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If you’re ready to capitalize on Oregon’s hot real estate market, you may be wondering about all the steps involved in selling a house there. Home prices have been surging in many cities across the state. For example, the median sales price in Madras has increased by nearly 50 percent in the past year, according to Redfin, while prices in Coos Bay have leapt by 39 percent.
However, selling a home in Oregon doesn’t automatically mean you’re in for a massive payday. To make the most of your home’s value, start with this guide to walk you through some of the most important details — what you need to do to get the house ready, when you should list your property, who you should hire to help and how much you’ll need to spend to close the deal.
Are you ready to sell?
Before you start looking for buyers, you need to figure out a pretty important detail: Where are you going to go next? Selling your home while you’re still living there is tricky, and if you’re planning to sell your house and buy another at the same time, you’ll need to craft an appropriate timeline to avoid paying two mortgages. In addition, it’s important to remember that while you might be able to enjoy the benefits of a seller’s market, you may also feel the pain of that scenario as the tables turn and you’re the one looking to buy.
Preparing to sell
Once you’ve decided you are ready to leave your current home (both financially and emotionally), it’s time to get the property prepared to impress buyers. Start by answering these three questions.
1. Is it worth upgrading your home before you sell?
Major upgrades, like kitchen remodels or bathroom renovations, rarely recoup their costs. Plus, supply chain issues and labor shortage challenges are only making home upgrades take longer and cost more. However, you may want to consider some fast ways to increase your home’s value, such as adding an energy-efficient thermostat or installing a new front door.
2. What should you repair before selling your home?
Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes to figure out what you need to repair before listing your home. If you have glaring issues, like a leaky shower or carpeting that’s been ripped up by your dog, these obvious problems should be addressed before they turn off prospective buyers. It can also be prudent to get a pre-listing home inspection. These cost a few hundred bucks, but they can identify any issues before they turn up on a buyer’s inspection and lead to closing delays.
3. Should you stage your home?
First impressions are everything, and home staging is one way to make sure your house impresses everyone who sees it. From virtual staging that can make the property pop in online photos to actual, in-home staging with furniture rentals and more, the costs of home staging can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands. You stand to get a lot more money in return, though: According to the Real Estate Staging Association, staged homes sold for more than $40,000 over their list prices in 2021.
When is the best time to sell a house in Oregon?
The best time to sell a house in Oregon tends to be between May and July. Historically, that’s when homes here have spent the fewest number of days on the market — a signal that buyers are busy and active. Rising mortgage rates do seem to be having an impact on the state’s hot housing market, and prices aren’t climbing quite as quickly as they were in 2020 and 2021. However, it’s still a great time to be on the selling side here. In June, more than 50 percent of homes sold for more than their list price, according to data from Redfin.
Find a local Oregon real estate agent
As you prepare to list your home, you don’t have to go it alone. In fact, you shouldn’t: Having a real estate agent on your side will hand off the work to a professional who fully understands the local market. Plus, he or she will likely get you more money for your home than you would if you tried to avoid paying Realtor commissions. According to the National Association of Realtors, agent-assisted sales close for around 18 percent more than FSBO (For Sale By Owner) sales.
Price your home competitively to get the most from the deal
When selling a home in Oregon, or anywhere, one of the biggest challenges is getting the pricing right. If you aim too high, you might turn off prospective buyers. And if you start too low, you might leave money on the table. Pricing your home competitively often involves setting a number that will stir up competition among multiple buyers. However, trying to figure out how much your house is worth can be a tough assignment, and ultimately, the answer is subjective: It’s whatever someone is willing to pay for it.
With that in mind, the best place to start your pricing journey is with your real estate agent. He or she will look at comps in the neighborhood that have recently sold to get a sense of what local buyers have paid for properties similar to yours, and use their professional expertise to help you get the best price possible.
Documents and disclosures in Oregon
As an Oregon home seller, you will need to complete the state’s seller’s disclosure form, a lengthy document that outlines any defects that could impact the value of the home. The buyer has five business days to revoke their offer after reviewing this disclosure statement. Additionally, if your property is part of a homeowners association, be prepared to hand over documents that share the association’s financial condition and past meeting minutes of the board.
Need to sell your home fast?
If you can’t afford to wait for the right buyer to come along, you have options. Here are four ways to press fast forward on the home selling process.
- Consider iBuyers: Companies like Opendoor and Offerpad specialize in iBuying — instant offers for sellers who want to skip the work involved with a traditional listing. These reduce time, but be aware that they can also reduce your potential profits. What you gain in speed and convenience you usually pay for in the form of a lower sale price.
- Sell for cash: Selling your house for cash is another speedy route to closing. This can be a good option if your home is in need of repairs that you aren’t able to, or just don’t want to, address. While individual buyers might be turned off by all that work, real estate investors and flippers often see a home in poor condition as an opportunity to turn a profit.
- Sell as-is: If you list your house as-is, you send an important message to buyers: What you see is what you get. As-is listings are an indication that you aren’t willing to negotiate back and forth with potential buyers.
- Add curb appeal: The first step to making a place feel like home is making the front door inviting enough to want to come in. So create a good first impression by giving the outside some extra love. Even something as simple as cleaning the windows can add curb appeal to any home.
What to expect at the closing
Closing on a house typically takes around 50 days. However, that timeline can be faster or slower, depending on specifics like financing and contingencies. Regardless of when the closing date arrives, all sellers should be prepared to direct a portion of their proceeds to cover a range of expenses.
Cost of selling a home in Oregon
The biggest cost on a seller’s shoulders is the money owed to the real estate agents involved in the transaction. Typically, the buyer’s agent takes 3 percent of the purchase price, and the seller’s agent takes 3 percent. So, on a $500,000 sale, the seller would be responsible for $30,000 of realtor fees. The percentages aren’t set in stone, though, so be sure to ask real estate agents you’re considering if they are willing to reduce their commission.
Seller’s closing costs
- Title insurance: Title insurance will be your responsibility as the seller, and the cost depends on the purchase price of your home. For example, a standard Oregon title policy on a $400,000 home is $1,150, while the price jumps to $1,500 for a $600,000 property.
- Transfer taxes: Most sellers in Oregon avoid paying real estate transfer taxes to shift ownership to the buyer. There is one exception, though: Homeowners in Washington County have to pay $1 for every $1,000 of the sale price. (Fun fact: Washington County is home to Beaverton, where Nike’s corporate headquarters are based.) If you do live in Washington County, it’s standard practice to split this fee with the buyer.
- Escrow fees: You will likely need to pay an escrow fee to a title company that manages funds for the transaction. This fee generally starts at $1,300 and varies based on the sale price. You may be able to split the cost with the buyer.
- Seller concessions: If the buyer’s home inspection uncovers any issues that need to be repaired, be ready to receive a request for a concession and help pay a portion of their closing costs. These costs vary based on the condition of your home. If it’s in pristine shape, you’re unlikely to have to concede anything.
- Attorney fees: You’re not required to hire a real estate attorney to oversee the legal details of selling your home in Oregon, but it’s smart to consider adding one to your team. The cost will depend on the number of hours put into your sale.
Take the first step
Ready to get moving on selling your house in Oregon? It’s time to start setting up interviews with a few real estate agents. You’re the boss: Be sure to ask them these key questions to understand their experience, their approach to sales and their strategy for helping you maximize your profit potential.
You need to complete Oregon’s property seller’s disclosure statement with an honest rundown of everything you know about the condition of the home, including any problems that could negatively impact its value. Additionally, you will need documents that prove your ownership, such as a title, a current loan agreement or a mortgage payoff statement.
Oregon law does not require sellers to hire a lawyer for the transaction. However, getting the help of a real estate attorney is usually a good decision. Selling a home involves lengthy contracts, disclosures and other complexities. An attorney can make sure your interests are protected and that any issues are resolved properly.
It depends on where your house is located. Throughout almost all of Oregon, you won’t pay any real estate transfer taxes. The one exception is Washington County, which levies a transfer tax of $1 per every $1,000 of value. So, if your home sells for $500,000, you’ll need to pay $500. Depending on when you sell your home, you may need to cover a portion of your property taxes for the year, too.
Really fast — if you’re willing to sell to an iBuyer. Many of these companies are able to give you an offer in 24 hours, or even less. However, the traditional market isn’t far behind. Homes in Oregon are currently sitting on the market for a median of 12 days, according to Redfin. While you will still have to wait for things like appraisals and buyer financing, that’s still a pretty quick race to the finish.
The seller is usually responsible for paying for the title insurance policy in Oregon. The cost varies based on the price of the home: The more expensive a home is, the more expensive the title policy will be.
According to data from ClosingCorp, the average closing costs in Oregon totaled $4,327 in 2021. However, some of those costs are either covered by the buyer or split between the two parties. Typical closing costs in Oregon add up to 0.9 percent of the purchase price, which is much more affordable than in neighboring Washington, where closing costs average 2.4 percent of the price.