they released their highly priced (a majority in the $600 to $1200 sq. ft. range) units. When the Cosmopolitan was released, inventory levels were at extremely low levels…non- existent almost! They were able to capture crazy pricing because buyers had no other options. That is not the case right now in our market. Today, like everyday, I brought up new condo listings. What was most interesting to see was that there were 11 price reductions! This is something we are starting to see everyday as things have slowed dramatically. So , moving forward, it will be a different environment for the developer.
I took a fair amount of abuse from the developers about my many comments about the Cosmopolitan, most were about pricing. Did they sell out the building at those high prices? Yes! (98%) sold. Good for them and their and their profits! (maybe not so good for the owners) If you recall, my biggest fear of selling a unit at The Cosmopolitan was worry for my clients that the market could slow down or turn around and what would happen to buyers who paid such a big premium when or if that happened… Guess what? That time is here! The market has slowed dramatically. (again, look at price reductions in the market) What will happen when Cosmopolitan buyers need to sell ( job relocation etc.)? Stay tuned. I do not believe it will be a good thing for the seller’s. Another consideration is the high number of apartments that have been built in the downtown area. I feel we must be reaching a point of saturation in the rental market. When this happens, rental rates go down. For the last several years, it has been cheaper to buy instead of renting with rental prices at $2.25 to $2.75 a sq. ft. When rental rates start dropping, you will have more potential buyers going the rental route than we had before. They will be happy to sit on the sideline and let the slowdown happen and be patient before buying.
What about the pricing at the new Block 20 development? One thing I know, construction prices ( concrete, steel, sheet rock) have continued to rise. Will we see prices touching $1000 to $1200 again? I don’t believe so. Much will also depend on the finishes of the building though. Will they compare to that of the Cosmopolitan and The Metropolitan or will they be a notch or two lower?
If you have questions about Block 20 or wish to be on a waiting list for info, please give me a call. If you think there may be some interest in the new project, keep this in mind. It will be important to work with a buyers agent not associated with the developer…remember, the buyers agent works for your benefit, not the developers!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties.
If you would like see any of Portland’s beautiful available condominiums, give Brad a call to set up a viewing tour.
503-896-8856 – email@example.com
A new penthouse off of Westover came on the market today priced at nearly $3,600,000! Here is one more attempt of someone trying to capture the $1,000 a square foot pricing of the new Cosmopolitan. As shown by other recent attempts in the insane pricing range! Just a couple of things I want to say about this listing. The condo, a 5th floor penthouse unit does have a spectacular view looking over the Pearl and the city of Portland. While a nice unit, it just had another 3600 sq. ft. neighbor that just sold at The Westerly for $2,850,000. The unit at the Westerly was a nice unit with two massive decks… clearly a big advantage over the newly listed unit! In addition, it took nearly 5 years for the Westerly penthouse to finally sell. While it can be argued that this new listing has nicer finishes and a better view than the new Cosmopolitan ( although you would never know from the photos!!!), this part of town just should not capture the prices of a true Pearl location. In my opinion, it is priced a little high.
The views, this is what potential buyers will be attracted to.
Now, this is a better example of how to sell someone’s views!
A real positive, a charger in the garage for a Tesla! I happen to know of one couple who made an offer on one of my penthouse listings in the past that this was a very important detail they wanted. With that said, a Tesla charger is not what will help sell this unit for over $3,000,000. Good photographs though would certainly help!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties and a founding member of Condo10. If you would like to view this newest Portland penthouse, call Brad Golik at 503-896-8856. “I know this market and will negotiate you the best possible price!”
Today I am listing a beautiful penthouse at Pacifica Tower! Enjoy floor to ceiling windows in this corner unit. One of the best floor plans available at Pacifica Tower. Located in the NW corner of the building, this unit offers panoramic views of the Willamette River, Portland’s West Hills and the twinkling city lights. This home features two very large bedrooms and two decks!
If you are in the market for a condo in this price range, give me a call to set up a private showing of this fantastic penthouse.
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties with a focus on the high end of the market. If you are looking to buy or sell, call Brad at 503-896-8856.
What about Redfin?
Redfin in truth is nothing new! Limited service companies are nothing new, and like many before them…you get what you pay for!
Before I give my 2 cents, here is a little blurb I thought I would show because it sums things up pretty good:
Ok, now my 2 cents!
One thing I do not care for is misleading advertising. When you bring up the Redfin homepage you will read text that states: “Redfin Agents sell homes for $4,300 more and charge only a 1.5% listing fee.” For one thing, the total listing fee is not 1.5% it is 4% (2.5 %to buyers agent + 1.5% listing agent) The next thing really burns me…$4,300 more. Are you kidding me? When I go against a Redfin agent, its like a shark in a busy public swimming area…you start licking your chops! Why? Because I know that usually the Redfin agent is not experienced, and usually VERY weak at negotiating. I believe you can ask the top 500 producing agents in town and you will get the same answer! They are NOT getting their clients more…but less!
Let me share a little with you about the Redfin system. Redfin corporate works their agents 60 to 70 hours a week. All of their agents are inexperienced agents when they hire them. The mid management of this company is weak at best as the redfin agents are not trained to be valuable assets to their clients. They underpay them and then as agents are with Redfin long enough, and gain experience, they leave to become a full service agent because they just don’t make the money to justify their time. I SEE IT ALL OF THE TIME!
Redfin agents are essentially order takers and are NOT hands on agents. The comments above are very typical. The facts about Redfin is that it is still a very large company that is still bleeding money to survive. I do not worry about them because real estate will always be a very hands on business that takes an agent that cares about his clients best interest. How can an agent negotiate for a buyer when he has not even seen the home ( and for that matter…any of the comps!) The answer…they don’t. So it is pretty crazy to state that you are getting your clients $4300 more!
Brad Golik is top producing condo specialist in Portland, Or. He is a co- founding member of Condo10.com . You can reach him at http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com or by calling 503-896-8856. ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
Last night I listed a penthouse unit at The Elizabeth. If you are in the market for an amazing place in the heart of the Pearl District…check out the video: http://video214.com/play/7vdRuUinppTpWTplmLajfg/s/dark
For a private showing, please call Brad Golik at 503-896-8856
Everyday I bring up the Portland condo list to see any new listings, see if anything has gone pending and to see if old listings have expired or were canceled. Sometimes what I see just makes me shake my head in disbelief. No question, this is a pretty hot market and I do see people paying more than they might normally do. And, while I do not believe we are at a peak yet, it is certainly not a time to let my buyer’s grossly overpay for a property either. Today, a new penthouse came on the market. This is a penthouse at Atwater Place in South Waterfront. The price is $2,700,000 and it is priced at $1000 a sq. ft., the same as what you are seeing at the brand new Cosmopolitan on the Park. Except that at the Cosmo, $1000 gets you up to the 27th floor in a brand new building!
Awhile back I wrote about three penthouse units that were priced in the $3,000,000 range. The first was the 3.8M penthouse at the Cosmo, which I thought would be the first to sell ( it just went Pending again this week). The first one to sell was actually the penthouse at The Elizabeth that was priced at $2,995,000. I represented the buyer on the purchase. You might have read in my blog “Who says it’s a seller’s market?” about the great price my buyer got for that unit… $2,200,000 fully furnished. The third one, and it’s still on the market, is at The Casey and still priced at $3,249,000.
I mention these three units because all three tried to push the $1000 ft barrier. I mentioned I thought the Cosmo would be the first to sell for a few reasons. First, it is a brand new building and brand new buildings always get a premium. Also, at 3.8M this is a property where the buyer can afford to “overpay” and are ok in doing so in order to have “The Best”. The penthouse at the Elizabeth was actually the first to sell and it sold for under $700 a ft.
In mentioning these three units, it helps clarify the pricing on the new Atwater Place penthouse. For one, it is not a new building…so no premium here. 2nd, it is not in The Pearl District…again, no premium here! (While I do like South Waterfront, the Pearl always gets a premium!) Also, keep this in mind, Unit #2403, a NE corner penthouse at Meriwether just went pending at $1,675,000 (598 sq. ft.). It was slightly larger and on a higher floor! At $1000 a sq. ft. the Atwater penthouse is just priced high. Sure, being a penthouse with great river views does justify a high price. (It does have outstanding outdoor living space) Will it sell? Sometimes there will be just the right buyer that loves the place, and the buyers agent usually sells homes in the suburbs and does not understand if a unit is priced high or not. The answer… you never know!
Another listing that was recently brought to me that is not in the MLS is one of the iconic townhomes on 11th in The Pearl. Before I mention this one…I want to show you a few of the comps first. Two units, with 2698 sq. ft. recently sold. One for $1,850,000 the other for $1,900,000. A third sold ( 2 units combined with 3888 sq. ft) for $2,425,000 , or $623 a sq. ft. The third had many high end custom finishes and was designed by the exceptional designer, Jefferey Lamb. Ok, drum roll please…. The new listing , #621 which is 2698 sq. ft… is priced at $2,600,000! Are you kidding me? When I questioned the agents pricing, he mentioned that all three of the comps were going through substantial remodeling. Ok, lets use the combined unit that sold for $2,425,000. Let’s say the new buyer decides he wants to put in an additional $400,000 in remodeling. This would still put this unit at $726 a sq. ft. , or $237 a sq. ft. less than #621 which is at an absurd $963 a ft!
Now you know why I just have to shake my head sometimes in the mornings while looking at new listings!
My purpose of writing about some of these overpriced units is not to beat up on them, but only to help educate buyers so that they don’t overpay for a unit. If you are a buyer in the market for a Portland condo, I know this market inside and out, especially the high end of the market. I would love to help you find your next dream condo so please, give me a call and we can begin to turn your dream of owning a luxury Portland condominium, into a reality…for the right price!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties. His area of focus is The Pearl District, South Waterfront and Downtown Portland. Brad is a founding member of Condo10 and an expert in internet marketing. You can reach him at 503-896-8856 or at email@example.com , www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
Today I lost a listing for being honest! One thing you will always get from me is my honest opinion. Whether it is my opinions that I write about in my blog, or my opinions in what it takes to get a condo sold for top dollar. The key words here are “TOP DOLLAR”. You have heard me say many times that “Any agent can sell your condo…but at what price?” To get the highest price in the sale of a condo, I have a pretty good feel for things that need to be done to get that top dollar. First and foremost… top notch marketing! Yes, even in a hot seller’s market it is important.
I mentioned that I lost a listing for being honest. This condo would have been priced in the 1.4M range. This particular condo had amazing river and bridge views. However, the furnishings (many antiques) were not the type that would “Wow” a buyer when they walked in the door. In fact, I believe the opposite affect would take place. I have often said, in the higher end of the market, buyers want the “Wow” affect when they walk in the door. This was a unit that had potential for a huge “Wow” factor that, with staging, I believe would have captured a very good price for the seller’s… if marketed correctly.
Telling sellers what they want to hear to get a listing is nothing new in our industry. I see it happen all of the time with agents that “Buy Listings”… in other words, they tell the seller it is worth more than what another agent said what it was worth because they know the seller will choose the agent with the higher price. Then, the condo stays on the market because it is priced too high and then the agent eventually beats up the sellers to drop the price ( the price the other agent had honestly told the seller’s) Then, because the unit becomes stale, the lowball offers begin to come in. My point here…be careful of agents that tell you what you want to hear. You should be more open to an agent that is honest and not just telling you what you want to hear just to get the listing. The listing above, well I believe the listing above will net the seller’s about $100,000 less than what it could get by staging and using good marketing. This is a lot of money! I felt so strongly about it in this case that I offered to pay for the staging.
The sellers made the comment to me that these were expensive antiques. One thing I have learned in this business is that the cost of something really has no relevance as to how it adds to the value of something. I have seen wallpaper, for example, where an owner spent a fortune and thought it was the most beautiful thing in the world… but everybody else hated it! In the unit above, I truly believe the sellers would net close to 100k more by staging this unit. In addition, the staging will help buyers focus on the beautiful unit…and take their eyes away from the kitchen! Remember the wallpaper above? Well the owners of this unit painted over the cabinets (DIY) in an un- attractive color that shows the wood grain through the paint. They also ripped out beautiful slab granite and replaced it with a inferior artificial product (blue speckled ) that is just not at the level expected for buyers in a unit like this in a building like this.
In the end, the sellers went with an agent that agreed with them and said what they wanted to hear. As a seller, do you want the most that you can get in the sale of your condo… or do you want to work with an agent that is being nice and says what you want to hear? The sellers choose an agent with inferior marketing to what I offer… and the truth is on this unit, to get top dollar, they are going to need great marketing!
I believe an agent should be nice… and tell you what you NEED to hear!
The Design Commission has approved the newest 14 story tower in The Pearl District. The Dianne, will be 153′ tall and house 102 residential (apartment) units…Yes, ANOTHER apartment building! The positive here, the developer, John Carroll of Carroll Investments, whose previous projects in the neighborhood include The Gregory Condos, The Edge Lofts, The Chown Pella Lofts, The Elizabeth Lofts and the McKenzie Lofts. His buildings offer a great sense of character… unlike what we are seeing with The Cosmopolitan and other Hoyt properties. For more info go to: http://www.nextportland.com/2015/11/04/the-diane-2/
Today, like I do on most Tuesday’s, I went to a few brokers’ open houses to look at some new listings. After viewing a new penthouse on the market, I stopped in at a nearby coffee shop. In the coffee shop were a group of real estate agents who had also gone to the same open house. These agents were not condo agents, I know because I did not recognize any of them! What I heard come out of the mouth was not surprising because they just do not understand the urban market. The penthouse that these agents were talking about was the new listing at the Crane building priced at $1,850,000. I heard on of the agents say that she has not seen any of the other penthouses in the Pearl but she thought this one was “Exceptional and priced very well!” The others with her nodded their heads in agreement. The first thought that came to my had was…REALLY?…Is this what they would say to potential buyers that they would show the unit to?
For what it is worth, here are my thoughts on this penthouse unit priced at $1,850,000. This unit was on the market one and a half years ago priced at $1,950,000 and it did not sell then. While this unit has very nice finishes, here are my reasons why I think it is priced too high. First…and most important, anything priced above $1,500,000 should not be a total fishbowl…and this unit is! Before when it was listed, you had neighbors from Avenue lofts and Irving Street lofts looking down into your 7th floor unit. Now, directly across the street to the west is a brand new office tower that takes away your views of the west hills, takes away a lot of natural daylight and also adds hundreds of office workers that can now look directly into your unit! There MUST be a discount on price for the huge lack of privacy!
Some of the other negatives of this unit are that it has low ceiling height and it is a pretty choppy floor plan which gives you the feel that it is smaller than its 2239 square feet. At 836 a square foot, a buyer should get way more for their money than what is offered here. In one of my recent posts I discussed the great buy my client got on a penthouse purchase at The Elizabeth. This unit closed at $2,200,000 (fully furnished) or $667 a square foot. This unit is far superior than the penthouse at the Crane building in many, many ways. It is a much higher floor, 14 as opposed to 7 so you are above most surrounding buildings and don’t have neighbors looking down on you (something most penthouse buyers NEVER want!) The floor plan at the Elizabeth was much more desirable. In addition, both units had equal deck space for outdoor living but at the Crane penthouse, the outdoor space is almost unusable because of the freeway noise that is only a block away! Even if my client would have gotten the Elizabeth penthouse at a higher price, say $2,500,000, the price per square foot would still have been much lower at $757 a foot. There is a huge difference in why the buyers at The Cosmopolitan are paying above $800 a square foot…that is the privacy that comes with being 25 floors or higher. Your odds of having another building going up next to you and blocking your views are much less, this is why buyers were willing to pay a premium. But, the Crane penthouse being only 7 floors up, there is no way it deserves the premium of pricing that it is at, especially with all of those new office workers looking down at you!. If I am the listing agent of this penthouse, I am hoping that one of those agents at the coffee shop brings a buyer and makes an offer… because, based on their comments, they truly don’t know any better!
So you’ve decided that you are ready to sell your condominium. The next step is deciding what real estate agent you should use to help you sell it. One thing I see happen over and over again are the seller’s using the same agent that helped them buy the unit originally. Is this a good or bad idea? You are thinking that when you bought the unit, the transaction was reasonably smooth so you want to use the same agent. Again, is this a good idea or bad? The answer… it depends!
The factors you should consider when selling your unit are very important because buying is very different than selling. One of the most important factors is whether or not the agent is a condominium specialist or not. Should you hire an agent that is not a condo specialist? My answer is NO! And the reason is simple… these agents just do not know the condo market! Most important, and this is a big one, their day to day marketing does NOT cater to condo buyers. As a condo specialist, my marketing is targeted to condo buyers EVERY SINGLE DAY! This is IMPORTANT! A typical agent can not just flip a switch and fill their pipeline with condo buyers. Typically, they spend one day in Beaverton and the next in Lake Oswego. It is very hard to be an expert in the entire city. Actually, it is impossible! That is why I specialize. So I can be the best that I can be and truly understand my market.
Knowing your market is very important for a listing agent. What I see often from agents that do not spend time with condos, is a lack of understanding of pricing. I will be honest, if you were looking to sell a house in the Alameda area of Portland… I am not your guy! Why? Because I don’t understand the market as well as someone that works that area. Pricing can be substantially different in that area by being 1 to 2 blocks off of certain streets. Same goes with condos. I get calls all of the time from “suburb” agents trying to pick my brain on pricing because they know I have done a lot of condos and know the market. Do I like to get these calls? Absolutely not! It is very frustrating to see a seller put their trust into an agent that does not understand the market. To make it even worse, I go crazy when I see that same agent get the listing and don’t use professional photos to market the condo! It happens EVERYDAY, and it is usually because the seller was comfortable with the agent when they bought the place. So is this the right agent to list and sell your condo? Definitely not.
If you have read my blog for any length of time, you have probably heard me say “Any agent can sell your place…but at what price?” This is so true. I am a firm believer that good marketing makes a difference. It works for NIKE, Coca Cola, and Johnson & Johnson. Why do they continue marketing like they do? Because it works! Buyer’s are willing to pay more for something that is presented in a nicer way. Same can be done in real estate. If you can make a sub par listing look better than it is, you will get more people through the door. If a lazy or cheap agent does not pay for professional photos, the chances are the condo will not look as good as it could and it will lead to less people coming through the doors to look at it and in turn, the seller will get lower offers.
Now let’s say that original agent also does a fair amount of condos. All I need to say here is look at the previous paragraph! Marketing matters!
When you decide that you are ready to sell your condominium, one of your biggest decisions should be who you will hire to sell your condo. You do have many options of real estate agents to hire so how do you know how to select the right one? From the very start, you would be very smart to eliminate agents whose major portion of their business are homes out in the suburbs. Why eliminate these agents? It’s simple…they just DO NOT know the condo market well enough. They do not know the intricacies of selling condominiums and they really do not understand the pricing of most units. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard these “Suburban” agents tell me “Well unit #??? Sold for $500 a square foot so that is why we are priced here!” What they just don’t understand is the difference in pricing throughout the building. Was it on the 3rd floor or the 10th floor.? Was it looking south or east to Mt. Hood? Is there potential for a building to go up in front of the unit? Is daylight blocked by another building? These are just some of the many issues that contribute to pricing a unit. You cannot just say that because one unit sold for $425 a sq. ft, that another one will.
This lack of knowledge often leads to units being under-priced, or more often, over-priced. The big problem when agents overprice a unit is that it becomes stale on the market, goes through several price reductions and then in the end, sells for less than what it should have sold for if it were priced right.
To me, the biggest reason not to hire a “Suburban” agent in my opinion, is the lack of consistent marketing everyday to condo buyer’s. As a condo specialist, my marketing is directed 24/7 toward condominium buyers. I am consistently filling my pipeline with potential buyers of condominiums. A suburban agent is in Lake Oswego one day, Beaverton the next marketing to people looking to buy a home, not a condo. I will say this, if you are looking for an agent to sell your $2,000,000 home in Lake Oswego, I should probably not be your first choice. I am not a specialist in that area. I am a specialist with condos! You should strongly consider this when selling your condo!
The other important issue to look at, and I think this is a big one, is how good that agent is at marketing. A good way to check on this is to see how good of a job they do at marketing themselves! If that agent has no true branding, or has sub par pictures on their website…if they have one, or is hard to find, this should tell you something. Most agents will not spend a lot of money on listings and I believe this is a huge mistake! Many, many agents don’t even spend the money for professional photos. Here is something I saw recently that was so funny. (but sad for the owners trying to sell) On a listing, an agent stated that you really need to come by and see the condo because the pictures do not do it justice! Are you kidding me? That is the job of the agent to do beautiful, stunning photos that draw people to come view the condo! This is the very minimum an agent should be doing. See an example of one of my listings here: http://www.PacificaTowerCondo.com
Now you know part of the reasons for hiring a condo specialist, now I want to touch on another point. I have seen many people use the agents that were the on-site agents that sold the building when it was brand new. I advise caution if you are thinking of going this route and here is why… Yes they were very nice when you worked with them before (remember, they were trying to sell you something!) While many on-site agents are in fact, very nice, most of them have limited experience in the resale markets. I mentioned above the importance of spending money on listings to make them stand out. Most of these agents have always spent the developers money to sell units, not their own!
There are many other things I believe to be important that a specialist can offer. If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email and I would be happy to sit down and discuss things with you.
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties. You can find him at http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com or by giving him a call at 503-896-8856
As we start the new year, one thing remains the same…low inventory! As new listings come on the market, those searching for a new place to live will want to react fairly quickly as there are more buyers than there are condos for sale! If you are looking to sell, not a bad time to push price a little! Last night I went to an open house at The Waterfront Pearl. The listing was a beautiful 8th floor unit with sweeping views of the Willamette River. Stand at the windows in your living room and you feel like you are on top of the river! This unit, priced at $989,000, featured 1729 sf. As I viewed the condo, my first thought was that I wish I had a client with me as I felt it might be under priced at only $572 a sq. ft. While this building is not The Cosmopolitan or The Metropolitan and it will not command the same prices, I do believe this unit could get closer to the $636 per sq, ft. range which puts It closer to the $1,100,000 price tag. Compare this to 2 units left at Cosmopolitan. One is 1643 sq. ft. and priced at $1,559,000 ($953 sq. ft.). The other is 1363 sq. ft and priced at $1,197,000( $878 sq. ft.). Both of these units are on the 25th floor at the Cosmopolitan. While the Waterfront Pearl unit is not on the 25th floor and does not have 25th floor type views, It does have gorgeous river views and people rarely get tired of looking at the river traffic below your windows. To me it is kind of a wash in terms of views. So then, you have to ask yourself, are 25th floor views worth an extra $300 to $371 a sq. ft.? If you were to see the river views from the Waterfront Pearl unit, I believe your answer would be “No way!” . Those views were pretty stunning!
If you are looking to sell your condominium in the near future, be aware of current inventory levels…this is so important. While comps will give you a good starting point, placing your condo in a side by side comparison with every condo in the price range is more important! Right now, for example, there are only 9 condos in the $900,000 to $1,100,000 price range and not 1 of those units competes well with the new Waterfront Pearl listing mentioned above! Does this strategy of pushing the price work? You bet it does! You may have to also sell the appraiser on your pricing, but a good agent should be able to justify his pricing. Another example of this strategy is the Cosmopolitan! The prices they attained happened for 1 reason and 1 reason only… no to low inventory!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties. You can call him for a free market analysis at 503-896-8856. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
** If you would like to view this new listing at Waterfront Pearl, give Brad a call (but you better hurry!)
We have all heard the market in general is doing pretty well in terms of units selling reasonably quick. That is if they are priced correctly! Condos in the $300,000 to $700,000 price range have done well and there is not much current inventory. This is the reason they are selling reasonably quickly. How is the upper end of the market doing… units that are priced from $750,000 and up? Inventory levels in the Million dollar range is much better than the lower range. For example, in the $600,000 to $700,000 range there are only seven listings! In the $1,000,000 + area of the market there are 25 listings. How are the Million dollar listings selling? Very well, if priced right. Units that are not priced right will languish on the market and eventually, very typically, get punished with lowball offers. A great example of this scenario is the penthouse at Envoy that was just recently sold…after many years on the market. The last offering price on that penthouse unit was $2,249,500 it sold this week for $1,807,800…20% off its list price! In this market, with low inventory it is smart to price your unit on the high end of a range but there is a fine line and if you cross this line, it can cost you in the long run.
In the high end of the market, units are selling. Three of the last $1,000,000+ units that have sold were cash buyers. This is something we have seen as very common the last year. In the highest end of the market there are several really nice units available. Toping the list is the largest of the penthouse units at the Cosmopolitan priced at $3,883,000. If I had to guess, this will be the first one to sell of the three penthouses that are in the $3,000,000 price range. The other two, the penthouse at the Casey priced at $3,499,000 and the penthouse at the Elizabeth priced at $3,298,900 are very overpriced in my opinion. ( so is the one at the Cosmopolitan…but it will eventually sell very close to its asking price). The other two are priced in the $1000 a square foot vicinity. This is way too high, in my opinion, for units only on the 16th and 14th floors. Part of what you are paying the high price at the Cosmopolitan penthouse, is the likelihood of your views being uninterrupted. This happens when you are 28 floors up, not so much when you are on the 14th floor. I happen to really like the unit at the Elizabeth and would love to show it to clients but when priced so high over the market, the reality of the sellers taking a realistic offer, which would be substantially less, is less likely to happen. The current price just scares buyers away from even viewing it! If it were priced right out of the gate, chances are, in this market, it would be sold by now! If you are a buyer in the upper end of the market, a unit to not overlook is the penthouse at The Westerly priced at $2,950,000. This is the most spacious of the penthouse units with 3662 square feet. On top of that, two massive decks that offer some of the best outdoor living of any condo on the market! Not only are the views here better than the Cosmopolitan views ( remember, The Westerly, at a higher elevation looks OVER the Pearl District …kind of of like living on the the 80th floor of the Cosmopolitan… if it were available!!) the massive deck space makes entertaining an amazing event with these killer views! If this is a penthouse unit that you would like to view, give me a call because it is always a treat to show it to clients!
The Westerly Penthouse
Rounding out the “near” $3,000,000 range, while not a penthouse, is one of the most unique! The combined townhome in the iconic townhomes along 11th is a pretty special home. In August, the pricing on this townhome was reduced from $2,975,000 to $2,775,000. It offers 3888 square feet of living space with room for 4 cars to be parked. In addition, this townhome will not be burdened with the monthly HOA fees of the others, which run between $1,500 to $1,900 a month. While this townhome has yet to sell, I believe because of its eclectic design, the right buyers will come along and when they do they will be buying a pretty special place to call home.
Brad Golik is a luxury condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties. If you would like to view any of the above mentioned Portland penthouse condominiums, call Brad at 503-896-8856.
You can visit his website at http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
Pearl District prices are rising fast! To get the TRUE value of your condo instantly for FREE, go to:
Condo Sales for March
Portland Condo sales for March were strong considering how low our inventory is. In the month of March there were 63 sales in the area that I cover, which is from Pearl District, Uptown, Downtown to South Waterfront. This includes all condos and town homes priced above $200,000. To compare, February had sales of 37 in that same area. What is very interesting though is not the increase in sales of 70%, which is not unusual for this time of year, it is that there are currently 122 pending sales. Now 122 pending sales is nothing unusual, however, what is unusual is that this is the first time since I started writing in my blog that the pending sales actually exceeded the Active listings! Currently there are only 110 Active listings in my designated coverage area.
With numbers like this it could increase the numbers for appreciation in our area. While it was expected to see growth slow down some, the numbers may be higher than expected. It is certainly a sellers market with the low levels of inventory we are seeing. What will be important is the number of units that normally hit the market this time of year. As I mentioned, being a sellers market, this has been a huge windfall for the developers of The Cosmopolitan as they are getting buyers to plunk down a non refundable deposit for high priced units because of the fear of not being able to buy resale units at other buildings. If we were in a normal inventory market, I guarantee we would not see buyer’s overpaying for units.
If you are one of those buyers who may be looking for an upscale, high floor unit and looking to pay above $1,500,000… be patient! Next week I will be listing a unit that will be priced in the ballpark of $560 a square foot. A comparable unit in the
Cosmopolitan will cost you upwards of $1,000 a square foot! In my listing you could do a $250,000 remodel and still come in under $615 a square foot. Yes, sometimes patience does pay!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties.
Specializing in Portland Condos , Portland Penthouse, Portland Town Homes, Portland Highrises, upscale buildings including The Casey, The Metropolitan, Park Place, The Henry, The Westerly and many more!
Inventory has been very tight recently but the last two weeks we have seen an upsurge in new listings, hopefully a sign of what is to come. Traditionally, the spring is when we start to see an increase in listings. Never has this been more needed than in this current market. In our last blog post we mentioned that the sales, while slow, at The Cosmopolitan have benefited from the lack of inventory. While those units will not close until the summer of 2016, people fear they will not be able to purchase what they want and feel the need to make an offer at The Cosmopolitan. Right or wrong, this is what I feel is happening. Buyers feel that while The Cosmopolitan may be overpriced, as we have stated many times, they feel like there may not be units come on the market between now and the summer of 2016. For current seller’s, this is a huge advantage in capturing a premium in the sale of their units. Recently I showed a unit before it was even on the market. This unit was on the 15th floor of the Metropolitan and priced at $1,200,000. The seller got an offer before it went on the market. Because of the lack of inventory, and the very high prices at the Cosmopolitan, the seller was able to get $637 a sq. ft. This was a large unit at 1881 sq. ft. To get this size of a unit at The Cosmopolitan you would need to spend $1,600,000 for 1773 sq. ft. I think the buyers of that unit got a very good deal. As for an update of sales at the Cosmopolitan, they are currently at 59 sales or 39% of the building sold. One of the new sales was finally above the 21st floor. This is only the 2nd unit that has sold above the 21st floor to date which is not surprising when you consider the prices ( these 2 units sold for $875 and $1,000 a sq. ft) For comparison, I will be listing a unit in another high end building, above the 21st floor for about 595 a sq. ft. One thing to keep an eye on at The Cosmopolitan is to see if they get any offers on the penthouses or junior penthouses. Many times, buyers of penthouse units may buy a unit even when they know it may be overpriced. Sometimes it may be that these buyers have enough money that they can overlook the price to get what they want. This has not happened yet at The Cosmopolitan. If the general public see’s that someone is buying those units and paying $1000 to $1200 a sq. ft, it somehow makes them feel justified to pay $800 to $1000 a sq. ft. To date, the project has had several of these units go pending and then go back on the market. Perhaps it is the realization that they were about to pay $400 to $600 a sq. ft. more than the average of all of the Million dollar condos that sold in 2014 ( $579) Again, these were the best of the best in Portland! If and when the Cosmopolitan does sell one or two of the of the eight junior penthouse and penthouse units it may add to peoples confidence to put down an offer on the units on the 20th to 25th floors. Right or wrong!