How to Compete in a Seller’s Market

How can you compete in a seller’s market?

Many buyers have become frustrated by Portland’s fast-moving market, especially customers looking in the under $500,000 range.  Here are some tactics that can help you get a house that will work for you:

  • Buy during the “off season.” Typically our market here in Portland slows down after July 4th.  We often see a little surge right after Labor Day, but as we move closer to the holidays, the market slows again. We especially are witnessing this now with people feeling uncertain after the election; given the surprising results, some will put their house-buying on hold. Even before the election, we noticed listings going through price reductions and sitting on the market for weeks instead of days. Given the current situation, now is a very good time to buy, especially as the market forecast is for prices to continue their increase in spring 2017. 
  • Don’t go for the “perfect house” - if you consider houses that don’t have traditional floor plans, lack awesome curb appeal, or need some cosmetic updating, you will have fewer people bidding against you.  That perfectly staged, adorable house will likely have several offers.  Think about being flexible and willing to make some changes to a house to get what you want and need from it.
  • Look in outlying areas. For a long time, the boundary lines for people in Inner SE or Inner NE were very narrow.  With soaring rents and increasing sales prices, those lines have adjusted to include neighborhoods like Foster/Powell, Brentwood/Darlington, Parkrose, Cully and Woodlawn.  These neighborhoods have plenty to offer - vibrant communities with a mix of renovated houses and fixers, improving schools, and appealing shops and restaurants.
  • Be prepared and market yourself as a buyer. We can assist you in getting all of your financial ducks in a row so that you have a strong pre-approval letter to present with the offer. We work with several mortgage lenders who offer great buyer support and different financing options. 
  • Draft a personal letter that talks about who you are and why you are buying a house. A surprising amount of bidding wars are won on an emotional decision.  Knowing who is buying their house makes sellers feel more confident about the transaction.
  • Be flexible and creative with your offer. We will walk you through these steps and different options. Shortening the inspection period, flexibility with your closing date - these are just a few of the options we can use to sweeten your offer.

Don’t let this seller’s market hold you back from jumping in - now is a great time to buy, so give us a call and let us help. We think of it as a challenge, and are always excited to find our clients their best home!