Home Selling in Portland>Question Details

Bart Betz, Other/Just Looking in Portland, OR

Sell ASAP or wait until Early Fall?

Asked by Bart Betz, Portland, OR Tue May 7, 2013

I've been working on my house, doing upgrades and renovations, preparing to sell it in 2013. As I'm nearing completion on my projects, I'm starting to think of when I will list.
I spoke with a Realtor today and mentioned I may want to list my house in about a month or so. She replied that I may just want to wait until early September, after the summer break is over and families begin to start looking for houses again.

I'm confused.

I thought summer was prime time for families to house hunt, buy, and move...while the kids are out of school?
Although it would be nice for me to have plenty of time to finish up my last little projects and enjoy my relatives visiting from So Cal, I would like to get moving so I can look for and buy a new house of my own. I think rates are going to bounce along the bottom for the entire summer, but I do want to lock in something around 3.5ish, if I can.
I'd love to hear opinions on when to sell for the season of 2013.

Help the community by answering this question:


I have already sold my house and it is pending.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 17, 2013
You need to sell when you are ready. The market has definitely heated up in all the starting price points of just about every location (there are still a few lagging). Where are you going? Is there a lot of competition for few homes in this area as well? Trying to time the market is a challenge and if you are a move-up buyer in a high demand location, then you will be faced with competition from other buyers. Do you have an interim plan or are you trying to sell and then rush to buy?

Another factor that is already starting to impact purchases is the rise of interest rates. While no one see's any big hikes coming, the 1% increase we have seen in the last months means your bracket to purchase has changed, along with your potential buyers, who may need to move to a lower price point to keep payments and ratios in line with their needs.

Sell when you are ready, have a interim plan for living while you find the perfect place to buy. But I would not put off your selling too long.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 17, 2013
Update rates have taken a spike almost every week for past 4 weeks and 4.15% today and FHA just put into effect new rates and rules on June 1. July is historicaly the highest month of sales for the year. Don't wait and get the house on the market now, there are buyers everywhere. Good Luck to you, Tom Inglesby, Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 12, 2013
hmmm.... let me check my crystal ball...

As the curve begins to change and the supply and demand aligns I believe the prices will begin to stabilize - I do not expect nor do I wish the prices to continue to climb at the rate we are seeing.
This would place me in fear...

But "hey" who am I? lol
Web Reference: http://www.garyyoungman.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 15, 2013
PART TWO So back to 'when you should buy'. It totally depends on your price range and chosen area. Maybe now is the best time, maybe not. Id not consider losing interest rates though. There is probably some bottom left to be seen in some areas. In a FEW we will see larger increases but in general probably not enough increase to mean you really lost out if you wait. Hard to assess this without knowing your plans. Of course you probably need to know yours is sold before you can complete a purchase, or you can rent til you buy or live w relative, etc. A common problem for most sellers. If you buy and prices are not changing much, you will have a better chance of beating down a price if its during the off season. I am seeing listings in off seasons that are totally unreasonable and wont appraise. These are people who do not have a huge need to sell and are testing the market. Their real estate person didnt properly counsel them or they just refused to listen. That clutters the market. Many people whoi want to sell will pull in their horns and just hold so those are missed opportunities too. All things being constant you have less chance of seeing all there is for sale in off seasons but a better chance of getting a lower price. Its a game of chess and poker at the same time. Gotta go---hope that was of some help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 8, 2013
No one made me God of Trulia, and no one needs approval or disapproval but I give thumbs up to Dragos, below. First I will tell you that Ive been in business 33 years. Many people in this industry dont care for attitude, which 1000% pro consumer and in many ways anti 'salesperson'. I wouldnt list your home right now for a dollar because Im not a lister---I work with buyers. I tell you that so you know Im have NO BIAS in this.

I spend SEVEN DAYS A WEEK evaluating homes for banks and other servicers who own mortgages. The values are for when the bank is considering doing a loan modification (Pure scam and huge lie to the public) working with the seller for a short sale, doing a full foreclosure or finally if they already took the home back and are going to sell it. I have evaluated 3,500 homes in the main tri-county area. I know values and whats been happening. While generally correct in their descriptions of the market, the topic needs elaboration.

1.NOW NOW NOW NOW is the time to place your house on the market. June starts our one short summer buying season if tradition holds. When valuing homes I have to come up with 3 like the subject that are for sale and 3 that have sold within 6 months. For the last 4 -5 months Ive had to extend my search for SOLD properties back to 9 months to pick up sales from last summer season.

Interest rates are not going anywhere but possibly down. You all can mark this prediction and either applaud me or laugh at me later, lol.

So, market your house NOW, its the right time. On the other hand---you have to BUY a home? When is the best time for that? Here is the main heart of this whole blog. Where are prices going? As several touched on the market is hot. I say it SEEMS hot. I could spend an hour here detailing this out but I'll nutshell it, though the nut is a coconut.As the market hit the fan in 2008-then harder in 2009, prices started to fall. Doesnt matter for now why this happened its too long a story. They fell to their true value---all our old values were false from a false lending market. Something BIG started to happen. Because so many thousands of Oregonians were losing their homes, they all needed places to stay. Their credit was shot and they couldnt buy so they became RENTERS. This huge demand for rentals started us on the road to record breaking monthly rent as landlords hovered like vultures over a dying buffalo. So you have a graph going. One line is declining prices. One is increasing rent and the other is the cost of owning the house---mainly INTEREST RATES. See my drift? Low rates equal low cost. At a certain price with certain rates, if the normal market rent income is greater you have a POSITIVE cash flow and get great return on your clams. So the first segment of real estate to start back up was cheaper 2 and 3 bedroom houses that hit in that section of the graph where it made sense to buy and hold. Investors came out of the woodwork to snap these up. After a while, with rents going even higher, competition started an increase in values.Out of country buyers also helped with this trend. We lost much commercial ownership to foreign investors, then they started on houses. The media, ever 'spinning' to make the public think the traitor Obama was doing a great job, headlined "activity up!' 'Prices increasing!' etc. etc.

Lets say 2 years ago we sold 5,000 homes in one county. last year we sold 2500. We had a 50% drop! So at the end of this year we sell 2501 houses. An increase! Yay happy days, right? Qualified, its only a small reversal of the down trend. The media says things are peachy again. WELL THEY AIN'T PEACHY. In certain areas real estate is increasing. In some limited areas it never went down! The majority of areas achieving the greatest increases have to stall because Joe and Jane American only make so much and can only afford so much rent. People with money have been watching to see what the market would do/is doing. At certain times someone always has to buy or sell. When million dollar homes dropped to 400,000 in some cases, buyers felt that it was an incredible opportunity even if the house dropped another 50,000 after they bought, so expensive areas have seen some increases in values but its SPOTTY and our number of sales are still much lower than in the good old days. Real estate was pretty well expected to keep falling in most areas because of the mass of foreclosed properties and short sales continuing to errode pricing. Now something unexpected is happening! Huge money corporations are buying foreclosed homes and homes in trouble (Actually buying the mortgage debt. Bad loans like this are called 'scratch n dent' in the trade) and they are going to keep them as rentals!! Owning rentals for the high income will be a HUGE FIRST for companies like that instead of investing in stock etc. This is already slowing the foreclosure sales and short sales negotiations. Regular houses are going up in certain areas. (ran out of space)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 8, 2013
I don't believe the seller's market is going to change much this year. So, it's really up to you and your timeline. If you are priced at market value you will have a plethora of buyers wanting your home regardless of now or fall. As for keeping rates low on your next home purchase, then I would keep your timeline to 2013. Good luck!

Mandy Lewis and Jennifer Peterson
Keller Williams
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 8, 2013
Both are fine, it depends on you and your needs. The market is soaring so just make sure that you are ready to move when you put the sign in the yard. I do however find it a little humorous that you were told to wait until after peak season to sell. Summer is basically Christmas for housing sales. Good luck and if you need a Broker that has sold 100% of everything listed in the last 3 years give me a call.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 8, 2013
You did not say if you were going to buy a higher priced house than the one you are selling but if you are all homes are currently going up and a higher priced home is going up faster than yours. Rates are great and if they take a small spike it could really affect our affordability in our market because rates are low because buyers can not qualify for a loan. Get it on the market as soon as possible and have your relatives over to your new home. Good Luck to you. Tom Inglesby, broker, RE/MAX
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 7, 2013
My two most recent listings received several offers in less than 24 hours and sold in no time. I had an open house on Sunday for two hours... 25 buyers came through. In chatting with the potential buyers, several of them mentioned having been part of multiple offer situations on other houses and several of the other buyers mentioned making an offer on the home I had open.

Now's a great time to sell!!!

I would love to sell your home! I am with M Realty, check out how awesome our listing marketing program is!


Heidi Corday

I would love to interview for the job!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 7, 2013
Let's get a little back on this Earth. You'd like to sell and then buy something. Right? You, as a seller, will like, as any seller out there, the most you can get for your property. That's fine. But selling you'll become a buyer and, as any buyer, you'd like to purchase something of value (better said: the most the money can get for the lowest price). Am I right? We all are humans after all and are guided, more or less, by the "money approach". As a Seller, at this time, you are on the driver's seat and depending on your property's value and location and so on you may be able to net a good chunk of money. And that's wonderful. But there you go into the next step: hunting for a place to live at bargain price. And here's were you'll compete with people on the same boat, going around to find a good deal, writing multiple offers and hoping to be "the lucky one".
None of us, as agents in this area, can predict what direction will go in the next months. Sure, it can be up and up and up. But it will stop one day because the incomes don't follow the prices and sooner or later the sellers will find out there won't be anyone willing or able to purchase their overpriced listings. And the lenders have stricter rules than before. And a change can happen at any time with this global economy dependent on somebody's bad dream on the night before. Or the Fed can re-thing the lending policy so the rates can go up.
So, the best time to sell is the one when you decide to do the move. Real estate is not a share you can purchase or sell in a few minutes to take advantage on how the market goes a that moment of the day and there might be regrets if the prices go up and in a year from now on you'll see that "I could get x-(tens) thousands" more but there can also bite badly if in the same time frame it will go down and there's no profit left after so many improvements made.
Therefore, use a good agent to guide to the process and make the transition from the present property to the next one as smooth as possible.
Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 7, 2013
Bart: it is a seller's market currently. The inventory is lower but picking up currently. There are multiple offers on most properties if they are priced right. You are wise to do the sprucing up before putting your home on the market. Interest rates are bumping around here and there but significantly low. That would affect buyers of your home and you as a buyer as well. You are smart and cautious with your money. You are making sound decisions. I have been doing this 31 years now and I would say that list now while theomentum is strong. Changes coming to FHA that will make a huge difference for those who use that avenue for financing. My contact information is Joan Bowyer, Principal Broker-John L Scott Real Estate, 503-260-2416. My email is bowyerjo@aol.com. I would be honored to meet with you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 7, 2013
I believe it's a great time to sell now. The Real Estate market it's experiencing a "Flash Sale", where buyers are having to compete with each other for properties. (see link: http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=0018lpZQYdfFygQD-DDhe93hnT0m2LX2…) Not sure where your property is located and it's condition. Those aspects play an important role on the desirability of a home. But if it's priced right and it's well kept you might have the opportunity to sell it fast and buy your new home while the rates are still low.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 7, 2013
If we knew what the future will bring, we would have all been billionaires by now. No one knows for sure what September will be like. But we know what May looks like. It is a sellers market. I remember September 2011. In my 20 years as a Realtor is was by far the worst month ever. External events happen that you don't have control over, like what 911 did to the market that September. If you want to sell and you have your home ready for sale. Sell now.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 7, 2013
Now is a great time to sell. I would list now, well before September when families are focusing on getting back to school, many people want to be settled in before that. April to Sept. is the busiest time in my opinion.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 7, 2013
Bart: it is definitely a seller's market right now and I do believe we are in a slow recovery mode in the Portland Metro area. I just wrote about it in today's blog: http://fabulousportland.com/2013/05/07/what-we-got-here-is-f… . However, that being said, if you are trying to hit the "family market" attempting to make a move in time for new schools, etc. You need to be there right now. Remember: you start looking...it takes a month or so to recognize the home you desire, it takes 4-6 weeks to close a typical transaction (unless it's all cash). So, you'd already be actively looking EVERY day (if not EVERY minute) :-). So, don't stress! I'd try to get there as soon as you can. I do think rates will "bounce along the bottom" for awhile. But, my personal experience is you just never know what could propel rates (I had the experience in 1986-87, where rates suddenly jumped from the "low" of 10% to 13% in one month). I really don't believe that will happen. Rates do have to climb and they will (but, we've known that for awhile and it hasn't happened yet), but I still don't think it will happen overnight.
Janeese Jackson, Principal Broker
Web Reference: http://fabulousportland.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 7, 2013
Considering how 'hot' the market is currently I would say list it now. The market will most likely be a bit slower in September which would affect time on market more than price. I doubt you would get more for your home in September than right now.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 7, 2013
We can't predict exactely what the market will offer in the future, but what I do know is that the market is very hot right now. How long that will last is anyones guess. If everyone waits until September thinking the market will be better, then they could wrong and see a market correction in the other direction. If I were you I would go ahead and get it listed soon and ring the cash register! There is nothing worse than looking back saying I guess I should have sold.
Give me a call and I would be happy to meet with you to discuss your homes value.

Greg Perkins
Knipe Realty NW
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 7, 2013
Crazy! No, the time is now. June is the best month of the year - every year.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue May 7, 2013
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