Located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Portland — also called the City of Roses — is known for its picturesque vistas, bike-friendliness and eclectic art-and-culture scene. All that makes it a preferred destination among many seeking to relocate from other parts of the U.S., which is good news for those looking to sell a home here. But it’s important to prepare for your sale carefully, especially if you want to find a buyer quickly. After all, the longer your home sits on the market, the more challenging it is to move on with your life. Read on for tips on how to sell your Portland home, fast.
A closer look at the Portland market
According to Redfin data, the median home price in Portland was $502,000 as of March 2023. That’s down 8.7 percent since the same time last year, but still much higher than the nationwide median price of $375,700. The number of overall homes sold was down year-over-year as well, by a much bigger 34.3 percent. Even so, homes that do hit the market receive an average of three offers.
Part of what keeps demand high is the area’s many major employers, including Intel and Nike. “Portland is uniquely positioned to appeal to the buying power of millennials,” says Terry Sprague, CEO and owner/broker of LUXE Forbes Global Properties. “Major design companies, tech businesses and apparel corporations are now based in and around Portland and are a tremendous draw for executives.”
How fast can you typically sell your house in Portland?
Per Redfin, Portland homes spend a median 20 days on the market before selling. That’s pretty fast, but it’s actually more than triple the mere six days homes took to sell at the same time last year. Particularly in-demand homes can sell for around 3 percent higher than the list price.
Wondering when’s the best time to sell a home in Oregon for maximum speed? Spring and early summer are usually regarded as the prime selling season — specifically the months of May, June and July. Many families are looking to get settled before the new school year begins, so buyers may be more motivated during this time.
Need to sell even faster?
Working with a knowledgeable local agent can help you navigate the sale process efficiently, but if speed is really of the essence, there are other options to consider:
Sell for cash: Look into companies that purchase homes for cash, such as We Buy Houses. These companies allow you to avoid the wait for traditional buyer financing and can sometimes close in a matter of days. However, you’ll likely receive less money than you would with a traditional sale, as cash homebuyers typically aim to fix-and-flip properties, and they need to make a profit.
Find an iBuyer: The iBuying craze has decelerated, but you may still be able to receive an instant offer for your Portland property. One of the largest names in the industry, Opendoor, is still actively buying homes in the area, and it can make an instant offer and close quickly too.
Price aggressively: Intentionally undercutting the market can help get a transaction completed fast as well. For example, if you price your Portland home lower than comparable homes in your area, you will catch the attention of more buyers and might get more offers, faster. Consult carefully with your agent when attempting this tactic.
Be flexible: Be prepared to compromise for the sake of keeping the process moving forward. Back-and-forth discussions can significantly slow things down, so offer a concession rather than engaging in a lengthy negotiation.
Selling your home in Portland
If you go the agent-assisted sale route, take time to ponder the following questions:
Is it worth upgrading your home before you sell?
Most home renovations do not recoup their full cost at resale, so it’s important to consider whether the expense is worthwhile. Additionally, expensive upgrades take time and may not align with a potential buyer’s personal taste. Instead, consider faster, more affordable ways to enhance your home’s value, and remember the importance of curb appeal.
What should you fix before selling your home in Portland?
To determine whether any repairs are necessary before listing your home, consider getting a pre-listing inspection from a professional. This proactive measure can identify significant issues before potential buyers see them. However, it’s important to prioritize repairs and not go overboard spending money where it isn’t necessary. Your real estate agent can help you determine what repairs to address and what can be left as is.
Should you pay to stage your home?
Home staging involves creating an atmosphere that inspires buyers to envision themselves living in the space. This could be as simple as rearranging your current furniture or as involved as putting items in storage and renting new pieces. Your real estate agent can offer guidance on whether staging would be beneficial for bringing in a higher sale price for your home.
How should you price your listing?
Your agent will also guide you in setting the appropriate listing price for your home. Online valuation tools are useful starting points, but they’re not as accurate as the detailed comparative market analysis an agent can provide by examining recently sold properties in your area. Agents know the rhythms of local deals and can choose a starting point that will help get your listing the attention it needs to sell quickly.
What do you need to disclose to a buyer?
As a seller in Portland, it’s your legal responsibility to disclose a lot of information about the property to potential buyers. This info includes details about the home’s condition, potential tax liabilities and any hazards that could affect the property’s safety. You’ll need to complete a transfer disclosure statement that covers a wide range of questions, which your agent can assist you with.
In addition to providing disclosure information, it’s important to have the necessary documents to prove ownership of the property, such as the original purchase agreement, a signed deed, and an affidavit of title. There may also be local documents that must be completed. If your property is located in a homeowners association, you’ll also need to provide the HOA bylaws and financial information. Being prepared with all of these documents can help ensure a smoother — and faster — transaction.
On the day of the closing, you’ll receive your payout, but you shouldn’t expect to keep all of it. You’ll need to use some of the proceeds to pay off any remaining mortgage balance. Additionally, you’ll be responsible for paying closing costs.
Costs of selling a home in Portland
Realtor commissions: The real estate agents who helped make the deal happen have to get paid. Realtor fees typically run about 5 to 6 percent of the purchase price. Half of that goes to your agent and the other half to the buyer’s agent — but as the seller, you are responsible for paying both of them. On a median-priced $502,000 home, 5 percent comes to $25,100.
Transfer taxes: The state of Oregon has no transfer taxes except for in Washington County. Portland is located within Multnomah County, so you get a pass on this typical closing cost.
Title insurance: You may, however, have to pay for title insurance; the cost will vary based on the purchase price.
Escrow and attorney fees: You may also be charged service fees for an escrow account to manage the buyer’s earnest money. And if you’ve hired a real estate attorney (which is recommended, even though Oregon law does not require you to), you will need to pay their fees at closing.
Capital gains taxes: With Portland’s high property values, it’s important to consider the tax implications of selling. You may owe capital gains tax on your home sale, especially if you stand to make a large profit. If you’re unsure, consult with a tax professional to help you understand how much you will owe after your sale closes.
It’s up to you to determine which home-sale approach is best suited to your needs. Conduct some research on the local housing market to get an idea of how long it typically takes for a new listing to sell, especially if you are trying to buy a new home at the same time. If you have the luxury of time and want to maximize your profits, working with a reputable local real estate agent is the way to go. However, if you’re in a hurry to sell or need cash quickly, consider working with a homebuying company or iBuyer.
Portland homes continue to fetch good prices, despite the elevated mortgage-rate climate. Per Redfin’s most recent data, the median home sale price in the city is $502,000 — that’s more than $125,000 higher than the nationwide median price of $375,700. Portland is still a seller’s market, meaning they have the upper hand because there is more buyer demand than there are homes available for sale. “The Portland market is well-poised for continued growth,” says local broker Terry Sprague of LUXE Forbes Global Properties.
Redfin data shows that Portland homes spend about 20 days on the market before selling. That’s fast, but not nearly as fast as the six days it took in March of 2022. If you need to sell even quicker, consider an iBuyer or a company that buys houses for cash.