Setting the Right Selling Price for Portland Real Estate

by | May 22, 2013 | Seller Tips

The debate is as old as the real estate industry itself.  Does a low, highly competitive selling price for Portland real estate actually generate a faster, more profitable sale than a slightly inflated price with a willingness to negotiate?  Yes, it is an age-old debate.  AND, it has never been more important that sellers make informed decisions about their asking price and negotiating strategy than right now.

A seller with an unreasonable opinion of their home’s value is either a wishful thinker or does not have the benefit of an accurate comparative market analysis and a real estate agent who understands the nuances in the area.


Get Real, Know the Facts

When sellers decide to list their home in the Portland real estate market, they usually have an opinion of value based on reported sales of similar properties.  Consciously or subconsciously, most homeowners follow the real estate activity of surrounding homes.

However, every real estate transaction stands independently.  In today’s market, buyers and sellers negotiate to capitalize on tax incentives, green-initiative improvements, closing fees, homeowner credits and local incentives.  Thus, the “neighborhood selling price” may not represent the price you can actually get for your home.

Real estate agents use differing strategies to secure listings and set sales prices.  Therefore, a seller who requests proposals from three different Portland real estate agents may well get three different opinions of value:

  1. One agent may want the listing at any price and be willing to accept an owner’s requirement for a high asking price just to land the listing.  In hopes that he can land some buyer leads from the overpriced home.  This is called “Buying the Listing.”
  2. Another agent may be conservative and encourage a low asking price in the hopes of generating superior demand.  This strategy was effective in the boom years, however can risk leaving money on the table.
  3. A third agent may combine his knowledge about the property, the neighborhood and today’s real estate market to come up with the optimal listing price.


The Optimal Listing Price

Responsible Portland realtor will view the property from three postures.

  1. First we inspect the property, top to bottom.  We understand its history, the neighborhood, its strengths and its weaknesses.
  2. Next, we do our research.  We compile a complete, relevant list of recent sales, a thorough list of properties on the market and a comparable list of recently concluded Portland real estate transactions.
  3. We balance this information against the cost of new construction.  We factor in what improvements might be necessary to stage the home more effectively.  And, we use this quantitative analysis, called a comparative market analysis, to recommend a strong selling price designed to garner demand.

This is not a whimsical exercise.  This is about establishing the maximum selling price your Portland home should achieve.