Great #1 all-time question! The answer is- that depends on if you are a buyer or seller and where you hope to move. In 2019 our East Metro market is very strong. The state of Oregon has a booming economy and is the Nations #2 state for net migration. That means there are far more professional people moving into our area than are leaving.
This increases demand and competition for good homes and leads to predictable value appreciation and short times on market. The good news is that although our values are increasing we are still one of the most affordable metro areas on the entire west coast. (At least for now)
When your life dictates a change we can assist you in determining the optimal time to sell given your specific set of circumstances. The best time to sell is definitely not a one size fits all answer. In colder months there are less buyers but proportionally less sellers. In the warmer months the number of houses on market may double along with the number of potential home buyers. We have sold many homes on Christmas and New Years day! That said in Oregon we have 9 predictably strong months of sales cycle per year. With increasing warmer weather patterns we can maximize your home sale anytime from February to October.
In Oregon you do not have to hire an agent to help you. However if you don’t hire an agent you could be making some very costly mistakes! (We have personally seen this many times.)
Selling a home yourself is a lot of work with many emotional, legal and financial pitfalls. Beyond the obvious tasks normally provided by agents, such as advertising and marketing the house, preparing and showing up for open houses, and helping prepare documents and negotiate, good agents take care of a lot of behind-the-scenes tasks. Things like helping you decide which repairs need doing and getting recommendations on repair people, and responding to questions by other agents or even unrepresented home buyers about the property. Many people put in hundreds of hours to actually lose money by not hiring an agent. In the long run their net profit is actually less than if they would’ve hired an experienced real estate agent to help prepare, market, negotiate and close their transaction.
Have you ever heard the true statement. “If it sounds to good to be true….” That applies double to this situation. Note that these hundred million dollar companies operate on pure profit only. That means they will only buy your home if they can turn around in 30 days and make a big profit. Here is how it works. Open Door will make an offer on your home $10,000-$15,000 below market value. These offers are made with approval from their huge pit bull legal department to you the unrepresented home owner. They will tell you this is a fair price to pay not to have to show your home or keep it clean etc. If the offer stopped there this may be a reasonable option – but it does not. In addition to the low offer on your home these companies require you to pay for additional repairs as determined by their staff inspectors. These repair demands can easily hit $10,000 and up. Again they are coming back to an exposed and unrepresented seller continued tough negotiation. If you do not agree to their repair demand the transaction is cancelled. If you do come to agreement to their repair demand the repairs are made and charged to you or subtracted from your low offer price. Finally after force feeding you on a low sales price and seller paid repairs you are charged a large sales fee of 7-8% of the sales price. Pretty good deal right? It is no wonder the lawsuits are piling up from sellers after closing feel their equity was stolen. Don’t take my word for it. Check out these companies on the Better Business Bureau.
Thanks to the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, many home sellers no longer owe taxes on the gain they make when they sell their houses. Married taxpayers who file jointly get to keep, tax-free, up to $500,000 in gain on the sale of their home, as long as they lived in it for two of the prior five years. Single folks and married taxpayers who file separately get to keep up to $250,000. If you’re lucky enough that your profits on the house exceed this amount, don’t panic quite yet — not all of it may be taxable gain, for example if you invested in home improvements.
If you use a real estate agent to sell your home, you probably won’t meet your buyers until after the closing — if then. Your agent will handle visits to the house by potential buyers. However, you may be handed photos of the prospective buyers, and personal letters, if they’re in a competitive bidding situation. And, you can certainly find out their names from the purchase offer forms, in case you’d like to Google them later. But, that’s still not a personal meeting. Even closings are often done separately, with you meeting with the escrow agent on one day to sign documents and the buyer doing so on another day. It’s not that there’s any law against meeting the buyers — but you’ll probably appreciate, at various times along the way, having your agent serve as a buffer in any negotiations and be the bearer of bad news, if need be.
It’s important to prepare in advance for buyers’ expectations about what you’ll leave behind. As a general rule, you’ll be expected to leave behind all “fixtures,” defined in most states as things that are affixed, fastened to, or an integral part of the home or landscaping. For example, lights and their shades (the sort that can’t be unplugged and carried away), built-in dishwashers and other appliances, window shades, curtain rods (and sometimes the curtains), built-in bookshelves, and all trees, plants, and shrubs with their roots in the ground instead of in pots are all normally considered fixtures. No matter how good they make the house look, if you don’t want the buyer to keep them, replace them before you start showing the house. Also realize that buyers may associate some items that aren’t technically fixtures so strongly with your house that they won’t be happy at you carrying them off — for example, a backyard statue that’s so perfectly placed in the center of a brick circle that you’d think it was a permanent part of the landscaping. The buyer may name such items in the purchase offer to make sure you leave them behind (or to start negotiations over them) — or may assume they come with the house and raise a fuss on closing day when they’ve been moved. Take a good look at what you plan to move. If anything falls into the category of, “a buyer may fall in love with this and assume it comes with the house,” decide now whether to move it before the sale or to buy a replacement.
Home buyers are increasingly looking for a home that’s move-in ready. So where does that leave you, as the home seller? Paying more money just to get money out of your home may be the last thing you were hoping to take on (or have the cash to complete). Nevertheless, some investment may be necessary in order to attract buyer attention and to sell for a higher price. At a minimum, you’ll want to fix obvious eyesores and danger spots, such as cracked windowpanes, tiles, and plaster. Correct high-priority issues like moisture leakage or rickety stairs. Walk around your house with a critical eye, noticing areas where you’ve always meant to deal with a problem, such as a light switch that doesn’t work or a window shade that’s lost its pull string — but haven’t gotten around to it. After that, a new paint job is one of the more affordable ways to give a house a fresh look. If painting the exterior is more than you can afford, consider at least painting the front door, and possibly the trim.
Commission is negotiable, period. Don’t let any Realtor tell you otherwise. This being said, the saying “you get what you pay for,” often is true when it comes to real estate. If a Realtor offers a lower commission, do you think they will negotiate aggressively on your behalf when it comes to the price? Also, if you were working for a reduced hourly wage from your “normal,” would you work as hard as you normally would? The answer is likely not. Choosing a Realtor based solely on the fact they offer the lowest commission amount is a top mistake made by home sellers when choosing a Realtor to sell their home.
This frequently asked question is not one sellers like to ask when selling a home, however, it can come up frequently. The hope when selling a home is a quick sale and top dollar. This isn’t always the case though. Every state and contract has different terms but generally speaking, if you decide to cancel the listing agreement, you could possibly be responsible for any expenses incurred by the real estate agent and their brokerage.
Every municipality is different, but in general, when making an improvement or change to a piece of property or land, a certificate of compliance (and/or permit) is required. When selling a home, potential buyer’s have the right to ask for certificates of compliance for any improvements, such as decks, patios, or sheds. Some buyer’s may not ask for any permits and some may. Technically, you do not need to provide any permits or certificates of compliance, however, you could lose a potential buyer over a simple fence permit. Our policy is if a buyer gets hyper focused on permits we move on and close with the next buyer.