Market Activity ~ Nov 5-11, 2012

Last week shows 15 New on the market, 12 Pending and 18 Sold.

See below for further details on last week’s Market Activity:

NEWLY LISTED (Nov 5-11, 2012)

Address List Price # Beds # Baths Total SF Prop Type
13 CRESTFIELD CT $46,916 1 0.1 550 CONDO
4 TOUCHSTONE #113 $94,900 2 2 1000 CONDO
13 MOUNTAIN CIR $235,000 3 1.1 1374 DETACHD
16060 INVERURIE RD $235,000 3 2 1458 DETACHD
18807 SW KRISTI WAY $269,900 3 1.1 1256 DETACHD
1621 LARCH ST $395,000 3 2.1 3040 DETACHD
39 NOVA CT $399,900 4 2.1 2590 DETACHD
1670 FIRCREST DR $425,000 4 3 2000 DETACHD
600 MAPLE ST $445,500 3 2.1 2416 DETACHD
2302 OVERLOOK DR $589,900 4 2.1 3125 DETACHD
1015 SOUTHSHORE BLVD $638,500 4 3 3882 DETACHD
1800 NORTHSHORE RD $3,795,000 4 6.1 7660 DETACHD

PENDING SALES (Nov 5-11,2012 2012)

Address List Price # Beds # Baths Total SF Prop Type CDOM
55 OSWEGO SUMMIT $64,000 1 1 721 CONDO 180
3894 BOTTICELLI ST $175,000 2 1.1 1132 CONDO 12
5055 FOOTHILLS DR A $198,711 3 2 1252 CONDO 534
44 GREENRIDGE CT $199,900 3 2.1 1996 ATTACHD 358
18409 BENFIELD AVE $230,000 3 1.1 1400 DETACHD 56
16758 GRAEF CIR $259,000 3 1 1295 DETACHD 158
5785 CARMAN DR $265,000 5 2.1 1934 DETACHD 68
2955 WEMBLEY PARK RD $360,000 3 2.1 2620 DETACHD 74
6109 SUMMER WOODS $394,900 4 2.1 2331 DETACHD 16
16746 Mellon ST $548,850 3 2.1 2724 DETACHD
13366 BOONES FERRY LN $598,900 4 2.1 3564 DETACHD 183
2180 PRESTWICK RD $1,100,000 3 1.1 2391 DETACHD 87

SOLD (Nov 5-11,2012)

Address O/Price Close Price # Beds # Baths Total SF Prop Type CDOM
16311 INVERURIE RD $199,000 $170,000 3 2 1525 DETACHD 20
209 HIDALGO ST $359,900 $333,000 4 2.1 2609 DETACHD 18
14190 TAYLORS CREST LN $389,900 $365,042 4 2.1 2577 DETACHD 20
16014 SW PARKER RD $589,950 $438,000 5 3 2277 DETACHD 149
18123 WESTVIEW DR $474,900 $441,500 3 2.1 2608 DETACHD 106
1580 WOODLAND TER $499,900 $489,900 4 2.1 2127 DETACHD 185
10 SHERWOOD CT $535,000 $525,000 4 3.1 3289 DETACHD 10
2058 SUMMIT DR $1,390,000 $1,325,000 3 2.1 3137 DETACHD 18

Criteria: Homes in the 97034 and 97035 zip code, listed, pending or sold between the dates listed above as reported by the Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS). DETACHD refers to Single Family Detached Residence, MFG refers to manufactured housing, and ATTACHD refers to single-family residences with some portion of the structure attached to another property, but not constituting CONDO ownership. DOM stands for days on market, or the number of days from when the listing became active and when it received an acceptable offer, with CDOM standing for “cumulative days on market” accounting for “refreshed” listings

Open Houses ~ Nov 11, 2011

Ahhhhh…. Fall…. Get out and enjoy these Beautiful Open Houses!

Address L/Price # Beds # Baths Total SF Style Open
4231 WOODSIDE CIR $279,500 3 2 1943 DETACHD 1-3PM
16909 TRACY AVE $279,950 4 2 1499 DETACHD 1-3PM
36 AQUINAS ST $324,900 3 2 1606 DETACHD 1-3PM
979 DEVON LN $397,000 4 3.1 2162 DETACHD 1-4PM
39 NOVA CT $399,900 4 2.1 2590 DETACHD 1-3PM
13005 PRINCETON CT $413,000 3 2.1 2294 DETACHD 1-4PM
1429 GREENTREE CIR $459,500 4 2.1 2599 DETACHD 1-3PM
17087 Tualatin ST $564,950 4 2.1 2622 DETACHD 12-3PM
15655 FIELDSTONE DR $589,500 4 2.1 2750 DETACHD 12-3PM
5533 FIELDSTONE CT $599,500 4 2.1 3115 DETACHD 12-3PM
5088 WOODCREST LN $599,900 4 2.1 3056 DETACHD 1-3PM
18096 Pilkington RD $625,000 3 2.1 3182 DETACHD 1-3PM
1131 DEVON LN $649,900 3 3.1 3179 DETACHD 1-3PM
2065 LILLI LN $695,000 5 3.2 4112 DETACHD 1-3PM
135 MIDDLECREST RD $699,900 3 2.1 2882 DETACHD 11AM-1PM
8 DOVER WAY $975,000 6 4.2 6244 DETACHD 1-3PM
18202 BELLA TERRA DR $994,900 4 3.1 3863 DETACHD 12-2PM
112 NORTHSHORE CIR $1,650,000 4 3.1 3632 DETACHD 11AM-4PM

Out of State?

Ok, you are reading the Property Blotter, so you are probably at least considering buying a home in Lake Oswego, Oregon, which is a fantastic place to live right outside of Portland, Oregon. What Dianne and I know is that many of our readers are keeping up with the local market from out of state. We know this from our web statistics, and also because we end up working with many of you!

Recently the subject of guidelines or advice around making a purchase from a distance came up, so I thought I’d address it a bit here. The biggest point I want to make is that you need to gauge your tolerance level for trust, and go from there as you contemplate next steps. No Realtor in their right mind wants to proceed forward in a business relationship with someone who does not trust them, and you need to make sure you feel very good about a Realtor’s representation of you, and then, once you make that “trust” decision, believe in them and let them do their best for you. This is what’s best for everyone in any typical transaction.

* The first piece of advice I’d give is to make sure you have your own Realtor. You say, “Of course I’d have my own Realtor, what are you talking about?” Many people do not understand the way brokerage works in real estate in general, and in Oregon in particular. In Oregon, a Realtor can indeed represent both parties in a transaction. The potential for this is disclosed to all parties, including the Seller when the Listing is begun, and when a Buyer makes an offer it is disclosed at that time as well. If this choice is made by the Buyer (you), please just take note that the Seller’s agent has been working with the Seller to obtain the best offer possible from the beginning of the Listing, up until meeting you! Though I have participated in this kind of transaction many times in good faith, there is not that nice, clean/clear feeling of a line between the representation of the Buyer & the Buyer’s interests… and the interests of the Seller. If you are needing to feel that absolute trust that you probably are, considering your geographical distance, I’d play it safe and use your own Buyer’s agent.
* BUT, you ask, “Won’t I get a better deal on the home if there is only one agent?” The short answer is “No.” …not according to the existing listing contract, which is between the agent and the Seller alone. But… “Not necessarily” is the most correct answer, as the Seller’s agent does not need to agree to lower their commission at all during negotiations unless they’ve stated in the listing that they have agreed to do so already. Now, does it sometimes happen that a price gets lowered as a result of the agent and the Seller agreeing to modify their commission agreement with each other in the middle of a transaction? Yes. But the important thing to remember is… they may not decide to adjust price that way at all, and are under no obligation to do so. That does not mean that additional agreements between them cannot happen, but, well, enough said. You get it : )
* So, we’ve established that trust is essential between Buyer & Realtor in a long-distance transaction. The very best scenario is when the Buyer (you) can visit the home at least once before an offer is made. If you can take a week or a few days/weekend and visit, touring with your Realtor, that is optimal. If this is not possible (and technology makes long-distance choosing so much more do-able as you can review photos, tours and property information… even “Google-Earthing” neighborhoods… all online before making your decision), then the second-best thing is to make sure that you, the Buyer, are at the property on the day of Inspection (Ideally, you see it in person AND are at the Inspection : ). You have ten business days, in most instances, to inspect the property, and potentially back out of the deal receiving your earnest money back should you find something that is a “deal-breaker” for you during those inspections. The third best thing is to have a local friend (if you have one near the property you are purchasing) look at the home with your Realtor, and give you their own feedback in addition to photos and videos you are receiving, and information you are receiving from your Realtor. I had one physically disabled Buyer client in California who was unable to see the property at all during the entire process until after the deal was closed and they moved up… so “moving day” was the first actual experience of the property “in person” for this client. Did it all work out, you ask? Yes : ) Satisfaction and happiness were the result, but I made sure to include a close friend in this area during every step of the process, providing additional comfort for my Buyer client.
* “Closing” (or signing, really) can take place out of state as well if necessary. Make sure to pad your closing timeline a little in your offer to allow for any overnight shipping of documents etc, before the property can fund and record. But, some escrow companies have offices in many states, so that’s one way you can be accommodated. There are also notaries who can come to your home and help you in that way. The best scenario, of course, is when you can make it here to Oregon (in this case) to sign in the escrow office handling your transaction. I nearly always accompany my client at the closing table to be an extra set of eyes, answer questions, smooth over or have corrected any last-minute mistakes, and most importantly…. be a comfort to my Buyer clients who are making (for most) the biggest purchase of their life.

There is so much more we could talk about with regard to long-distance transactions, but let’s pick this up in another post! As always, please feel free to contact me for any help at all in your search for a Portland area or Lake Oswego home!

Very Best,
503 318 2116

More Control Issues

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about what you have control over when Selling your home and what you do not.  I promised to address some “control issues” around Buying as well, and so here are a few thoughts:

Lenders:  Do you have control over whether you are approved to purchase a home that you fall in love with? Yes. When you begin your search for a new home, the first stop ought to be a good lender.  A decent percentage of home Buyers do not begin this way, and it is the source of much disappointment and frustration.  I often will take Sellers out looking for properties when I list their home on the market so that they can begin to get an idea of what they like & don’t like in a new home, (and it gives them the opportunity to see how other homes are presented… giving them *hopefully* an incentive to tidy theirs up and create a good showing : )  Very often these clients of mine poo poo talking to a lender before we venture out… they think they know about what they are approved for, and/or will tell me they talked w/someone awhile back who approved them for such & such.  I’ll admit to giving in at times to Buyers who have not yet been to a lender or who have not handed me an approval letter as yet, and I will tell you I have seen tears when people think they’ve found “the one” & then decide that’s a good time to talk to a lender. Here are some pointers:

  • Get the facts up front before you begin looking for properties.  That way you are only looking at homes you would be actually able to purchase. In any undertaking, you want to begin with facts so that you can make good decisions about how to proceed.
  • Don’t worry about taking a lender’s time before you have a property in mind.  This is what they do.  They are used to it.
  • Listen to your Realtor and any other qualified advisors when you are looking for a good lender.  Get a good referral.  You should have at least three from which to choose. ***The lender is the entity holding the most amount of control in the end stages of any mortgage transaction.  A lender who knows and works well with your Realtor will be inclined to nurture the process… especially in the end stages.  And one who is experienced and skilled will be able to field any last-minute issues that may arise so that you actually get to the completion of your transaction.

Negotiating – Do you have control of the negotiation process? Yes.

So, you’ve fallen in love with a property, and you are “countering” with the Sellers over various items.  Your job is to keep a cool head, and remember what is important to you.  Your Realtor will give you good advice on pros & cons of different options, and in the end, it is your decision how to proceed.  Remember your budget and look at the bottom line.  That said, also give some thought to how important a few dollars a month may or may not be to you if you are achieving other goals.  Remember… You’re in the driver’s seat. You get to decide what’s right or wrong for you.

Earnest Money or Promissory Note? – You make this decision too, and the one about how much it will be.  I advise my clients that the earnest money is their statement to the Seller reflecting their sincerity (earnestness : ) in wanting to purchase their home.  The Seller will be taking their home off of the market if they accept your offer, and so you are showing good faith, and in the event you do NOT abide by the contract you are, in essence, compensating them for taking their home off the market for you for a time.

An earnest money check always gives a better impression with an offer (and you are trying to get them to agree to accept your offer right?) than a promissory note. The exception to this would be if you are out of state and making an offer without the ability to hand your Realtor an earnest money check.  People tend to understand this circumstance.

Your earnest money goes toward the bottom line of your transaction, and is held by the escrow office as a neutral third party while your transaction is in process.    If, for instance, you find something during your inspection period that causes you to want to retract your offer, escrow will return your earnest money, and you can begin looking for another suitable property.  The contract also states that you must be able to get funding… so if you are not able to obtain funding through no fault of your own, you should receive your earnest money back as well.  If the home does not appraise for at least the sale price, and either you, the Seller, or both of you are unwilling to negotiate price or come to some other arrangement, you should receive your earnest money back. The only way to lose your earnest money, really, is to violate some term of the contract.  As long as you meet the time lines in the contract, and perform as you have agreed, your earnest money is safe.

Well, I hope that these tidbits were helpful.  That’s enough discussion of  “control issues” for now…  I’ve got to run and assist some fantastic Buyers in making some decisions of their own!