Financially, Which Remodels are Best?

Not necessarily the best for quick return (important if you're selling in the next year or so), but the best value in the long term.  HouseLogic's "8 Most Financially Savvy Home Improvements are here


Posted on August 21, 2016 at 10:35 am
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Is Oregon’s Economy Improving? Yes, and Here’s Why

At a Windermere meeting last week we heard Windermere's Chief Economist.  

Here's the takeaway in plain English:

Posted on February 11, 2016 at 2:28 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Seller credits in the Portland area?

I just answered a question on a popular real estate site asking about the average amount of seller concessions for closing costs and repairs.  Here's what I wrote:

You've mixed two different things when you include repairs with closing costs.  A buyer's closing costs typically include some escrow & title fees, property taxes, and insurance.  Repair costs are the price of repairing something significant that's defective or problematic.  For example, if the sewer inspection finds a problem or if there's radon above actionable minimums.  The Portland area is very much a seller's market today.  The inventory of detached homes for sale in the entire 3-county metro area is down 28.1% from January 2015. We have only 1.8 months of inventory, which means if we continued to sell at the same rate and no new listings were added, in less than two months we would have sold everything.  When inventory is about six months, it's considered an even buyer-seller market.  What that means in terms of costs paid by the seller today is "not much", because any decent home has multiple offers, usually all over list price. In December 2015 I had a buyer write a $335,000 all-cash offer on a 2-BR 1100 SqFt home in NE Portland that was listed for $319,900.  The seller received 21 offers and sold for $400,000 all cash with no inspection contingency .   That's unusual but not unheard of.  So if you're a buyer, and the house is decent (not a fixer, or in a bad neighborhood, or wierd floor plan), expect to offer at least list, don't expect any seller credits for closing costs and repairs are certainly negotiable.  

Posted on February 9, 2016 at 5:32 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Home Selling, Portland Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

How Fast are Oregon Homes selling?

While the chart shows Oregon as less than 30 days, the reality is that any decent Portland home that's fairly priced will be gone in a week.  My last listing went live on MLS at 8:00 PM on a Saturday night.  We received 10 offers by Wednesday and accepted $56,000 over the list price.  

Besides the fact that the market is hot, this seller had wisely decided to have a home inspection before it went on the market, and fixed everything the inspection report turned up.  I recommend the pre-listing home inspection to all my sellers. Even if you don't want to fix everything, you get the time to generate multiple estimates for the work, instead of being presented with the buyer's bid late in the standard 10-day inspection period when you can't realistically get a contractor to show up in time to get any competing estimates. It's almost like agreeing to the highest repair estimate before you even see it.  Much better to have the time to get your own and either do the repairs or credit the buyer the amount of the lowest estimate. 

Posted on September 2, 2015 at 10:57 am
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Home Inspection, Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

How to Sell Your Portland Home – Start with these staging and curb appeal guides


In today's "Seller's Market" it's tempting to think it doesn't take much to sell your home, but there's so much more to it than putting pretty pictures (I pay a professional photographer) on the MLS.  It starts with defining a target buyer.  Just who's most likely to buy your home?  I recently listed a 3,000 square foot home, and the target buyer is a family.  This was not a home for the "down-sizer" or the "empty-nester".   Let's talk about how to market your home for top dollar.  Here are a few more tips from the National Association of Realtors.




Posted on July 13, 2013 at 5:23 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Selling, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

In Some Portland Neighborhoods Average Days on Market is TWO !


Why get preapproved before you start home shopping?

Why be sure you AND YOUR REALTOR know EXACTLY what & where your desired home is?

Why use a Realtor who stays on top of the market where you want to buy?

Because Portland Real Estate Is


This chart shows how many months it would take, at the current rate of sale, to sell all the homes currently listed on Portland's East Side if no new homes were added.  Six months is an even buyer-seller market.  Today is a very strong seller's market.  It's recovered a little bit from the low of six WEEKS to nearly seven weeks in April.



Would this be a good time to SELL your home?

Do you know what your home would sell for in today's hot market? Call me today for a free no-obligation estimate.








Posted on April 8, 2013 at 11:56 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Home Selling | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

A Remodeling Project (or Two) will NOT Increase Your Home’s Value. Here’s the Proof.


The best reference I know (short of an actual bid from a local contractor) for remodeling cost and how it affects the value is Home Remodeling magazine's bi-annual issue on the subject, available free here.

It defines every remodeling job.  For example a mid-range bathroom remodel is described as:

"Update an existing 5-by-7-foot bathroom. Replace all fixtures to include 30-by-60-inch porcelain-on-steel tub with 4-by-4-inch ceramic tile surround; new single-lever temperature and pressure-balanced shower control; standard white toilet; solid-surface vanity counter with integral sink; recessed medicine cabinet with light; ceramic tile floor; vinyl wallpaper"

Then it gives you an estimate of what that will cost, in every major metropolitan area of the county (the link is to Portland, OR), AND how much of that cost you will likely recover when you sell.   In addition to Mid-Range, many projects also present an Upscale version. 

You'll notice that not a single remodeling project will return more than its cost.  The best is 91.5% return on a minor kitchen remodel.  Of course the monetary return on investment is not the only reason to remodel.  If your kitchen was top drawer by 1960 standards, you will get daily joy from one that's upgraded.  If you're ready to sell, bringing a kitchen or baths up to date will also make your home sell faster, if not for more money than you put into it. 

Take a look at the chart.  I think you'll find some surprising numbers.  Let us know with a comment on this post

Posted on November 27, 2012 at 6:29 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Home Selling, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Would You Rather Spend $400 or $12,000? Why You Need a Home Inspection

Another agent in my office recently listed a Portland house which the seller (Let's call her Mary) had purchased without a home inspection (or Realtor representation).   The buyer (Let's call him John) did buy a home inspection, which discovered mold, faulty wiring and hazardous attic insulation, among other things, all of which will cost Mary $12,000 to remediate.  That $12,000 is an expense that most likely could have been paid by the seller when Mary bought the house.  So in this case Mary saved $400 (a typical home inspection fee) and is now spending $12,000 to complete the sale to John. 

Even beyond that, I recommend to all my clients, buyers and sellers both, that they purchase a home inspection.  The advantage for a seller is that any significant issues are found and can be addressed by either fixing the problem, offering a credit, or adjusting the list price.   The advantage to a buyer is that significant issues discovered will usually be corrected at the seller's expense.

My recocommendation to all clients, whether buyer or seller, is to not have the seller do the repairs.  It's much better to either credit the amount of necessary repairs to the buyer at closing, or adjust the sale price by that amount. That way a seller doesn't have to deal with the repairs or any unhappiness from the buyer about the quality of work; a buyer gets to select who and how the work is done without worrying that the seller did the work "on the cheap".  



Posted on August 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Home Inspection, Home Inspection, Home Selling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,