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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT HOME VALUE tool. You'll get an estimate on the value of your property in today's market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon. 

 

 

Oct. 18, 2018

Should I Use a Buyer's Agent?

Before we get too deep into the need to hire your own agent to purchase a home, you should keep in mind that there are several variables in any real estate purchase and every transaction is different. However, a majority of real estate transactions have more than one agent involved and there are several reasons why that is the case.

 

The idea of “Agency” in real estate is that each agent will represent either the Buyer, the Seller or Both! Some buyers believe they may have some benefit in using the seller’s agent in writing up an offer but this is, often times, not true. It’s important to recognize the many benefits of using an agent to represent you exclusively as you search for a home. We’ve outlined a few of the things that our buyers have experienced as benefits to using us as their representative.

 

You know your agent and your agent represents you. - Relationship is a big part of the process but you must be selective. Once you’ve identified your criteria, disclosed your priorities and laid all of the cards on the table, your agent can help you find the right property. Skipping around to multiple listing agents (or buyer’s agents for that matter) looking for a slight upper hand can lead to you retelling the same story over and over again and wasting quite a bit of time. Retraining an agent on what is important to you and viewing houses that don’t fit your needs can be time consuming and annoying. Spend a little more time selecting your Realtor and then remain committed to them.

Your agent is committed to you. - Many buyers don’t understand that it is not only the buyer that commits to the agent but your Realtor also commits to you. They get to know your specific needs and can identify properties which would be a good match. Being in the business, they may hear of something that hasn’t yet hit the market, come across a For Sale By Owner or preview a property that is a good fit and they will think of you. You won’t get this without a commitment on both sides. Agents can only sell each home to one person and handle so many clients at once. If you are a committed buyer, they’ll think of you first and make an extra effort to get you to the finish line. Ultimately, you’ll end up working as a team to identify the best property so don’t hesitate to sign a commitment letter for both sides once you’ve found your agent.

You have a choice. - Don’t decide on an agent on a “first come, first served” basis. You should select your agent based on their qualifications and not solely on your relationship outside of your home search. Though you may have a friend or family member who is licensed, they may not be the best fit or most qualified. How are they the right fit for you specifically? Do they know the area, have the time and provide the professionalism you need to access the properties you want to view? Can they negotiate the best deal? Do they have the resources and experience you need to get to the finish line? You should feel comfortable requesting references and getting to know them.

Your Realtor is a resource for you in all real estate matters. - You are not a Realtor and you have your own professional skill-set. People hire you based on that skill-set just as a Realtor is hired for their specific set of abilities. You should depend on your agent to advise you on what they do best...Real Estate! They’ve been through this process before and know the market conditions, documentation needed, offer process and know adjacent professionals to refer to you as needed. You’ll need that as you navigate this process together.

Your Realtor is on your side. - When you have an agent on each side of the transaction, you have someone looking out for your best interest. That’s critical in this professional climate because there is a lot that can go wrong in a real estate transaction. Your Realtor can help you navigate the process and timelines for acceptance, closing, home inspections, earnest money, possession, purchase price and lending. This is one of the more compelling reasons to use your own agent as opposed to working with the seller’s agent. A Realtor who has no relationship with the seller can properly advise you on possible property deficiencies, drawbacks to the home and opportunities for negotiating price and terms. They are your partner in this process and you should use it!

 

A buyer’s agent is cheap if not free to the buyer. - In the Portland-Metro area, it is common for the seller to pay the commission for both their agent and the buyer’s agent. This is called “Buyer’s Agent Commission” or the “Cooperating Broker’s Compensation”. The reason behind this is that buyers have more expense associated with the closing of the home such as lender fees, title fees, escrow fees and pre-paid taxes and insurance. It is also more likely that the seller has equity in their home so the impact on the seller’s out-of-pocket expense in paying commissions is less. As a buyer, free is good….until it costs you. A “free service” can cost a buyer quite a bit if the agent you pick is the wrong agent. Be selective but realize that you really do have an advantage in having someone in your corner who is licensed, regulated and committed. Be willing to pay for the right representative who provides value and assists you on the biggest investment of your life.

 

Buyers who have their own Realtor are at an advantage overall. Real estate is an industry which allows you an opportunity to have professional representation at a very affordable rate. That is not the case in all industries so buyers should take advantage of that. Search for the right Realtor and be selective. Once you make a decision, be loyal and expect a mutual commitment.

 

If you are looking for a Realtor who knows the business and is committed to their clients, we hope you will consider our team. We have hundreds of real estate transactions under our belts and are excited to help our buyers get the most out of their real estate buying experience. We’re ready for the challenge and committed to helping you find your next property. Call or email us today!

 

Bison Properties Team

w/ Garcia Group Real Estate Services

info@bisonproperties.com

503-208-2991

 

www.bisonproperties.com

 

Posted in Buyer Resources
May 23, 2018

Get Started with Real Estate Investing

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Posted in Buyer Resources
April 5, 2018

Life of an Offer to Purchase

Many of our residents and clients looking to buy a home have asked us to go over the details of how making an offer works. Though there are several steps, it's actually a pretty straight forward process if you're familiar. We would like to clarify a few of the steps and highlights in the process. There are several things we do as your representative within this process but below we list the crucial steps in the order you should be aware.

1.Line up your financing.

A pre-approval letter is paramount to finding and securing the right property for you. This should be your very first step so that when you find the right home, we can use that to help you secure it.

2. Identify the home.

It's never too early to begin looking. Starting out early allows you to be familiar with the neighborhoods, condition of the homes and price-point of what you are looking for. Our website has an excellent search feature which allows you to define your own criteria, area and amenities as well as how often you are sent updates. Please feel free to set up a search HERE.

3. Make an offer.

Once you view potential houses, find the right fit and have your financing lined up, it's time to take the plunge. The expiration of the offer is negotiable, but we recommend having it expire within 24-48 hours to avoid the seller notifying other interested parties. The seller can reject the offer, accept it as is, or propose different terms or conditions to your original offer.

4. Negotiate the terms of the agreement.

 Either party can withdraw from negotiations until both parties have signed a contract with the agreed upon terms and conditions. Once this is signed, that establishes the day of "Mutual Acceptance". Several timelines begin on that day.

5. Earnest money is deposited.

The earnest money is the amount of money which the buyer commits to put down as a sign of 'good faith' to the seller and risks if they do NOT follow through with their agreement to purchase. Earnest money amounts and timelines are negotiable but are typically 1-3% of the purchase price and due within 3 business days of mutual acceptance.

6. Inspections are scheduled and conducted.

The inspector works for the buyer specifically to give them a 3rd party opinion of the overall condition of the home. Inspections include(but are not limited to) Whole house inspections, Radon Test, Sewer Scope, Lead Based paint testing and and Oil tank locate. Though the timeline is also negotiable, the typical timeline in our market to complete the inspections AND any negotiations specific to condition or repairs is 10 business days from mutual acceptance. This sometimes requires getting bids for work needing to be completed, so it is important to schedule these right away.

7. Review Property Disclosures.

The buyer has 5 business days from delivery of the property disclosures to review the contents and either accept them or revoke the offer based on the contents.There are few exceptions, but a majority of homeowners are required to fill out and deliver property disclosures to the buyer. If the seller and/or their agent fails to deliver the property disclosures and are not exempt, the buyer has the right to terminate the transaction and retain their earnest money.

8. Order Appraisal.

The appraiser works for the bank to verify that the value of the home specific to your down payment is in line with the offer (i.e. 97%,80%, etc.). This can take anywhere from one week to three weeks, so we want to order the appraisal just after we have completed the inspections and any negotiations on repairs. This timeline allows us to complete the appraisal in time to meet the closing deadline with the knowledge that any repairs we feel needed to be completed have been addressed.

9. Lender Processing and Underwriting.

The lender completes a final review of the entire file including all financial data, contract and property paperwork and the appraisal with the underwriter. They then prepare loan documents and disclosures for the buyer to sign and send the buyer a breakdown of charges before signing the loan documents.

10. Wire money for down payment and sign loan documents.

This happens a few days prior to close.

11. Closing and Possession.

Now you're a homeowner!! You would typically get the keys around 5pm on the day you close unless you have made another agreement with the seller. We'll arrange to get you keys and meet you at the house or somewhere more convenient.

There is quite a bit more to it than these 11 steps, but these are the most pertinent details that require either action or understanding of the process from you as a buyer. I hope you have found this useful as you begin your search. please don't hesitate to reach out to us directly at info@bisonproperties.com, 503-208-2991 or us our website to find your next home. www.bisonproperties.com.

 

Posted in Buyer Resources
March 1, 2018

Real Estate Investment Class

The Latest Bison News and Market Updates

Come out to the Lucky Lab on March 22nd to enjoy some food, beverages and learn different strategies for Real Estate Investments. Whether you are a first-time investor or ready to plan a full-scale investment strategy, we'll give you ideas to take it to the next level. Completely informational and no sales pitch. We'll cover investment loan products that are currently in the market as well as what to inspect from your investment, updated market conditions and best practices in finding and stabilizing properties. Details in the flier below so plan on joining us with an RSVP today. Info@bisonproperties.com

 

Bison Properties Presents

Posted in Past Events