Life in Portland Blog

The Encyclopedia of Homebuying Questions: What to Ask Your Portland Real Estate Agent

Buying a Home In Portland? Your Agent Is One of Your Best Info Sources

Maybe you’re new to the Portland area, and you’re still getting the lay of the land. Or, perhaps you’re a longtime Portlander looking to become a homebuyer for the very first time. You might even be an old hand at living in Portland and purchasing homes, but with the Portland real estate market in this state of rapid evolution, you’re likely to have questions that you wouldn’t have considered the last time you purchased a residence in the Rose City.

Regardless of the specifics of your situation, there are certain things you should know when buying a home in Portland. Not just about the city or particular neighborhoods, but about the agent themselves, as well.

Here’s a helpful list of questions that you should definitely ask your Portland real estate agent.

How Long Have You Been a Real Estate Agent?

Ideally, you’ll want to work with a seasoned real estate agent who knows the local market like the back of their hand. With experience comes wisdom, and in a market that’s changing as quickly as Portland’s, you’d do well to seek out sage advice whenever possible. Be sure to ask for references – any real estate agent worth their proverbial salt will be proud to provide them.

A side note – everyone has to start somewhere. Working with a relatively new agent shouldn’t necessarily be a deal breaker, as long as they have the backing of an established and respected Portland real estate agency.

What Sort of PDX Properties Do You Specialize In?

Few Realtors sell every type of property; the most successful tend to find a specific niche that they excel at and stick to it. Be skeptical of hiring a Realtor who doesn’t seem like a good fit. For example, if you’re looking for a condo in the Pearl, work with an agent who does brisk business in that sector. If you’re seeking an historic home in Southeast PDX, find an agent who’s recently sold several similar properties. Working with an agent who’s in his or her element will make you feel more at ease, and should simplify the process considerably.

Dear PDX Realtor: Why Should I Work With You?

Not to put too fine a point on it, but it’s a good idea to ask your agent what makes them the right choice for you. What you’re looking for is confidence, enthusiasm, and expertise. Look at it this way: if your agent can sell you on giving them your business, they can probably persuade the seller to see things your way if the negotiations get tense.

What Can You Tell Me About This Part of Portland?

As you may already know, what constitutes the “Portland Lifestyle” varies pretty considerably from one part of the city to the next. Some neighborhoods are known for their vibrant nightlife and high-end retail experiences, while others are valued for their excellent schools and walkability ratings.

Your real estate agent should be able to recommend specific parts of Portland to fit your needs. If you’ve already decided on a specific sector of the city, then he or she should be able to give you a fairly extensive rundown on whichever part of the city you’re considering purchasing in.  

How Much Should I Offer?

In case you haven’t heard, homes in Portland are selling like Pine State Biscuits or Salt & Straw Ice Cream. Of course, a home purchase isn’t a first-come, first-served transaction. Other buyers may (and likely will) try to outbid you, and many homes here sell for more than asking price.

Talk to your real estate agent to learn how you might increase your odds of landing your dream home. She should have a pretty good sense of what it will take to become the lucky buyer, based on recent, similar transactions.

Happy House Hunting!

We at Urban Nest would love to help you find a new home in Portland. But whether you choose to work with us or not, we’d like to wish you every success in your Portland home-buying mission. Welcome to PDX! We know you’ll love it here!