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What Will It Cost to Sell My Canby Home?

18 Jun

A common question local homesellers ask is ‘What will it cost to sell my Canby, Oregon home?’

The answer is often ‘it depends,’ due to some important factors.

Find out more in this helpful audio podcast about selling your Canby area home here, or click on the ‘play’ button below.

Can I Trust My Canby Area Realtor?

12 May

Canby Oregon

Most Realtors Are Thankfully Law Abiding

Before entering into a business relationship, it’s helpful to know your Canby area real estate agent is nice, patient, available when needed…and honest. So while many of us assume we’re ‘safe’ in the hands of our doctor, attorney or pastor, what about your Realtor? Find out more here, or use the audio player below.

Due Diligence
Sadly, as seen in this TV news report, not all real estate agents are trustworthy. However, some preliminary work has already been performed by the state of Oregon confirming a real estate agent is sufficiently trustworthy to work with the public. These include a state screening, which involves a criminal background check, fingerprinting and mug shot.  This data is submitted for review by the Oregon Real Estate Agency (OREA), which also provides regular updates about investigations in their insightful publication Oregon Real Estate Agency News Journal.  

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Robber John Dillinger Proved Crooks Wear Ties

Of special note is the OREA ‘Administrative Action’ section, which provides information about decisions regarding Oregon real estate violations. The resulting consequences to untrustworthy real estate agents could include a reprimand, license suspension, license revocation and/or a civil penalty. So while no screening process is foolproof (as witnessed by crimes committed by doctors, attorneys and other professionals), the state of Oregon does considerable due diligence to vet real estate agents.

As part of the application process to become an Oregon real estate agent, any felony and misdemeanor convictions and arrests must be disclosed. The disclosure requirement is fairly high, because in addition to any criminal activity, also requiring disclosure are any administrative proceedings, plus civil and even financial issues. For example, if a prospective Oregon real estate agent has an unsatisfied judgment or bankruptcy, each must be disclosed.

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Whom Can You Trust?

A Matter of Trust
Trust is an important factor when buying or selling real estate. Thankfully, trusting your Realtor is not super risky. That’s because consumer surveys consistently reflect a high level of satisfaction with Realtor performance.  One study by Forbes magazine revealed 96% satisfaction for the real estate industry. So if many real estate agents were dishonest, we could expect that figure to be much lower. 

This doesn’t mean blindly signing off on every suggestion one receives from their Realtor. But obsessively hand wringing over transaction minutiae is one sure way to make the process less enjoyable. A recommended approach is for Canby area homebuyers and homesellers to carefully read all documents, ask plenty of questions and work with a recommended professional with a solid track record. 

Trust For Homesellers
Looking at trust from a Canby homeseller’s perspective, for starters there’s significant trust needed to deal with buyers. For instance, trust is needed to allow strangers in your house. There’s also trust in taking your property off the market, in the hope a sale will go through. And trust in finding a replacement home.

Trust For Homebuyers
Trust is needed for Canby area homebuyers, too. Trust is necessary in working with a lender and that the discomfort of prequalifying will be worthwhile. Trust they’ll find a home they like and can afford. Trust their lender will come through.

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Trust For Both Homebuyers & Homesellers
So what do Canby, Oregon homebuyers and homesellers share in common? Trust. And there is perhaps no greater trust that homebuyers and sellers have in common than in their Realtor.

After all, your Realtor is someone you expect to be there to help navigate your way through what is frequently the largest financial transaction of a lifetime.  Similar to an attorney or priest, Realtors are expected to keep confidences.

But let’s first look at a few situations which underscore why it’s important to be able to trust your real estate agent.

  1. Trusting your Realtor means you don’t have to second guess suggestions you receive. Let’s take pricing your home, for example. If you can’t trust your agent to provide meaningful comparable home activity information, how can you possibly expect him or her to advise you once an offer comes in?
  2. Trusting your Realtor means you can breathe easier with less stress. Buying or selling a home is considered to be a particularly stressful activity. In addition, most homebuyers and homesellers don’t want to take on real estate as a second job, especially when making a house move. So expect that by having your bases well-covered by a professional you can believe, you’ll find the entire process far less taxing. If a Realtor is ‘pushy’ and won’t listen to your concerns, it’s likely a good time to find a new one.
  3. Trusting your Realtor means you can access his or her reliable resources.
    Speaking of taxing, if you need recommendations for an experienced 1031 tax exchange professional, or real estate attorney, or home inspector, or mortgage lender, or home repair contractor, expect those recommendations to be even more valuable from a trustworthy agent. 
  4. Trusting your Realtor means you can focus. There’s usually enough to deal with throughout the course of any real estate transaction. Dealing with lenders, appraisers, inspectors, contractors, title companies and the like can be overwhelming. As a result, you’re more likely to be far more effective if you can concentrate on what you’re best at, while having your real estate agent handle what he or she is best at.
  5. Trusting your Realtor means more time. Just like you can expect to have more time to go fishing if you hire a contractor to build your new deck, working with a trustworthy real estate agent allows you to do other, more enjoyable tasks than scheduling a home inspection, constantly dealing with escrow details, or meeting an appraiser.     

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Chemical Equation for the Explosive Called TNT

Relationship Chemistry
Trust is easier when there is good ‘chemistry’ between a Realtor and their client. When seeking an agent to refer for out of area homebuyers or homesellers, there are many things that a Realtor can readily confirm. These include an agent’s years in business, designations earned, coverage area, plus areas of specialty like homes, farms or commercial property. 

As a result, I’m frequently able to locate a very good Realtor to ‘match’ with an out of state homebuyer or seller and it’s not always difficult.  That said, the one challenging element to know with certainty is the ‘chemistry’ that even a highly qualified, out-of-area Realtor will have with a new client.

People are different and that includes real estate agents. Most times relationships work out swimmingly with the referred agent. On rare occasions, it doesn’t work out. But going in and at least on paper, the homebuyer or homeseller who interviews a previously unknown, yet vetted Realtor, knows the agent is qualified and experienced, along with some important other facts about him or her. Plus, knowing these facts up front is typically less risky than taking a ‘shot in the dark’ with an unknown agent.

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Does The Company Matter?
Because agents are independent contractors, the individual Realtor is who typically matters most. After all, you don’t expect a faceless corporation to answer your late night question, or go over the details of your settlement statement. For example, I don’t care that much about what hospital I go to, but I want to have a say in the surgeon who will do the operating. Similarly, it’s the individual agent who is in a position to make the most difference, whether from a small or large office. However, longevity of a real estate firm can be helpful in determining that they are probably doing something right.  So if a company you’re considering has been in existence for half a century or more, they’re likely not a ‘fly by night’ outfit.  

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Alternative Agent Finding Methods
One of the ‘little secrets’ about real estate online is that they’re often paid ads. Realtors frequently buy what are known as ‘leads.’ Examples include Zillow and even Realtor.com. Sometimes this is done by the agent buying incoming inquiries regarding a specific zip code. Sometimes, the agent pays for better placement on a real estate website page in order to stand out.

If you decide to use a magazine or the Internet to locate an agent, it may be best to consider that as a first step of information gathering. Promotional materials can be misleading and if carefully crafted, can leave out a lot of important information. For example, if an agent is brand new, he or she may focus on how many agents their company employs, personal community involvement like donations to charity, or sponsorships. While these could be nice facts, they may not have a lot to do with the agent’s proficiency, professionalism, or trustworthiness. 

Referrals Are Built on Trust
One good way to find a trustworthy Realtor is to ask people you trust and get a referral. The ‘proof is in the pudding,’ so if your friend or family member is happy with a specific real estate agent, there’s a good chance for a similar repeat performance.

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What Color Hat Does Your Realtor Wear?

White Hat or Black Hat?
One area where certain real estate agents are sometimes revealed to be wearing either a ‘white hat’ or ‘black hat’ is in the area known as ‘dual agency’ or ‘disclosed limited agency.’ This is a situation when an agent with a listed property also works with the buyer. To be clear, most Realtors are aboveboard and honest, continually looking out for their client’s best interests.

That said, the challenge to some agents comes when the agent attempts to ‘elbow aside’ other buyers, their agents and/or offers, in order to push his or her offer through. Why on earth would a Realtor push hard to get their offer accepted, since it’s all about simply selling the house, isn’t it? Not exactly. That’s because if the listing Realtor also sells your home, they typically get paid more.

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Agency Pamphlet

Dual agency is well known as a potential minefield among ethically challenged agents and as a result, the State of Oregon, the National Association of Realtors and the Oregon Association of Realtors all have rules in place to help prevent its abuse.

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Dueling with Dual Agency
In Realtor circles, the topic of dual agency has proponents and detractors. As a result, don’t expect every real estate agent you run into to have the same opinion. In reality, dual agency can be a very good thing, as seen in our previous article titled “5 ‘Insider Oregon Real Estate Tips.’ There, the topic Having A ‘Double Agent’ Can Be A Good Thing ranks as item #1 out of the five items listed. The advantages to having an agent on both sides of a real estate transaction are clear.

The result, good or bad, can significantly depend on your agent’s trustworthiness. For example, hurriedly accepting the first offer can work out. That’s because sometimes the first offer is the best offer. Alternatively, acting without as much available information as possible sometimes comes at significant expense to the seller, who may be urged to quickly accept the offer their listing (seller’s) agent has written. The problem is that the listing Realtor can be expected to reasonably know how much activity there is on the property for sale. Again, trust is key here.

Plus, given the amount of agent and buyer activity, along with the quality of inquiries (such as highly motivated, qualified buyers), the seller’s Realtor may have even heard comments from other agents about possible future offers. So by pushing his or her own offer, is the listing Realtor providing the seller with all known information in order to truly serve the seller’s best interest? Sometimes the only person to seemingly know the answer is the listing agent. A Harvard Business Review article notes why this situation can be a problem:

“Take cheating. Claremont McKenna psychologist Piercarlo Valdesolo and I have conducted many experiments on the topic, and one surprising (if disheartening) result we have found, time and again, is that 90% of people—most of whom identify themselves as morally upstanding—will act dishonestly to benefit themselves if they believe they won’t get caught. Why? Anonymity means no long-term cost will be exacted. Even more startling is the fact that most of those who cheat also refuse to characterize their actions as untrustworthy; they rationalize their behavior even while condemning the same in others…”

More than once, an honest real estate agent working with a highly qualified and motivated buyer has inquired about a property, even written up that buyer’s offer, only to have the listing agent hurriedly put together his or her own offer and submit it to the seller in order to ‘tie up’ the property (and presumably make more money), before other offers can be considered. It’s a fact of the real estate business and as a result, unethical agents develop a reputation and are often viewed warily by others in the business.

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The ‘Commission Effect’
If all these elements don’t sufficiently complicate the task of finding a trustworthy Realtor, there is also a phenomenon you might call the ‘commission effect.’ This is outlined in a previous article titled ‘5 little Known Realtor Insider Tips:’ Realtors Can Calculate Their Paycheck by Viewing a Property Listing Sheet. This means that for agents truly focused on maximizing their payday, you might expect them to guide you toward homes that pay a higher commission structure. The listing sheet is typically only seen by multiple listing members. Thankfully, most Realtors simply don’t do business in this manner.

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The Bottom Line
President Ronald Reagan sometimes used the term ‘Trust, but verify’ during his high level negotiations. This old Russian proverb could be a  helpful approach to grant you peace of mind in finding a trustworthy agent for your next real estate transaction. Do your research and ask family and friends for Realtor references. Be open and honest, then make your best decision based on relevant, reliable information for your situation.  

Do you have an Oregon real estate question? Contact our sponsor, Certified Realty today using the convenient form below, or call (800) 637-1950.

Finding Your Canby Real Estate Superhero

13 Apr

To adults and kids alike, superheroes seem to have time-tested appeal. Some think it’s because they look different. Indeed, some superheroes dress uniquely. Others believe superheroes represent the ‘good guy’ and these days, we can always use more good guys and gals.  Yet others suggest that superheroes are in the rescue business and we all have an area in our lives where we could use help. Whatever the reason, it’s undeniable that superheroes hold a unique place in our imagination.

Click here or on the above play button to hear the audio podcast of this article.

Canby Homes, Canby Oregon, Canby Real Estate, Canby Properties, Canby Homeseller, Canby Homebuyer, Canby Realtor

Clark Kent Could Have Easily Passed As A Realtor

Do Real Estate Superheroes Exist?
Fighting bad guys is an expected vocation for a superhero. So how could there possibly be Canby real estate superheroes? And would they use x-ray glasses to view inside homes to find potential problems, carry an anti-kryptonite pen to protect against real estate ‘evil doers,’ or hold their trusty multiple listing lockbox keycard in a utility belt? 

The Realty Reality
While not superhuman, some real estate agents stand far apart from others. And when hundreds of thousands of dollars are literally on the line during your next home sale or purchase, chances are you’ll feel better throughout the entire process when working with a truly ‘super’ Canby area Realtor. But is it possible to easily locate a terrific real estate agent that’s not only experienced, but also dedicated, plus recognized for excellence among his or her peers? You’re about to find out.

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‘Superhero’ Defined
Superheroes are considered to be more than mere heroes, in part because their achievements transcend what is humanly possible. Superheros are often portrayed as heroes with extraordinary, superhuman powers. So while no Realtor is superhuman, in comparing performance, it’s clear that sometimes a single real estate agent can outperform several other, less productive Realtors.  There are different reasons why this is true and part of it relates to the ‘Pareto principle,’ better known as the ’80-20′ rule, where 20% of a group is frequently responsible for as much as 80% of the results.

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Some Superheroes Have a Handy Utility Belt to Get the Job Done

What’s In Your Utility Belt?
Effective Realtors are more likely to avail themselves of advanced tools on behalf of their buyer and seller clients.  But it doesn’t stop there. That’s because in addition to ‘high tech’ expertise like sophisticated monitoring of real estate activity for their clients, a ‘superhero’ Realtor also combines it with ‘high touch.’ This means they help buyers and sellers with access to not only their own specialized experience and knowledge, but also to an often vast and diverse network of other experienced professionals, such as reputable mortgage lenders, roofers, 1031 tax deferred exchange experts, electricians, surveyors, title companies and repair firms.

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“Luke…I Am Your Appraiser”

But Why Even Hire A ‘Superhero?’ 
In considering the use of your own real estate ‘superhero,’ it helps to understand what they’re able to achieve better than other Realtors. After all, why use a ‘superhero’ when any old hero will do?

To begin, it’s helpful to understand that an agent is your representative. He or she advises and acts in your best interest, which includes ‘fighting’ on your behalf. So who or what might a real estate ‘superhero’ fight?  Enter the real estate ‘super villain.’ In Oregon real estate, you’re not likely to run into comic book characters or movie baddies like Darth Vader, Lex Luthor or The Joker. Instead,  the kind of ‘super villain’ behavior you’re more likely to encounter is both real and potentially ‘deal-killing.’

The potential list of treacherous adversaries is long. Issues that could put the kibosh on your real estate transaction (while potentially costing you a lot of money) include dry rot, deferred maintenance (think leaky roof), a poor home inspection, title report issues, a low appraisal or a picky loan underwriter. If you’re a homebuyer, you can add certain challenging homeseller attititudes to the potential list of transaction implosions and if you’re a homeseller, you might include certain ham-fisted home buyer attitudes. The bottom line is that in order to deal with a multiplicity of potentially detrimental factors affecting your home purchase or sale, it’s clearly best to be prepared. And when you’re knee deep in transaction challenges, that’s not the time to wish you were working with someone more qualified.

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It’s A Bird…It’s A Plane…It’s The CRS Realtor
There are literally millions of real estate agents and as you might expect, not all of them are the same. As with any profession, experience, proficiency and dedication to clients can vary widely.

Most Realtors are indeed capable of providing good service, reasonable counsel and some helpful information. The fact is however, that some Realtors have considerably more experience, training and better results. It’s also undeniable that CRS designees are equipped to provide their home buying and home selling clients with advanced real estate insights, knowledge and competence. CRS holders hold an average of double the experience of Realtors without the Certified Residential Specialist designation. This illustrates a clear track record with elite standing.

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Realtors Holding the CRS Designation Outperform Those Who Don’t

But what differentiates a real estate superhero from other real estate agents? Here are a few examples.

X-Ray Vision
Because CRS Realtors are experienced and complete far more transactions than the average agent, many times they see can through and avoid problems, before they occur. This helps prevent missteps from an agent’s ‘on the job training.’ 

Benefits Beyond A Single Transaction
Another key benefit to working with a CRS Realtor is their networking advantage. So whether you expect to buy or sell in Canby, or if you’ll have a real estate transaction in another city or even state, the CRS referral network is a proven way for you to connect with another ‘high caliber’ Realtor who holds the CRS designation. 

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Speaking of High Caliber: Faster Than A Speeding Referral
The CRS organization has an entire system devoted to a virtually seamless referral system for buyers and sellers who seek a super Certified Residential Specialist Realtor. For example, I recently received a phone call from an Idaho CRS agent working with buyers from Oregon. These buyers found their ‘perfect’ Idaho home and needed to sell their Oregon home in order to purchase the Idaho property. The Idaho CRS Realtor suggested they work with a local CRS agent to most effectively sell their Oregon home. Mere minutes upon receiving a phone call from the Idaho CRS agent, I was in contact with these local homeowners, then proceeded to list and successfully sell their property, all in short order.  

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Only 3% of Realtors Have Attained The CRS Designation

You May Never Have Met A CRS
It’s hardly surprising if you don’t recall ever meeting a Certified Residential Specialist. A CRS Realtor is in the top 3 percent of real estate agents in the United States. That means 97% of the Realtors you’re likely to run into aren’t a CRS. So what makes working with a CRS designee so much better?

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Clinical Specialization Meets Bedside Manner
To put the topic of Realtor proficiency in another context, if your 5 year old has a broken arm, do you want a pediatric orthopedic specialist to examine, accurately diagnose, then properly set the youngster’s bone, or would any young intern fresh out of medical school be your first choice?  After all, both are doctors. A similar principal applies to selecting an agent. The surprising thing here is that in choosing your next Realtor, it typically costs the same or less to go with the professional having more experience and proficiency. 

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Commitment
Similarly, there’s an understandable difference between an agent who just received a real estate license and one who has been diligently working full time in the field for decades. But taking it another step beyond mere experience are those who hold  accreditation for advanced real estate performance. The CRS designation isn’t easy to earn. It involves what is usually a multi-year advanced course regimen, plus documented real estate production and typically years of ‘in the field’ real estate experience. These recognized levels of education, training, production, time-tested experience  and provable success amount to a higher standard of achievement.  

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A Bundle of ‘Keys’ to Your Next Real Estate Transaction
To most homebuyers and homesellers, one key to a Realtor’s stellar real estate performance is consistent performance. Another is experience. Yet one more is education. The advantage to you as a homebuyer or homeseller in working with a CRS Realtor is that you get the entire bundle of keys and reduce your chances of being ‘locked out’ in your next transaction. 

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The Answer:
While the usual term for CRS is Certified Residential Specialist, some might consider agents holding this esteemed real estate degree as being more of a Certified Real Estate Superhero. That’s because it takes a lot to attain the CRS designation and the positive results of working with a CRS designee speak for themself. Some have even compared CRS credentials as akin to the CPA of real estate.

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       Roy Widing, CRS Realtor

It’s Your Move
What if there was a way you could locate a real estate ‘superhero’ for your next Oregon transaction? Thanks to the CRS referral network, there actually is an easy way to find a ‘super’ Realtor, no matter where you live. Perhaps the simplest is to contact a CRS, like Oregon Real Estate Podcast host, Roy Widing, CRS with Certified Realty. If you’d like to reach a CRS Realtor in a different state or region of the United States, Roy can connect you with a number of qualified Certified Residential Specialists near you and at no charge. From there you can interview one or more CRS Realtors and make your own decisions. 

Do you have real estate questions? Contact Realtor Roy Widing, CRS using the convenient form below.

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