Can I Trust My Aurora, Oregon Realtor?

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Thankfully, Most Aurora, Oregon Realtors Are Law Abiding

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.

Due Diligence
Sadly, as seen in this TV news report, not all real estate agents are trustworthy. However, some preliminary work has already been performed by the state of Oregon to ensure a real estate agent is sufficiently trustworthy to work with the public. This includes a state screening, which involves a criminal background check, fingerprinting and mug shot.  This data is submitted for review by the Oregon Real Estate Agency (OREA), which also provides regular updates about investigations in their insightful publication Oregon Real Estate Agency News Journal.  

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John Dillinger Proved Robbers Wear Ties

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.

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Whom Can You Trust?

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.

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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.

  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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.     
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Chemical Equation for the Explosive Called TNT

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.

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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.  

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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.

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What Color Hat Does Your Realtor Wear?

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.

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Agency Pamphlet

Dual agency is well known as a potential minefield among ethically challenged agents and as a result, the State of Oregon, the National Association of Realtors and the Oregon Association of Realtors all have rules in place to help prevent its abuse.

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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 the five items 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 article notes 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.

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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.

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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.  

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Aurora Resident & Realtor Roy Widing

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.

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Finding Your Aurora, Oregon Real Estate Superhero

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.

Click here or above to hear the audio podcast of this article.

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Clark Kent Could Have Easily Passed As A Realtor

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.

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‘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.

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Some Superheroes Have a Handy Utility Belt to Get the Job Done

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.

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“Luke…I Am Your Appraiser”

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.

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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.

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Realtors Holding the CRS Designation Outperform Those Who Don’t

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. 

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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.  

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Only 3% of Realtors Have Attained The CRS Designation

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?

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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. 

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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.  

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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. 

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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.

Selling?
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.

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Aurora Resident Roy Widing, CRS

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.

What James Bond Can Teach You About Aurora, Oregon Real Estate

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With That Suit & Tie, James Bond Resembles A Well-Mannered Realtor

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.

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Aurora, Oregon Real Estate is More Daring Than You Might Think

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.

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Spies & Realtors Both Use Photography to Their Advantage

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.

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You Don’t Need A Gun to Effectively Buy or Sell Aurora, Oregon Real Estate

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.’

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Effectively Managing Risk Can Pay Off Handsomely

Casino Royale
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.’

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Even Agent 007 Might Find Aurora, Oregon Real Estate Challenging

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.

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Ordering in French is an Acquirable Skill

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.

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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.

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James Bond Defines Debonair

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, graciousness and having a sophisticated charm. 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.

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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.

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‘Q’ Is On Bond’s Team to Keep Him Out of Trouble

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.
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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. 

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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.

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Aurora Resident & Realtor Roy Widing
Aurora Oregon

10 Reasons Why Aurora, Oregon Homeselling is HOT!

Oregon Real Estate Podcast, Winter HomesellingWhile there is a case to be made for homeselling in each of the four seasons, Winter is one of the most powerful times that Aurora, Oregon sellers can place their home on the market and for ten very good reasons.

Click here or the play button below for the audio podcast presentation of this article.

  1. Price & Market Time. Statistics show homes sell faster and for more money in Winter. One way to understand this phenomenon is by considering a motorist with a flat tire in bad weather. That motorist has an urgent need and is less likely to haggle, or even seriously consider less expensive options, in order to meet an immediate need. Our local Winter homebuyers around Aurora, Oregon can experience the same kind of urgency and this helps to explain the premium that homes can command during the real estate ‘off season.’ Another way to look at the Winter market dynamic is if you want to buy snowshoes in July (at least around Aurora), expect to pay more, since availability is typically lower. Oregon Real Estate Podcast
  2. High Quality Buyers. Because home touring is generally less convenient, there tend to be fewer ‘Looky-Loos’ during the Winter. This means Aurora, Oregon homesellers have fewer buyers tracking dirt into their house, in Winter, with less energy spent preparing for real estate ‘Tire-Kickers.’Oregon Real Estate Podcast
  3. Less Seller Competition. Let’s face facts: It’s convenient to sell in the Spring and Summer, especially locally around Aurora. The weather is usually better, flowers are blooming and with plenty of homebuyers looking, it’s a ‘target-rich environment.’  Yet while it’s easier and more convenient to sell in sunny weather, this convenience often comes at the cost of increased competition from other sellers. Conversely, Aurora’s Winter homesellers can expect fewer like-minded sellers competing for buyers. Just like the successful contrarian investor who sells when everyone else is not, avoiding a ‘herd mentality’ can pay off with a higher price and faster sale. Oregon Real Estate Podcast
  4. Higher Buyer Motivation. Is your idea of a fun time getting into a car on cold drizzly nights to look at houses? Probably not…unless you just got a job transfer. Or a nice raise. Or you received an inheritance and want to get out of your tiny apartment. It’s helpful for Aurora’s prospective Winter homesellers to know that corporate relocations are common in the first quarter.  Plus family changes can occur anytime and estates are settled year around.
    Oregon Real Estate Podcast
  5. The Hunt for Red January: Get a ‘Jump’ on the New Year’ s Competition. The best time to get your Aurora property on the market could be when everyone else isn’t. Placing your home for sale in Winter gives you access to hyper-motivated buyers who have made homebuying a New Year’s resolution. That way, when these eager homebuyers begin their ‘hunt,’ your house will be a prime ‘target’ as visible as Rudolph’s nose. So if your home is market-ready and available to tour leading up to the New Year, expect to tap into this highly focused ‘pent up demand.’
    Oregon Real Estate Podcast
  6. Your Aurora Home Looks Inviting During the Holidays. Who doesn’t enjoy the happy glow of a Christmas tree or other holiday decorations, along with the pleasant smell of fresh-baked pumpkin pie, cinnamon buns, or a vanilla candle? Homes often look their most inviting during the holidays.
    Oregon Real Estate Podcast
    And given the pleasant, even emotional attachment so many have during that time of year, expect some homebuyers to fully embrace the holiday theme of ‘Peace on earth, good will toward men.’ As a result, such positive feelings can spill over into the home selling process and make it easier.
    Oregon Real Estate Podcast
  7. Your Lawn & Landscaping is Virtually a Non-Issue. Forget to mow your lawn? No worries. Some Aurora buyers won’t care if they tour your property and it’s covered in snow, raining hard, or after sundown. Buyer landscaping expectations can be quite reasonable during Winter months around Aurora.Oregon Real Estate Podcast
  8. When Your Home Sells, You May Buy With Less Competition. Few Aurora homesellers stop to consider that given good timing with their sale, their own future home purchase may also benefit from similar, unique seasonality. So depending on a variety of factors in the market where and when you buy, Aurora homesellers can sometimes take advantage of lower Winter activity levels to successfully negotiate with a motivated seller. This is because some sellers place their home on the market during Winter not for convenience, or desire to maximize their selling price, but from genuine need. In other words, they are highly motivated. Such homesellers could therefore provide a good buying opportunity.
    Oregon Real Estate Podcast
  9.  Fewer people relocate in Winter, so this means you’re likely to have an easier time booking a mover.
    Competition for moving companies can be challenging during the real estate ‘high season.’ As a result, expect less difficulty scheduling your moving company when you sell in Winter.
    Oregon Real Estate Podcast
  10.  You Can Dictate Which Days & Times Are Available for Showings. As an Aurora, Oregon homeseller, you typically have control over tour times and dates for your home. This includes during Winter months. Given holiday-related gatherings and events, buyers are likely to understand their need to schedule their tour of your home. Your Realtor can help by specifying days and times your home is available for showings. For example, you could have your house available for tours on Saturdays from 2 to 5pm, weekday mornings after 9:00am, or between 5 and 8pm weekday evenings.

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Thinking about selling your Aurora, Oregon house this Winter? Call our AuroraOregon.com sponsor, Certified Realty at 800-637-1950 for a FREE consultation!

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Dancing the Aurora, Oregon ‘Two Transaction Tango’

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Simultaneous/Consecutive Home Transactions
Selling your Aurora, Oregon home and buying a replacement property are frequently linked activities. In this article and related audio podcast, we reveal how to maximize the efficiency and minimize the bother when simultaneously home buying and home selling.

Click here or on the ‘play’ button below for the audio version of this presentation about homebuying while homeselling.


We’ll also examine options to help decide if either simultaneous or consecutive real estate transactions may be best for you.

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Timing
The singular act of buying or selling a home is often the foremost concern of many. Whichever immediate task you may be considering, it’s common to have twice the activity anticipated, but in two steps. That’s because Aurora, Oregon home buyers often not just have a home to sell…in addition, Aurora, Oregon home sellers are frequently seeking a home to buy. So what’s the best way to navigate this potential real estate quagmire without getting entangled in a morass of stress and needless extra costs?

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First Steps
To begin, it helps to examine three common dual home sale/home purchase options:

  1. Selling your existing house first, then buying your next house.
  2. Buying the next house first, then selling your existing house.
  3. Simultaneously moving from your existing house to your next house.

Your challenges, benefits and results will largely depend upon which of these three decisions you settle upon. Here are three quick takeaways for these three usual options:

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Option #1.  Selling your existing house first, then buying the next house
This option usually requires a ‘double move.’ Yet one advantage of this approach is that you won’t have double house payments. One disadvantage is that you may have to move twice.  An added benefit of this ‘selling first’ approach can include negotiating with strength in the purchase of your next home. That’s because your purchase needn’t be contingent upon the sale or closing of your sold home. As a result, you are seen as a ‘cash in fist’ buyer, or at the very least, a buyer who is considerably more likely to qualify for a home purchase, given that you ostensibly now have access to the equity in your now-sold home. This helps you negotiate with more power in the purchase of your next home.

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Option #2.   Buying the next house first, then selling your existing house
When first buying a house, then selling yours, one advantage is that you know where you’ll be moving. The reduced stress of ‘knowing where you’ll land’ is empowering.

Unless you’re a cash buyer, you’ll likely need to qualify with a lender. And if you have an existing loan in place on the house you’ll be selling, this may mean you need to qualify for two loans, your current home loan and the loan on the house you’re buying.

As long as your current Aurora, Oregon home sells in a timely manner, added financial obligations can be minimized.  For more information about bridge loans, see the below ‘A Bridge Too Far?’ discussion.

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Option #3.  Simultaneously moving from your existing house to your next house
This situation is very common. Provided your activities are clearly thought out, well-executed and contingencies are in place for protection, it’s also one of the more affordable options.

Think far ahead and shoot for impeccable timing, in order to make your move the smoothest possible. In order to have sufficient time to move out soon after closing on your current home’s transaction, you will need to locate your next home, write an accepted offer, have the home inspection and if you’re getting a home loan, likely an appraisal…all before you close on the purchase and can actually move in.

One advantage of this approach is that you won’t have double house payments. You also know where you will be landing, and you won’t likely have to move twice. One disadvantage is that your timing needs to be good and possibly have a little extra ‘cushion’ to allow for emergencies, like delays with appraisals, inspections and repairs. Otherwise it’s easy to feel ‘squeezed’ by your being in the middle of two time-sensitive transactions.

That’s one challenge of going this route; It’s complicated by not knowing with precision the timeline of certain key activities. That’s because while home inspections can usually be completed within a set time frame, like 10-14 business days, other requirements like appraisals, can take much longer, with less certainty of the completion date. On top of that, most transactions involve two appraisals, one on the house you’re selling and another on the house you’re buying. So if you plan on a simultaneous sale/purchase, huddle up with your Realtor to create a well planned timeline, then build in some extra breathing room, as necessary.

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A Bridge Too Far?
One way to do purchase a house without first selling your Aurora, Oregon home is with what’s called a ‘bridge loan.’ This is effectively a loan against the equity on your existing home. There are plenty of added details, but for the sake of simplicity, just understand that if you use a bridge loan to buy your next home, until your current home is sold, you will likely have double house payments. So if your current home doesn’t sell in a timely manner, hopefully the squeeze on your wallet won’t be more stressful than if you were to have simply sold your existing home first. 

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Tools of the Trade
To accomplish the job of simultaneously buying and selling homes, among the most common protective tools is called a contingency. Consider contingencies as akin to safety goggles. They’re designed to prevent a mishap, only in this case, the mishap could be losing your earnest money.

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Earnest Money
Earnest money is usually a certain dollar figure placed on deposit as a sign a buyer is earnest, and later applied to the home purchase. This helps convince sellers that a buyer is serious and take their property off the market. Earnest money essentially helps to ‘hold’ a property for a buyer. Earnest money is not often the total down payment, although it can be applied as part of the down payment.  Earnest money is important to homesellers, because without it, a buyer could otherwise tie up the seller’s property with virtually no obligation.

A large part of contingencies relate to a buyer keeping their earnest money, or the initial deposit showing the buyer is ‘earnest’ in proceeding to closing on a home sale. If a homebuyer does not have a sufficient contingency in place during a home sale, forfeiture of a buyer’s earnest money becomes possible. It’s not terribly common, but it can and does sometimes happen.

Types of Contingencies
Home inspection contingencies provide buyers with the right to have a house inspected for a variety of conditions, all within a specified time frame. Another common contingency is the loan contingency, so if for some reason a lender does not approve a buyer or the property for a home loan, the earnest money deposit is returned to the buyer. Buyers have lost out on qualifying for a home loan because they went out and bought a car during the home purchasing process, thereby disrupting their loan ratios.

The Reality of Earnest Money Deposit Risk
As long as appropriate contingencies are in place and they’re followed in a time-conscious manner, it’s relatively uncommon for buyers to lose their earnest money. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your timeline.

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Buying And/Or Selling?
Use the form below to contact Aurora, Oregon veteran Realtor Roy Widing with Certified Realty for a FREE consultation. Whether your real estate situation involves homebuying, homeselling, or if you simply have questions about our current Aurora, Oregon real estate market, Roy can help!

Aurora, Oregon Real Estate: Steady

Fresh figures were just released on Oregon’s real estate market by the Regional Multiple Listing Service, or RMLS. To put the results in a nautical vernacular, we remain ‘steady as she goes.’

Woodburn, Woodburn Oregon, Woodburn OR, 97071, Woodburn Homes, Woodburn Real Estate, Woodburn Houses, Oregon WoodburnFor a helpful comparison, here’s a summary of our regional markets, including Portland, Salem and greater Aurora.

Portland Metro
Let’s begin with greater Portland, where our backlog of home supply is unchanged at 1.8 months.

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This means greater Portland’s housing supply remains well below the oft-suggested ‘normal’ range of 3 to 6 months, especially when compared to years past. When the pipeline of homes is this low, it suggests we remain squarely in a ‘seller’s market.’

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Along with housing inventory, home prices are another helpful indicator of market direction. The above chart is evidence of greater Portland’s sustained price growth, providing more confirmation of a ‘seller’s market.’ Most recent figures show an overall regional home price increase around greater Portland of 7.1%. 

marketaction

View the entire new free real estate report on your Portland area town or neighborhood by clicking here or on the Market Action image above.

Salem Metro

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Greater Salem is also experiencing stable growth, as evidenced by little change in a relatively modest housing supply of 3.9 months as seen above, matched with an overall trend of increased home prices, seen below.

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Most recent figures show an overall regional home price increase around greater Salem of 8.4%. Click here for the free latest complete Salem area real estate report, which includes Woodburn, or on the Market Action image below.

Oregon Real Estate, Willamette Valley, Willamette Valley Real Estate, Oregon Homes, Oregon Real Estate, Oregon PropertiesAurora, Oregon
Given our location between Salem and Portland, Aurora routinely experiences a mix of both markets. While figures specific to Aurora are sparse, the bottom line is that greater Marion County home values have risen a grand total of 7.8% over the past year.

Neighboring Community Comparisons
Greater Canby came in with an annual home price increase of 11.2% and neighboring Wilsonville saw a home price increase of 9.5% during that same period. As a result, Aurora and our region remains on an upward trend. Click here and view page two for specifics about the latest housing figures that include Aurora.
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Thinking about selling your Aurora, Oregon property in this hot seller’s market? Whether you live in Aurora or somewhere else in Oregon, our AuroraOregon.com sponsor, Certified Realty can help with a free consultation, provide information on your Oregon property’s value, or answer questions about steps in the home selling process.

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Contact Certified Realty using the convenient form below, or call (503) 682-1083 today for smooth sailing ahead!