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
Portland Penthouse Watch
What is happening in the upper end of Portland’s condo market? Let’s start by looking at the top 5 most expensive condos in Portland that are currently listed. The most expensive, at $2,495,000, The Envoy penthouse. This beautiful penthouse has become like an old friend…because it has been on the market for so long now we have come to know it well. While certainly a unique property, this condo seems to be cursed or it is just the fact that it seems to always be priced just above the market as it has consistently chased the market down.
In the number 2 spot, is one of my favorites and priced at $1,995,000, unit #1405 at the Elizabeth. Listed in late April, this special unit features killer views to the East as well as north to Mt St. Helens. If you are in the market for a luxury condo in Portland, this one deserves a look! Give me a call and we can set up a showing as soon as possible.
In the number 3 position is a penthouse we wrote about in mid April when it came on the market. With it’s price reduced $250,000 since that time, now priced at $1,950,000, this penthouse located on 14th street still seems to be priced high in my opinion. With about 300 square feet less than our number 2 penthouse, this unit just seems to live much smaller. And while boasting an 800 square foot terrace, the noise levels next to the freeway prohibit any relaxing times with peace and quiet. Also, when paying over $1,900,000, most buyers will not like the fact that owners at the two buildings next door look down on this property!
In the number 4 spot, Unit #1001 at Waterfront Pearl. Earlier this year, I had written about the unit directly below this unit, #901, it recently sold for $1,650,000. Unit #1001 is now on the market and listed for $1,759,000. While a spacious unit with over 3100 square feet, it does have one slight negative for this price point and that is the privacy could be a bit of an issue for some as the building next door does look directly into this unit. With that said, it does have fantastic river views, in addition, when you stand at the windows of this unit you feel that you are standing right on top of the river! In addition to the 3 bedrooms a den and 3.5 baths, this unit has a large room that would be perfect for a large media room!
At #5, this penthouse unit at Park Place, offered at $1,650,000 offers a wonderful outdoor living area. While the living area itself is nice, it does not come with a ton of the “Wow” factor.
In addition to Portland’s most expensive penthouse condos, I did want to mention a unit that I think represents value and is also a very nice unit. This is the new listing at the Casey, unit #1501. If spectacular views are what you are after, look no further! If you are in the market, give me a call soon and we can set up a showing of this beautiful unit. This is a unit that I think will sell reasonably quickly and one of the reasons I think this will happen, other than the great views, another unit in this building is priced a quarter of a million higher than this unit, and while the other unit is slightly bigger, the 15th floor views will win people over! I also believe the pricing of the other unit will actually help the sale of unit #1501.
So there you have it. Some of Portland’s best penthouse condominiums on the market today! Again, if you are in the market to buy one of Portland’s finest penthouse condominiums or one the fits more into your budget, call Brad Golik today. It does not cost you anything more to work with a condo specialist!
Sales for the month of May continued in an upward trend from the previous month by 16% for condo sales in our covered area which includes Pearl District, Downtown and NW and the South Waterfront area. In this area ( $200,000 and above) 71 sales were recorded with the highest being a Penthouse unit at Waterfront Pearl that sold for $1,650,000. Speaking of Waterfront Pearl, it recorded the most sales for the month with 9 sales brought on, I believe by their new spring pricing that was released (as well as the extra 1% that was being paid out to Realtors for selling this property over other properties!). Of those 9 sales, 8 were priced above the $600,000 price point. So if you are wondering if condos in the upper price range are selling… the answer is yes! For the month, there were 3 condos that closed for over a $1,000,000 including a purchase by my clients of a beautiful waterfront condo at The Strand. One of the others was the one I mentioned above, the penthouse unit at Waterfront Pearl. This is a unit that I had mentioned before in my blog. With 3185 square feet, this unit sold for $200,000 off of the list price. While from the outside this may appear to be a decent bargain, only the future will tell. This was a fantastic floor plan with a ton of space but the downside is the lack of privacy with the north building looking right into your unit! Typically, when prices start getting over the $1,500,000 range, buyers want more privacy for their money!
Other buildings that recorded multiple sales include The Meriwether with 3 sales, Atwater Place with 2 sales, The John Ross with 2 sales, and also with 2 sales was 937. While inventory levels still remain low, we are starting to see more units come on the market that last few weeks. For buyers, this will be a good thing to give you more options in your search for a new condo. For sellers, the lack of inventory has been a good thing and while more units are starting to come on the market, inventory still remains below the norm.
Yesterday, while picking up my open house signs that I had in front of Encore, a person came up and asked me if it was a good time to be selling. My answer was yes but I also went on to explain to him that for patient sellers, it was a good time to push the price a bit if they were not urgently trying to sell. When the market lacks inventory, especially in similar price points, you can get away with pushing the price a little. This can change quickly however when several new units come on the market in your same price range.
If you are thinking about selling your condo in the near future, give me a call at 503-896-8856 to discuss pricing, and also, options available to you from a condo specialist that you won’t get with a typical real estate agent.
One of the things that I do appreciate when writing in a blog is the feedback that I get. Some of it good and sometimes bad. I don’t really mind when I get negative comments because it is expected whenever you are giving your opinion on something. I do realize my opinion will not always line up with others. Today was one of those days where I got, not really a negative comment, but one where they did not agree with me…and that is ok! Recently in my blog, I mentioned that agents that don’t use professional photos don’t deserve to list higher end listings. This is something I strongly believe. What I believe I said was that someone who was going to make $20,000 to $30,000 to “market” a Portland penthouse listing priced at $1,000,000+ and did not spend $200- $300 for professional photos, did not deserve to have that listing. I STILL think this is true!
The person who sent me the comment said he had just seen a condo priced at $970,000 that sold in a week and did not have professional photos… and yet it still sold quickly! Well, I believe I know what unit he was talking about, and yes the photos were terrible! Yes the unit did go pending in a short time even with bad photos. Sometimes that happens. Here is my point. Why would you not do everything possible to make your listing stunning and stand out from all of the others and try for a higher price. I also believe that someone that is so tight that they won’t spend money on photos will also cut back their marketing dollars in every area like staging, print ads, internet marketing, professional graphics etc. Even though this particular unit sold in a short time, how do we not know that if it could have gotten more people to look at it had it looked more attractive online? Could great photos have gotten 3 more buyers through the doors? Could it have gotten several offers that may have boosted the price some? Personally, I prefer to do professional photos for every listing whether it’s $400,000 or a $3,000,000 penthouse! ( a good example of this is a small studio listing I just brought on the market for $305,000… www.PacificaTowerCondo.com )
The point here that I want to make is if you have the ability (and small amount of money) to make a listing beautiful and stand out from all of the others on the market, why would you not do it? I will say it again, it is a huge disservice to the sellers when an agent does not give his/her very best for the client. There are good agents out there that are professionals and truly try to do a good job for there clients. If I do happen to not get a listing over another agent, I hope it is to an agent that puts his clients first and does everything possible in terms of marketing, not only because it’s the right thing to do… it is what we are being paid to do!
Show me an agent that is not spending money for professional photos and I will show you an agent that does not care!
Brad Golik is a condo specialist working in the Downtown, Pearl Distict and South Waterfront areas of Portland.
If you are looking to buy or sell a luxury Portland condominium, call Brad at 503-896-8856 or email him at email@example.com
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!
How’s the market?
The spring is usually the time when we see the real estate market start to take off. This is not the case so far this year. Why is that? It is because of a lack of inventory in the market. Currently we are close to 2 months inventory in the market, a number that is very low. This spring we were hoping for more listings to come on the market than what we have seen so far. With rising prices last year we thought we would see many of the condo owners who were underwater on their units, now have enough equity to put their condos on the market. This has not really happened yet.
How are condo sales going? Last month sales were up 24% from the previous month, not unusual for this time of year. In looking at the typical area we cover, which is downtown, Pearl District and South Waterfront there were 61 sales for the month of April (units priced $200,000 and higher). Of those 61 sales, only 11 of those were for over $500,000 and of those 11, only three were over $1,000,000. Pending sales appear to be going down as a result of the lack of inventory
What does this mean for you the buyer and seller? Typically with inventory at 6 months and below, it becomes a seller’s market. Does that mean it is not a good time to buy? No, not at all. It just means you are going to have to be a little patient and expect that you might even get into a multiple offer situation. Not always the case though. For example in the upper end of the condo market, there are some units that have been on the market for awhile. As the owners begin to drop the prices, you will want to be ready to pounce. Many of these units end up selling below market value because of their time on the market and the negative stigma that comes along with that.
As for seller’s, right now is a very good time to put your home on the market because you virtually have little to no competition so now you might be able to bump your price a little!
If you are a buyer in the Portland condominium market, don’t hesitate to call the Portland condo specialist, Brad Golik at 503-896-8856
If you are thinking about selling, now is a great time to do it. Give us a call and we can do a market analysis on your condo and also show you the best condo marketing in the city!
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
Portland Penthouse Update How are Portland penthouse sales going since the beginning of 2014? There has been some recent activity in penthouse units that have been on the market for sometime now. Last week, the two remaining penthouses at Encore got offers and are now in a Pending status. Unit #1606, priced at $1,850,000 and unit #1604 priced at $1,580,000. These units have been on the market a long time but patience may have paid off for the developer as these two units when sold will still have gotten over $650 a square foot. ( will keep you posted when they do close). In comparison, Unit #805 at Pacifica Tower was finally sold. Originally priced at $1,500,000, the agent then dropped the price $150,000 after only 1 month to $1,350,000. The sale closed last week at $1,228,900 … or only $455 a sq. ft.! This was a massive 18% off of the original list price! This is only slightly higher price per sq. ft. than a couple of the regular units recently sold for at Pacifica! I am not sure why the agents at Pacifica were not able to get something closer to the numbers the two penthouses at Encore got. Sure, Pacifica is not in the Pearl, but $200 a sq. ft. difference is HUGE for VERY comparable penthouse units! Other penthouses that are still on the market vary from the very attractive unit #901 at Waterfront Pearl which offers over 3,100 sq. ft and priced at $1,850,000 to the grossly overpriced penthouse unit #1601 at The Civic. The Civic unit, with only 2102 sq. ft, and located in what is not the best location is priced at $1,450,000. In my opinion, this unit is at least $200,000 high…maybe more. And the recent sale of the unit at Pacifica, with fantastic water and bridge views… and 2700 sq. ft and selling at only $455 a sq. ft. is going to kill any hopes of the owners getting anywhere near it’s list price of $1,450,000! If you are in the market for a Portland penthouse or other Portland luxury condominium, please give us a call and we will set a tour for you to view Portland’s finest condominiums! Give me a call today at 503-896-8856.
As a real estate agent, it always hurts to be interviewed for a listing and not get it. Today that happened to me on a condo that I know I could have done a great job of marketing on. The reason I did not get the listing over the other agent is that the seller was told by the other agent that because he had a few recent transactions in the sellers building, he knew the building better! It was certainly disappointing to hear that I did not get the listing for this reason. This is not the first time I have heard this from a seller as there are many agents that live in many of the high rise condos throughout Portland. In fact there are several agents living in the building mentioned above and those agents “Know” the building much more than the other agent does. The point I want to make here is that when selling a condo, knowing the building is NOT going to get the condo sold… good marketing will! I often tell sellers to search the internet like buyer’s do and see if those agents that “know” the building, show up anywhere? So if that agent says he knows the Atwater really well, search like a buyer would on that building. Go to Bing and search for “Atwater Place condominiums”, go to Google and search “Atwater Place amenities and HOA fees”. One thing I can tell you for certain is that those agents that say they know the building don’t show up on these searches…anywhere! Who does show up? Well, my websites show up on almost all of these searches. You will also find a couple of other agents that specialize with condos that show up on a regular basis as well.
The difference with my marketing is that my “Search Specific” websites show up and these are websites where I will be featuring YOUR listing and it shows up… and stands out in front of the buyer’s, which I call serious buyers that are searching for the above keywords we mentioned above. In my opinion, If I where a seller, I would much rather hire an agent that knows how to market the building and the condo, not someone that “knows” the building!
As the buyer of a condo, you want your purchase to be the very best possible deal that you can get. More often than not, going in with a super low ball offer is not the best suggestion. In a recent transaction I had, in which I was the listing agent, the condo sat on the market for some time as the seller just did not want to drop their price. After awhile, the rising market did catch up with our price and not only did we finally get an offer, we got 3 in the same weekend. For an example, we will use fictitious numbers.
The condo was listed for $575,000. The first offer came in at $510,000. This was a ridicules number based on recent comps available to us. We sat on the offer with no real intention of giving a counter offer as it was just not a serious offer. We told this to the other agent and just as we did, we got another offer that came in at $550,000. We told the first agent that his buyer needed to step up with a serious offer if interested. He came back with an offer also at $550,000. In these situations, we often go back to the buyers and let them know we had identical offers and if they wanted the home then they needed to put their best foot forward. As this was taking place, a third offer came in. As it played out, the second offer that came in at $550,000 came back with an offer of $557,000. This was very close to the number where the sellers were willing to sell at. The final offer that came in made their offer at $559,000. The first offer that came in…the one that was originally the $510,000 offer came in at $560,000, the highest of the three.
After reviewing the offers, my sellers choose to go with the offer of $559,000. Mostly, they did not want to deal with the person that gave them such a low offer originally, even though they came in at the highest price. In the end, my buyers choose the middle offer because they thought the buyers were nice people, they were expecting a new child and they had fantastic credit!…and the guy that offered them $510,000 originally, made them mad!
A lesson to learn: If you are going to give somebody a lowball offer, make sure you understand the possible consequences. Also, know your numbers! If you are going to make any low offers, make sure you have comps in your hand that justify a low offer! The comps can at times provide an upside potential for you the buyer if you can buy it right! That happens when a buyer is prepared by knowing the comps or if there is a situation involved that forces a sale at a low price.
When looking to buy a new condo, it pays to work with a specialist that knows the market! In my next blog posting we will discuss if there still any deals in the Portland condo market. Hint: Yes!