Portland is affectionately known as Rose City, but the local landscape produces an amazing range of plants, flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
Nature and community are two of the most cherished aspects in Portland, so it's easy to see why these things combine at local community gardens.
Our two-year-old white-hot market had to correct at some point, says TeamUp Seattle Managing Broker, Michael Ackerman. And while it's still a seller's market, there may finally be some opportunities for buyers.
The cooling real estate market seems to have created a "flood of inventory" for buyers. At the same time, the rise in interest rates has bumped some of those buyers in the under $750K range out of the market. Qualifying for large mortgages is tough for all buyers, but properties in the $1M plus range are still selling, despite having slowed down recently.
Reasonably priced, well represented and staged properties, says Ackerman, may still see multiple offers. But the days of bidding wars and two-day sales for over the asking price may be in the rear-view mirror. With sellers having to adjust their strategies, buyers might be able to get into desirable properties for the asking price while interest rates are still at a relatively low at around 5%.
"We need to work with sellers – and to a certain extent also buyers - to help them adjust their expectations. There's been a palpable shift in the last month; everyone seems to be taking a collective breath. In our locally strong economy, the market it still active. Though the January 6 hearings, the war in Ukraine, and stock market fluctuations are affecting the luxury market most dramatically with an 18% drop from last year.
Ackerman adds there's still plenty of business to go around. Market variabilities are a "psychological head game," and managing that requires flexibility. Ackerman advises brokers to "stay buoyant and remain hopeful." The truth is a balanced real estate market creates more win-win situations. He adds that the cooling market requires a bit more creativity. "Hone your negotiating skills," he says. "It's time to look at creative financing contingencies, being more aggressive about open houses and spending more quality time and energy on each listing. Make sure your systems are in good shape and that you can 'do it right the first time' every chance you get."
Interest rates may still go higher, so it makes sense to remind buyers this could be a good time for them. "Be passionate about helping clients through this important life event. Be honest, flexible and realistic as you set expectations for buyers and sellers. How can you fit into their life story?" he asks, "How can you serve it best?"
The white-hot market was unsustainable. Knowledge is power, says Ackerman. Make sure you know all you need to know about today's fluctuating market and set realistic expectations for your clients, your colleagues and yourself.
There are plenty of nature retreats near the Seattle area, and perhaps one of the most visually stunning is hiking to a waterfall. Summer is the perfect time to view these exquisite works of art in Mother Nature's portfolio. Our brokers love having easy access to these spectacular waterfalls within a short distance from Seattle homes for sale.
For David Merrick, broker and Global Luxury Specialist in CB Bain's Vancouver, Washington office, success is all about relationships. And he has 25 years of industry achievements to back up the value of that strategy. As a gay realtor, David has taken advantage of his ability to assess people and his surroundings while working with clients, potential clients, and colleagues. He acknowledges occasional challenges, but declares he's faced very few professional obstacles based on his LGBTQ status.
"You may encounter awkward situations where a client may not be as accepting as you would like. It's ok to walk away from these situations. Professionally declining their business and referring them to a broker who may be a better fit is not only better for you, but for your business in the long term. It will also improve your chances of other brokers referring comparable clients to you."
David puts effective networking at the top of his list of best practices. He does this with memberships in multiple gay realtor organizations, such as NAGLREP (National Association of Gay/Lesbian Real Estate Professionals), the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance and the Real Pride Network. He cites the high value of these networks for acquiring, as well as sending out referrals; reciprocity builds relationships. "These groups also do a great deal of work in promoting causes with NAR (National Association of Realtors) and with federal and local governments to keep equality in the conversation in real estate and beyond."
These organizations have membership listings on their websites, which David claims are well worth the minimal membership fees. There are also other relatively inexpensive LGBTQ+ sites to help build name recognition, mainly for buyer/seller leads. Gayrealestate.com, Gay Real Estate Directory and GayRealtyNet.com are a few. David suggests there are certain feeder markets where it makes sense to run target Facebook ads, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Chicago…you just need to know who you want to reach.
Born and raised in Southern California, David has lived in the San Francisco Bay area, New York, and Utah, but he now calls the Pacific Northwest home. He holds broker licenses in Washington and Oregon, lives and works in the Camas and Washougal area because of its "easy access to beautiful hiking trails and the Columbia River, amazing views of Mount Hood, and proximity to all the great restaurants, shopping, and nightlife that Portland has to offer."
David also uses the concept of networking with his clients. He learned early in his retail career to listen to customers and follow up by working diligently to match their needs and negotiate their best price whether buying or selling a property. He claims that getting to know his clients is the best part of his job, and he proves that by connecting them to their new communities. He's started hosting dinners and wine tastings for new homeowners to introduce them to members of their new community. "Several of my clients move into the area and don't know anyone, so helping them connect with others has proven beneficial and has been well received within my sphere!"
And he applies his eye for interior design and architecture to help clients visualize the possibilities in a home they're considering or to stage the home they're selling in a most appealing way. He also works with volunteer organizations in his community – Habitat for Humanity and the local food bank being his favorites. He says, "...it always feels good to 'give back' to the community that I work in."
Being a gay broker carries with it some special safety concerns. Realtors are easy targets, unfortunately, says David, "...as we often work alone at open houses and taking clients on property tours. So, it's always a good idea to know your surroundings and potential ways to get out of a home or property, if necessary." David says he doesn't always feel comfortable showing a property in a certain area, he makes sure he tells a trusted friend where he's going and when.
David's success as a broker draws on a comprehensive approach and a solid sense of his own talents. Here's what he has to say about it:
Be involved in local community and things will continue to grow as you get and stay connected.
Portland offers plenty of restaurants serving fantastic international dishes. Whether you're in search of a new favorite roll or you've never tried sushi before, join our brokers in celebrating International Sushi Day on Saturday, June 18 with a visit to one of these amazing Portland restaurants.