Multiple Offers are Driving the Portland Market in the First Quarter of 2017
By Harlan Mayer, Principal Broker in Portland, OR with Meadows Group Realtors
The market is crazy right now. I have buyers calling me within hours of a property being listed and then by the time we view it there’s already multiple offers submitted. I have even been recommending people write on property sight unseen just so they have an opportunity to purchase. The only difference I can see between this feeding frenzy and the one that caused the real estate bubble in 2006 is that people are now more highly qualified to purchase.
The combination of low inventory, continuing low interest rates and Portland’s increasing popularity have created a perfect storm this quarter. It’s a very interesting market – there’s something in it for everyone. It’s obvious we’ve reached the bottom of the pricing drop – prices are now on the rise.
For Sellers: It’s a seller’s market! Listing your property now for the right price will sell it quickly. As always, we recommend holding onto property for the long-term if it makes sense for you to do so – however, if selling now is ideal for your situation, the combination of low inventory and low rates is bringing sellers better prices and more solid offers. The great thing about multiple offers is that it becomes easy to put a back-up offer in place, which allows for insurance in two ways. Obviously there’s a contract in place immediately if the first position buyer walks, but the back-up also makes the first offer stronger – and gives the seller more ability to negotiate during the inspection period. A quality real estate agent will help distinguish the terms that are best for you and your situation. With investors out in force we are seeing a LOT of cash offers. Cash is king and it can be difficult to compete with if the other buyers are financing. Accepting a cash offer does away with the appraisal contingency – which, depending on the price point and condition of the home, can be very appealing.
Other terms that can be used for the sellers’ advantage are the timelines for earnest money and inspection periods. On one transaction recently, one of the buyers making an offer on the property I was representing brought theirs immediately to first position by removing the inspection contingency and accepting the property in AS-IS condition. That buyer can still walk away, but not with his earnest money, which which we had released to the seller immediately. My seller liked that.
For Buyers: Being first in line into a property is always a good idea. The tools that I as a Portland real estate agent purchase for my buyers alert them immediately when a property comes on the market. Our website, www.RealEstatePDX.com provides search tools with an hourly update of properties – but also allows these all important alerts. In this type of market, the listings have to come to you. If a buyer waits until they get home from work, or until the weekend, they may miss that house they’ve been waiting for. A buyer should immediately do a drive-by as their first opportunity and then call their agent to see the interior as soon as possible. There are rare occasions where you may want to write an offer before you see the inside, subject to interior inspection. The state of Oregon allows a buyer to walk away from for the first 5 days after the contract is in place, so there is very little liability for the Buyer here. On the other hand, once an offer is accepted, the Seller will be locked into the sale under the initial terms of the agreement.
It has become a fast moving market – but as we always recommend with large financial decisions – surround yourself with people who know more about that kind of money than you do. A team approach to real estate purchase and sale is the best way to protect your interests and make sure you’re making a sound financial decision.
Contact Harlan Mayer, Portland Real Estate Agent and Principal Broker with Re/Max equity group and his team at www.RealEstatePDX.com. In addition to buying and selling, Harlan teaches real estate at Portland State University.