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Portland Real Estate Experts

Home Buyer Tips

Download our Home Buying Process PDF Flowchart!

If you are in the market to buy a home, condo or other real estate here are a few tips to help you along with the process

Use a Realtor — (Buyers don't pay realtors, sellers pay realtors)

  • The commission structure here in Portland and surrounding areas is simple. The Portland Listing Agent pre sets the commission percentage that the Buyer Agent will receive when he or she brings a buyer to the table. That commission is part of the Listing Agent's commission already agreed to between the seller and the Listing Agent in the listing agreement and is paid by the seller out of their proceeds when the home sells

Choosing a Portland Realtor

  • Your agent should be available not just during regular business hours but outside of regular business hours and on the weekends Your agent should be willing and able to respond to your inquiries in a timely fashion Your agent should be willing and prefer to tour homes with you in their car. Your agent should provide you with a report of homes meeting your criteria (your Realtor should be looking for homes for you rather than just you looking for homes yourself). Your agent should be easy to contact in whatever communication YOU prefer (email, text messaging, cell).

Buying New Construction

  • Have your Realtor pull a title trio and comparison report
  • New construction will often sell multiple homes under one MLS #, because of this the comparables your Realtor is pulling to find a market sale price would be off. You need to have your Realtor pull a title comparison report to see ALL homes sold by that builder/community to get an accurate picture of that market.
  • If any homes similar to the one you are making an offer on have sold in that development it would also show you how much that builder has already sold a home like yours for, but keep in mind the options, (floors, counter tops, appliances, landscaping, other customizations) and incentives could be very different than yours and thus could effect that comparable into or out of your favor. For example if you push to use it for justification of your offer and do not have that information the builder may be able to show $50K worth of upgrades in the home your making an offer on giving them the justification for their price instead; so be careful when using those comps..

Get Pre-Approved for financing before you start looking

  • You should have a solid idea of what price range you are looking for and have a rough idea what the payment would be. Don't find the perfect house only to discover you can't afford it.

Find a Lender In Portland

  • A good lender should be available outside of regular business hours and on weekends and should be easy to get in touch with and respond quickly

Become familiar with your price point

  • Search homes online or ask your realtor to send you properties that meet your basic expectations in a home
  • If you are looking in more than one area, become familiar with the difference in prices for those areas as they can differ significantly
  • Get to know the areas that you are looking in for a home, schools, local shopping, highway access etc.

When Touring Homes:

  • Take a digital camera with you when touring
  • Take notes on the ML home profile page for each home (profile page should be provided to you by your realtor at the time of tour) write down the main pros and cons of each home you tour
  • Seeing more than 4-6 homes on a single tour can cause you to not remember much about any of them, try nick-naming each of the homes with something that will help you remember the home.
  • Don't try to see everything in one day; pace yourself
  • Consider the neighborhood around each home you tour, cars, buildings, people, vacant land (area still being developed? What will be built?), location, etc.
  • Speak freely about what you like and don't like about each home so your agent can get a thorough understanding of what you are looking for
  • If you find a home you really like tell your agent so they can tell the listing agent to keep you informed of any incoming offers
  • Compare similar homes using price per sq. ft. (remember to take into consideration the lot size, neighborhood and any upgrades.

Choose and use a good Portland Home Inspector

  • What is their experience? How long after the inspection can you expect the report? Can they provide you with a sample report? Do they also do a pest inspection? For some good home inspector candidates see our service providers page