Success Story – October

4701 SE Kelly St

The stunning TrueView presentation of this home generated a frenzy of buyer interest. Pending in four days, the home garnered multiple offers, including an accepted back-up offer, selling for $29k above list price.

Our sellers were looking to downsize after raising three girls here for the past eight years. A fresh family with two young boys couldn’t wait to make this their new home, with plenty of project space for their woodworking ambitions!


Home Details
Nestled in Southeast Portland in the Richmond neighborhood, this daylight ranch is the perfect union of retro charm and modern comforts. A multitude of mid-modern details such as built-in shelving, unique light fixtures, medicine cabinets and toothbrush nooks create a charming and inviting living experience. Classic brick and cedar decorate the home’s exterior. Situated on a double lot, the expansive fenced backyard features a finished patio and a sprawling lawn.


The welcoming entryway greets guests into the living area, boasting hardwood floors, oversized windows and a wood framed fireplace. The open floor plan connects the main level and creates a seamless living experience. With five bedrooms, there is plenty of room for all of your guests and loved ones.

Ideally located between bustling Powell Boulevard and Division Street, this home is full of personality and potential.


View more photos & videos here: 4701 SE Kelly St Website
View 4701 SE Kelly St SuperFlyer Here

The Importance of Staging

Does staging my home really pay off?

If you were selling a car, would you get more money if you washed and waxed it? Probably…
Or reverse this question….
If I tried to sell a dirty car, would I get less money for it? Absolutely!

Here is a home that clearly shows the benefits of staging.
All pictures were taken by professional photographers.
The only difference is the staging.

Prior to staging, this home had 27 showings and no offers.
After staging, there were 24 showings in 10 days, three offers, and sold for full asking price.

Interpretation: Without staging, the marketing was sufficient to attract plenty of buyers to view the home. Yet when actually at the home, all 27 buyers rejected the home purchase. After staging, buyers could focus on the potential in the home, rather than the distractions.

Result: With staging, the seller made the most money possible.

Formal Living Room

Formal Dining Room

Family Room

Master Bedroom

Selling in December

During the winter holidays, many sellers withdraw their homes from the market or wait until after the first of the year to sell. Most often, it’s because of family visits and holiday celebrations. However in today’s market, having your home up for sale during the winter holidays can give you a competitive edge.

Serious Buyers. Only serious buyers are looking for homes during the holidays. Think about it. Would you rather be attending holiday events and getting your shopping done, or driving around in the rain and cold looking at homes? For buyers, their dedication and commitment to the home buying process during this time makes them perhaps more serious buyers than the summer tire-kickers. Most buyers start their search on the internet and will spend their holiday break surfing the web looking for homes. With more free time, buyers and their families will spend more time dreaming about what they will do in 2013. Why not give them a great home website created by M Realty to fall in love with?

Less competition. As other sellers take their homes off the market, this creates less competition for those committed buyers. With fewer homes to consider, buyers will be more likely to spend time looking at your home. This will shift in January as more sellers trickle back into the market, slowly increasing back up to normal levels by the beginning of March.

Moving up before prices increase. The market appears to have hit bottom in 2012. From here, the market will likely begin to move back up as foreclosures decrease and normal houses return to the market. Ask yourself, “what is the cost of waiting until I know for sure?” Given a 3% annual increase in the market, a $250,000 house will gain $7,500 in value, while a $500,000 house will gain $15,000 in value. Your leverage in buying up to the next level house is much higher in actual dollars.

Holiday decorations. If you are already moving furniture and personal times to put up holiday decorations, it’s also a great time to clean behind the couch or sideboard. And the temporary storage for your personal items is the same as it is when having your home professionally staged. Give me a call to have my professional stager help you with both your holiday decorations and staging your home for sale at the same time. Buyers are emotional during the holidays. Capitalize on their emotions by using high quality holiday decorations to showcase what your home has to offer—in turn letting buyers experience the dream of living in your home.

Higher appraisal values. Recent strong sales support the rising appraisal values of homes. With the market increase in sales of normal homes, now is the best time to sell. The percentage of bank-owned and foreclosure homes has shrunk, giving appraisers more information on the sale of regular homes as they begin to increase in value for the first time in over five years.

Success Stories

Marketing matters. When exceptional marketing combines with the right price, anything is possible. In today’s market, high quality photography, videography, and presentation stands out. Here are just a handful of last month’s successes.

913 SW Westwood - $400,000

This classic Hillsdale bungalow features an expansive lower level and a great location in SW Portland. The M Realty media team did a full marketing production for this listing. The result was an outstanding custom website, flawless print materials, and interest from serious home buyers who fell in love with the property. After this home went on the market, it received multiple offers within 6 hours. The house sold for $30,000 above asking price at $430,000, and the transaction closed within 32 days.

6900 SE 28th - $920,000

We captured the story of this gracious colonial home with our M Realty media team, which included our on-staff photographer, videographer, designer and copywriter. The team produced a beautiful website and print materials, such as our multi-page Super Flyer. All of these materials highlighted the incredible details and spaces in this classic Eastmoreland property, and ultimately helped find a buyer who fell in love with the home.

2201 NW Pettygrove - $609,000

With an exceptional location in the heart of Northwest Portland, this updated and spacious townhome offers plenty of space for entertaining and living in the city. An open floor plan connects the gourmet kitchen to the expansive living space, and the dining area opens to the terrace for indoor/outdoor entertaining. An abundance of windows keep the various spaces of this home bright and airy.

With a full suite of marketing materials, everything this downtown home had to offer was elegantly marketed to lots of potential buyers. This property was on the market for 46 days, and the open house had 27 potential home buyers. This home, which was listed for $609,000, sold for 99% of the listing price.

Wealthy Owners Defaulting at Higher Rate Than Middle Class

The new buzz phrase in distressed real estate is “strategic default”, or purposely walking away from an upside down mortgage. Apparently, wealthy homeowners are handing the keys back to the bank at a higher rate than their middle-class counterparts.

The NY Times reports that homeowners with mortgages in excess of $1 million are defaulting at a 1 out of 7 pace.

From the NY Times article:

More than one in seven homeowners with loans in excess of a million dollars are seriously delinquent, according to data compiled for The New York Times by the real estate analytics firm CoreLogic.

By contrast, homeowners with less lavish housing are much more likely to keep writing checks to their lender. About one in 12 mortgages below the million-dollar mark is delinquent.

Though it is hard to prove, the CoreLogic data suggest that many of the well-to-do are purposely dumping their financially draining properties, just as they would any sour investment.

“The rich are different: they are more ruthless,” said Sam Khater, CoreLogic’s senior economist.

“They may be less susceptible to the shame and fear-mongering used by the government and the mortgage banking industry to keep underwater homeowners from acting in their financial best interest,” Mr. White said.

Read more at the NY Times.

Photo courtesy of Corvair Owner, used under Creative Commons license.

Free Homeownership Preservation Workshop Comes to Portland

Making Home Affordable WorkshopIf you’re struggling to keep your home, you may want to take advantage of an upcoming workshop and free counseling put on by the federal government.

From the Making Home Affordable Program:

A homeownership preservation workshop, sponsored by the Obama Administration’s Making Home Affordable Program, HOPE NOW Alliance and NeighborWorks® America, will be held in Portland for all homeowners who may be at risk of foreclosure. The workshop is free, open to the public, and provides a chance for homeowners to meet face-to-face with their mortgage company and a HUD-approved counseling agency to work on a solution to help them stay in their home.

WHO: Portland homeowners who are in default on their mortgage or may be at risk of foreclosure
WHAT: Free Homeownership Preservation Workshop
WHEN: Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 1:00 pm -7:30 pm
WHERE: Doubletree Hotel Portland, 1000 NE Multnomah Street, Portland, OR 97232

The Obama Administration’s Making Home Affordable Program was created to help millions of homeowners refinance or modify their mortgage payments to a level that is more affordable.

More information at and a link to the flyer (in Spanish, too).

Dude! Where’s My Stove?

In foreclosure-ravaged communities like Las Vegas, parts of California, and Phoenix, it’s not uncommon to hear of properties that have been stripped of their appliances and other relatively removable fixtures.

But it’s less common in the Portland area. In fact, this is the worst I’ve seen.

Damascus home stripped of fixtures

Damascus home stripped of fixtures

From The Oregonian:

DAMASCUS — After stripping his foreclosed home of everything from the air conditioning system to the kitchen sink, Grigoriy Bogoslavets was convicted of a crime that is often witnessed but rarely reported.

The 33-year-old electrician pleaded no contest last month to aggravated theft after stealing more than $50,000 of property attached to his former Damascus home, one of the few such cases in Oregon or across the country to result in prosecution. He will be sentenced Sept. 22.

In many of the distress properties I’ve viewed recently, sometimes the range, range fan, dishwasher, and the decorative light fixtures have been removed during the pre-foreclosure period. But I’ve never seen the island and the drawers from the cabinets taken. Can’t imagine how those will be used.

This guy got caught because the neighbors reported it to the police. If you live in a neighborhood with a house going to foreclosure, and you suspect a neighbor is doing the same thing, report it and protect your property values. This guy might get up to 4 years in prison.

Full story on

The Weekend Starts Early in Clackamas County

Clackamas County logoWant to record your title and take possession of your new home on a Friday, in time for a weekend move-in? Not gonna happen if your home is located in Clackamas County, because no one will be at work to record your title.

(Cue crickets chirping)

After November 1, 2008, many Clackamas County offices are moving to a 4-day work week, with only public safety services like fire and police open on Friday. The Friday shutdown is a trial program, designed to reduce the county’s carbon footprint by minimizing employee commutes and energy costs at the county building. New hours are expected to extend from 7am to 6pm Monday through Thursday.

So, if you have a home in escrow, check your sale agreements and notify your lender to change any scheduled Friday closings. Title officers will now have to get used to a crush of panic-driven Thursday closings, instead.

Heads-up courtesy of Trudy Bushard at Eagle Home Mortgage.

Craigslist Shakes Up Real Estate for Sale Section

Craigslist Real Estate for Sale sectionCasual users of Craigslist may not have noticed a change last week to the Real Estate for Sale section. Recently, my bookmark for that section suddenly started showing fewer and fewer listings.

Around August 4, it appears the ‘real estate for sale’ category was split into ‘for sale by broker‘ and ‘for sale by owner‘ buckets. Fortunately, the company kept the ALL category alive, but is now addressed as (instead of /rfs).

I saw complaints about the previous real estate for sale section, like, “Why do brokers put their listings here (multiple times), when there is already an MLS?” The new categorization solves that issue if you just want to see owner listings. But when I looked in the ‘by owner’ section today, it seemed rife with spam, foreclosure ‘help’ ads, and other money schemes. Some policing will be needed.

Another thought, with the split, is Craigslist prepping to charge Portland brokers to advertise their listings like they do in NYC? We shall see.

Yar! Hand Over Yer Junque!

Cruising through Craigslist this weekend and ran across these scurvy dogs:

Junk Pirates

Here’s their Craigslist pitch:

Shake your booty. (All Over)

Shake it like it was LA!
Lose it sister. Get rid of it brother.
You don’t need that stuff. It’s no good.
And someday someone somewhere will find a way to link it to cancer.

PREPARE YOURSELF (<– scare tactic)

By calling the Junk Pirates today!
1-888-47-BOOTY (that’s 1-888-472-6689)
Follow Fritz:

Now, from a branding perspective, I think this kills. Most cleanup crews have non-descript business names with no hook to remember them by or reason to refer them to anyone.

But you’d probably remember the Junk Pirates. At least I will. Heck, they even have a vanity 800 number.

Note: This is an unsolicited review. I have not used them or referred them to anyone.


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