How to Sell Your House FAST in Portland, Oregon
If you’re a lucky owner of a prime piece of Portland real estate, you might be considering selling your home. In this post, we’ll show you how to get top dollar in Portland’s crazy real estate market and we’ll show you how not to lose your mind while doing it.
Portland, Oregon, is currently seeing record low housing inventory. What does that mean? It means very high sales prices and properties flying off the shelves faster than they can be restocked. If you get some key pieces right when selling your home in Portland, you too can be the proud past owner of a property that sold in record time.
Top tips for how to sell you Portland House Fast (without stressing)
Get a New Phone
While this nugget of advice might seem like total overkill, bare with us because it’s absolutely crucial–unless you want your next move to be into an insane asylum.
Before you do anything else in at all in the journey to selling your house, go out and get a new phone or a new phone line. Why? We’d wager a bet that you’re considering listing on an online platform like, say, Zillow? Once you list your house online, you’ll have more sales calls in the space of 24 hours than you’ve had in the history of owning a phone.
Real estate agents spend all day scouring through Zillow to see if they can find any “FSBO’s,” which is short for “for sale by the owner.” The minute you list that sucker, your phone is going to explode. Unfortunately, it’s going to be a ton of real estate agents trying to persuade you to let them handle your listing.
What you’re going to want to do is get a separate phone line before listing. We can’t stress this enough: don’t list your personal number. The thing is, a puppy is not just for Christmas–you’re going to keep getting calls 12 months down the road, 24 months down the road, etc. There’s even a list where people can see if you’re house sold. Between opportunists and that list, you could be answering calls for years to come. So, two major reasons to get a separate line. Hell, maybe they still have those old Nokia bricks or a nice Razor flip phone.
Answering the New Phone
Some of those calls are going to be from buyer’s agents who are interested in showing potential buyers around your home. Other calls will be from buyers themselves. In order to reel in those leads, you’ll need to be very attentive. Otherwise, many will likely drop off.
You want to try to answer the phone each time. If you don’t get to the phone in time, you should call back right away. Answering the phone is a critical part of getting that sale while your listing is still fresh. You can lose a lot of leads who call in the heat of the moment and go cold when you didn’t pick up.
You’ll get good buyers and you’re also going to get a lot of shady buyers and investors. The latter of which will want to lowball you so that they get the biggest return on investment for themselves. So there’ll be a hodgepodge of calls and texts.
Moving Out Before You Move Out
What happens when people call and they want to see the house or they’re an agent with interested clients? It’s a hot market right now, and we’re seeing homes with 30-40 viewings in a day. Although you don’t need to be there for the viewings, it can get kind of disruptive and will become extremely time consuming.
If you’re still living in your home, it’s going to get pretty crazy. You don’t have to schedule that many showings in one day, but you’ll want to get in as many showings as possible, particularly if you’re looking for a decent bidding war.
You can allow showings for days and times that you’re at work only. However, nights and weekends will generally be the times and days that many of your buyers can view the property.
Seeing as you’ll be moving out anyway and your house is probably going to go quick in this market, you may as well start now. You can move all of your stuff out into storage and get an AirBnb, a hotel, or move in with Grandma. That way the buyer’s agents can just show it as open and available now. It will almost definitely sell faster and for more if empty and staged with a few key pieces of stylish furniture.
A lot of buyers cannot see past clutter, and even if your home is completely clutter-free, simple things like computers, trinkets and such will still look like clutter to the buyer. They have to be able to imagine themselves in the home with their own stuff. What staging does is it gives them a hint of that as well as making your house look like it just walked out of a meeting with Chip and Joanna Gaines.
Learn More: 76 Ways to prep your home to sell in Portland
This is one that very few people think about but it’s crucial if you want to sell your house fast, particularly if it’s not actually selling. Call the buyer’s agent after you’ve shown them your house and ask them some questions about what they liked and what they didn’t like. Did it feel claustrophobic or generally cluttered? Did it feel dark? How about the landscaping? Not only is it good to have a second pair of eyes and an unbiased opinion, but it will also give you a clear view of how your potential buyers are actually seeing your house.
If you don’t call these agents to get the feedback, you’re never going to know why your house won’t sell. So make sure that you’re getting and using the agent’s phone number when you’re scheduling the showing.
Get a Professional Real Estate Photographer
This one will pay dividends once your house sells, because people are visual. It’ll also help you to sell your house sooner and thus saving you more money there too.
In short, you’ll want to get the best pictures possible. If you have shoddy pics, they’ll do your home an injustice. For example, pictures taken with a cell phone won’t turn out like the professional ones you see online. It’s not just the quality, but also that you can’t get the wide-angle on a phone like you can with a pro camera. Currently, it’ll cost around 400-500 bucks to get a professional real estate photographer in Portland. And it’s so worth it.
Just in case you do end up going the selling-through-an-agent route, it’s good to keep in mind that when you have an agent working for you, they tend to get pro photos done for you.
Set the Stage
We like to hire staging consultants, not just to stage the house but as a new, fully-trained set of eyes. They’re a neutral party and they’re going to give it to you straight. They might say “ok, this is clutter” or “I would eliminate all those pictures and the throw blankets,” etc. They’ll go through your house top to bottom and tell you exactly how to prepare your house to get top dollar. For example, many staging consultants say that you can have up to three things on your kitchen counters. We actually like to have just one, like maybe a candle or a flower. That means you’ll be putting all of your appliances away or in storage.
If you have coffee makers, blenders, toaster ovens, cups, soaps, and sponges, it’s all just seen as clutter from the buyer’s side. You’d likely think the same thing if you were buying it. Think about the buyer, give them a blank canvas so that they can imagine their life there, and make sure you hire a staging consultant with a great background (we have these contacts if you need, just reach out to us).
It will cost you around $1,000 to get a great staging consultant in Portland, Oregon, but that’s where you’re going to start getting multiple showings and better offers.
Give Them a Sign
The next thing you’re going to want to do is get a signpost and place it right in your front yard. This works to get people who are looking around your neighborhood to call or text.
Use a professional print shop to get your sign post made. We use Bear Printing. You can also find a marketing company or get a big billboard printed using the high-res pictures you took earlier. Whichever photos you do use, be sure that you’re using just three of best ones for signs and billboards. The best spots in the house to show off are usually the living room and kitchen. Don’t forget to put your contact info on there as well.
Another thing you can do is post flyers up around the city (where legal). You can hit up coffee shops and other designated spots. This is an awesome time to get creative with it and find places you wouldn’t usually think of. Focus on areas where wealthy candidates dwell.
The next thing you’re going to want to do when you’re getting ready to show the property is to get a digital lockbox. You’re also going to need to pay attention to who you’re giving that digital code to. Anybody can call you and anybody can get into your house with that code. Obviously they have to call you first and get that code but you really don’t know who’s calling you.
With a non-digital lockbox, if for some reason something goes missing, you won’t know who took it. With the right kind of digital lockbox, you’ll know exactly who went in the house because you’ll have the specific code for them. When you have a real estate agent working for you, you’ll be able to track each entrant by their license, and you’ll know exactly when someone entered your home.
It may also be worth getting a Ring doorbell of you don’t already have one. Not only will this show you who entered the home and when, but it also adds to the street appeal. People love smart devices. While that doesn’t mean that you should run out and deck the house with a ton of smart devices, a few here and there will almost always help with the sale.
Price it Right
One thing we’ve definitely seen with people who are selling their own home is that the price is wrong. Pricing it wrong is why 87% of for sale by owner homes make 13% less of their home value. Pricing it wrong leads to frustration and, more often than not, having to sell lower just to get it over with.
Some sellers are like “I’ll just put it up there at $550,000 because I think one down the street went for about that much and it had a remodeled kitchen a little nicer than mine, but I just actually painted my cabinets, so $550,000 is good.” The thing is, it doesn’t really work like that.
Hire an appraiser to come out and give you an actual assessment or call a realtor and at least have them give you a price. If you price it too high it’s going to sit on the market way longer. The buyer’s agent is going to look at that price and tell their client that it’s way too high.
Say you’re planning on pricing it high in order to negotiate down, that’s a fine tactic for selling other things but not housing. If you price it high and then pull the price down significantly because it’s been sitting on the market for a while (“a while” in this current market is like 10 hours), potential buyers are going to see that and wonder what’s wrong with the house. And then the sharks will start circling… the lowballers will come out of the woodwork, and they’re the worst.
Looking to sell your Portland home?
When selling your home, it all comes down to the price and effort of all the above. We know you can definitely sell your house yourself, but if you have any questions, reach out to our team. You don’t have to sell with us to ask us a round of questions.
If you try to sell your house and get frustrated, get a real estate agent to go to bat for you. When you hire a seller’s agent, we pay for all the photos, videos, signposts and marketing. We schedule your showings, answer the phone and handle all the objections. We do all that for you. We also have tons of connections in the area, which always helps.
Yes, it does cost to have an agent, but it’ll almost always get you a better return on your time and money investments. So, feel free to call us, text, send a carrier pigeon. However you want to get a hold of us, we’ve got your back when buying and selling in the Portland metro in Southwest Washington.
If you’re heading out to sell your house yourself, just keep these points in mind and you’ll have a much better time with it all.
Need help moving to Portland OR?
If you’re thinking about moving to Portland OR, we can help you find your perfect home in the right neighborhood for you. If you have questions about moving to Portland, feel free to call, text, or email Jackson Wilkey or Jesse Dau.
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