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Portland Real Estate Reflections

It’s been nice to get away for a week and have a chance to relax, reflect a little and recharge the batteries. I’m never sure if the technology is a blessing or a curse. Real estate doesn’t stop when we leave but we are fortunate enough to have Lisa and Susan on our team who can take care of business when we’re not there. That said, technology makes it almost impossible to unplug; Jenny sent listing paperwork yesterday from our friends boat off the shore of Isla Ixtapa yesterday and I’m writing this on the flight between LAX (raining) and Portland. As I said before, I’d rather work a little each day than leave things hanging for a week but it does make it hard to really get away.

It was great that Lowball was able to suggest a thread on offers and that it led to some good comments. Tiffany’s comment about 2% commissions on the listing side is an interesting idea in that I think you have to be careful defining what you get for 2% or any commission. We’re listing two properties in the next week or so that were previously listed with other agents and did not sell. We also just lost another new listing that we competed for that I am sure will be listed for considerably more than we suggested. Maybe we’ll get the call when they don’t sell.

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Last Thursday our remodel project closed and the buyers moved in on Friday. Overall, we’re very happy with the experience and the result. It also served as a bit of an internal conflict as Realtors; it sold with nothing more than a sign in the yard. We never had an opportunity to market it in RMLS or anything that we would have done with any of our clients but at the same time, we avoided the costs of holding it after completion. Could we have gotten more being fully marketed in RMLS? Maybe but I don’t feel we gave it away or left money on the table. We still went through and offer and counter offer situation. Dsc_6683The buyers were represented by another agent and they found it while looking at a listed property two doors down the street. My feeling is that at what is basically zero days on market is that a properly priced house will sell in any market. The house served my predilection for putting old houses back together. We pretty much built a 2008 house in 1926 bones. The top picuture is what it looked like when we started and the bottom is nearing completion. Not sure what our next project will be.

9 Comments on “Portland Real Estate Reflections

  1. Charles, what kind of siding did you use on the lower portion of the house? Has a nice look to it.

  2. Charles, do you think principle broker oversight keeps most agents from speaking more frankly on their blogs, or do you think they keep it vanilla because they think they’re appealing to a broader audience that way. I was also curious about how much liability you feel brokers take on when they offer any kind of market opinion in the blogosphere. For instance, what if a broker came out with a “It’s a great time to buy!” speil, and someone claimed they acted on that opinion to their detriment, whats the liability there?

  3. Real estate and blogging is a strange beast. In our litigious society everything written is a risk. Caveat emptor seems to have gone the way of “X told me to do it so I did.” My blog has all the disclaimers at the bottom of the homepage but would it get my ass out of a sling if push came to shove? I make every effort to make sure that I am not giving legal or accounting advice since I am not an attorney or accountant.

    I talked with our administrative principal broker when the blog was taking off. Management certainly knows that I write it and I have never been censored for content or censored for conduct. My feeling is that the blog is held in high regard and not considered a liability but a benefit. I’ve never contended that the blog does not have a marketing aspect to it.

    It should be evident that I don’t agree with the establishment on many things real estate. I met with a buyer today who read about my stance on dual agency (shouldn’t be legal) which runs counter to many (most) in the industry. That was enough for him to choose to call us. Side note: both buyers I met with today are moving from New York.

    I rarely read other local real estate blogs because I want to be writing my stuff that is not colored by what others are saying. If I have something to say, I’ll say it here and hope that others do too. There have been times when this has bitten me in the ass for missing something said elsewhere but I think it works out in the long run.

    I don’t moderate, filter or delete comments (though recent discovery of a phantom typepad spam filter that activates itself without notifying me is a problematic twist (bearlee and I have discussed directly via email as it has only captured her comments thus far)). JP provided some great insight but I managed to piss him off so he left. His return would be great but I don’t think I owe an apolgy either.

    I think that you can easily argue that “vanilia” is simple. Even when trying to be forthright sometimes it doesn’t come out right when typed; the target created by the title “Realtor” sometimes outweighs the intended message. Becoming the unintened (and unknowing) public enemy number one isn’t something that many of us aspire to.

    For now, I’ll just continue doing my thing in this fourm.

  4. Oh no. They’ve stopped coming from California and now they’re flocking in from New York City. Whatever will we do?

    That should prop up prices. We’ll be back to 20% a year in no time.

    About that caveat emptor thing. Real estate agents sell themselves as being more than a used car salesman, that they care about the buyers, that they’re happy, shiny purveyors of the American Dream.

    I guess that’s only until things go wrong. Then it’s back to caveat emptor.

  5. I really like the blog. What I like about it is I feel theres value added, that its not just a marketing tool. What I dislike about some of the other real estate blogging by agents is that its solely a marketing tool, which should be what a website is for, not a blog. I’m a rapacious capitalist, I’m all for people marketing and making money for themselves, wheelbarrels full if they can.

    Ive got an idea for a future post too. How about shedding some light on ways an agent can market that a seller might not think about or have access to, besides the obvious, the MLS. I see a lot of agents plugging their “targeted marketing plan”, and the ones I’ve talked to about it, didn’t really seem to have much to say on it as far as details. Which surprised the hell out of me because I would have thought they would have had a pitch ready to go.

    Also, and if you don’t want to tackle this one I don’t blame you, it would take steel cajones to throw this number out there, what percentage of your estimated commission amount would you say a seller should be able to count on being used to market the his or her home.

  6. what percentage of your estimated commission amount would you say a seller should be able to count on being used to market the his or her home.

    I started to answer and discovered that it is really a post unto itself. It really can’t be answered in a commission based model. It costs me the same to produce a flier for a $200,000 listing or a $2M listing. The answer really boils down to what you are getting from your Realtor, not what it costs the Realtor to produce. Expect the new post on Monday.

  7. “The answer really boils down to what you are getting from your Realtor, not what it costs the Realtor to produce.”

    Looking forward to your post, and how you distinguish between these two categories, Charles. There’s a dollar value for realtor’s time, and I’m curious if/how you calculate that in your negotiations with a prospective client.

  8. I wrote the thread this afternoon. I had planned to post it in the morning but probably need to sit on it until we get the signed listing contract back from as what I refer to as it could be construed as marketing a property. The verbal is there but not the stuff on the dotted line.

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