Archives For Real Estate

  1. Find a listing agent
    1. Check out our Preferred Agents for trusted experts in your area.
    2. Meet a few different agents before deciding on one.
    3. Ask them questions about the services they will be providing and experience.

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  1. Assess the market
    1. Check out comparable properties for sale in your area. See how much they are listed for and how long they have been on the market. Create a property alert by signing up with My Househappy to show you when comparable properties are listed in your area. Make sure selling now is financially smart and fits with your timeline.
    2. Evaluate the state of your own neighborhood.
    3. Consider the time of year it is. The hot seasons are spring and summer, but sometimes off seasons can work in your favor.
  2. Cleanup your house
    1. Purge any items you are not going to take with you to your next home.
    2. Freshen up the exterior of your home.
    3. Fix any known major damages.
  3. Price your house
    1. Your agent should provide you with a comparative market analysis.
    2. Try not to let your emotions get involved when you price your home. Be wary of agents who might suggest listing your house at a high price; they could be doing this just to get you to sign with them.
  4. Stage and show your house
    1. Remove all clutter and organize the rest.
    2. Hire a stager to reorganize your furniture or bring in rented items to showcase the room.
    3. Lighten it up. Remove busy wallpaper. Paint the walls with light neutral colors. Make sure all the light fixtures are working properly and provide ample light to every room. Remove heavy or outdated window coverings.
    4. Remove any traces of your pets.
    5. Deep clean the house.
    6. Take professional photos. According to PR Newswire, professional photography sells homes 32% faster.

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  1. Prepare for the open house
    1. Lock up or store valuables.
    2. Take down family photos or personal items.
    3. Make plans to be outside of the home while the house is being shown.
  2. Stay informed and close the deal.
    1. Keep regular contact with your agent on the status of the sale of your home.
    2. Go over any offers presented with your agent and work with them to negotiate the terms or counter offer.
    3. Once you have accepted an offer, you will enter into mutual acceptance with the buyer.
    4. Depending on the terms of your deal, you may have to complete repairs on the house. Check out our Marketplace to find services in your area.
    5. Work with the escrow company, the real estate agents and lenders to ensure the transfer of ownership goes well for both you and the buyer.
    6. Celebrate once it is all over and congrats on selling your home!

If you’ve got your house ready to show but you’re still living in it, things will invariably end up out of place. Take 15-20 minutes and follow the checklist below to make sure everything’s in shape before you leave your house for a showing.

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Security/Valuables:

  • Keep all keys, mail, and documents with personal information out of sight.
  • Store alcohol and prescription drugs out of view, preferably in a locking cabinet.
  • Password protect desktop computers, lock up laptops or take with you.
  • Lock up small valuables like jewelry, watches, mp3 players, tablets, etc.

Cleanliness/Clutter:

  • Remove dishes from the sink.
  • Clear counters and tables, store small kitchen appliances out of sight
  • Rinse sinks, tubs, showers, and toilets clean.
  • Store toiletries in cabinets or drawers, straighten hanging towels.
  • Place laundry in covered hampers or otherwise out of view.

Kids/Pets:

  • Put toys away – have a bin at the ready for quick pick-ups.
  • Secure pets in kennels or preferably out of the house.

Tip – get into the habit of running through this list before you leave the house every morning so you won’t need to worry if someone wants schedule a tour while you’re at work.

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The Sellwood neighborhood is located on the southeast side of Portland and is settled on a bluff that looks straight out to the Willamette River. Part of Sellwood was originally nicknamed Antique Row, due to the number of antique shops speckled along SE 13th. The antique shops are still there, but the neighborhood has filled in with every type of business a community like this would want. Walking through Sellwood reminds me of strolling through a European Village.

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Due to the strong real estate market, walkability and charm, Sellwood is now filled with cafes, restaurants, and all sorts of businesses. A favorite restaurant of mine is Portofino on SE 13th; Italian cuisine that also has a fantastic weekend brunch. One common thread throughout many of these bustling neighborhood communities is our locally owned New Seasons Grocery Store. The store has placed themselves in urban neighborhoods that have great livability! The new Orange Line of the light rail as well as the new Tilikum Bridge will now tie this neighborhood to the rest of the city.

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Sellwood is filled with parks, they  include the Riverfront Park right on the Willamette river, Sellwood Park which is my favorite spot to play  tennis in the city. (You can be hitting balls and watching the boats on the river at the same time) and Oaks Park which many people forget is right in Sellwood. Oaks Park has been around for so long most people don’t even think about it. It was established in 1905, and was known as the Coney Island of the NW back then. Fun fact it is 1 of the 10 oldest amusement parks in the country! Even though it is so old it is still actually a great little amusement park for the family on those days you are trying to find something to do.

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The real estate market has gone gang Busters in Sellwood. This area of town has been known for its Victorian and Craftsman homes, you will not find many English styles in Sellwood.  When walking down the streets you can tell that there is a lot of pride in home ownership. Friendly people throughout. It’s a part of town many want to live in and gravitate towards because of that happy welcoming feel.  Who doesn’t enjoy being waved to and smiled at every block?

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Susie and Duffy the Real Estate Dog

Susie Hunt Moran is a Real Estate Broker with Windermere Stellar and has called PDX home for over 35 years. She is a Portland home expert and can be found working all over town with her Westie, Duffy the Real Estate Dog, always loyal by her side.

  1. Ask your friends and family

Get referrals, but take them with a grain of salt. Do your due diligence researching potential agents, no matter who recommends them. The right agent for one person might not be a good fit for you.

  1. Check out our Househappy Trusted Agents

We’ve done all the legwork and have a curated selection of local experts interested in earning your business and helping you find a home you love.

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  1. Attend Open Houses

Realtors are always in attendance here, so this can be a great opportunity to meet them face-to-face. Many real estate agents who work open houses are not the listing agent, they are most likely holding the open house to meet buyers like you. However, in many states one agent may work with both buyers and sellers in a transaction, but they’re under contract to watch out for the seller’s best interest. You want an agent who can take your side fully in any negotiations. If you want to work with the agent holding the open, be sure to ask who they represent.

  1. Look for ads

Successful Real Estate Agents will often put ads out in local publications. These ads can tell you a lot about who their team is and what their marketing materials may look like.

  1. Google them

Take a look at their website, check-out their LinkedIn and their Facebook. You are interviewing them to handle one of the most important transactions in your life, be picky.

  1. Interview a few potential candidates

Do they seem like someone you’d get along with? Are they open and honest? Is their personality and energy level compatible with yours? Are they focused on your needs?

Go with your gut here. They should make you feel at ease and you should feel comfortable disclosing personal details, if the need arises. If you don’t like the person or don’t trust them, their many acronyms on their business card won’t make the experience any better. Go with someone you actually like!

  1. Ask Some Key Questions: 
  • Do you have an active real estate license?
  • Is real estate your full-time career?
  • How much of your business comes from referrals?
  • How long have you been working in the area?
  • What neighborhoods do you specialize in?
  • What type of network do you have to help find the right house for us outside of an online search we can do ourselves?
  • How are you going to help us win a listing?

Having the right real estate agent has a huge impact on your home purchase. You need to feel confident in your decision when the time comes for any kind of negotiations. Someone who doesn’t really know what they’re doing can end up costing you – keep in mind they are paid a commission when you buy a house whether or not you are satisfied with their service (or your experience). Take the time and effort to find someone whose personality, experience, dedication and skill level fit your needs.

Susie and Duffy the Real Estate Dog

Susie and Duffy the Real Estate Dog

Susie is a Real Estate Broker with Windermere Stellar and has called PDX home for over 35 years. She resides in Colonial Heights, a fantastic close-in SE neighborhood. She has a deep appreciation for the many styles of homes and micro-cultures that exist on both the East and West side of the city and is a wealth of information on life in PDX.  Susie and her team are truly Portland experts who work all over the city.

She will be sharing some of her great knowledge about Portland, OR neighborhoods with us — keep an eye out or subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss out!

To see more of Duffy on Instagram, search for duffytherealestatedog or if you are looking for a great Realtor, connect with Susie here.

Sometimes it seems as if you need to be a psychic to make money in the real estate market. And while that would certainly help, knowing when to put your home up for sale is more about understanding your local market than it is about magic. So with that in mind, here are four things to consider as you decide when to sell your home.

  1. Research Your Local Market: The media gives us the impression that housing is tied directly to the health of the American economy. While this is true in a broad sense (home sales tend to be good in strong economic times and bad in poor economic times), local factors also have a strong influence on sales. So even during recession, there can be pockets of hot sales activity. The key local indicator is housing inventory, which is a measure of supply and demand. For a market to be considered healthy, the inventory should stand at 4-6 months. That means it would take between 4 and 6 months to sell every house on the market. Anything less than 4-6 months is a sellers market, with a low home supply and competition between buyers. Anything more than 6 months is a buyers market, allowing consumers to be pickier with their purchases. The best way to understand you local housing inventory is by consulting local Realtors. They’ll have their finger on the pulse of your local market.
  1. Check Interest Rates: Interest rate are the biggest determining factor on the affordability of home loans. An increase of just a few points can translate into hundreds of extra dollars in payments per month. If interest rates are low or are dropping, that may spur more consumers to enter the Real Estate market and begin to swing housing inventory in the sellers favor. You can check current interest rates here.
  1. Consult Your Calendar: Data shows that homes sell faster if they’re put on the market between mid-March and mid-April. This is tied to the school calendar, as parents want to shop for home in spring and make a move once the school year ends.

  1. Run the Numbers: When you’re deciding to sell, it’s also important to understand your investment position in your current home. Check your payoff amount and compare it to the price qualified Realtors have set for your home. Once you have that balance, subtract excise taxes, realtor fees, and moving costs. What’s left will be your profit. And don’t forget, in competitive housing markets buyers won’t pay top dollar for homes in need of upgrades or major repairs. Those costs will come out of your asking price one way or another. A good realtor will help you understand what’s required to be competitive. Taken together, these numbers will help you determine what you stand to gain or lose through a sale.

While these tips are good indicators, there really is no perfect answer for when every person should enter the Real Estate market. Housing needs are so personal that even in a perfect market, a potential seller might decide to wait. In the end, it all comes down to what your family needs and the lifestyle you desire. When you understand those factors, and act accordingly, you’ll make much better decisions.

David joins us after a diverse leadership career with companies ranging from small startups to major enterprises. He succeeds Founder and former CEO, Kevin McCloskey. He has big plans for Househappy and has brought in some exciting new partnerships.

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Houshappy CEO, David Maoungian

When considering whether or not a startup will succeed Manougian says he “looks for brand potential, a unique customer experience, a business reason for the company to exist and most of all, the talent level of the people. In the case of Househappy it met and surpassed all these areas, especially the people.”

The primary area Manougian sees as a potential industry disruptor for Househappy is the opportunity to reach the next generation of homebuyers seeking a different experience than what exists today in how they search for, buy and maintain their homes. Househappy is passionate about providing these buyers and homeowners with a more visual and personalized search along with the tools to help them manage the most important purchase most people will make in their lifetime – their home.

To learn more about David and changes at Househappy, Malia Spencer, Reporter at the Portland Business Journal, was kind enough to write about us. Click here to check it out.