Condo and loft sales for the Portland area from The Pearl District down to South Waterfront continues to move along nicely. With 43 sales in the +$200,000 market we are pretty much staying steady with where we have been on the monthly totals the last few months. July could be very different though as we currently have 90 properties in a Pending status for this area of the condo and loft market.
Lower end condos outpaced the high end this month with no closings over the $1,000,000 mark. The low end of the market certainly looks as though we have hit bottom with newer listings in some areas getting multiple offers. Part of the reason for this seems to be the low inventory we are seeing which is somewhat unusual for this time of year. One possible reason for this low inventory seems to be that more people are renting out their condos instead of putting them on the market…somewhat of a catch 22 here. The rental market is hot and monthly rentals have gone up. Now with inventory low, sellers are able to push their price a little as choices for buyers are limited. Not a bad time for owners to sell with current inventory under 4 months!
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Many condo sellers will want to push the pricing on their condo or loft when they go to sell it… many times even when their Realtor advises against it. What often happens is that the seller will usually end up chasing the market down! A case in point, a beautiful Jeffrey Lamb http://www.jlambstudio.com/ designed condo, one of my favorites, at Park Place in Portland finally went Pending after 440 days on the market. This fantastic condo was originally priced at $1,195,000. The listed price when it went pending was $997,000. So the best case scenario…it sells at list price. Even then it will have sold for more than -16% from it original list price.* While it may appear that the sellers were getting $198,000 less than they were hoping for, let’s look at the real numbers. If the sellers would have priced it closer to market value at the time, maybe $100,000 to $150,000 less, it would have had a very good chance of selling in 3- 6 months somewhere in the $1,050,000 range, instead, it will sell for (again best case scenario…$997,000) The sellers would have made about $50,000 more than what will be the reality. What is often overlooked though is the cost of carry! The sellers had this condo at Park Place on the market for over 15 months. Now let’s say they put a couple hundred thousand down when they made their original purchase. This would have given them a monthly mortgage payment in the $5,000 a month range. The HOA fees were about $705 a month and taxes were about $850. So the actual cost to carry for the 15 months was about $98,000. Had they sold in a 6 month scenario like mentioned above, their cost to carry would have only been $40,000. In the end they could have netted an additional $110,000 or more than what will actually happen.
( ***This unit actually sold for $945,000 or -21% off of it’s original list price)
So what does all of this mean?
As a real estate agent, my job is to try to sell your condo for the highest possible price and do it in a reasonable time period. Time and time again we see sellers trying to “test” the market with an overpriced listing and having it come back to hurt them in the long run. Here are a couple of thoughts to think about when selling.
Lead the Market… don’t chase it! The end result, unlike the above example, it will result in a quicker sale saving you on mortgage payments, HOA fees and taxes. Also, a home that is priced correctly will attract more serious buyers who are ready to pull the trigger and make a full price offer for fear of losing a “decent” value.
Increased Response… When agents see a new listing come onto the market that is priced correctly, they will make special efforts to tell their buyers about the unit. The end result will be more showings with qualified buyers.
Less Inconvenience… Let’s be honest here. Nobody enjoys having strangers walking through their home. In addition, it takes much time and energy to keep your home in “Show” condition as well as constantly having to make arrangements to leave for showings.
Great Internet Marketing… Do NOT underestimate the importance of this one fact. 93% of buyers begin their search on the internet. Work with an agent that is a condo specialist and most important, one that has strong internet exposure! If you own a mid to high-rise condo in Portland and plan to sell, do some research. Think like a buyer and search on Bing and Google and do searches like serious buyers do. Search for “The Casey Portland” , “Encore condo HOA fees” , “Atwater Place amenities“. What do you see show up on these searches? What you will see is a couple us agents who specialize with condos. This is where you want YOUR LISTING to show up …right? What you won’t find are agents that are usually selling homes in Beaverton or Lake Oswego!
Bottom line… if you are selling your condo or loft, work with someone who has marketing that is targeted to condo buyers EVERYDAY!
I believe that marketing is the most important thing when selling your condo. But remember, on overpriced condo can easily have you selling your condo for far less down the road than if you would have had it priced correctly from the beginning!