My wife and I are moving to Portland, OR from Atlanta. We are downsizing and think we might like something in or near the city.

Asked by cadaniel007, Portland, OR Wed Jul 17, 2013

Maybe a condominium or townhouse. My daughter referred us to an agent , and I will NOT be using her! I would like someone who is intelligent and understands and listens to our needs. (the person who was referred did not LISTEN, only told me about how good she was, and that she was a gazillion dollar agent etc.) Any words of wisdom out there?

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28
Brad Golik, Agent, Portland, OR
Thu Jul 18, 2013
BEST ANSWER
Welcome to Portland!
Sorry you had a bad experience with the agent that was referred to you. Sometimes referrals are not always the best answer. Why is this? Sometimes the agent and the client just don't gel, other times the agent is just not the right agent for the type of property you may be looking for. In real estate, many agents try to be all things to all people. This is not, in my opinion, the best road to take. I specialize in the condo (and townhome) market. I do this because I want to be the best at what I do. I could not do this if I was selling a home in Lake Oswego one day and Happy Valley the next. I would not have a good grasp on pricing and would not be an expert in those areas.

Depending on where you want to be, and if in fact you do want a condo or maybe a small home in one of the fun areas such as along 23rd in NW Portland, I would interview the agents that work in these areas and types of homes. I am a big believer in selecting an agent that has a niche and is really good at what they do... in other words, they are not experts in everything and everywhere!

I would also say to use caution when searching for an agent on trulia on the 'Find an Agent' pages. When you bring up that page under the "Best Match" drop down you will see some agents with MANY homes sold and MANY recommondations. Don't be lured by these numbers. For example, on this page you may see someone with 40 recommondations or more and the scroll down and see an agent with "0" for both ( on this page MJ Steen is a great example) She is a fantastic agent, in fact one of the best on this page but you may look past her because of the numbers posted. You may also be swayed by someone with the PRO designation or the VIP. So that you know, PRO is given to an agent because they paid for it. Also, the VIP is given to agents who spend A LOT of time on Trulia. They are given points for everytime they speak. Many are posting all over the country just to gain VIP points ( such as the agent who posted on this question from California). This is just something you should understand. The truth is, agents like the one I mentioned are too busy selling houses and just don't have the time to answer questions on Trulia and Zillow everyday...just something to think about.

As you have learned, selecting an agent who will listen to your needs is very important. I would start by calling several agents who specialize in the urban markets. You may not have made a final decision on buying a condo, home or townhome but if you think this is what you are looking for, I would love to be included in your interviewing process. If you think that a home over on the Eastside in the areas with shops and restaurants might be a better fit, a great agent in that area to interview would be Billy Grippo. He is an excelleant agent who sells many homes in that area. ( Yet if you search him out on the Trulia Agent pages you will see that it shows "0" homes sold and "0" recommondations, and yet he is one of the best in that area?

You said that you want an agent that will listen to you. You also said you want an agent that is intelligent. Part of being smart in real estate is to know your boundaries. An intelligent agent is one who is a true professional. They take the time to understand contracts, they take the time to understand areas and they take the time to understand pricing. Again, I cannot be all things to all people but for someone who is looking for an inner city condo, loft or townhome, I can be a very reliable source for you to make a great real estate purchase.

And by the way, if you do decide to go the condo or townhome route, please feel free to visit 2 of my condo and townhome listings. http://www.PacificaTowerCondo.com http://www.Portland-Townhome.com
While I do not know your price point yet, I would be thrilled to assist you in anyway that I can and show you many other properties.

Best of luck to you!
Brad Golik
http://www.LuxuryCondosofPortland.com
1 vote
Shelby Bates…, Agent, Happy Valley, OR
Wed Jul 17, 2013
I have to echo what has been said by other agents. The fact that someone is a gazillion dollar producer does not mean that he/she is a great people person. In fact, many million dollar producers will not be the individual you actually work with.They simply don't have time to personally interact with every buyer and seller and make that kind of money.

I suggest you talk to a few people and try to determine if there is a comfort level with anyone in particular because this business is as much about relationships as it is about finding you a new home.

Welcome to Portland. I lived in South Carolina before moving to Portland and have to say that this area felt like home from the day I arrived. I'm sure you will love it here too.

All the best

Shelby
Knipe Realty NW
503-819-6545
1 vote
Kelly Gebler, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jul 17, 2013
Wellll....my team is only used to handling bazillion dollar properties, which is less than gazillion I believe. If that's more in the price range you are considering - we'd love to help! :)
1 vote
Brad Golik, Agent, Portland, OR
Tue Jul 23, 2013
Just wanted to respond to a recent phone call I got in regards to my answer on this question. In the phone call, the person (who would not identify herself) said that I must not be a very smart agent if I was telling a potential buyer about other agents! Just to set things straight, I am VERY comfortable in mentioning other agents names if it is something that can be a real benefit to the person who originated the question. Again this gets back to what I said about most real estate agents trying to be all things to all people. I am not! I specialize with condos and townhomes.This is why I mentioned Billy Grippo as someone who is VERY good on the Eastside. This is not an area that I am deeply knowledgeable about. He is! Keep in mind, while most agents are replying to questions on Zillow and Trulia to pick up new clients, it is also a vehicle to HELP OTHER PEOPLE! It is not all about me, me, me.
0 votes
Dede DeJager, Agent, Portland, OR
Sun Jul 21, 2013
Keep interviewing until you find an agent that matches your comfort level. The number one criterion of a "good" agent is that they listen to what your wants/needs are and responds quickly and in line with what you said. This is what successful people-oriented agents have above all others. You are not looking for a machine and their team - you want someone who sits back, listens well and produces for you. Best of luck. You will find Portland a wonderful city.
0 votes
Craig Mcmill…, Home Buyer, Gresham, OR
Sun Jul 21, 2013
Buy For sale by owner! I have a beautiful newer home close in S.E Portland RMLS # 13178526 or homesbyowner.com/57992 Your going to LOVE Portland! Hope your move goes smooth and Welcome. preparing to lower price hurry
0 votes
Marvin Von R…, Agent, Tigard, OR
Fri Jul 19, 2013
I gave a thumbs up to Shelby. I know some mega producers and they more often than not either see the client for about 5 min or not at all. If one considers the volume proclaimed by some, and factor in how much time it takes to be a good agent during the transaction, its IMPOSSIBLE for some of them to give good service. Lets qualify that though. Do they NEED to be involved? Maybe they have agreat team.
0 votes
Dragos Tavir…, Agent, Portland, OR
Fri Jul 19, 2013
Maybe your agent should have started asking about your needs and if you talked already with a lender. Getting qualified is a must these days when multiple offers is the norm and if you don't act instantly there are chances to see "the loved one" gone with a snap of fingers. Try to do this first. With a local lender as much as possible. Meanwhile you can talk to at least some of the agent responding to your question and decide on who is the better one. Good luck.
0 votes
Sandy Pember, , Portland, OR
Wed Jul 17, 2013
Hello and wecome to our city,

Since I am one of many responders, I'll keep it simple. Helping you find the home which
meets y our expectations is far more important than boring you with my accomplishmennts over 35 years of real estate sales. In order to makek this happen, there are some things I need to know.
First is y our budget for purchase. Is there an area that you would like or are y ou familiar with
Portland? Next, how many bedrooms, baths, garages and last, your age range. This helps me'
locate a home that meets all facets of your lifesty le.

Teamwork between client and agent makes for a successful transaction. I make my
living making you a happy buyer.

Sandy Pember, Principal Broker
Prudential Northwest Properties
Quality Service Certified
http://www.pemberteam.com
spember@prunw.com
0 votes
Brad Fix, Agent, Yacolt, WA
Wed Jul 17, 2013
Have you thought about Vancouver .Wa no income Tax and lower prices and only a few miles from down town Portland . plenty of good condos on the Columbia river and down town Vancouver. Hope your move is a good one. worth checking it out.
0 votes
Angela Perni…, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jul 17, 2013
Feeling overwhelmed with such a large response? Despite your poor first experience, the reality is, there are a lot of really great agents out there. Finding the right agent for you requires finding the agent who not only listens (essential quality) but also speaks your same language and is able to interpret your needs into physical features of a home. The first thing that I ask clients is "tell me about your lifestyle". This question typically tells me much more about the individual's needs than basic questions about square footage and number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Finding the right home is more than the home itself. Finding the right home is finding the right community in which to engage.

Feel free to check out my website at: http://angela.kniperealty.com/ . On this page you can also click on the "Raving Fans" page which will tell you what some of my past clients have said about me. I also have clients who are happy to speak directly with individuals about their experience with me. Regardless of who you choose, I wish you the best of luck in your transition to Portland!
0 votes
Kristal Cinq…, Agent, Lake Oswego, OR
Wed Jul 17, 2013
Hello Daniel,

Portland is a great place to be and the people are very friendly. Are you looking to be close to shops and restaurants, or is close to work more important? I would be happy to help answer all your questions about Portland and this market. Feel free to check out my recommendations from past clients to help determine if we would be a great fit.
Kristal
0 votes
Marvin Von R…, Agent, Tigard, OR
Wed Jul 17, 2013
Hi, Im bad, have sold nothing but have a good attitude! LOL Seriously, 33 years in business so thats all I need to say about me. You dont stay in it that long unless you LISTEN. You made more of a statement than a question. Do you want advice on how to find a great broker or about housing? Its not just as simple as 'Ill show you houses today'. Id like to know why you even want to purchase. It may not be the best thing to do. After delving into that, Id want to know about the lifestyle you want, proximities to work, public amenities, recreation, etc. Then of course your budget and qualifying.

I have to say up front that Im NOT a fan of condos and/or town homes. They are the first to drop in value and the last to increase. They can have many problems with the HOA (Home Owners Association). It can be insolvent from empty units not paying dues. It can be mismanaged or have unforeseen physical problems cause huge increases in the HOA fees. There can be law suits from bad work or even because of too many foreclosed units.

Unless you can luck out and get a nice unit with low fees that suits you, and its price is $70,000 but used to be $270,000, and thats not unheard of, Id stay away from them. I would help you buy one but only if its something Id buy myself, and I hate the things. Is that too negative? Nope. Its CAREFUL. I dont know how to tell you how to find a good agent, even after being an agent for so long. When I first started out, I out sold everyone in the franchise. If people had looked at my lack of prior experience and used that to judge---they wouldnt have used me. Conversely, my 30 years in the biz might be the same old mistakes year after year, How do you know? How about referrals? I can give you 25 great referrals but you wont get the 150 who want to sue me to pieces

Interview an agent. Get a personal feel by listening to them. Ask a LOT of questions. I used to joke that we wouldnt have our jobs if lawyers liked to play taxicab. Its not brain surgery but not tinker toys . I think the most valuable asset is knowing the market VERY well. No one has a crystal ball but some of us can come darned close by knowing the dynamics of any given area, mthe future city/county plans, etc. Good luck with your journey and I'll bet you wont miss that Atlanta HUMIDITY. I sure wouldnt.
0 votes
Dede DeJager, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jul 17, 2013
Take a look at the South Waterfront if you are in search of a condo. What is so special about the area is because as it was created from raw land and when the first building was started, the developers hired someone to form a SWF Neighborhood Association. Today when you are a runner, walker, etc. you will meet people from the entire community with that particular interest, not just those that live in your building. It is wonderful to have a real neighborhood and still have the benefits of condominium living. Take a look at that area when you are in Portland. It is the largest LEED community in the US. It has three schools down there so children live and play around you - it is thriving, lively and truly lovely right along the Willamette River. Hop a street car to downtown shopping or walk the river trails.
0 votes
Tom Inglesby, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jul 17, 2013
Welcome to Portland you are going to love it here. We have had a great sunny year with less than 15 inches of rain so far we are drying up I think in southern Oregon. :-) Interview some great agents here on Trulia and you will find a good match. The weather here really is perfect with almost no humidity except for a few days a year and if you like lightning that is rare also. You will find what you want but our prices will be a little bit higher than what you are used to. Our market has been tight for a couple of years because there has been very little new construction of condos or townhomes plus we are still coming back up from our drop in values and we are on a steady incline now. With looking and getting educated on our market you can feel comfortable buying a home. Good luck to you. Tom Inglesby, REMAX equity group
0 votes
, ,
Wed Jul 17, 2013
I have a few that I use depending on the area you are looking in. I am very picky of my own referral partners and would be happy to put you in touch with any one of them. If you would like a referral you can obtain my contact info by clicking on my profile photo.
0 votes
Nicole Smith,…, , Portland, OR
Wed Jul 17, 2013
Ugh, that is frustrating- so sorry to hear about that experience of someone who wanted to talk more than really demonstrate they were listening.

You will want to shop around- and ask the same questions of each of the agents you interview. Sometimes you will go with what makes you "feel" like the person gets you, and that is a good feeling to have. If you want to get really technical you can ask them a behavioral question to see how they would react.

I would love the opportunity to show you some different neighborhoods, to at least acclimate you to the differences in housing you can find here- no pressure, really. If you would like, just shoot me an email: nicoles@equitygroup.com
0 votes
The Stephen…, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jul 17, 2013
Nothing is more important than finding a good listener. Finding the right agent is often finding someone who has a good personality match with you as well. Don't give up, keep calling agents and holding phone interviews - you'll find a good one!
0 votes
Dave Nickers…, Agent, Lake Oswego, OR
Wed Jul 17, 2013
Sorry to hear about the frustration. Having a clear understanding of the wants, needs and expectations of everyone involved is critical. All parties involved should make a list of must haves, nice to haves and deal breakers for the new home. Once that is decided upon, interview a couple of agents together and decide on the best person for the job. A great agent will value your opinion and work hard to find you the perfect home, based on your needs.

Feel free to contact me for more information about the Portland housing market. I'd be happy to listen what you are looking for in a new home.

Best of luck.

David Nickerson
Web Reference:  http://www.4-homes.com
0 votes
Brian Fritzen, , Portland, OR
Wed Jul 17, 2013
My brother lives in the ATL and a dear friend of mine is moving back as we speak. I am actually working with a couple that just made the move to Portland from Atlanta and we have been having a lot of fun.
I don't think how many sales an agent has had is that important, it should be how you..as the client, connect with them so I would suggest interviewing a few and see how that goes. A friend of mine did this and even though she still went with me, she found the experience to be helpful.
As far as location depending on what you want I think you could find some great smaller homes around the Portland area where you would still be able to walk to restaurants, coffee, etc. The Pearl and downtown are fun but also VERY pricey. I know coming from ATL you may have a bit of sticker shock. ;0)
Welcome to Portland, you will LOVE it here. Please contact me if you have any questions.
0 votes
Janeese Jack…, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jul 17, 2013
so, I guess you have to "kiss a couple of frogs before you find your Prince or Princess"??? :-). Of course, communication is paramount. As Tamara indicated, there are a wealth of agents with a variety of experience that can be of service. I see that you are in Atlanta and, thus, that makes the interview process a little less personal and the results a little less reliable. Nonetheless, I would interview several agents via phone and/or email. I am currently a "condo-dweller" myself and have owned multiple condos and town homes (both personal and for investment properties). I can bring a wealth of personal experience to that search. Contact me if I can be of service. All the best, jj
PS: Portland is a magnificent "big-little city". You will love it here. I grew up in Murfreesboro, TN.

Janeese Jackson, Principal Broker
Real Estate Resource
503-709-0802
jj@janeesejackson.com
Web Reference:  http://fabulousportland.com
0 votes
Pat Fuller, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jul 17, 2013
I have worked with several people who have relocated to Portland from various parts of the country. I specialize in downsizing and have actually done it myself, now living in a small condo on the Willamette River near the Pearl. There are many opportunites for you depending on what you want to spend. Since I have lived here my entire life, I would really like to show you the city so that you could get an idea of what area appeals to you. Let me know when you are coming to Portland and if you would like to look at some condos. In the meantime, if you let me know more about what you are looking for, I would be happy to send you some current listings. My # is 503-705-2293.
0 votes
Tamara Koedo…, Agent, Lake Oswego, OR
Wed Jul 17, 2013
There is a wealth of great agents here on Trulia that you could interview, including myself. When working with a Realtor to find a home, it is very important that you work with someone you have complete trust in and also like. The relationship could last for several months.

If you are in the interviewing stage right now, I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to see if we would be a good fit. I have lived in the Portland area for over 40 years and have over 18 years in the industry so I know the market and area very well. I work with a lot of out of state clients and enjoy helping them get to know our fine city!

Tamara Koedoot
Premiere Property Group
tamara@pdxecobroker.com
503-734-6403
0 votes
Paige Abu-Na…, Agent, Battle Ground, WA
Wed Jul 17, 2013
I would be happy to help you and I work on both sides of the river between Oregon and Washington. My cell is 360-609-8040 and I work with mostly referrals from previous clients with no problems at all. Sorry you had to have a bad experience with another agent. I am a great listener:)
0 votes
Christian So…, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jul 17, 2013
What areas do you have the most interest in? Is walking to the grocery store, shops, etc important to you?
Portland has numerous neighborhoods all with a different feel. It is important to outline your interests first and then start the property search.
Let me know if I can help further.

Chris Solsby
0 votes
Manny Morales, Agent, Palmdale, CA
Wed Jul 17, 2013
Sorry to hear about your bad experience with that particular agent. A few things to keep in mind is that the agent should be doing 20% talking and 80% listening, and one more thing that I tell my clients is that we both have to feel comfortable and that I want them to feel free to express any concerns they might have so we can address it right away. We as agents are here for the client first and at then everything else. Hopefully this helped.
0 votes
Linda Heinri…, Agent, Lake Oswego, OR
Wed Jul 17, 2013
Referrals do not always mean there is a good fit in personalities and styles. There are many sources online to find testimonials from former clients, including Trulia, Zillow and more. If you would like to have a conversation, please feel free to call me or find out a little more by googling my name.

Obviously, we want to serve our clients needs in the best possible way, perhaps she was just trying to communicate that she had "experience" with the dollar amount of sales. But the bottom line is your needs and what is important to you in developing a trusted relationship with a professional to help you make this important move.

Wishing you the best.
0 votes
Ruth Velez, Agent, Banks, OR
Wed Jul 17, 2013
I'm sorry to hear you've already had such a bad experience, and you've only just begun the process. It definitely is important to feel comfortable with the person assisting you. So you're doing the right thing in looking for someone you do feel comfortable with.

Feel free to contact me. I'll be happy to meet with you and discuss what your needs are, and how best to meet those needs.

Best regards.

Ruth Velez
0 votes
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