The future is looking good for Aurora, Oregon’s potential growth and jobs.
The Oregon Department of Aviation recently recommended moving forward with the extension of the Aurora State Airport’s runway. While more work remains, the flight path for this local economic boost seems clear. Read more here!
As is usual with the sale of anything, there are a few factors for Aurora, Oregon homesellers to consider. Local homeseller costs typically include a real estate commission, plus items like title insurance, escrow and recording fees. There are other attendant costs, too, like the ‘hassle factor’ and moving expenses.
Spoiler Alert: The answer to the question of how much it costs to sell your home is, ‘it depends.’
Why is this the case? Well, for starters, Realtors frequently work using different commission rates. On top of that, you don’t always know with precision every single cost you may incur as a homeseller, such as negotiated home repairs. Yet despite all this variability, sellers can still receive an estimate of the cost to sell their home from a Realtor and while sometimes it’s within a given range, that figure is typically close to reality.
First, let’s focus on specific hard costs to actually sell your home. When considering your ‘bottom line,’ it’s important for homesellers to include in their calculations any liens (like an existing home loan, home equity line of credit, or unpaid property taxes) that need to be paid at closing.
Price vs. Cost In selling a home, it’s helpful to understand the difference between price and cost. Here’s a summary for homesellers to consider when looking at most efficiently selling their home for the least cost:
Price = The ‘sticker’ amount of what you’re buying, like hiring a Realtor to sell your home.
Cost = What you stand to lose if you don’t consider your return-on-investment. For example, if the agent you hire does a poor job, you can:
1. Lose time (say goodbye to opportunities like that home purchase you planned to make, since you expected your home to quickly sell).
2. Receive less buyer activity and fewer offers.
3. Experience frustration (lost sleep and more).
For example, if you find a dentist to work cheaply, but end up with an infection or need to pay another dentist to get the job done to your satisfaction, the case can be made that a cheaper price is hardly a bargain. That’s because the cost can be significantly higher than the price you initially agreed upon.
Commissions Are Negotiable
The Realtor fee to sell a home is usually called a ‘commission.’ Regarding the real estate commission amount, because Realtors are independent contractors, if you ask more than one real estate agent, you may receive a few different answers. This article gives one attorney’s view of a Realtor’s value. A Realtor fee is truly the free market in action. Cream ‘rises to the top,’ so better agents usually are paid as much (sometimes more) than less experienced brokers, who may be less successful and/or offer fewer services.
Give Me A Number By far the most common commission arrangement is that unless your home actually sells and closes, no real estate fee is paid. According to this 2017 Realtor.com article, the average prevailing commission for a home sale is about 6%. That said, you can expect the majority of professional agents to approximate each other. The commission amounts quoted are likely to be different, but so is the service and expertise of the agent. Like you, Realtors only have 24 hours in a day. When an agent is working with you, that’s time he or she could be spending with another client. And because commission sales are a results-based, expect to pay a competitive rate to hire a successful Realtor.
This isn’t so surprising, since if you were to pay for a doctor’s visit, a home furnace service call, or a mechanic to fix your lawn mower, there is usually a range of what is considered reasonable. Similarly, throughout our region that range can vary. This explains why it’s difficult to provide a precise and accurate dollar figure on seller costs when selling a home. It can also depend on the property itself.
Feeling The Burn
Expect ‘bargain’ commission rate quotes from less experienced or desperate agents. Also expect a low quote from less diligent agents who may simply stick a sign in the yard and either hope it sells, or intend on ‘beating the seller down in price’ in order to increase their odds of eventually being paid. If a ‘churn and burn’ attitude is not what you want, consider working with a helpful, consultant type Realtor who actually represents your best interests and doesn’t use ‘strong arm’ tactics. To summarize, if a commission seems to good to be true, it probably is. In the end, you may pay considerably more than you bargained for to become someone else’s ‘on the job’ training.
The Volume Discount
If a property is priced very low, such as a vacant lot located in a small and distant town, commissions frequently are higher to help make up for an agent’s considerable time and effort. Why? Consider that the real estate commission on a $25,000 lot can be around 1/10th of a $250,000 home, yet both require plenty of paperwork and attention to detail. Marketing the $25,000 lot may even take considerably longer and involve more sheer work. To attract a good, diligent agent may require paying a bit more in the real estate commission to adjust for the reality of that Realtor’s lost opportunities with other more lucrative properties while selling yours.
How A Lower Commission Hurts Homesellers The thought that sellers are potentially damaged by a lower commission paid to their Realtor is counter-intuitive, right? Think again. Here’s an example using that 2017 Realtor.com statistic of 6% as the ‘average’ Realtor commission.
Real estate is a business. And because Realtors are salespeople, they expect to be paid what they’re worth. This is especially true of experienced agents who are typically among the best at their profession. So let’s consider a seller, Mr. Jones who wishes to save some money. As a result, he talks with several Realtors and finds one willing to work not for 6%, but 4%. Great for Mr. Jones, right? Possibly not and here’s why, looking at just one of numerous reasons.
Doing ‘The Split’
It’s helpful to understand that the Realtor representing Mr. Jones doesn’t typically get the entire commission, regardless of the amount. In our region, it’s common for commissions to be split four ways. There are exceptions, but here’s how the commission distribution usually breaks down and each part can vary, depending in large part upon the total commission:
1. Part to the seller’s Realtor 2. Part to the seller’s real estate company
3. Part to the buyer’s Realtor
4. Part to the buyer’s real estate company.
Given such a ‘split,’ no one is getting rich and compared to the national average of 6%, suddenly a 4% commission is looking pretty skinny. Here’s why that matters.
Commission ‘splits’ or distribution can vary, but if the Realtor and company working for Mr. Jones receive around half of the commission, or around 2%, that leaves a less-than-common 2% commission to be shared between the buyer’s Realtor and the firm they represent.
Why does that matter?
Because the buyer’s Realtor can easily look at the listing sheet and see precisely what commission is being offered to the buyer’s Realtor who writes an acceptable offer for the home of Mr. Jones. If the commission structure pays a percentage or two less than what that buyer’s Realtor is accustomed to receiving for selling a home, expect a tepid response, or possibly no response at all. After all, there are frequently other homesellers who ‘pay the going rate’ whose homes are just as easy to sell.
It’s simply too easy for a buyer’s agent to observe those homes that pay what is seen as a competitive commission. So much for Mr. Jones ‘saving’ money. That’s because the end result of a ‘bargain’ commission could instead be fewer showings, a longer market time and diminished offer activity on his home. Remember, a main reason for multiple listing is to get more offers for a seller’s property. It’s generally a good idea not to work against that principle. Pay professionals the market rate and you usually won’t regret it.
There are different ways to sell your home. The most common and (usually most profitable) is to hire a full service Realtor. Another method is to go it alone, ‘by owner.’ Yet one more alternative is to work with a ‘discount broker.’ Let’s look at each of these scenarios to see which might be right for you.
Homeselling ‘For Sale By Owner’ If you do decide to try selling your property by yourself, you will soon realize there are good reasons why even real estate agents pay a commission to sell their own homes. That’s because in addition to taking on a second job, from a ‘bottom line’ standpoint, hiring a Realtor is usually by far the most profitable way to go.
The irony for ‘by owner’ homesellers is that in their attempt to save money, they usually leave the most money on the table. That’s because ‘by owner’ is often the least effective and most expensive way to sell your home. Since your property isn’t in the Realtor’s multiple listing system, you can expect to have far fewer qualified buyers aware of your property. Fewer buyers means less competition and less offer activity.
Home & Personal Security
Before offers, come showings. This brings the security of yourself and your possessions into play. Realtors routinely scrutinize buyers before agreeing to represent them. Don’t like the idea of unscreened and unaccompanied strangers in your house? Then selling ‘by owner’ may not be for you. The simple fact is that working with a Realtor provides one more layer of scrutiny and seller security.
Sellers ‘by owner’ routinely must deal with ‘tire-kickers’ who are unqualified to buy and therefore can be a significant waste of time. And if you do happen to get an offer when selling ‘by owner,’ there’s no Realtor to deal with under-handed offer tactics, contingency ‘landmines’ and other potential pitfalls, plus no documents to help protect your interests, such as the arbitration and mediation clause. As a result, lawsuits can become more of a likelihood. Didn’t complete a property disclosure or lead paint form? Don’t know a good repair contractor? Dislike ‘legalese’ in documents you’ve never seen? If you plan to sell ‘by owner,’ be prepared for some expensive surprises.
Convicted fraudsters can appear very unassuming. Some ‘sketchy’ buyers take advantage of ‘for sale by owners’ too. That’s because there is often less buyer competition, since you’re not in the Realtor multiple listing system and therefore buyers typically have both time and less buyer activity working for them. If you happen to be a real estate attorney with a ‘hot property’ that has buyers knocking on your door and you have it priced right, plus you don’t mind doing a lot of legwork, going ‘by owner’ may work for you.
Want A Second Job?
But if you have a full time job, want maximum exposure, plus an experienced professional to assist in pricing, marketing and transactional minutiae, including a Realtor simply makes sense. Sellers with a Realtor net a better return at closing compared to ‘for sale by owners.’ Some of the most parsimonious banks realize this and as a result, financial institutions routinely hire real estate agents to sell their REO (real estate owned), which are often foreclosed properties.
Homeselling by Discount Broker For homesellers, a step up from ‘for sale by owner’ is the ‘discount broker.’ Some consider it akin to a low budget buffet, the kind where the food and service may find you walking away wishing you’d gone somewhere else. You could get lucky, but don’t be surprised if you get heartburn, instead.
That’s because while you’ll now probably be placed in a Realtor multiple listing system, a potential downfall is a possibly reduced commission paid to buyer’s Realtor. Unless you’re paying the buyer’s Realtor a competitive rate, don’t expect agents to rush to your door and sell your property. On top of that, some discount broker agreements require the seller to handle showings, negotiate the transaction on their own and even handle much of the paperwork. So much for being easier!
Homeselling by Full Service Realtor This is the ‘full meal deal.’ You’re in at least one multiple listing system, have full representation, plus the abundant resources of a licensed professional at your disposal. Showings are followed up on, paperwork is handled on your behalf and you can expect priority to be made for your questions and scheduling.
The Bottom Line Because any commission charged by your Realtor is only one piece of the seller’s ‘net at closing’ puzzle, it’s a good idea to request an estimate of closing costs, including real estate commission, prior to listing your property. This provides you with a better picture of what to expect at closing. This is a free service provided by Realtors and helpful in gauging an approximation of the funds you can expect at closing.
Thinking About Selling? Consider working with full service Realtor Roy Widing at Oregon’s Certified Realty. For a free consultation of what your Oregon property could sell for in today’s market and your ‘bottom line’ of seller’s proceeds at closing, use the convenient contact form below or call 800-637-1950.
Before entering into a business relationship, it’s helpful to know your Aurora, Oregon real estate agent is nice, patient, available when needed…and honest. So while many of us assume we’re ‘safe’ in the hands of our doctor, attorney or pastor, what about your Aurora Realtor? Find out more in the audio podcast of this program here, or use the audio player below.
Of special note is the OREA ‘Administrative Action’ section, which provides information about decisions regarding Oregon real estate violations. The resulting consequences to untrustworthy real estate agents could include a reprimand, license suspension, license revocation and/or a civil penalty. So while no screening process is foolproof (as witnessed by crimes committed by doctors, attorneys and other professionals), the state of Oregon does considerable due diligence to vet real estate agents.
As part of the application process to become an Oregon real estate agent, any felony and misdemeanor convictions and arrests must be disclosed. The disclosure requirement is fairly high, because in addition to any criminal activity, also requiring disclosure are any administrative proceedings, plus civil and even financial issues. For example, if a prospective Oregon real estate agent has an unsatisfied judgment or bankruptcy, each must be disclosed.
A Matter of Trust
Trust is an important factor when buying or selling Aurora, Oregon real estate. Thankfully, trusting your Realtor is not super risky. That’s because consumer surveys consistently reflect a high level of satisfaction with Realtor performance. One study by Forbes magazine revealed 96% satisfaction for the real estate industry. So if many real estate agents were dishonest, we could expect that figure to be much lower.
This doesn’t mean blindly signing off on every suggestion one receives from their Realtor. But obsessively hand wringing over transaction minutiae is one sure way to make the process less enjoyable. A recommended approach is for Aurora area homebuyers and homesellers to carefully read all documents, ask plenty of questions and work with a recommended professional with a solid track record.
Trust For Homesellers
Looking at trust from a Aurora homeseller’s perspective, for starters there’s significant trust needed to deal with buyers. For instance, significant trust is needed to allow strangers in your house. There’s also trust in taking your property off the market, in the hope a sale will go through. And trust in finding a replacement home.
Trust For Homebuyers
Trust is needed for Aurora area homebuyers, too. Trust is necessary in working with a lender and that the discomfort of prequalifying will be worthwhile. Trust they’ll find a home they like and can afford. Trust their lender will come through.
Trust For Both Homebuyers & Homesellers
So what do Aurora, Oregon homebuyers and homesellers share in common? Trust. And there is perhaps no greater trust that homebuyers and sellers have in common than in their Realtor.
After all, your Realtor is someone you expect to be there to help navigate your way through what is frequently the largest financial transaction of a lifetime. Similar to an attorney or priest, Realtors are expected to keep confidences.
But let’s first look at a few situations which underscore why it’s important to be able to trust your real estate agent.
Trusting your Realtor means you don’t have to second guess suggestions you receive. Let’s take pricing your home, for example. If you can’t trust your agent to provide meaningful comparable home activity information, how can you possibly expect him or her to advise you once an offer comes in?
Trusting your Realtor means you can breathe easier with less stress. Buying or selling a home is considered to be a particularly stressful activity. In addition, most homebuyers and homesellers don’t want to take on real estate as a second job, especially when making a house move. So expect that by having your bases well-covered by a professional you can believe, you’ll find the entire process far less taxing. If a Realtor is ‘pushy’ and won’t listen to your concerns, it’s likely a good time to find a new one.
Trusting your Realtor means you can readily access reliable resources. Speaking of taxing, if you need recommendations for an experienced 1031 tax exchange professional, or real estate attorney, or home inspector, or mortgage lender, or home repair contractor, expect those recommendations to be even more valuable from a trustworthy agent.
Trusting your Realtor means you can focus. There’s usually enough to deal with throughout the course of any real estate transaction. Dealing with lenders, appraisers, inspectors, contractors, title companies and the like can be overwhelming. As a result, you’re more likely to be far more effective if you can concentrate on what you’re best at, while having your real estate agent handle what he or she is best at.
Trusting your Realtor means more time. Just like you can expect to have more time to go fishing if you hire a contractor to build your new deck, working with a trustworthy real estate agent allows you to do other, more enjoyable tasks than scheduling a home inspection, constantly dealing with escrow details, or meeting an appraiser.
Relationship Chemistry Trust is easier when there is good ‘chemistry’ between a Realtor and their client. When seeking an agent to refer for out of area homebuyers or homesellers, there are many things that a Realtor can readily confirm. These include an agent’s years in business, designations earned, coverage area, plus areas of specialty like homes, farms or commercial property.
As a result, I’m frequently able to locate a very good Realtor to ‘match’ with an out of state homebuyer or seller and it’s not always difficult. That said, the one challenging element to know with certainty is the ‘chemistry’ that even a highly qualified, out-of-area Realtor will have with a new client.
People are different and that includes real estate agents. Most times relationships work out swimmingly with the referred agent. On rare occasions, it doesn’t work out. But going in and at least on paper, the homebuyer or homeseller who interviews a previously unknown, yet vetted Realtor, knows the agent is qualified and experienced, along with some important other facts about him or her. Plus, knowing these facts up front is typically less risky than taking a ‘shot in the dark’ with an unknown agent.
Does The Company Matter? Because Oregon real estate agents are independent contractors, the individual Realtor is who typically matters most. After all, you don’t expect a faceless corporation to answer your late night question, or go over the details of your settlement statement. For example, I don’t care that much about what hospital I go to, but I want to have a say in the surgeon who will do the operating. Similarly, it’s the individual agent who is in a position to make the most difference, whether from a small or large office. However, longevity of a real estate firm can be helpful in determining that they are probably doing something right. So if a company you’re considering has been in existence for half a century or more, they’re likely not a ‘fly by night’ outfit.
Alternative Agent Finding Methods One of the ‘little-known secrets’ about real estate online, including agent ratings, is that placement is frequently purchased. Realtors frequently buy what are known as ‘leads.’ Examples include Zillow and even Realtor.com. Sometimes this is done by the agent buying incoming inquiries regarding a specific zip code. Sometimes, the agent pays for better placement on a real estate website page in order to stand out.
If you decide to use a magazine or the Internet to locate an agent, it may be best to consider that as a first step of information gathering. Promotional materials can be misleading and if carefully crafted, can leave out a lot of important information. For example, if an Realtor is brand new, he or she may focus on how many agents their company employs, personal community involvement like donations to charity, or sponsorships. While these could be nice facts, they may not have a lot to do with the agent’s proficiency, professionalism, or even trustworthiness.
Referrals Are Built on Trust One good way to find a trustworthy Realtor is to ask people you trust and get a referral. The ‘proof is in the pudding,’ so if your friend or family member is happy with a specific real estate agent, there’s a good chance for a similar repeat performance.
White Hat or Black Hat?
One area where certain real estate agents are sometimes revealed to be wearing either a ‘white hat’ or ‘black hat’ is in the area known as ‘dual agency’ or ‘disclosed limited agency.’ This is a situation when an agent with a listed property also works with the buyer. To be clear, most Realtors are aboveboard and honest, continually looking out for their client’s best interests.
That said, the challenge to some agents comes when the agent attempts to ‘elbow aside’ other buyers, their agents and/or offers, in order to push his or her offer through. Why on earth would a Realtor push hard to get their offer accepted, since it’s all about simply selling the house, isn’t it? Not exactly. That’s because if the listing Realtor also sells your home, they typically get paid more.
Dueling with Dual Agency In Realtor circles, the topic of dual agency has proponents and detractors. As a result, don’t expect every real estate agent you run into to have the same opinion. In reality, dual agency can be a very good thing, as seen in our previous article titled “5 ‘Insider Oregon Real Estate Tips.’ There, the topic ‘Having A ‘Double Agent’ Can Be A Good Thing‘ ranks as item #1 out of thefiveitems listed. The advantages to having an agent on both sides of a real estate transaction are clear.
The result, good or bad, can significantly depend on your agent’s trustworthiness. For example, hurriedly accepting the first offer can work out. That’s because sometimes the first offer is the best offer. Alternatively, acting without as much available information as possible sometimes comes at significant expense to the seller, who may be urged to quickly accept the offer their listing (seller’s) agent has written. The problem is that the listing Realtor can be expected to reasonably know how much activity there is on the property for sale. Again, trust is key here.
Plus, given the amount of agent and buyer activity, along with the quality of inquiries (such as highly motivated, qualified buyers), the seller’s Realtor may have even heard comments from other agents about possible future offers. So by pushing his or her own offer, is the listing Realtor providing the seller with all known information in order to truly serve the seller’s best interest? Sometimes the only person to seemingly know the answer is the listing agent. A Harvard Business Review articlenotes why this situation can be a problem:
“Take cheating. Claremont McKenna psychologist Piercarlo Valdesolo and I have conducted many experiments on the topic, and one surprising (if disheartening) result we have found, time and again, is that 90% of people—most of whom identify themselves as morally upstanding—will act dishonestly to benefit themselves if they believe they won’t get caught. Why? Anonymity means no long-term cost will be exacted. Even more startling is the fact that most of those who cheat also refuse to characterize their actions as untrustworthy; they rationalize their behavior even while condemning the same in others…”
More than once, an honest real estate agent working with a highly qualified and motivated buyer has inquired about a property, even written up that buyer’s offer, only to have the listing agent hurriedly put together his or her own offer and submit it to the seller in order to ‘tie up’ the property (and presumably make more money), before other offers can be considered. It’s a fact of the real estate business and as a result, unethical agents develop a reputation and are often viewed warily by others in the business.
The ‘Commission Effect’ If all these elements don’t sufficiently complicate the task of finding a trustworthy Aurora, Oregon Realtor, there is also a phenomenon you might call the ‘commission effect.’ This is outlined in a previous article titled ‘5 little Known Realtor Insider Tips:’Realtors Can Calculate Their Paycheck by Viewing a Property Listing Sheet. This means that for agents truly focused on maximizing their payday, you might expect them to guide you toward homes that pay a higher commission structure. The listing sheet is typically only seen by multiple listing members. Thankfully, most Realtors simply don’t do business in this manner.
The Bottom Line During high level negotiations,President Ronald Reagan sometimes used the term ‘Trust, but verify.’ This old Russian proverb could be a helpful approach to grant you peace of mind in finding a trustworthy agent for your next real estate transaction. Do your research and ask family and friends for Realtor references. Be open and forthright, then make your best decision based on relevant, reliable information for your situation.
Thinking about selling your Aurora property, or have real estate questions? Contact your Aurora real estate specialist Roy Widing with Certified Realty today for a free consultation. Roy has been selling Aurora properties since 1988 and he can sell yours, too. Simply use the convenient form below, or call him at (800) 637-1950.
To adults and kids alike, superheroes seem to have time-tested appeal. Some think it’s because they look different. Indeed, some superheroes dress uniquely. Others believe superheroes represent the ‘good guy’ and these days, we can always use more ‘good guys.’ Yet others suggest that superheroes are in the rescue business and we all have an area in our lives where we could use help. Whatever the reason, it’s undeniable that superheroes hold a unique place in our imagination.
Do Real Estate Superheroes Exist? So fighting bad guys is an expected vocation for a superhero. But how could there possibly be Realtor superheroes? Would they use x-ray glasses to view inside homes to find potential issues, carry an anti-kryptonite pen to protect against real estate ‘evil doers,’ or hold their trusty multiple listing lockbox keycard in their utility belt?
The Realty Reality
While not superhuman, some Aurora, Oregon real estate agents stand far apart from others. And when hundreds of thousands of dollars are literally on the line during your next home sale or purchase, chances are you’ll feel better throughout the entire process when working with a truly ‘super’ Realtor. But is it possible to easily locate a terrific real estate agent that’s not only experienced, but also dedicated, plus recognized for excellence among his or her peers? You’re about to find out.
‘Superhero’ Defined Superheroes are considered to be more than mere heroes, in part because their achievements transcend what is humanly possible. Superheros are often portrayed as heroes with extraordinary, superhuman powers. So while no Realtor is superhuman, in comparing performance, it’s clear that sometimes a single real estate agent can outperform several other, less productive Realtors. There are different reasons why this is true and part of it relates to the ‘Pareto principle,’ better known as the ’80-20′ rule, where 20% of a group is frequently responsible for as much as 80% of the results.
What’s In Your Utility Belt? Effective Aurora, Oregon Realtors are also more likely to avail themselves of advanced tools on behalf of their buyer and seller clients. But it doesn’t stop there. That’s because in addition to ‘high tech’ expertise like sophisticated monitoring of real estate activity for their clients, a ‘superhero’ Realtor combines it with ‘high touch.’ This means they help with access to not only specialized experience and knowledge, but also to an often vast and diverse network of other experienced professionals, such as reputable mortgage lenders, roofers, 1031 tax deferred exchange experts, electricians, and repair firms.
But Why Even Hire A ‘Superhero?’ In considering the use of your own real estate ‘superhero,’ it helps to understand what they’re able to achieve better than other Aurora area Realtors. After all, why use a ‘superhero’ when any old hero will do?
To begin, it’s helpful to understand that an agent is your representative. He or she advises and acts in your best interest, which includes ‘fighting’ on your behalf. So who or what might a real estate ‘superhero’ fight? Enter the real estate ‘super villain.’ In Oregon real estate, you’re not likely to run into comic book characters or movie baddies like Darth Vader, Lex Luthor or The Joker. Instead, the kind of ‘super villain’ behavior you’re more likely to encounter is both real and potentially ‘deal-killing.’
The potential list of treacherous adversaries is long. Issues that could put the kibosh on your real estate transaction (while potentially costing you a lot of money) include dry rot, deferred maintenance (think leaky roof), a poor home inspection, title report issues, a low appraisal or a picky loan underwriter. If you’re a homebuyer, you can add certain challenging homeseller attititudes to the potential list of transaction implosions and if you’re a homeseller, you might include certain ham-fisted home buyer attitudes. The bottom line is that in order to deal with a multiplicity of potential detrimental factors affecting your home purchase or sale, it’s clearly best to be prepared. And when you’re knee deep in transaction challenges, that’s not the best time to wish you were working with someone more qualified.
It’s A Bird…It’s A Plane…It’s The CRS Realtor There are literally millions of real estate agents and as you might expect, not all of them are the same. As with any profession, experience, proficiency and dedication can vary widely.
Most Realtors are indeed capable of providing good service, reasonable counsel and some helpful information. The fact is however, that some Realtors have considerably more experience, training and better results. It’s also undeniable that CRS designees are equipped to provide their home buying and home selling clients with advanced real estate insights, knowledge and competence. CRS holders have an average of double the experience of those Realtors without the Certified Residential Specialist designation. This illustrates a clear track record of getting the job done.
But first, what differentiates a real estate superhero from other real estate agents?
X-Ray Vision Because CRS Realtors are experienced and complete far more transactions than the average agent, it’s not surprising that many times they ‘see through’ problems, even before they occur.
Benefits Beyond A Single Transaction Another key benefit to working with a CRS Realtor is their networking advantage. So if you expect to buy or sell in Oregon, or you’ll be buying or selling in a different state, the CRS referral network is a proven way for you to connect with another ‘high caliber’ Realtor holding the CRS designation.
Speaking of High Caliber: Faster Than A Speeding Referral The CRS organization has an entire system devoted to a virtually seamless referral system for buyers and sellers seeking a super-qualified Certified Residential Specialist Realtor. For example, I recently received a phone call from an Idaho CRS agent working with buyers from Oregon. These buyers found their ‘perfect’ Idaho home and needed to sell their Oregon home in order to purchase the Idaho property. The Idaho CRS Realtor suggested they work with a local CRS agent to most effectively sell the Oregon home. In a matter of minutes after receiving the phone call from the Idaho CRS agent, I was in contact with these Oregon homeowners, then proceeded to list and sell their property in short order.
You May Never Have Met A CRS It’s hardly surprising if you don’t recall ever meeting a Certified Residential Specialist. A CRS Realtor is in the top 3 percent of real estate agents in the United States. That means 97% of the Realtors you’re likely to run into aren’t a CRS. So what makes working with a CRS so much better?
Clinical Specialization Meets Bedside Manner
To put the topic of Realtor proficiency in another context, if your 5 year old has a broken arm, do you want a pediatric orthopedic specialist to examine, accurately diagnose, then properly set the youngster’s bone, or would any young intern fresh out of medical school be your first choice? After all, both are doctors. A similar principal applies to selecting an agent. The surprising thing here is that in choosing your next Realtor, it typically costs the same or less to go with the professional having more experience and proficiency.
Similarly, there’s an understandable difference between an agent who just received a real estate license and one who has been diligently working full time in the field for decades. But taking it another step beyond mere experience are those who hold accreditation for advanced real estate performance. The CRS designation isn’t easy to earn. It involves what is typically a multi-year advanced course regimen, plus documented real estate production and typically years of ‘in the field’ real estate experience. These recognized levels of education, training, production, time-tested experience and provable success amount to a higher standard of achievement.
A Bundle of ‘Keys’ to Your Next Real Estate Transaction To most homebuyers and homesellers, one key to a Realtor’s stellar real estate performance is consistent performance. Another is experience. Yet one more is education. The advantage to you as a homebuyer or homeseller in working with a CRS Realtor is that you get the entire bundle of keys and reduce your chances of being ‘locked out’ in your next transaction.
The Answer: While the usual term for CRS is Certified Residential Specialist, you might consider agents holding this esteemed real estate degree as Certified Real Estate Superhero. That’s because it involves a lot to attain the CRS designation. Some have compared the real estate CRS designation as being the CPA of real estate.
Thinking about selling your Aurora property, or have real estate questions? Contact your Aurora real estate specialist, Roy Widing with Certified Realty today for a free consultation. Roy has been selling Aurora properties since 1988 and he can sell yours, too. Simply use the convenient form below, or call him at (800) 637-1950.
Out of Area?
What if there was a way you could locate a real estate ‘superhero’ for your next Oregon transaction? Thanks to the CRS referral network, there actually is an easy way to find an extraordinary Realtor, no matter where you live. Perhaps the simplest is to contact a CRS like Aurora resident and Oregon Real Estate Podcast host, Roy Widing, CRS with Certified Realty. If you’d like to reach a CRS Realtor in a different state or region of the United States, Roy can connect you with a number of qualified Certified Residential Specialists near you, all at no charge. From there you can interview one or more CRS Realtors and make your own decisions. Contact Roy using the convenient form below.
Compared to the life of famed superspy James Bond, buying or selling Aurora, Oregon real estate is dull and monotonous, right? Au contraire. You might be surprised to see how such a comparison actually sizes up.
Click here or on the play button above to hear the audio podcast of this article.
Not So Mundane, After All How could the seemingly routine tasks associated with Aurora, Oregon real estate possibly compare to the life and adventures of ultra-suave Agent 007? Initially, it seems like a ridiculous question. Of course Bond’s life is far more treacherous, risky and ‘on the edge,’ right? As we’ll soon learn, not exactly. Buyers and sellers of Aurora, Oregon real estate have considerably more in common with the famous spy than first meets the bullseye.
Deceptively Daring Many actors have played Agent 007 in film, yet each brings to the Bond character his own unique imprint on the multi-faceted Bond persona. But while each person playing 007 is unique, in every iteration of the well-known agent we recognize Bond’s uncanny ability to ‘land on his feet’ and ‘avoid being bested,’ while inching (or sometimes speeding) toward his well-defined goal. Let’s examine some of the super spy’s cinematic character traits and how they might relate to your next Aurora real estate transaction.
Turning The Tables
To an Aurora, Oregon homebuyer or homeseller, ‘landing on your feet’ might not equate to jumping from a high rise building. Instead, it might mean effectively dealing with endless surprises…like a low appraisal, or poor home inspection. It’s helpful to understand that one of Bond’s classic techniques is to shift bad odds to his advantage. Your way to ‘avoid being bested’ may not mean beating the tables at Monte Carlo like James Bond. Instead, it might be skillfully negotiating the terms of your Aurora home transaction. And to an Aurora, Oregon homebuyer or homeseller, Agent 007’s ‘inching to his goal’ could simply mean patiently completing key tasks in order to close the sale. It’s nice to know that unlike the production of a Bond film, Aurora area homebuyers and homesellers typically complete their ‘mission’ substantially under budget and in a relatively short time span, with no loss of life or limb. This makes you arguably ‘better than Bond.’
Diamonds Are Forever…And So Is Real Estate
Here are some other factors that make the so-called ‘average’ Aurora, Oregon homeseller or homebuyer significantly more daring than even Agent 007.
Risk James Bond is frequently seen as a tremendous risk taker. But while it’s true some of Bond’s actions are potentially perilous, it’s helpful to realize that his risks tend to be thoughtfully calculated. 007 is usually well-armed, whether that means carrying his Walther PPK, or mentally prepared for the task at hand. If he’s without a gun, Bond is able to adapt and improvise, like using fire extinguishers in the middle of a firefight to provide cover and escape.
Charmingly Disarming But if James Bond gets into a ‘jam’, he usually has his trusty sidearm to help take care of business. Yet using a small caliber handgun to get your way is not an option for Aurora homebuyers and homesellers. As a result, your options are limited to less obviously coercive means than Agent 007 can wield. Requiring the use of ‘wits, not weapons’ takes certain options off the table for you, since buying or selling Aurora, Oregon real estate demands non-lethal resourcefulness. By having to use friendlier and more creative methods of persuasion in your path to success, it’s fair to say that once again, the ‘average’ Aurora, Oregon homeseller and homebuyer is arguably ‘better than Bond.’
For an example of Bond’s risk reduction techniques, have you ever seen Agent 007 gamble great sums of his own money on a dice throw? The usual answer is ‘Not a chance.’ That’s because Bond virtually always plays with his government’s money, not his own. Yet you, as an Aurora homebuyer or homeseller, are laying your very own hard-earned capital on the table. So once more, in comparison you can arguably be seen considerably more daring and consequently ‘better than Bond.’
Aurora, Oregon Real Estate Tip #1 From James Bond: Maintain Your Humor A superspy like Agent 007 doesn’t constantly walk around like a tough guy. It’s actually quite the opposite. Bond knows how to work a room and deliver a well timed joke. ‘Breaking the ice’ to disarm and/or relax the other side with a joke takes some guts…especially when someone means you financial or physical harm.
Savoir-faire Savoir-faire is a French term that roughly means: knowing what to do in any situation. Those with savoir-faire respond appropriately in a wide variety of circumstances. One dictionary reference suggests savoir-faire is demonstrating “a polished sureness in social behavior.” In other words, classic James Bond behavior, whether it’s disarming a bad guy, nuclear device, or flawlessly ordering the best item off a French menu.
Savoir-faire can be adapted to Aurora, Oregon real estate, where a wide variety of ‘tough to predict’ situations occur with surprising frequency. For Aurora homesellers, this could mean witnessing the failure of a prospective buyer’s loan, possibly due to buyer disqualification like a credit score drop, or job change. For Aurora homesellers, perhaps your home needs a new roof and there simply isn’t sufficient equity to pay for it. Or there’s rampant dry rot. Or severe mold. You get the idea.
How 007’s Savoir-faire Can Work for Aurora Homebuyers and Homesellers A prepared and practical approach to problem solving is what both James Bond and successful Aurora homebuyers and homesellers bring to the table. Agent 007 is able to adapt and navigate in almost any environment, whether he finds himself in a high-stakes casino in Monaco, a posh ski lodge in the Swiss Alps, or a poor fishing village in Asia. Bond knows what to do. When buying and selling Aurora real estate, you can adapt and navigate in different environments, too, including such changing factors as housing inventory (which can indicate if you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market), shifting credit scores and fluctuating interest rates.
Just realize that no matter how things appear, some factors and outcomes are not completely determinable. In fact, sometimes they are for a while virtually unknowable. For example, let’s say you’re selling your Aurora, Oregon home and have three offers on the table to consider. In this scenario, let’s suppose all buyers appear well-qualified and each offer is very similar to the others. Which one do you decide to accept? Which will actually close? Which buyer will be reasonable to work with? Which lender will have even-handed underwriting and not require needless delay or costs? Working with your Realtor, you can reduce risk, perhaps by focusing on how much each buyer is willing to pay, the size of their down payment (where a larger down payment makes it easier for them to get a loan) and even their earnest money deposit and anticipated closing date. Such an analysis can help boil things down to those factors that make the most difference.
Aurora, Oregon Real Estate Tip #2 From James Bond: Always Have a Backup Plan
The key is to limit your downside risk by making the best decision possible under the circumstances and remain alert. For example, if after accepting one offer on your Aurora home, the buyers begin loudly complaining about seemingly minor issues, have your Realtor stay in touch with other prospective Realtors working with buyers who’ve expressed interest. That way, you keep the door open for a ‘Plan B’ and later, possibly a ‘Plan C’ if your initial buyers bail on your home sale.
Debonair Agent 007 is often described as debonair. How can that possibly apply to your next Aurora area real estate transaction? There are varied definitions to the term debonair, but related terms include courtesy,graciousnessandhavingasophisticatedcharm. These traits can be powerful and disarming when dealing with the other side on a home sale. An example of courtesy might mean allowing buyers to schedule a tour before closing for measuring room dimensions or determining paint colors. Being gracious could mean as a buyer you allow the home sellers an extra day to move out, particularly if their moving van broke down. Sophisticated charm might mean leaving a box of chocolates or champagne after you sell a home for when your homebuyers finally move in.
Small details perhaps, but such activities are often long remembered. If after moving out, you remember leaving priceless heirlooms in the attic of your former home, imagine how much nicer it will be to request the return of your precious items from the current owners with whom you’ve been civil and friendly. They are also more likely to even contact you if they find something you mistakenly left behind.
Aurora, Oregon Real Estate Tip #3 From James Bond: Secrecy There’s good reason undercover agents are also known as secret agents. ‘Don’t let them see you sweat’ is an adage Agent 007 works with aplomb. So you don’t want to lose out on your home purchase and are willing to substantially increase your offer, yet don’t want to overpay? Keep those cards discreetly close to your vest and understand that by doing so, you’re modeling James Bond, who can definitely keep a secret. He’s a spy, after all.
Humility Though James Bond can swagger with the best of those who hold the ’00’ license to kill designation, he’s usually discrete and avoids attention or bragging about his prowess. Such meekness is supremely beneficial in situations to disarm adversaries, while catching them off guard. Agent 007 doesn’t often talk about how many people he’s put in the hospital, or his annual income. Simply by observing him, it’s clear Bond has gravitas.
Courage Having courage when buying or selling Aurora property doesn’t mean you don’t feel fear. It does involve pushing that fear aside to rise above whatever obstacle you are facing. Agent 007 pushes himself out of his comfort zone to face serious fears on a daily basis. This gets him used to feeling comfortable with the uncomfortable. As an Aurora, Oregon homeseller or homebuyer, once you desensitize yourself to fear, it will become easier to perform courageous acts, like counteroffering that offer you really don’t want to risk losing, or agreeing to substantial repairs in order to pass a home re-inspection and close the deal.
Be Patient In the middle of a real estate transaction, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. To be successful, it helps to have a well defined plan executed with patience. You also should allow sufficient time for your plan to work. For example, if you’re an Aurora homeseller who doesn’t receive an offer in the first few days on the market, understand that if you’ve already examined the latest market data and the average market time is measured in months and not days or even weeks, realize your anxiety may be premature. Keep cool.
Consult An Expert When buying or selling Aurora, Oregon real estate, it helps to have an experienced Realtor as your own personal ‘Q’ to keep you out of difficult situations. An experienced real estate broker is someone who has been ‘over the road,’ thereby saving you needless expense, time and worry.
So rather than having Bond’s sidekick ‘Q’ demonstrating gadgetry and armory (like a blowtorch on Bond’s Aston-Martin convertible), Oregonians can rely on the calm, cool and collected experience of a proven local Realtor to more successfully navigate the pitfalls sometimes found in Aurora real estate.
Do You Have Aurora, Oregon Real Estate Questions? Thinking about selling your Aurora property, or have real estate questions? Contact your Aurora real estate specialist, Roy Widing with Certified Realty today for a free consultation. Roy has been selling Aurora properties since 1988 and he can sell yours, too. Simply use the convenient form below, or call him at (800) 637-1950.
TMREI: Too Much Real Estate Information Sometimes absorbing the sea of Aurora, Oregon real estate information is more like drinking from a fire hydrant. Yet, out of all the seemingly helpful real estate data bandied about, there is one especially helpful number, which when understood,can provide near-magical clarity to both Aurora, Oregon homebuyers and homesellers.
What Is It?
What is this ‘magic’ number and what does it represent? Simply put, it’s the current figure for housing inventory, typically expressed in months of projected home supply.
Housing inventory is also sometimes known as home inventory or housing backlog. Why is this number so important? Once you understand the single figure that defines our current supply of local available Aurora, Oregon homes for sale, you have an instant ‘snapshot’ on whether you’re in a buyer’s market, seller’s market, or more of a balanced real estate market. Armed with that information, you’re far more ready to do battle in the real estate trenches and more likely to avoid some usual minefields.
Normal Home Supply
Among real estate experts, a ‘normal’ range for home supply in parts of Oregon-including Aurora-is frequently cited as somewhere between three to six months. For example, if the home supply figure is three, then hypothetically our market would be ‘out of homes’ in three months, provided no new homes were placed for sale. In other words, if our regional home inventory figure is within three to six months, we’re typically experiencing a normal market, meaning one not far from a balance of supply and demand, also called equilibrium. In a way, it’s kind of like an absorption rate for how fast supply is used up.
Your Mileage May Vary It’s helpful to understand that home inventory figures are more of an average for a region. In Oregon, major real estate regions include Portland, Bend, Eugene, Salem and the Oregon Coast. Aurora is equidistant between Portland and Salem, so the market might be considered a ‘hybrid’ of sorts. Schools can also be a driver for many homebuyers and given the Clackamas County/Marion County ‘divide,’ it makes sense to consider this factor when analyzing Aurora’s unique Oregon real estate market niche.
So if your property is located in or near Aurora within Clackamas County, the Portland area inventory figure is frequently cited as a bellwether for housing backlog. If your home is located in or near Aurora within Marion County, the Salem inventory figure provides an alternative approximation of local home supply. It’s also likely that your specific area could be somewhat different altogether, based on a variety of hyper-local factors affecting both demand and supply. That said, home inventory is an undeniable and convenient ‘thumbnail’ sketch to help assess what kind of market you’re in.
What’s The Practical Impact of Housing Inventory? Consider real estate and inventory like a pipeline. If more flows through it, the product is plentiful and therefore the cheaper it is to buy. So with a lower, dwindling home supply and the spigot turned down, the reverse is true. That’s when the local real estate environment favors sellers, because there are more buyers and it’s considered a ‘seller’s market.’ In that case, expect a short market time and an environment where homesellers receive multiple offers, often at or above listing price. If the supply of homes is higher, it’s considered a ‘buyer’s market.’ This means you can expect a longer market time, with homesellers seeing few, if any offers…and frequently for less than the asking price.
It’s routinely a good idea for buyers to get a ‘heads up’ before making an offer to determine how ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ the market is. Otherwise, if you ‘lowball’ a just-listed home in a seller’s market, you may be lucky to even get a counteroffer instead of an outright rejection by sellers experiencing lots of calls and showings on their property. Coming in with an offer that’s too low sometimes causes offended sellers to refuse to seriously consider a possible follow up offer.
What’s the Big Deal About Housing Inventory? One reason housing inventory is so important is because it helps buyers and sellers to better manage expectations. Most buyers are interested in how long it may take to find the ‘right’ house. Inventory affects this. Alternatively, most sellers are interested in how long it may take to find a qualified buyer. Inventory affects this, too.
That’s because a high home inventory tends to slow down the market time and low inventory frequently provides a ‘jump start’ to activity. One way sellers can help to avoid an excessively long market time is to review comparable local home sales information provided by their Realtor to ensure proper, market pricing.
Another reason housing inventory is crucial is because it can significantly impact so many other important factors. In other words, inventory is a ‘driver’ for market time, selling price, appraisal results, lendability and more.
Okay, So Inventory Is Important. What Does It Look Like?
The above image provides a good example of fluctuating home inventory. As our Aurora, Oregon real estate market bounced back from the severe market downturn of the Great Recession, home inventory reduced from more than twenty months of housing supply to less than three.
Contact the Experts Thinking about selling your Aurora, Oregon property? Know the market before diving in! Contact Certified Realty with your questions and for a free consultation on what your property could sell for today using the contact form below, or call (800) 637-1950.