As many of you know by now, Pearl District Properties has shut it’s doors. I am still in the Pearl District and now at Total Property Resources!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist working in Portland’s Pearl District, Downtown and South Waterfront.
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
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 write in a blog, sometimes you will make statements that are right and other times you may be wrong. This is the risk that you make when you put yourself out there. At times I will mention that I think a unit that comes on the market might be overpriced, underpriced or priced just right. In the case of the new Cosmopolitan, the market has spoken! From the very beginning, I have said that I felt the Cosmopolitan was overpriced. Was I wrong? Well, the Cosmo is now about 85% sold out. The market has absorbed those high prices, prices that I mentioned were higher than Seattle’s Insignia development. How could I be so wrong? For the developer, Hoyt Street Properties, their timing was the perfect storm, in a good way. Not only did interest rates not go up as many have feared, they actually went down. The biggest reason the developer was able to capture these high prices… LACK of INVENTORY. This is where I was dead wrong in predicting what would happen in the market. I don’t believe anybody would have guessed we would have continued with the low inventory that we have continued to have.
Typically, as prices rise, owners who were underwater begin to see some equity and sell as prices begin to go up. This time around, it has not happened! This was the perfect storm for Hoyt. In regards to pricing, it really is the market that determines the price. Because buyers had no other options, they were forced to pay the high prices at The Cosmopolitan. In doing so, the developer never had to reduce prices like I thought they were going to need to do. So was I wrong in my saying they were priced too high? I am sticking to my guns in terms of my opinion on pricing. Again, I don’t determine prices nor does the developer, it is the market. Is Portland ready for $1000 a square foot prices? I still don’t believe so. Several agents have tried pricing a couple nice penthouses in town at the $1000 a ft. level and they are not selling. The real determination of pricing will come when these units go into the resale market. This has been my biggest fear in not wanting to put my clients in this building. While some are certainly willing to take that risk, it is hard to determine what the market will do between now and then. What I do believe though, is if the market were to turn around, I believe it will be very difficult to get the $800 to $1200 a sq. ft that the buyers paid. When things aren’t shiny and new it is more difficult. Will the extra height of the building justify those prices then? I am not so sure. The new Overton apartment building, which is slated for 26 floors, takes away some of the theory of not getting views blocked by being in a 28 story tower.
So was I wrong on pricing? Like I said, the market has spoken and the developer has won! However, somebody asked me the other day if my parents moved up from San Diego, would I sell them a unit there? My answer… NO! I would do exactly what I said was an option early on. I would rather find them a nice unit at The Metropolitan, Park Place, The Henry or The Casey at $600 to $800 a sq. ft and have them put $100,000 to $150,000 into it. That way they would have the dream kitchen they want (which is not ultra contemporary) and they could do some other things to make it exactly how they want it. They could have a unit that I believe would far exceed, in terms of finishes and design, what they would be getting at the Cosmopolitan. And not that the ultra contemporary finishes at the Cosmopolitan are not nice, Pedini cabinets, your only choice, are just not for everybody’s taste.
To finish up I want to add just one thing. Everybody that is buying at The Cosmopolitan is not just buying an investment, they are buying their new home that they plan on living in for many years. So for those people who don’t have plans or need to sell anytime soon, they will be living in a very nice building in a very nice part of the Pearl District. They will be in a building that offers many nice views and a building near several close by parks…it will be a nice place to call home!
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist with Pearl District Properties. I you are thinking about listing your Portland condominium, give Brad a call and learn about Portland’s best condo marketing program.
503-896-8856 l WWW.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
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!
In my last post I expressed my opinion on the pricing of the new 28 story condominium, Cosmopolitan on the Park. The feedback I have gotten back has mainly been very supportive of my article with a majority of people totally agreeing with my thoughts. Not all agreed with me though. One undisclosed comment ( perhaps someone with the development company?) thought that Portland was ready to support these prices. One even went as far as to say that they thought I might have an ax to grind with the developer. This could not be further from the truth. As an agent that specializes with condominiums, I was as excited as anyone for this new project to rise from the ground! With low inventory levels, the idea of having a new project to sell was just what I needed! I cannot sell something that I don’t believe in or something that I view as a financial risk to my clients. I may have some clients that might still make an offer but at least they will be going into it with a good idea of the market risk involved.
With that said, let’s just jump to the facts. To date in 2014, 35 condos have been sold in the $1,000,000+ price range. Now remember, these are the best of the best in the Portland condo market. The average price per square foot of these 35 sold units was $579. Only 4 of the 35 units sold above the $700 a sq. ft. level. Two of these were at The Casey, one was a penthouse unit at The Gregory and the other was a penthouse at The Henry.
Now to do our best to compare apples to apples we will take the average price per square foot of only the 2+ bedroom units at the Cosmopolitan because that is the case with our top 35. The average price per square foot of all the 2 bedroom units at the Cosmopolitan…. Drum roll please, $739 a square foot! That is $160 a square foot higher than the best of the best. Now keep in mind, a penthouse unit will often carry a higher price per square foot than typical units and a good portion of our top 35 units were penthouses and still the average was only $579!
The fact is that I just believe this project is overpriced for the Portland market and I believe the above numbers supports my beliefs. The real estate industry is really supported by comps and the numbers above, and market demand, do not justify the prices being asked. One person suggested because they were not paying buyers agents enough that my opinion was somewhat skewed. While the developer is paying substantially lower than the project I mentioned last week in Seattle as well as the hot new twin towers project, Lumina in San Francisco, sales credit has nothing to do with my opinion. What it does have to do with, in my opinion, is the greed factor. Cutting back to what they pay the agents that have helped them with past projects, and charging over-market prices to condo buyers is a win-win situation for the developer! Many years ago I interviewed the CEO of what was at that time the largest real estate company in the world. What he said to me still remains in my mind today. He said “The best real estate transaction is one in which everyone wins!” In this current situation…only the developer wins… that is until they need to reduce prices to get the project done!
Since our last blog post last week there have only been 3 additional sales at the Cosmopolitan, now with a total of 36 sales. These 3 units were 1 bedroom Garden level units priced in the $400,000 range.
If you have questions about the Cosmopolitan or would like to look at some of Portland’s other great condos, give me a call at 503-896-8856 and we can set up a tour or just discuss opportunities in the Portland condo market.
Brad Golik is a condominium specialist and can be found at www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
Back in March I wrote about a luxury condo that came on the market that I said was “way” overpriced. In fact. I took a little heat for my comments about that listing! This particular condo at The Casey came on the market for $1,699,901. When I ran my comps on that unit at the time the market value I had was $1,350,000. In my article I wrote about the potential problems with overpricing a unit so much. What I said what would probably happen is that the condo would stay on the market for awhile with little to no showings and then the agent would have the owner drop it $100,000. That would still not be enough so they would again drop it another $100,000. Then what would probably happen is it will get “Stale” on the market and when it does get an offer it will be a lowball offer!
Here is what actually happened with that condo:
It was originally priced at $1,699,901. After a month of no interest, the owner dropped the price $100,000. After another month had passed, and no interest, the agent had the owner drop the price another $100,000…now down to $1,499,000. After another couple months they finally got an offer ( yes a lowball offer) and it closed finally after 6 months on the market at $1,315,000, or another $184,000 off of the most recent list price!
Now I didn’t have a crystal ball that told me exactly what was going to happen, but I have been in business long enough to know that this was a classic overpricing and you could just feel what was going to happen. At the time it originally came on the market, inventory was low. While I said the market value was $1,350,000, the owner probably could have pushed the price to $1,400,000 and ended somewhere between that number and $1,350,000. While the owner, at the end accepted an offer for $1,315,000, his end number was actually worse because of his cost to carry. While it was on the market for 6 months, he still had to pay property taxes ($916/mo.) HOA fees ( $1,067/mo.) and mortgage payments ($5,000/mo.) total additional cost of $41,900 netting him an actual number of $1,273,100 before actual closing costs.
As a good listing agent, I always want to maximize the total return to the seller and I will always try to push the price for my clients. I am not an agent that promotes “SOLD in 2 days!” because that in my eyes is not always a positive! There is a fine line between pushing the price a little and overpricing a unit. In pushing the price a little, this is almost always a case by case situation depending on the listing and the timing of the market. More often than not, an excessive overpricing usually leads to a number well below the market value of where it should have sold!
The other comment I would like to make in regards to overpricing, if you are going to push the price a little, make sure that you have GREAT marketing. This starts with great professional photos and much, much more. Nothing is more frustrating then seeing a condo that is overpriced and has lousy marketing. At least with really good marketing you will increase the traffic to your listing and increase the probability of getting a better offer.
If you would like to know what the value of you condo is in today’s market CLICK HERE. Or give a call today to Brad Golik, Portland’s condo specialist! 503-896-8856
The other day I was at meeting with many other fellow real estate agents and overheard one of the agents talking to a group of other agents. Here is what she said: “I am so tired of people not considering us as professionals and viewing us 1 step above a car salesman!” I found this to be very interesting and only supported a belief that I have, and that is the fact that many agents are not very professional! As I looked at this person, one thing instantly came to my mind. Here she was at a “professionals” meeting and she was wearing jeans and looking anything but professional, as were about 3/4 of the agents there.. ( Have you ever watched House Hunters on HGTV? Many times you will see the same thing!) The second thing that came to my mind was the fact that I had just taken my car for an oil change at the Cadillac dealership. While there, I noticed the salesman. Every one of them had a suit and tie on!
The point I want to touch on here is if you want to be considered a professional, then act like one. No, wearing a suit does not make you a professional, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. The funny thing about the real estate business is that you have many different types and quality of real estate agents. The true professionals (usually dress everyday like they may meet a potential client that day) make a point to learn the business. They understand contracts, learn strong negotiation skills, have strong marketing skills. In other words, they take the time and make the effort to become a true “Professional”. Last week I went to view a million dollar condo for a client. I was pretty shocked when I showed up to see the listing agent in jeans who was trying to sell a million dollar condo. Again…a suit does not make you a professional but come on people. You want people to consider our profession as professional, start acting like it. You do have cultures within companies like Nike and Intel where it is appropriate to dress more casual, but we are not Nike and Intel.
There are over 8,000 real estate agents in the Portland area. Many more are becoming agents because they think it is an easy profession to make money in. (and they will soon learn how wrong they are.) Many of these agents are part time agents ( though you will NEVER hear that from their mouths!) It is very difficult to be a professional at anything unless you are giving it a majority of your time and you are spending that time to improve your skills.
If you are a seller or a buyer of a new home… hire a professional! If you are looking to buy or sell a condo, I would love the opportunity to interview for the job! If you are in the suburbs and looking for a “Professional” agent, give me a call and I will gladly direct you to a true professional.
Here is my take on professionalism in the real estate business. Professionals are good at what they do and they are worth every penny they charge! The ones who are not, and I believe that is a majority, can cost you plenty in a transaction.
It pays to hire a true professional!
Portland Condominium Specialist
Here is a partial list of condo sales from downtown, Pearl to South Waterfront:
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 email@example.com . You can also visit http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
Today I saw a listing come on the market that prompted me to write in my blog on the topic of working with a specialist. The listing was a condo in the Pearl District that came on the market priced at $1,699,901. (901?) Well the 901 is not the issue…interesting, but not the issue. The issue is the crazy price! This is a floor plan I know very well. It is also a floor plan that has MANY comps to support the pricing and where it should be. The o2 stack in this particular building has had 2 sales in the last year and 3 recent pendings. I currently have some buyer’s coming into town that will be looking in the $1,000,000 price range and this could be a perfect unit for them… except for one thing, the price! I called and spoke with the listing agent to see if there was a typo on the pricing ( yes, I really did!) He said to me that the pricing is correct. I asked him how he came up with the pricing on this unit. He told me that a unit (#1002) just went pending at $1,999,000 (and finally sold for $1,837,000) Well this is an 02 stack but it is also over 500 sq. ft. larger with many additional amenities to it. The agent had 5 very good comps to use and selected the one that doesn’t make any sense! The 02 units with the exact same floor plan as this particular unit sold for: #202…6 floors lower…$825,000, #602…2 floors lower…$899,000. 2 of the same units also just went pending (perfect comps!!!) #302 went pending priced at $925,000 and unit #502 went pending priced at $975,000. Now something can be said that the high priced unit is on a higher floor and looks over the apartment building next door, certainly worth an extra $100,000 over unit #502. I did question the agents reasoning on his pricing and mentioned that I would probably not show it to my out of town clients because it was so overpriced. His comment to me “That’s fine”. Really? When a property is so overpriced, reasonable negotiations are often very hard to come by, either the seller is not realistic or the seller’s agent has given the seller unreasonable expectations and then the seller won’t move off of their price. Well the topic of this blog post was “Working with a specialist”. The agent in this case is not a condo specialist and is in fact an agent from Hillsboro. In his defense of pricing, he told me that he has priced plenty of properties! This may be the case but he has NOT priced many downtown condos. What is the problem that seller might have by not working with a specialist? Well in this case. This unit runs the risk that it will not get shown because of my reasoning above. When it doesn’t get shown over time, the price must come down. What will probably happen here is the agent will drop it $100,000, and it still won’t get shown so he will drop it another $100,000 and it still won’t get shown. At this point the listing starts to become stale and it loses all of it’s WOW factor. Eventually. The price will get down to where it should have been to start. At this time you will start to get the lowball offers because it has been on the market for so long and it ends up selling for well below where it should have sold if it where priced right from the beginning. This agent clearly does not understand pricing in the downtown condo market… much as I would not be an expert in pricing Hillsboro properties! In addition, because this agent doesn’t normally work with condo buyers, he doesn’t have the marketing in place that has been targeting condo buyers for any length of time. To me, this is a BIG reason to select a condo specialist to represent you in the sale of your condo or loft! If you are a buyer and would like to see this beautiful unit, my advice to you, be patient! The price will come down. Call me and I will fight for a price that is realistic and makes sense for both you and the seller. http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com http://www.BradGolik.com
We all know that the Portland condo market has picked up and is doing well. How about the upper end condo market. Currently in Portland, there are eight penthouse condos for sale in the price area of $1,000,000 and higher. From a penthouse at Pacifica Tower priced at $950,000 to the “still on the market” penthouse at the Envoy priced at $2,495,000. In addition to the penthouses on the market, there also a couple lower floor units in the +$1,000,000 market such as a 13th floor unit at The Henry priced at $1,475,000 and a very steeply priced 10th floor condo at The Casey priced at $1,999,000. I say steeply priced because at nearly $2,000,000, I expect to be looking over nearby buildings…not looking into them. If I were going to spend $2,000,000 for a luxury condo, I think your dollars could be more wisely spent on unit #901 at Waterfront Pearl. This unit offers a spacious 3185 square feet with 3 bedrooms and a large extra room that could be an ideal theatre room, something you don’t often get with condo living. In addition, you are almost sitting on top of the Willamette River so views are pretty amazing!
In the last couple weeks, a penthouse unit at The Gregory was listed at $1,999,500 and sold in under a week. Yes, there are buyers out looking in this price range! When buying a penthouse condo in Portland, make sure that you are working with an agent that knows the market. If you are looking for a beautiful Portland penthouse condo, like the penthouse that just came on the market yesterday at The Meriwether, call me today and we can begin the process of not only finding you a great penthouse, but also negotiate you the very best price. When you work with me not only will you get a great tour of all the available penthouse condos, you will also get good advice as to the history of each unit and why they may have been on the market for so long or why one may sell quickly when others will not.
I am in the condo market everyday. I work hard to know the pricing in this market. This is something you will not have if you are selecting one of the luxury agents in Lake Oswego for example! And when it comes to selling one of Portland’s luxury condominiums, nobody offers a better condo marketing program in the + $500,000 condo market!
When it comes to listing properties, one of the most important things to look at is how good the agent is at marketing because, that is really what selling a home is all about. Sure, when it comes time to negotiate, you better have someone who is a fierce negotiator! One thing to look at is how good is that agent at marketing himself. This should be top on the agents list and if they can’t do a good job of marketing themselves, what makes you believe they would or could do a better job in marketing your home? Does this agent show up anywhere on searches? ( and I don’t mean when you search that agents name… of course they will show up!)
Listing a home is about SALES & MARKETING! Yet, over 95% of real estate agents don’t have a sales and marketing background. Don’t you think this is important to consider when you are about ready to pick up the phone and call the agent that helped you purchase your unit? Chances are pretty strong that they might NOT be the right agent to get the job done!
This week I was at a coffee shop in the Pearl and was sitting outdoors while doing a little work. While checking emails, a lady at the table next to mine, after seeing some real estate marketing on my table, asked if I was a realtor. After I said yes, she told me that she lived in a nearby building and that she had a friend that was thinking about selling their condo. Naturally, I asked if her friend had an agent selected to sell it? She said that she was thinking about using one of the “Building” agents. What she meant by this was that she was talking to one of the “on site” agents that works for the developers. She mentioned that she was going to use them because … in her words, “They really know the building!” It turns out that this agent also lived in the building.
While speaking with this very nice lady, it was interesting because she kept asking me some very good questions. One of the first things she asked me was whether it was really important or not to really know the building? My answer was NO! As a condo specialist, I make it my business to really understand and get to know each building but when selling a condo it is way more important to know how to market that building. With that said, I got out my tablet and showed her what I meant. I asked her to think like a buyer and then asked her a few questions. When we did some searches I pointed out many of my websites that showed up in those searches. I also pointed out that when we did some searches in regards to her building, this other agent that “really knows the building” was no where in site. More importantly, none of her listings showed up either! This is not uncommon with the onsite agents at these newer buildings. You will not find one of them that shows up with high rankings on Google or Bing. Most of these onsite agents don’t do a very good job of marketing. Part of the reason is that they typically don’t have to as the developer pays for all the marketing for new sales. When it comes to using one of these agents for resale, they are not the best choice for selling your condo.
Agents that specialize in selling condos (some…not all) spend much time, energy and money to insure that they show up on Google and Bing because that is where condo buyers are looking. I personally have many websites that show up because that is how I get my clients listings in front of buyers. When a buyer knows they like the Metropolitan, they will do some research on the building. They will check to see what the amenities are, what the HOA fees might be. This is where my listings show up. In front of serious buyers! You will never find an “onsite” agent show up here nor will you ever find their listings. You can read more about whether you should hire an onsite agent on one of my websites at : Should I hire an onsite agent to sell my condo?
You have many options to look at when selling your condo. To me, the most important two things to look at when hiring an agent to sell your condo should be that the agent is a strong negotiator and second, they should have a strong marketing program that focuses on condominium buyers! How well you know the building does NOT put buyers in front of your listing!
If you are thinking about selling your condo or loft in the future, or know of someone who might be, please keep us in mind. We would love to sit down with you and share our very unique marketing program with you. Feel free to visit us online at www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
If you are in the market for a new Portland condominium and you heard that it is a sellers market based on inventory, you are probably thinking there are no deals out there! While it is true, it is harder to find deals in the market, they are out there. If you are a serious buyer and looking for Portland condominiums or lofts, you would be best served by working with an agent that specializes in that market. As a seller, no question that you should work with a condo specialist, after all, they have marketing that is directed towards buyers everyday. But what about buyers? By working with a specialist, you are working with someone who is in that market everyday and really knows the market and how to identify value. Are there values still out there? Sure, because sometimes sellers may list with an agent that does not really understand the condo market as well as they understand the housing market. This happens often!
Recently, I went to a brokers open house for a new listing of a penthouse condo in the Pearl District. After touring the unit, the agent holding the open house asked me what I thought about the units condition, floor plan and pricing. Not being shy to offer my opinion, I told him that I thought it was under priced at $925,000. I was a little surprised when the agent didn’t ask me how I came to that assumption. In fact, he seemed a little bothered by my answer. ( He did ask me for my opinion!) If he would have asked me why, I would have told him that a unit that was only slightly bigger over at The Casey just went pending at $899,000. This 6th floor unit had views that looked right into the new apartment complex that was built across the street. The Elizabeth 14th floor unit had far superior panoramic views of the city, west hills and beautiful evening sunsets from it’s spacious 35 foot deck. Another penthouse in the Pearl District had also gone pending, unit #1411 at The Henry. After sitting on the market for some time at much higher prices, this units price was dropped to $999,000 and went pending 20 days later. This penthouse condo also had great city views but was also 340 square feet smaller and was essentially a 1 bedroom, den (the den could be converted back to a second bedroom). I did mention my thoughts to another agent that day and he said “Yes but the Elizabeth has pending litigation and is cash only!” Guess what… it went pending after only 10 days!
In an earlier posting on our blog we talked about not leaving money on the table. Some agents listings will just get listed at prices lower than where they should be for a number of factors. In the example above, it may have been the agents lack of knowledge in pricing condos over houses. Perhaps the seller just wanted to unload it quickly? Either way, buyers will find deals out in the market, even in todays “sellers” market. There may not be many of them but if you are working with a specialist who is in that market everyday, your chances are much higher that you will find a great condo at a good value!
If you are in the market to buy or sell a Portland condominium, come visit one of our many condominium websites such as www.ElizabethLoft.com , www.TheCaseyCondominium.com or www.HenryCondominium.com or visit our main portal websites www.BradGolik.com and www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
Selling your Portland condo?
Spring is here and it is a great time for those who have been thinking about selling to move forward. How do you go about selecting an agent to list your condo or loft? Here is what I see happen quite often. Many people will use a the agent that helped them originally purchase the condo. Others will get referrals from friends or family based on the job that they had done with them. Here is the problem with this, either of these agents may have done an ok job assisting you or your friends with a home out in the suburbs, but they are not a specialist. When selling a condo or loft in the city, it is VERY important to work with someone who specializes with condos… and here is why:
As a condo specialist, my focus everyday is on condos, condo buyers and condo marketing! The biggest consideration you should give to an agents is how well does he/she do with internet marketing. After all, there are no yard signs with condos and lofts. The internet is were a majority of the condo buyers are coming from. If an agent does not have a strong internet presence … your listing also won’t have a strong internet presence either! One thing you will find out very quickly is that EVERY agent on the planet will tell you they will market your condo on the internet.
I have been at this for some time now and the one thing I can tell you with 100% accuracy is that a typical real estate agent who is selling residential homes in Lake Oswego one day and then Beaverton the next cannot flip a switch on and become an expert overnight at marketing to condo buyers, it just doesn’t work this way. If you know even just a little about internet marketing, you will know this to be true! As a condominium specialist, I have spent much time and money developing an internet marketing program that gets listings in front of serious buyers. And when I say serious buyers, I don’t mean someone that gets on Google or Bing and searches Portland Condos. These are buyers who may be in the very starting phase of research and not really very serious… it took me sometime to realize this! Serious buyers are those who are researching things on the internet… and ALL buyers are doing this now! They go to Bing and Google and begin to research on specific buildings they think they may like. They begin to search to see what the amenities are at the building, they search to find out about the HOA fees at the building. Many buyers are doing this well before they hire a buyers agent to work with. Buyers are smarter than ever before and as your listing agent, our goal is to make sure that YOUR listing is in front of these serious buyers and when it is, to make sure it is presented in a special way that makes it stand out from the other hundreds of condos in the market! At LuxuryCondosofPortland.com , we have close to 80 Portland condominium and loft websites that we use to attract serious buyers. We use these websites to “cross market” to buyers and our websites currently generate over 2500 visitors a month who are looking for specific condo information.
Most typical agents say they will market your home on the internet and this is what they usually mean. They will place your condo on their corporate website, the MLS, Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow. Now don’t get me wrong, it is important to have your listings on these websites and yes, I do feature all of my listings on these websites as well. But… it is not nearly enough! When someone gets on Google to search for “The Henry HOA fees” or “What amenities does The Casey have” these websites don’t show up! What does show up? Usually not just 1 of our sites, but typically 5-6 of our websites on page 1 of a search and 1 of these websites will be featuring your condo! Go ahead and check: Search Google for “Benson Tower HOA fees”. What do you find? One of our current listings at the top of the list!
If you are selling your Portland condo I encourage you to work with a condominium specialist at the very least! There are a handful of agents who specialize with condos. Of these agents, there are only a few that really do have a strong internet presence. These few agents are getting between 1500 to 2500 condo visitors a month to their websites. This alone should put these agents way ahead in the marketing department compared to a typical real estate agent that wants to sell your condo. Again, a typical agent cannot flip on a switch and become an expert overnight at marketing to condo buyers! And this includes agents who may have been referred to you.
At LuxuryCondosofPortland.com we would like to interview for the job of selling your condominium or loft and show how we are different.
In real estate, it is remarkable how much mediocrity people will live with, maybe it is because they don’t realize what else is out there. I believe that average is NOT acceptable and I want to show you what else is available to you when it is time for you to sell your condo! Don’t settle for mediocrity!
Serving buyers and sellers in all price ranges in the mid to high rise condominium markets.
The Penthouse at Waterfront Pearl. Looking for a spacious condo with water views? Welcome to the newest Portland penthouse listing at Waterfront Pearl! Last night I went to an evening open house of this unit and was actually impressed with the floor plan of this unit. This penthouse condo is priced at $1,049,000 and features 2 bedrooms and a den that is currently set up as a media room. While not large in terms of media rooms, it is comfortable and makes for nice space to watch your favorite movie. The total size of this unit is 1927 square feet. What I like about this particular unit is the fact that the bedrooms are very separate from the main living spaces. The kitchen is large and features Viking appliances. While the views are pretty industrial, the positive is that this unit is fairly private and does not have an adjacent building peering in on it. The water views are great, looking to the East and downriver to the North. Traffic on the Freemont Bridge in the distance offers a moving light show of entertainment at night while the boat traffic during the day is always fun to watch.
How does this unit compare to other condos priced near the $1,000,000 range? I would say pretty favorably. Lets start with the penthouse unit #1601 at Encore. Priced at $1,196,000, the Encore unit is slightly smaller. While it does have a larger deck space, the views from the Waterfront Pearl unit are much nicer. Priced at $1,199,000, unit #1411 at The Henry, in my opinion, does not compete. The Henry condominium is essentially a 1 bedroom with den with only 1620 square feet of living space and is not a penthouse floor. Originally priced at an insane price of $1,350,000, its current price is still high especially compared to the Waterfront Pearl unit that has a superior floor plan. unit #2300 at Atwater Place, priced at $1,070,000, offers 1692 square feet but is a NW corner unit…no comparison to the direct water views offered by unit #1001 at Waterfront Pearl.
If you would like to view the penthouse at Waterfront Pearl, please give us a call. We are condo specialist with a focus on the upper end of the condo market. We will negotiate aggressively on your behalf to get you the best purchase price possible. If you would like to tour other Portland penthouse condos or other Portland luxury condominiums, call Brad Golik at 503-896-8856
Forbes announces America’s Best Hipster Neighborhoods
See the full story and see how neighborhoods were selected.
The Pearl District is known for its art galleries and studios. It also has quite the java culture, with the second highest concentration of coffee shops per capita on our list. Farmer’s markets include the massive Downtown Portland market. Like Williamsburg, gentrification has led to higher costs-of-living in the area, with luxury Portland high rise condos emerging on the streetscape and warehouses converting to massive loft residences.
August was a very good month in the Portland condo and loft market with sales up 34% over July sales. Once again leading the pack was Encore in the Pearl District and Atwater Place in South Waterfront, both with 5 sales for the month. Two of the Atwater Place sales were resale units. The most remarkable thing about the 55 sales for the month was that only 2 of these sales were bank owned properties and just one was a short sale! With that said, there are currently 24 condos and lofts in the Pearl, Downtown and South Waterfront areas that are in a short sale pending status.
Buyers continue to find decent deals in the Portland condo market. An example of this can be found in the recent sale of unit at City Lofts. After being way overpriced at $1,100,000, and being on the market well in excess of 400 days, buyers were able to pick up this 2,456 sq. ft. unit for $760,000, more than 30% off its original list price. This shows us two things: 1)There are good buys to be had in the market and… 2) Sellers, don’t overprice your unit when you go to sell it. It will end up costing you more money in the long run!
At LuxuryCondosofPortland.com we are excited about the market! If you are in the market for a new Portland condominium, give us a call and we will get you out to see everything that Portland has to offer. If you are thinking about selling your condo or loft, again we encourage you to work with a condominium specialist. We don’t believe that an agent can’t just flip on a switch and become an expert in marketing to condo buyers overnight! We have worked hard to create a marketing program that targets serious condo buyers everyday. And, like marketing for any product, the more exposure it gets, the better your chances of getting a higher price!
The Henry is located on Couch between 11th and 12th. It consists of 123 Condos that
were built in 2004. This half block includes a retail base of approx. 11,000 sq.
ft. on the ground floor with three floors of parking above and 11 stories of
luxury condominiums. Situated in The Brewery Blocks at the entrance to
Portland’s Pearl District. The Henry Condominiums received gold LEED certification from
the U.S. Green Building Council, becoming only the third residential building in
the United States, at the time it was built, to achieve this rating for
sustainable design and construction. Portland
condos in the heart of the Pearl District.
Location: Pearl District
For the last several years we have heard from so called experts that we have hit a bottom in the housing market. Those who made that call a couple years ago were very wrong. But today, I think we are very close! While very much like the stock market, it is very difficult to call a bottom. All the signs are starting to point to a true bottom and leading indicators to me are the decreasing inventory and the reappearance of…multiple offers!
A recent story in the Wall Street Journal stated that “Economists aren’t always right, but on this at least they agree: A new Wall Street Journal survey of forecasters found 44 believe the housing market has reached its bottom; only three don’t.
I personally don’t always have the most faith in economist, in fact, I used to say that you could switch all the economist with all weatherman and no one would know the difference! Times have changed…weathermen now have doppler radar!
To quote just about every lawyer I know… “It depends!”
The reason I say it depends is that it depends on who helped you with the purchase of your condo. Was this agent a condo specialist?
If not, I would recommend using a condo specialist. The agent you used in the past may be a very good agent that did a decent job in assisting you with you purchase. (and by the way…I always recommend working with a specialist when you are looking to make a purchase!) The difference really comes down to knowledge and marketing. An agent that spends his time specializing in a specific niche, like condos, will usually have a much better understanding of pricing. After all, this agent looks at every new condo that comes on the market everyday and will develop a pretty good understanding of what is priced correctly and what is not. An agent that does not specialize with condos maybe evaluating prices of homes in Lake Oswego one day and then Forest Heights the following week.
As an agent that specializes with condos, I take great offence to the agents who believe that is ok to put a condo into the MLS and wait. Now don’t get me wrong, any agent can sell a condo…but at what price? As someone who specializes condos, my marketing is geared towards condo buyers EVERYDAY! I believe that for an agent to get top dollar for his seller, they need to do substantial marketing… especially when it may be a difficult listing. I believe that the key to marketing anything is to get your product more exposure and make it STAND OUT…the more people that see it will increase the odds of getting a better price. Also a key factor in marketing anything is to “target” the right buyers for that product. An agent that spends their time trying to find home buyers everyday is not marketing and looking for condo buyers on a daily basis. This is what we do!
Our approach is very different than most agents but it is an approach that is effective. At LuxuryCondosofPortland.com, the use of our websites generates over 2,000 visitors a month, and the majority of those are searching for…. you guessed it, condos!
The next topic we will cover: Now that you have decided that it is smart to go with a condominium specialist, which one should you choose to list your condo?