It's Listing Season!
We're headed into listing season, but it's been a hot one for sellers even before the signs of Spring. I have an upcoming listing this Friday (keep your eyes peeled for that one), and this ADORABLE Overlook Tudor is already Pending, but I wanted to share as much insider Realtor info as I can with you before anyone else will have it, so you're sure to be as savvy as you want to be regarding this wild and crazy market, and this house tells that story nicely.
A lot of my clients (and other agents) are asking me what is the secret to having a successful buying or selling experience right now...I’d like to credit a combination of smart marketing and savvy buyers being able to discern an overpriced listing from a well priced one for this success story. While this home did get multiple offers, it didn't get a GROSS amount of offers, as happens when a listing is priced WAY too low. A listing across the street from this one went for $100k over the list price and got 23 offers...lines out the door (and ultimately, a lot of disappointed buyers). Ours was way more manageable, honing in on the true value a bit tighter while still creating that call-to-action for quick, serious offers, and really aggressive top dollar terms. Follow on my social media to find out the final sales price and other details that are confidential until closing!
It seems like everyone knows a buyer right now struggling or has been looking at this market wondering how people are managing to execute their goals. A note to share with all buyers far and wide: this market is ALWAYS changing, and right when the news reports and morale is at a low, is when it's time to stay strong, steadfast, and swoop in. For example, recently one listing I know of received one super strong offer first round, but then "sale failed". It was re-listed for $4k less, attracted 2 offers (well under the first Pending offer price) - this is why it always takes an expert eye (me) at the new listing inventory sparking interest, to analyze the situation and guide. It might go over list price, but MAYBE it won't, even in this market. Moral of the story: don't give up, keep looking, and trust that in the right hands, buyers WILL be successful. I win more offers for my clients than statistically probable, because I know aaaalllll the tricks on how to get it done. It’s a huge honor to be able to use my expertise to help my people in such a meaningful way.
Spring Scouting & Market Report
Well, the rumors are true. The current Portland real estate market is extremely difficult to navigate, primarily for buyers. We are still suffering from record low inventory – hovering at just one month’s worth – and competition between buyers is at a fever pitch. We are hearing stories of 20+ offers received and houses going upwards of $75k, maybe even $100k over ask...
Could It Be Spring?
Even if it's fake-spring, I don't care. I am SO READY to get my hands dirty, and I bet many of you are, too. My daffodils and tulips are moments from full bloom, and check out the sexy buds on my willow tree *swoon*. It's still not too late to get your veggie garden started, or tidy up around the yard. Here's some tips to get you moving for Spring:
* Amend your raised beds - churn in some compost, aerate that soil, sprinkle on some fertilizer, just get your dirt all rich and juicy for the coming vegetables. If you're planting tomatoes, go all natural and bury a fish carcass or two about a foot down in the soil. Just use the leftovers from a trout dinner, or ask your fishmonger for bones. They are excellent fertilizers, as are egg shells, coffee grounds, and banana peels for certain plants and bushes. You can also go get fertilizer that is a little less…do it yourself. 🙂
* Starting seeds indoors? For some vegetables, it's crucial. You're not too late to start seeds for peppers, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes - invest in some grow lamps (and heat pads, for finicky seeds like tomato) - and trust me, you'll soon be obsessively checking for growth updates as the seeds unfurl before your eyes. Don't forget to "harden them off" (supervised and staggered outdoor adventures!) before planting them into your yard.
* Direct sowing is for the "lazy" gardener, and it's super, super easy to grow vegetables like snow peas, beets, chard, radishes, etc. You just pop them in the ground. Keep in mind that your baby shoots are vulnerable to pests like slugs, who consider them to be a pretty tasty snack, so surround your raised beds or planters with some copper tape or beer traps to keep their munching to a minimum. Even carrots can go in, now - and once the shoots have developed their second set of leaves, you can gently separate and space them out. There's really nothing better than pulling a fresh carrot or radish for a salad in summer, straight from your garden. A little bit of effort now, and you'll be enjoying the rewards in just a couple of months.
* If you're someone who loves a high fruit yield from your trees and bushes, or does a lot of vegetable gardening, I highly recommend investing a little $ and effort and getting some mason bees. Mason bees are super pollinators, 100% more effective than honeybees, and they are placid and the males are stingless (making them super safe yard friends with kids and pets around). Once you've got them going, you only need to tend to them once or twice a year, so they're a really low maintenance/high reward addition to your yard. Two great resources for starting up your easy mason bee brood is local farmlet, Fat Dog Farms - or Livingscape Nursery - and spend some time scrolling through their updates, and soon you'll become a mason bee expert and advocate!
Now It's Even Easier Being Green
Like a love that drifts into your life when you least expect it, there was Ridwell. You might have heard your friends and neighbors buzzing about it, but what does Ridwell do for your recycling game? Lemme tell you!
For a pretty low monthly subscription fee, Ridwell will drop a cool retro metal container on your doorstep or front porch for easy pick up - they'll also provide designated bags for hard-to-recycle items that we tend to just dispose of - batteries, fabrics, light bulbs, all plastic film (which I'm especially stoked about, considering the INSANE amount of plastic stuff I struggled to toss in the garbage) - for want of no better options. Their goal is to keep those hard-to-recycle items out of landfill, and repurposed. Ridwell's system makes it super easy for you to do so.
I've heard of people on their local "Buy Nothing" groups offering recycling space for their neighbors to utilize, as well, so it's just a very low energy, high reward system that makes eco-mindfulness really, really easy. So easy that you'll never have to feel guilty about how to dispose of batteries, or light bulbs, ever again. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about these developments by inspirational start-ups that are taking the stress out of saving the environment. Us hardcore recyclers can now rest a little easier with this game-changer of a service. I highly recommend reading up on Ridwell, and hope you'll encourage your friends and neighbors to sign up, too! I have ONE 1-month trial left to hand out (when you sign up you get 3) so let me know if you want it!
There's an end in sight to winter, and we're all well beyond "stir crazy" at this point. But our hard work is paying off, and I believe we won't be juggling sacrifices to stay safe for too much longer. I'm proud of how Portlanders have - for the most part - stepped up to protect our community and loved ones. It's been a long winter, but I'm full-on garden planning and have started taking walks outdoors again. The warm weather means our catio is also open for business once more, and the cats couldn't be more thrilled. It's amazing what a mood changer a little sunshine and fresh air can be.
We've also been re-watching (okay, bingeing) a bunch of Monty Don stuff to help me get inspired. Just planted some seeds inside, and will be direct-sowing over the coming weekend. It's apparently a little "late" to do so, but I've had success whether a little early, or a little late, and we're all just doing the best we can, so no judgements, here.
I can't believe I've been keeping this Quarantine Diary for almost a year, now. It's so funny (not ha ha) to think we were bracing for 2 weeks of lockdown this time last March. We've all managed to find our coping mechanisms, but all I can say is that we should go easy on ourselves. However your kids did, however you got through this, was the right way for you at the time. Continue to stay safe, but don't forget to smell the roses...they're in bloom right now, after all.
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