Why a Real Estate Professional Is Key When Selling Your House

60767 Blackfoot Trail, Bend, OR 97702
Presented by Kimberly Hooper | Offered at $1,100,000 | MLS# 220140849

From Keeping Current Matters

With today’s real estate market moving as fast as it is, working with a real estate professional is more essential than ever. They have the skills, experience, and expertise it takes to navigate the highly detailed and involved process of selling a home. That may be why the percentage of people who list their houses on their own, known as a FSBO or For Sale By Owner, has reached its lowest point since 1985 (see graph below):

Here are five reasons why selling with a real estate professional makes more sense, even in today’s hot market:

1. They Know What Buyers Want To See

Before you decide which projects and repairs to take on, connect with a real estate professional. They have first-hand experience with today’s buyers, what they expect, and what you need to do to make sure your house shows well.

If you don’t lean on their expertise, you may spend your time and money on something that isn’t essential. That’s because, in today’s low-inventory market, buyers are willing to take on more of the renovation work themselves. A survey from Freddie Mac finds that:

“. . . nearly two-in-five potential homebuyers would consider purchasing a home requiring renovations.” 

A professional can help you decide what you need to tackle. It’s not canned advice you could find online – it’s recommendations specific to your house and your area.

2. They Help Maximize Your Buyer Pool

Today, the average home is getting 4.8 offers per sale according to recent data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and that competition is pushing prices up. While that’s promising for you as a seller, it’s important to understand your agent’s role in bringing buyers in.

Real estate professionals have an assortment of tools at their disposal, such as social media followers, agency resources, and the MLS to ensure your house is viewed by the most buyers. According to realtor.com:

“Only licensed real estate agents can list homes on the MLS, which is a one-stop online shop of sorts for getting a house seen by thousands of agents and home buyers. . . . This is certainly one of many good reasons why the majority of home sellers decide to employ the services of a listing agent rather than going it alone.”

Without access to these tools, your buyer pool is limited. And you want more buyers to view your house since buyer competition can drive your final sales price higher.

3. They Understand the Fine Print

Today, more disclosures and regulations are mandatory when selling a house. That means the number of legal documents you’ll need to juggle is growing. That’s why Investopedia says:

“One of the biggest risks of FSBO is not having the experience or expertise to navigate all of the legal and regulatory requirements that come with selling a home.”

A real estate professional knows exactly what needs to happen, what all the paperwork means, and how to work through it efficiently. They’ll help you review the documents and avoid any costly missteps that could occur if you try to handle them on your own.

4. They’re Trained Negotiators

If you sell without a professional, you’ll also be solely responsible for all the negotiations. That means you’ll have to coordinate with:

  • The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent, who will use their expertise to advocate for the buyer
  • The inspection company, which works for the buyer and will almost always find concerns with the house
  • The appraiser, who assesses the property’s value to protect the lender

Instead of going toe-to-toe with all these parties alone, lean on an expert. They’ll know what levers to pull, how to address everyone’s concerns, and when you may want to get a second opinion.

5. They Know How To Set the Right Price for Your House

If you sell your house on your own, you may over or undershoot your asking price. That could mean you’ll leave money on the table because you priced it too low or your house will sit on the market because you priced it too high. Pricing a house requires expertise. Investopedia explains it like this:

“. . . There is no easy or universal way to determine market value for real estate.”

Real estate professionals know the ins and outs of how to price your house accurately and competitively. To do so, they compare your house to recently sold homes in your area and factor in the current condition of your house. These factors are key to making sure it’s priced to move quickly while still getting you the highest possible final sale price.

Full article on Keeping Current Matters


Housing Inventory Uptick Expected Within 6 Months

202 G St, Gearhart, OR 97138
Presented by Nicki Whittle | Offered at $2,395,000 | MLS# 21055496

From housingwire.com

Nearly 65% of homeowners planning to sell this year expect to list by the end of summer, which should provide a much-needed influx of inventory that should slow the explosive home price growth seen during the pandemic, according to a Realtor.com survey of prospective sellers.

Realtor.com Wednesday released the results of the online survey of 3,000 consumers conducted in February by HarrisX. More than six in 10 prospective 2022 sellers said they intend to put their homes on the market within the next six months, suggesting some upcoming relief to one of the worst housing shortages in history, it found.

“While sellers are expected to hold the upper hand in 2022, navigating the listing process remains a challenge – particularly for those also buying in today’s fast-paced market,” said George Ratiu, Senior Economist & Manager of Economic Research at Realtor.com. “Homeowners who are ready to move forward with pandemic-delayed plans will find plenty of opportunity this spring and summer. Although accelerating inflation is leading to higher housing costs and living expenses, many buyers remain interested in finding a home. At the same time, recent housing trends suggest demand is beginning to moderate as higher mortgage rates push monthly payments out of some buyers’ budgets, underscoring the long-term need for more affordable inventory.”

Whether the nearly two-thirds of potential sellers follow through with their plans to list in spring or summer will prove integral to buyers hoping to make a purchase before interest rates inch up even higher, according to the news release from Realtor.com.

“In a positive sign that homeowners are serious about listing, many sellers are already getting their home ready. However, they’re doing so with great expectations of the current market, which means buyers should prepare for sellers asking for high offer prices, quick closes, waived contingencies and more,” it said.

Full article at housingwire.com


There Are Several Great Reasons To Consider Buying a Condo Today

1900 S River Dr N401, Portland, OR 97201
Presented by Yvonne Blewett | Offered at $1,200,000 | MLS# 22100298

From Keeping Current Matters

If you’re a first-time buyer looking to break into the housing market but struggling to find a home to buy, condominiums (or condos) could be a great alternative for you.

Here are a few reasons condos may be something you’ll want to consider.

Exploring Condos Could Add Options That Fit Your Budget

Supply challenges are a reality across the board in today’s housing market. Broadening your home search to include condos could increase your overall pool of options. Just keep in mind, condos generally differ from single-family homes in average space and floorplans.

In a recent articleBankrate covers some of these differences:

“Condos are generally more affordable because they come with less space — you likely won’t have your own backyard, for example, and the interior tends to be smaller than the square footage of a single-family home.”

But if the size of a condominium meets your needs, they could match your budget as well. Data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the difference in the median price for both housing types. For single-family homes, the median price is $363,800. And for condominiums, the median price is lower at $305,400.

So, if budget is top of mind for you, a condominium could be a great fit within your target price range.

Not to mention, buying a condo is a great way to break into the market and start building equity that can help power a future move up. The condo you purchase today may not be your forever home, but it can be a great stairstep that can help you buy your dream home later on.

Find Out if Condo Living Is Right for You 

In addition, owning and living in a condo is also a lifestyle choice. While it’s true they may be smaller than single-family homes, the amenities condos provide could be a draw for many buyers. Less space in your home might mean minimal upkeep, lower maintenance, and more time for you to spend doing the things you enjoy.

To understand if condo life is for you, Bankrate recommends asking yourself a few simple questions:

“Hate to mow the lawn and trim the hedges? What about pressure washing your driveway? Are your finances such that having to lay out $5,000 or more for a new roof will be a burden? . . . Condos tend to work best for those comfortable with most of the aspects of apartment living, minus the built-in maintenance.”

Ultimately, talking with an expert real estate advisor is the best first step to determining if condo living might work for you.

Full article on Keeping Current Matters


Contract Signings Slide—But Not Due to Falling Demand

5990 NW Homestead Way, Redmond, OR 97756
Presented by Tarris Rogers | Offered at $939,900 | MLS# 220140916

From REALTOR® Magazine

Pending home sales fell in February for the fourth consecutive month, but the decline isn’t due to waning demand from eager home buyers. In fact, it’s just the opposite: Competition is growing fiercer, even as buyers face record-low inventory.

The National Association of REALTORS®’ Pending Home Sales Index—a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings—fell 4.1% month over month in February and 5.4% annually. All four major regions of the U.S. registered a decline in annual contract activity last month. “Buyer demand is still intense, but it’s as simple as ‘one cannot buy what is not for sale,’” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

Buyers are facing limited choices, higher home prices, and rising mortgage rates, which has led to a 28% annual increase in mortgage payments, according to NAR. Still, many aspiring home buyers are in a rush to get ahead of further rate increases that are likely on the horizon.

Yun is forecasting that 30-year fixed mortgage rates will likely average about 4.5% to 5% for the remainder of the year. He also is forecasting a 7% reduction in home sales in 2022 compared to 2021, partially due to higher costs pricing out more home buyers. “It is still an extremely competitive market, but fast-changing conditions regarding affordability are ahead,” Yun says. “Consequently, home sellers cannot simply bump up prices in the upcoming months but need to assess the changing market conditions to attract buyers.”

Full article on REALTOR® Magazine


A Record-Month for Bidding Wars in the U.S.

18000 Sarah Hill Ln, Lake Oswego, OR 97035
Presented by Laura Piccard & Drew Quinn | Offered at $1,999,900 | MLS# 21201774

From Mansion Global

There’s no end in sight to the intense competition for homes that’s upended the U.S. real estate market since the start of the pandemic—especially in the entry-level luxury market.

In February, homes listed between $1 million and $1.5 million recorded the highest bidding-war rate of 76.6%, according to the Redfin report Friday, that analyzed home offers written by its agents. Nationally, a record 68.6% of all homes saw bidding wars on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The percentage of homes facing bidding wars has generally been increasing over the last two years. In April 2020, 32.7% of homes experienced bidding wars compared to 60.2% in February 2021. Even though the growth has been slower since 2021, this year’s performance keeps breaking records.

Full article on Mansion Global


State-by-State Breakdown of Fourth-Quarter Equity Gains

2238 NW Trout Ct, Camas, WA 98607
Presented by Connor Zuvich | Offered at $2,995,000 | MLS# 22389470

From REALTOR® Magazine

Rising home prices have brought rising equity gains for homeowners. In the fourth quarter, the average homeowner nationwide gained about $55,300 in equity over the past year, according to a new analysis released by CoreLogic, its latest quarterly “Homeowner Equity Insights” report.

Western state homeowners are continuing to see some of the largest equity gains by dollar value.

For example, Hawaii, California, and Washington saw the largest increases in average equity gains in the fourth quarter. Hawaii posted an average $128,300 annual gain, followed by a $117,000 increase in California, and $95,500 in Washington.

Full article on REALTOR® Magazine


Down Payment Assistance Programs Can Help You Achieve Homeownership

515 NW Kansas Ave, Bend, OR 97703
Presented by Wendolyn Cooper | Offered at $2,490,000 | MLS# 220139200

From Keeping Current Matters

For many homebuyers, the thought of saving for a down payment can feel daunting, especially in today’s market. That’s why, when asked what they find most difficult in the homebuying process, some buyers say it’s one of the hardest steps on the path to homeownership. Data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows:

“For first-time home buyers, 29 percent said saving for a downpayment [sic] was the most difficult step in the process.”

If you’re finding that your down payment is your biggest hurdle, the good news is there are many down payment assistance programs available that can help you achieve your goals. The key is understanding where to look and learning what options are available. Here’s some information that can help.

First-Time and Repeat Buyers Are Often Eligible

According to downpaymentresource.com, there are thousands of financial assistance programs available for homebuyers, like affordable mortgage options for first-time buyers. But, of the many programs that are available, down payment assistance options make up the large majority. They say 73% of the assistance available to homebuyers is there to help you with your down payment.

And it’s not just first-time homebuyers that are eligible for these programs. Downpaymentresource.com notes:

“You don’t have to be a first-time buyer. Over 38% of all programs are for repeat homebuyers who have owned a home in the last 3 years.”

That means no matter where you are in your homeownership journey, there could be an option available for you.

Full article on Keeping Current Matters


Sotheby’s International Realty Achieves Historic Year with Record $204 Billion in Global Sales Volume

63225 Lookout Dr, Bend, OR 97703
Presented by Tebbs & Little Group | Offered at $7,500,000 | MLS# 220124010

From prnewswire.com

Sotheby’s International Realty is pleased to announce that its global network achieved a record US$204 billion in 2021 global sales volume, a 36% increase in sales growth year over year, as U.S. cities saw a resurgence of interest following the pandemic and sales activity in secondary and resort markets around the world remained strong. The brand’s U.S. sales volume grew by 33.8% year over year, significantly outpacing NAR’s national increase of 20.6% from the prior year,¹ underscoring the brand’s leadership in the high-end market.

“Real estate proved to be a hot investment in 2021,” said Philip White, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty. “Once again, agents affiliated with Sotheby’s International Realty outperformed the industry average and achieved record-breaking home sales as buyers continued to depend on their trusted expertise to navigate a constrained market.”

Reinvigorated Interest in Cities and Continued Strength in Secondary Markets Fueled Sales

27415 Siuslaw River Rd, Lorane, OR 97451
Presented by Daniela & Maria Abarca Roberts | Offered at $3,900,000 | MLS# 21583590

The Sotheby’s International Realty® brand’s existing presence in major metropolitan and resort markets around the world ensured the brand was well-prepared to meet the renewed interest in cities and the sustained boom of secondary home markets.

Interest in U.S. cities such as New York, Miami, San Francisco, and Austin returned to pre-pandemic levels and helped trigger record-breaking sales. Other U.S. cities, such as Atlanta, Houston, and Los Angeles, also saw strong performances in 2021.

With remote and hybrid work models influencing buyer behavior in 2021, secondary markets and resort areas continued to produce high demand and increased prices. In the U.S., areas such as Florida, Hawaii, and Colorado saw record performances. Globally, second-home markets in Australia, Spain, and Switzerland and resort areas in the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Turks & Caicos, and Puerto Rico achieved notable growth and record sales.

As buyers continued to prioritize properties that offered more space and land, states with no income tax such as Florida, Texas, and Wyoming offered added appeal, while the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Singapore remained popular for their favorable tax structures and saw significant gains.

An Award-Winning Year for the Brand’s Innovative Technology and Offerings

1707 SW Schaeffer Rd, West Linn, OR 97068
Presented by Tina Wyszynski | Offered at $15,000,000 | MLS# 21675422

Sotheby’s International Realty continued to lead the industry with its technology and marketing efforts. Sothebysrealty.com saw more than 46 million visitors in 2021, a 25% increase year-over-year and the most visits to the website in its history. The site was also named Best Real Estate Website in the People’s Choice Category in the 25th Annual Webby Awards, recognizing the brand’s efforts to introduce translations in 14 languages, nearly 60 currency conversions, and a mobile-first approach to emphasize the method in which today’s clients are buying and selling homes.

Property videos, which exploded in popularity during the 2020 lockdown, have continued to trend as more buyers start the initial viewing process online. Videos produced by Sotheby’s International Realty agents were played nearly 90 million times – a 50% increase year-over-year.

Sotheby’s International Realty was also awarded the honor of 2021 Top Luxury Brokerage by Inman, the industry’s leading source of real estate information. The prestigious award is a testament to the brand’s achievements in luxury marketing, record-breaking sales, and high-quality service.

“Buyers continue to rely on virtual technology to make their homebuying process more convenient,” said Chief Marketing Officer, Bradley Nelson. “As a brand, we have always sought out to establish the highest standard for marketing luxury properties and I am proud that our marketing and technology investments have been recognized as the ‘best’ in the industry in 2021.”

Fortifying a Strong Network with Global Growth

3807 Old Lewis River Rd, Woodland, WA 98674
Presented by Brandy Pettet | Offered at $5,750,000 | MLS# 21300616

During another record year, Sotheby’s International Realty continued to strategically expand its presence around the world. In 2021, the brand opened 86 new offices, bringing the brand’s total presence to more than 1,000 offices in 79 countries and territories with more than 25,000 independent sales associates worldwide.

“Sotheby’s International Realty continued to expand internationally in key markets,” said Tammy Fahmi, senior vice president of global servicing and strategy for Sotheby’s International Realty. “In 2021, the brand opened offices in five new territories and our international sales volume grew by 56% year over year. Our global presence is a draw for our agents and clients, and we continue to evaluate markets that will support our strategic growth.”

In the EMEIA region, the brand expanded to Oman and Morocco and opened three new offices in the Swiss Alps region. In the Caribbean and Latin American region, the brand opened new offices in Jamaica and St. Kitts & Nevis during a boom of Caribbean interest.

As affluent individuals looked to purchase homes in a market with limited inventory, Sotheby’s International Realty agents acted as true global real estate advisors. Referral sales volume within the brand’s global network increased by nearly 80% year over year and the average sales price of these referrals increased by 21% year over year.

“Our ability to produce another historic year amid record demand and low inventory shows beyond a doubt that Sotheby’s International Realty agents are resourceful, committed, and informed to meet and exceed the needs of their clients,” concluded White.

Full article at prnewswire.com


Home Sales Surged in January

30260 NE Springhill Rd, Troutdale, OR 97060
Presented by Dennis Coxen | Offered at $3,949,000 | MLS# 21486145

From REALTOR® Magazine

Homebuyers appeared in a rush to lock in mortgage rates ahead of further increases and to take advantage of any housing inventory they could find last month. Existing-home sales climbed 6.7% in January compared to the prior month, led by the strongest gains in the Southern region of the U.S., according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest existing-home sales report.

Sales rose even as housing inventories fell to an all-time low and home prices increased at a much swifter pace, NAR reports.

Existing-home sales—completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.50 million in January. Sales, however, are down 2.3% compared to a year ago, NAR reports.

“Buyers were likely anticipating further rate increases and locking-in at the low rates, and investors added to overall demand with all-cash offers,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Consequently, housing prices continue to move solidly higher.”

Meanwhile, “the inventories of homes on the market remains woefully depleted, and in fact, is currently at an all-time low,” Yun adds. Homes priced at $500,000 and below are vanishing from the market. Supply is rising at the higher price ranges. “There are more listings at the upper end—homes priced above $500,000—compared to a year ago, which should lead to less hurried decisions by some buyers,” Yun adds. “Clearly, more supply is needed at the lower end of the market in order to achieve more equitable distribution of housing wealth.”

5 Key Housing Indicators

Here’s a closer look at how existing-home sales performed in January, according to NAR’s latest report:

  • Home prices: The median existing-home sales price increased at a stronger pace in January, climbing 15.4% annually to $350,300.
  • Inventories: Total housing inventory at the end of January was 860,000 units, plunging nearly 17% from a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 1.6-month supply at the current sales pace.
  • Days on the market: Seventy-nine percent of homes sold in January were on the market for less than a month. Homes are selling faster than last year. Properties typically stayed on the market for 19 days in January, down from 21 days a year ago.
  • First-time home buyers: First-time buyers accounted for 27% of sales in January, down from 33% in January 2021. As home prices increase and mortgage rates rise, first-time buyers could be getting priced out of the market, Yun notes.
  • Investors and second-home buyers: Individual investors or second-home buyers purchased 22% of homes last month, up from 15% a year ago. They tend to account for the largest bulk of cash sales, which accounted for 27% of transactions in January.

Regional Breakdown

The South saw the largest uptick in home sales last month, but all four major regions of the U.S. posted gains. The following are how existing-home sales fared in the main regions of the U.S. in January.

  • South: home sales climbed 9.3% in January compared to the prior month, reaching an annual rate of 2.94 million. That is an increase of 0.3% from a year ago. Median price: $312,400, an 18.7% increase compared to a year ago
  • Midwest: sales increased 4.1% in January compared to the previous month and reached an annual rate of 1.51 million. That is equal to the level a year ago. Median price: $245,900, a 7.8% rise from January 2021
  • Northeast: sales increased 6.8% in January, reaching an annual rate of 780,000. That marks an 8.2% decrease from a year ago. Median price: $382,800, up 6% compared to January 2021
  • West: home sales rose 4.1% and reached an annual rate of 1.27 million in January, down 6.6% compared to a year ago. Median price: $505,800, up 8.8% from January 2021

Full article on REALTOR® Magazine


New Report from Sotheby’s International Realty Predicts Another Strong Year for Luxury Real Estate

18625 Macalpine Loop, Bend, OR 97702
Presented by The Ladd Group | Offered at $4,997,000 | MLS# 220138572

From prnewswire.com

According to a recent report from Bloomberg discussing a report from Sotheby’s said: “The only thing that can slow the global luxury market in 2022 is … greed.”

It’s impossible to underprice a property in this environment,” says Bradley Nelson, Chief Marketing Officer of Sotheby’s International Realty, which released its 2022 Luxury Outlook report on Monday.

A potent combination of sky-high bonuses, accelerating intergenerational transfers of wealth, low-interest rates, and the specter of inflation “makes investing in a concrete, fixed asset like real estate attractive to many as they balance their portfolios,” Nelson says. The environment is such that, no matter how low a property is listed, demand and competition will push its price to the top of the market.

“We brokered a co-op sale in New York,” Nelson says. “The asking price was $40 million, and there were multiple billionaires interested in purchasing it at the same time,” he continues. “The market is a living, breathing thing, and it’s going to give you feedback when fresh, desirable inventory comes on the market.”

“The real estate market is now being driven by hybrid work vs. remote work,” he says.

Tax considerations continue to drive luxury purchasing decisions. “That’s really the headline in both the United States and internationally,” says Nelson. “You’re going to see the greatest investments continue to be in tax havens.”

The article continued: “The lack of state income tax in Texas and Florida will help those states’ luxury markets retain their luster, he says, while tax increases in countries as disparate as Oman, Ireland, and Canada, which just instituted a 1% tax on the value of homes held by nonresident, non-Canadian owners, could adversely impact luxury prices.

Finally, Nelson says the biggest impact on luxury real estate is gradually going to become apparent over the next five years: “Transacting in crypto,” he says, “is going to grow in exponential ways.”

Full article at prnewswire.com