New numbers from RMLS (Regional Multiple Listing Service) confirm demand for housing in our region and Oregon City remains strong. Click here for the complete report and see Oregon City highlights below.
The upward home price trend is thanks in part to a continued low supply of housing, where three to six months is considered a normal housing inventory. Our region has now been below three months of home supply for more than two years.
Greater Oregon City Market Averages
The average annual home price increase around Oregon City is 7.5% and the average market time for our area is now 48 days. The average selling price year-to-date is $387,500.
Thinking about selling your Oregon City home during our strong ‘seller’s market?’ Now could be a great time. Contact our OregonCityHomes.com sponsor, Certified Realty for a free consultation using the form below, or call (800) 637-1950.
Before entering into a business relationship, it’s helpful to know your Oregon City real estate agent is nice, patient, available when needed…and honest. So while many of us assume we’re ‘safe’ in the hands of our doctor, attorney or pastor, what about your Realtor?For the audio format of this presentation, find out more here, or use the player below.
Of special note is the OREA ‘Administrative Action’ section, which provides information about decisions regarding Oregon real estate violations. The resulting consequences to untrustworthy real estate agents could include a reprimand, license suspension, license revocation and/or a civil penalty. So while no screening process is foolproof (as witnessed by crimes committed by doctors, attorneys and other professionals), the state of Oregon does considerable due diligence to vet real estate agents.
As part of the application process to become an Oregon real estate agent, any felony and misdemeanor convictions and arrests must be disclosed. The disclosure requirement is fairly high, because in addition to any criminal activity, also requiring disclosure are any administrative proceedings, plus civil and even financial issues. For example, if a prospective Oregon real estate agent has an unsatisfied judgment or bankruptcy, each must be disclosed.
A Matter of Trust
Trust is an important factor when buying or selling real estate. Thankfully, trusting your Oregon City Realtor is not super risky. That’s because consumer surveys consistently reflect a high level of satisfaction with Realtor performance. One study by Forbes magazine revealed 96% satisfaction for the real estate industry. So if many real estate agents were dishonest, we could expect that figure to be much lower.
This doesn’t mean blindly signing off on every suggestion one receives from their Realtor. But obsessively hand wringing over transaction minutiae is one sure way to make the process less enjoyable. A recommended approach is for Oregon City homebuyers and homesellers to carefully read all documents, ask plenty of questions and work with a recommended professional with a solid track record.
Trust For Homesellers
Looking at trust from a seller’s perspective, for starters there’s significant trust needed to deal with buyers. For instance, trust is needed to allow strangers in your house. There’s also trust in taking your property off the market, in the hope a sale will go through. And trust in finding a replacement home.
Trust For Homebuyers
Trust is needed for Oregon City homebuyers, too. Trust is necessary in working with a lender and that the discomfort of prequalifying will be worthwhile. Trust they’ll find a home they like and can afford. Trust their lender will come through.
Trust For Both Homebuyers & Homesellers
So what do homebuyers and homesellers share in common? Trust. And there is perhaps no greater trust that Oregon City homebuyers and sellers have in common than in their Realtor.
After all, your Oregon City Realtor is someone you expect to be there to help navigate your way through what is frequently the largest financial transaction of a lifetime. Similar to an attorney or priest, Realtors are expected to keep confidences.
But let’s first look at a few situations which underscore why it’s important to be able to trust your real estate agent.
Trusting your Realtor means you don’t have to second guess suggestions you receive. Let’s take pricing your home, for example. If you can’t trust your agent to provide meaningful comparable home activity information, how can you possibly expect him or her to advise you once an offer comes in?
Trusting your Realtor means you can breathe easier with less stress. Buying or selling a home is considered to be a particularly stressful activity. In addition, most homebuyers and homesellers don’t want to take on real estate as a second job, especially when making a house move. So expect that by having your bases well-covered by a professional you can believe, you’ll find the entire process far less taxing. If a Realtor is ‘pushy’ and won’t listen to your concerns, it’s likely a good time to find a new one.
Trusting your Realtor means you can access his or her reliable resources. Speaking of taxing, if you need recommendations for an experienced 1031 tax exchange professional, or real estate attorney, or home inspector, or mortgage lender, or home repair contractor, expect those recommendations to be even more valuable from a trustworthy agent.
Trusting your Realtor means you can focus. There’s usually enough to deal with throughout the course of any real estate transaction. Dealing with lenders, appraisers, inspectors, contractors, title companies and the like can be overwhelming. As a result, you’re more likely to be far more effective if you can concentrate on what you’re best at, while having your real estate agent handle what he or she is best at.
Trusting your Realtor means more time. Just like you can expect to have more time to go fishing if you hire a contractor to build your new deck, working with a trustworthy real estate agent allows you to do other, more enjoyable tasks than scheduling a home inspection, constantly dealing with escrow details, or meeting an appraiser.
Relationship Chemistry Trust is easier when there is good ‘chemistry’ between a Realtor and their clients. When seeking an agent to refer for out of area homebuyers or homesellers, there are many things I can readily confirm. These include an agent’s years in business, designations earned, coverage area, plus areas of specialty like homes, farms or commercial property.
As a result, I’m frequently able to locate a very good Realtor to ‘match’ with an out of state homebuyer or seller and it’s not always difficult. That said, the one challenging element to know with certainty is the ‘chemistry’ that even a highly qualified, out-of-area Realtor will have with a new client.
People are different and that includes real estate agents. Most times relationships work out swimmingly with the referred agent. On rare occasions, it doesn’t work out. But going in and at least on paper, the homebuyer or homeseller who interviews a previously unknown, yet vetted Realtor, knows the agent is qualified and experienced, along with some important other facts about him or her. Plus, knowing these facts up front is typically less risky than taking a ‘shot in the dark’ with an unknown agent.
Does The Company Matter? Because agents are independent contractors, the individual Realtor is who typically matters most. After all, you don’t expect a faceless corporation to answer your late night question, or go over the details of your settlement statement. For example, I don’t care that much about what hospital I go to, but I want to have a say in the surgeon who will do the operating. Similarly, it’s the individual agent who is in a position to make the most difference, whether from a small or large office. However, longevity of a real estate firm can be helpful in determining that they are probably doing something right. So if a company you’re considering has been in existence for half a century or more, they’re likely not a ‘fly by night’ outfit.
Alternative Agent Finding Methods One of the ‘little-known secrets’ about real estate online and magazines is that they’re paid ads. Realtors frequently buy what are known as ‘leads’ online. Examples include Zillow and even Realtor.com. Sometimes this is done by the agent buying incoming inquiries regarding a specific zip code. Sometimes, the agent pays for better placement on a real estate website page in order to stand out.
If you decide to use a magazine or the Internet to locate an agent, it may be best to consider that as a first step of information gathering. Promotional materials can be misleading and if carefully crafted, can leave out a lot of important information. For example, if an agent is brand new, he or she may focus on how many agents their company employs, personal community involvement like donations to charity, or sponsorships. While these may be nice facts, they may not have a lot to do with the agent’s proficiency, professionalism, or trustworthiness.
Referrals Are Built on Trust One good way to find a trustworthy Realtor is to ask people you trust and get a referral. The ‘proof is in the pudding,’ so if your friend or family member is happy with a specific real estate agent, there’s a good chance for a similar repeat performance.
White Hat or Black Hat?
One area where certain real estate agents are sometimes revealed to be wearing either a ‘white hat’ or ‘black hat’ is in the area known as ‘dual agency’ or ‘disclosed limited agency.’ This is a situation when an agent with a listed property also works with the buyer. To be clear, most Realtors are aboveboard and honest, continually looking out for their client’s best interests.
That said, the challenge to some agents comes when the agent attempts to ‘elbow aside’ other buyers, their agents and/or offers, in order to push his or her offer through. Why on earth would a Realtor push hard to get their offer accepted, since it’s all about simply selling the house, isn’t it? Not exactly. That’s because if the listing Realtor also sells your home, they typically get paid more.
Dueling with Dual Agency In Realtor circles, the topic of dual agency has proponents and detractors. As a result, don’t expect every real estate agent you run into to have the same opinion. In reality, dual agency can be a very good thing, as seen in our previous article titled “5 ‘Insider Oregon Real Estate Tips.’ There, the topic ‘Having A ‘Double Agent’ Can Be A Good Thing‘ ranks as item #1 out of thefiveitems listed. The advantages to having an agent on both sides of a real estate transaction are clear.
The result, good or bad, can significantly depend on your agent’s trustworthiness. For example, hurriedly accepting the first offer can work out. That’s because sometimes the first offer is the best offer. Alternatively, acting without as much available information as possible sometimes comes at significant expense to the seller, who may be urged to quickly accept the offer their listing (seller’s) agent has written. The problem is that the listing Realtor can be expected to reasonably know how much activity there is on the property for sale. Again, trust is key here.
Plus, given the amount of agent and buyer activity, along with the quality of inquiries (such as highly motivated, qualified buyers), the seller’s Realtor may have even heard comments from other agents about possible future offers. So by pushing his or her own offer, is the listing Realtor providing the seller with all known information in order to truly serve the seller’s best interest? Sometimes the only person to seemingly know the answer is the listing agent. This Harvard Business Review article notes why this can be a problem:
“Take cheating. Claremont McKenna psychologist Piercarlo Valdesolo and I have conducted many experiments on the topic, and one surprising (if disheartening) result we have found, time and again, is that 90% of people—most of whom identify themselves as morally upstanding—will act dishonestly to benefit themselves if they believe they won’t get caught. Why? Anonymity means no long-term cost will be exacted. Even more startling is the fact that most of those who cheat also refuse to characterize their actions as untrustworthy; they rationalize their behavior even while condemning the same in others…”
More than once, an honest real estate agent working with a highly qualified and motivated buyer has inquired about a property, even written up that buyer’s offer, only to have the listing agent hurriedly put together his or her own offer and submit it to the seller in order to ‘tie up’ the property (and presumably make more money), before other offers can be considered. It’s a fact of the real estate business and as a result, unethical agents develop a reputation and are often viewed warily by others in the business.
The ‘Commission Effect’ If all these elements don’t sufficiently complicate the task of finding a trustworthy Oregon City Realtor, there is also a phenomenon you might call the ‘commission effect.’ This is outlined in a previous article titled ‘5 little Known Realtor Insider Tips:’Realtors Can Calculate Their Paycheck by Viewing a Property Listing Sheet. This means that for agents truly focused on maximizing their payday, you might expect them to guide you toward homes that pay a higher commission structure. However, the listing sheet is typically only seen by multiple listing members. Thankfully, most Realtors simply don’t do business in this manner.
The Bottom Line President Ronald Reagan sometimes used the term ‘Trust, but verify’ during his high level negotiations. This old Russian proverb could be a helpful approach to grant you peace of mind in finding a trustworthy agent for your next real estate transaction. Do your research and ask family and friends for Realtor references. Be open and honest, then make your best decision based on relevant, reliable information for your situation.
Do you have an Oregon City real estate question? Contact Certified Realty today using the convenient form below, or call (800) 637-1950.
Compared to the life of famed superspy James Bond, buying or selling Oregon City real estate is dull and monotonous, right? Au contraire. You might be surprised to see how such a comparison actually sizes up.
Click here or on the play button above to hear the audio podcast of this article.
Not So Mundane, After All How could the seemingly routine tasks associated with Oregon City real estate possibly compare to the life and adventures of ultra-suave Agent 007? Initially, it seems like a ridiculous question. Of course Bond’s life is far more treacherous, risky and ‘on the edge,’ right? As we’ll soon learn, not exactly. Buyers and sellers of Oregon City real estate have a lot more in common with the famous spy than first meets the bullseye.
Deceptively Daring Many actors have played Agent 007 in film, yet each brings to the Bond character their own unique imprint on the multi-faceted Bond persona. But while each person playing 007 is unique, in each iteration of the well-known agent we recognize Bond’s uncanny ability to ‘land on his feet’ and ‘avoid being bested,’ while inching (or sometimes speeding) toward his well-defined goal. Let’s examine some of the super spy’s cinematic character traits and how they might relate to your next Oregon City real estate transaction.
Turning The Tables
To an Oregon City homebuyer or homeseller, ‘landing on your feet’ might not equate to jumping from a high rise building. Instead, it might mean effectively dealing with endless surprises…like a low appraisal, or poor home inspection. It’s helpful to understand that one of Bond’s classic techniques is to shift bad odds to his advantage. Your way to ‘avoid being bested’ may not mean beating the tables at Monte Carlo like James Bond. Instead, it might be skillfully negotiating the terms of your Oregon City real estate transaction. And to an Oregon City homebuyer or homeseller, Agent 007’s ‘inching to his goal’ could simply mean patiently completing key tasks in order to close the sale. It’s nice to know that unlike the production of a Bond film, Oregon City homebuyers and homesellers typically complete their ‘mission’ substantially under budget and in a relatively short time span, with no loss of life or limb. This makes you arguably ‘better than Bond.’
Diamonds Are Forever…And So Is Real Estate
Here are some factors that make the so-called ‘average’ Oregon City homeseller or homebuyer more daring than even Agent 007.
Risk Agent 007 is frequently seen as daring and a tremendous risk taker. But while it’s true some of Bond’s actions are potentially perilous, it’s helpful to realize that his risks tend to be thoughtfully calculated. 007 is usually well-armed, whether that means carrying his Walther PPK, or preparing mentally for the task at hand. If he’s without a gun, James Bond is able to adapt and improvise, like using a fire extinguisher in the middle of a firefight to provide cover and escape.
Charmingly Disarming But if James Bond gets into a ‘jam’, he usually has his trusty sidearm to help take care of business. Yet using a small caliber handgun to get your way is not an option for Oregon City homebuyers and homesellers. As a result, your options are limited to less obviously coercive means than Agent 007 can wield. Requiring the use of ‘wits, not weapons’ takes certain things off the table for you, since Oregon real estate demands non-lethal resourcefulness. By having to use safer and more creative methods of persuasion, it’s fair to say that once again, the average Oregon City homeseller or homebuyer is arguably ‘better than Bond.’
For an example of Bond’s risk reduction techniques, have you ever seen Agent 007 gamble great sums of his own money on a dice throw? The usual answer is ‘Not a chance.’ That’s because Bond virtually always plays with his government’s money, not his own. Yet you, as an Oregon City homebuyer or homeseller, are laying your very own hard-earned capital on the table. So once more, in comparison you can arguably be seen as ‘better than Bond.’
Oregon City Real Estate Tip #1 From James Bond: Maintain Your Humor A superspy like Agent 007 doesn’t constantly walk around like a tough guy. It’s actually quite the opposite. Bond knows how to work a room and deliver a well timed joke. ‘Breaking the ice’ to disarm and/or relax the other side with a joke takes some guts…especially when someone means you financial or physical harm.
Savoir-faire Savoir-faire is a French term that roughly means: knowing what to do in any situation. Those with savoir-faire respond appropriately in a wide variety of circumstances. One dictionary reference suggests savoir-faire as demonstrating “a polished sureness in social behavior.” In other words, classic James Bond behavior, whether it’s disarming a bad guy, nuclear device, or flawlessly ordering the best item off a French menu.
Savoir-faire can be adapted to Oregon City real estate, where a wide variety of ‘tough to predict’ situations occur with surprising frequency. For sellers, this could mean having a buyer’s loan fail, possibly due to buyer disqualification like a credit score drop, or job change. Or perhaps your home needs a new roof and there simply isn’t sufficient equity to pay for it. Or there’s rampant dry rot. Or severe mold. You get the idea.
How 007’s Savoir-faire Can Work for Oregon City Homebuyers and Homesellers A prepared and practical approach to problem solving is what both James Bond and successful Oregon City homebuyers and homesellers bring to the table. Agent 007 is able to adapt and navigate in almost any environment, whether he finds himself in a high-stakes casino in Monaco, a posh ski lodge in the Swiss Alps, or a poor fishing village in Asia, Bond knows what to do. When buying and selling Oregon City real estate, you can adapt and navigate in different environments, too, including such changing factors as housing inventory (which can indicate if you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market) and fluctuating interest rates.
Just realize that no matter how things appear, some factors and outcomes are not completely determinable and sometimes virtually unknowable. For example, let’s say you’re selling your Oregon City home and have three offers on the table to consider. In this scenario, let’s suppose all buyers appear well-qualified and each offer is very similar to the others. Which one do you decide to accept? Which will actually close? Which buyer will be reasonable to work with? Which lender will have even-handed underwriting and not require needless delay or costs? Working with your Realtor, you can reduce risk, perhaps by focusing on how much each buyer is willing to pay, their down payment (where a larger down payment makes it easier for them to get a loan) and even the earnest money deposit and time to your closing date. Such an analysis can help boil things down to those that might make the most difference.
Oregon City Real Estate Tip #2 From James Bond: Always Have a Backup Plan
The key is to limit your downside risk by making the best decision possible under the circumstances and remain alert. For example, if after accepting one offer on your Oregon City home, the buyers begin loudly complaining about minor issues, have your Realtor stay in touch with other prospective buyers who expressed interest. That way, you keep the door open for a ‘Plan B’ and later, possibly a ‘Plan C’ if initial buyers bail on your home sale.
Debonair Agent 007 is often described as debonair. How can that term possibly apply to your next Oregon City real estate transaction? There are varied definitions to the term debonair, but related terms include courtesy,graciousnessandhavingasophisticatedcharm. These traits can be powerful and disarming when dealing with the other side on a home sale. An example of courtesy might mean allowing buyers to schedule a tour before closing for measuring room dimensions or determining paint colors. Being gracious could mean as a buyer you allow the home sellers an extra day to move out, particularly if their moving van broke down. Sophisticated charm might mean leaving a box of chocolates or champagne after you sell a home for when your homebuyers finally move in.
Small details perhaps, but such activities are often long remembered. If after moving out, you remember leaving priceless heirlooms in the attic of your former home, imagine how much nicer it will be to request the return of your precious items from the current owners with whom you’ve been civil and friendly. They are also more likely to even contact you if they find something you mistakenly left behind.
Oregon City Real Estate Tip #3 From James Bond: Secrecy There’s good reason undercover agents are also known as secret agents. ‘Don’t let them see you sweat’ is an adage Agent 007 works with aplomb. So you don’t want to lose out on your home purchase and are willing to substantially increase your offer, yet don’t want to overpay? Keep those cards discreetly close to your vest and understand that by doing so, you’re modeling James Bond, who can definitely keep a secret. He’s a spy, after all.
Humility Though James Bond can swagger with the best of those who hold the ’00’ license to kill designation, he’s usually discrete and avoids attention or bragging about his prowess. Such meekness is supremely beneficial in situations to disarm adversaries, while catching them off guard. Agent 007 doesn’t often talk about how many people he’s put in the hospital, or his annual income. Simply by observing him, it’s clear Bond has gravitas.
Courage Having courage when buying or selling Oregon City property doesn’t mean you don’t feel fear. It does involve pushing that fear aside to rise above whatever obstacle you are facing. Agent 007 pushes himself out of his comfort zone to face serious fears on a daily basis. This gets him used to feeling comfortable with the uncomfortable. As an Oregon City homeseller or homebuyer, once you desensitize yourself to fear, it will become easier to perform courageous acts, like counteroffering that offer you really don’t want to risk losing, or agreeing to substantial repairs in order to pass a home re-inspection and close the deal.
Be Patient In the middle of a real estate transaction, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. To be successful, it helps to have a well defined plan executed with patience. You also should allow sufficient time for your plan to work. For example, if you’re an Oregon City homeseller who doesn’t receive an offer in the first few days on the market, understand that if you’ve already examined the latest market data and the average market time is measured in months and not days or even weeks, realize your anxiety may be premature. Keep cool.
Consult An Expert When buying or selling Oregon City real estate, it doesn’t hurt to have an experienced Realtor as your own ‘Q’ to keep you out of difficult situations. An experienced Oregon City real estate broker is someone who has been ‘over the road,’ thereby saving you needless expense, time and worry.
So rather than having Bond’s sidekick ‘Q’ demonstrating gadgetry and armory (like a blowtorch on Bond’s Aston-Martin convertible), Oregon City residents can rely on the calm, cool and collected experience of a proven Realtor to more successfully navigate pitfalls sometimes found in Oregon City real estate.
Do You Have Questions About Oregon City Real Estate? For a free consultation, contact our OregonCityHomes.com sponsor, Certified Realty using the contact form below, or call them at 800-637-1950.
TMREI: Too Much Real Estate Information Sometimes absorbing the sea of Oregon City real estate information seems more like drinking from a fire hydrant. Yet, out of all the seemingly helpful real estate data bandied about, there is one especially helpful number, which when understood,can provide near-magical clarity to both Oregon City homebuyers and homesellers.
What Is It?
What is this ‘magic’ number and what does it represent? Simply put, it’s the current figure for housing inventory, typically expressed in months of projected home supply.
Housing inventory is also sometimes known as home inventory or housing backlog. Why is this number so important? Once you understand the single figure that defines our current supply of local available Oregon City area homes for sale, you have an instant ‘snapshot’ on whether you’re in a buyer’s market, seller’s market, or more of a balanced real estate market. Armed with that information, you’re far more ready to do battle in the real estate trenches and more likely to avoid some usual minefields.
Normal Home Supply
Among real estate experts, a ‘normal’ range for home supply in parts of Oregon is frequently cited as somewhere between three to six months. For example, if the home supply figure is three, then hypothetically our market would be ‘out of homes’ in three months, provided no new homes were placed for sale. In other words, if our regional home inventory figure is within three to six months, we’re typically experiencing a normal market, meaning one not far from a balance of supply and demand, also called equilibrium. In a way, it’s kind of like an absorption rate for how fast supply is used up.
Your Mileage May Vary It’s helpful to understand that home inventory figures are more of an average for a region. In Oregon, major real estate regions include Portland, Bend, Eugene, Salem and the Oregon Coast. Oregon City homesellers and homebuyers are likely to use the Portland area figure as a bellwether for housing backlog. It’s also possible your specific area could be somewhat different altogether, based on a variety of hyper-local factors affecting both demand and supply. That said, home inventory provides a convenient ‘thumbnail’ sketch to help assess what kind of market you’re in.
What’s The Practical Impact of Housing Inventory? Consider real estate and inventory like a pipeline. If more flows through it, the product is plentiful and therefore the cheaper it is to buy. So with a lower, dwindling home supply and the spigot turned down, the reverse is true. That’s when the local real estate environment favors sellers, because there are more buyers and it’s considered a ‘seller’s market.’ In that case, expect a short market time and an environment where homesellers receive multiple offers, often at or above listing price. If the supply of homes is higher, it’s considered a ‘buyer’s market.’ This means you can expect a longer market time, with homesellers seeing few, if any offers…and frequently for less than the asking price.
It’s routinely a good idea for buyers to get a ‘heads up’ before making an offer to determine how ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ the market is. Otherwise, if you ‘lowball’ a just-listed home in a seller’s market, you may be lucky to even get a counteroffer instead of an outright rejection by sellers experiencing lots of calls and showings on their property. Coming in with an offer that’s too low sometimes causes offended sellers to refuse to seriously consider a possible follow up offer.
So What’s the Big Deal About Oregon City Housing Inventory? One reason Oregon City housing inventory is so important is because it helps local buyers and sellers to better manage expectations. Most buyers are interested in how long it may take to find the ‘right’ house. Inventory affects this. Alternatively, most sellers are interested in how long it may take to find a qualified buyer. Inventory affects this, too.
That’s because a high home inventory tends to slow down the market time and low inventory frequently provides a ‘jump start’ to activity. One way sellers can help to avoid an excessively long market time is to review comparable local home sales information provided by their Realtor to ensure proper, market pricing.
Another reason housing inventory is crucial is because it can significantly impact so many other important factors. In other words, inventory is a ‘driver’ for market time, selling price, appraisal results, lendability and more.
Okay, So Inventory Is Important. What Does It Look Like?
The above image provides a good example of fluctuating home inventory. As greater Oregon City’s real estate market bounced back from the severe market downturn of the Great Recession, home inventory reduced from more than 20 months of housing supply to less than three.
Contact the Experts Thinking about selling your Oregon City area property? Know the market before diving in! Contact Certified Realty with your questions and for a free consultation on what your property could sell for today using the contact form below or call (800) 637-1950.