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When the Competition is Fierce, You Have to do More Than Just Keep up With the Joneses.

Staying one step ahead in an ultra-competitive market

The experts are still scratching their heads. Yet somehow, despite record unemployment and ongoing signs of a recession, the last four months have brought unexpected growth in the national real estate market. And Central Oregon certainly is no exception. In fact, our local market has become so competitive, in many cases properties are in multiple-offer scenarios and going under contract within 24 to 48 hours.

As a result, it’s critical that buyers have all of their proverbial ducks in a row when one small item can be the difference between an accepted offer and one that gets tossed out immediately.

So how should you go about purchasing a property in the current market conditions?

First and foremost, now is not the time to fool around with a do-it-yourself approach. In times like these, working with a real estate professional is more important than ever­. Real estate brokers are well-versed in dealing with situations like how to write a clean, competitive offer or even multiple offers on a daily basis. And if you’re working with a broker like Duke Warner, there’s a whole array of experienced pros who can offer additional insight when an unusual situation or question arises.

Simply put, current market conditions do not allow time on a buyer’s side. One misstep or misunderstanding on paperwork, inspection or financing contingencies can push an offer off the table. So it’s imperative to be decisive and put together your best offer right out of the gate.

If financing is needed, make sure that a prequalification letter is attached with the offer. When a seller has multiple offers to consider and has the luxury of being picky, eliminating the question of whether the buyer is immediately qualified for a loan is one less concern.

Timing is also of the essence when making an offer. Does the seller want a quick close? Or do they need a slightly longer escrow to make moving arrangements or find a replacement property. The seller is driving the bus when it comes to timing, so having the flexibility to work with the seller’s schedule is a key advantage.

Yet another way to gain a competitive advantage is with your earnest money deposit and down payment. The earnest money deposit – typically about 1% of the purchase price – demonstrates to a seller that you have cash in hand and you’re ready to perform. In a competitive market, however, it’s wise to double or even triple that amount. What’s more, when financing is necessary, having a large down payment again indicates to a seller that you are capable of performing, and reduces the likelihood of loan qualification issues arising.

Finally, in a multiple-offer situation you may need to consider offering above the list price or adding an escalation clause. The clause essentially claims that you are willing to increase your purchase price if another offer comes in higher than your original. These clauses can be tricky, of course, especially if a competing buyer has one as well.

Needless to say, it’s best to have a clear discussion and continued communication with your real estate professional before offering amounts above the asking price. And as long as you have to compete with the Joneses, the Smiths, the Browns and everyone else, it’s good to have sound, professional advice on your side. It can be the difference between securing the home of your dreams and another case of you snooze, you lose.

Some information provided by Christin J. Hunter. 

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It’s Not Over til It’s Over.

A real estate transaction is never guaranteed until it officially closes. We have all seen the highlight reel blooper of a football player who got so excited about celebrating an inevitable touchdown for his team, he spiked the ball before crossing the goal line, giving possession to the other team.

Similarly, when you’re selling a home, even though you have accepted an offer and the loan has been approved, it’s a little too early to start doing your victory dance and sending out moving announcements.

Why? Because until the sale has closed and the deed is recorded, the proverbial touchdown has not been scored and the game is not over.

Needless to say, these are interesting times in the Central Oregon real estate market. Things are so competitive and unsettled right now, there’s always a possibility of a transaction going awry with no warning and for completely unexpected reasons.

For example, even when an escrow is cruising along and the loan documents are ready to be signed, it’s not unheard of for a buyer to get cold feet and rethink their decision to take on a big mortgage. Sure, it means the buyer will have to jump back into the pool and start the whole process over again. But it might actually lead to a better relationship and possibly a more agreeable sale price.

Today more than ever, real estate transactions in Central Oregon have their ups and downs – as in prices and demand for homes being way up and interest rates are way down. So, the desire and the ability to make one of the largest purchases of a lifetime are always changing. More importantly, human emotions (like fear about employment) are playing a more significant role in the market, which means the unusual and the unexpected are becoming more frequent and almost commonplace.

The bottom line is, even when the closing goal is clearly in sight, you can’t take anything for granted and start celebrating early. The transaction is not complete until you go the whole nine yards and the transfer of deed is recorded.

Some information provided by Christin J. Hunter.  

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Trend Report – August 2020

What a wild ride this summer has been in the real estate market In Central Oregon. Flocks of homebuyers, many deciding to retire or taking advantage of the remote work possibilities, have searched to make Bend their new home base. We continue to see unprecedented transactions both in the fast selling process and the number of active home seekers who are outbidding one another. The active Bend listings for August were historically low due. In part due to homes selling rapidly- often within hours of hitting the market. The low inventory in both Bend and Redmond markets continue to create a sellers’ market. Our market trend report offers valuable insight into last month’s activity. It is also an excellent resource for any upcoming trends we hope to see during the remainder of the month and into October.

September 1st Inventory and August Activity

With anomalously low active listings as of September 1st, the Bend market has 186 active listings, and Redmond has even fewer current listings at 136. The number of available homes for sale has dropped considerably over the past few months due to the frenzied buyers eager to move to Central Oregon. As we dive into Fall, now would be an excellent time to consider selling your home if it is on the radar for Spring 2021. We see the combined active listings for Central Oregon at 322.

With the “feast or famine” attitude experienced by our agents; August was one of the busiest month’s on record as the “gold rush” to find the perfect home for buyers was no easy feat. The Redmond markets showed 133 homes sold, 107 new homes on the market and 148 homes pending. The bulk of active homes on the market in Redmond were in the $325,100 -$425,000 price range, showing 54. The $225,000 – $325,000 had 12 active listings and the $525,000 & up price range showed 35 active listings.

For Bend, the numbers in August were equally as corybantic with only 5 active listings in the $225,000-$325,000 range, 26 in the $325,100-$425,000 range, 36 in the $425,100-$525,000 range and 29 in the $525,100-$625,000 price range. As you can see from our Market Trend Report, there was low inventory for eager home buyers in all price ranges. We showed only 42 active homes available in the $925,100 & up price range. compared to 76 and 69 in June and July, respectively

In this ultra-fast-paced market, buyers are expecting to compete with multiple full-price offers. If you are on the fence regarding selling your home and trying to price your property, we encourage you to consult with your trusted Duke Warner Broker for seasoned, expert advice. Our brokers will share their experience, knowledge, and excitement while they work for you. Duke brokers know how to price properties according to the market trends and current housing competition. At Duke Warner Realty, we can help you plan, sort out the details, and get you started on your home buying or selling journey.

Sold and Pending Listings

Bend had 372 pending homes in July, and 329 in August. These numbers confirm the sellers’ market telling us both buyers and sellers are on the move. For sold listings, there were 318 in July and 306 in August. In Redmond, we saw 109 sold listings in July, and 133 in August. We expect to see the law of supply and demand continue fiercely through the end of 2020

A Real Estate Expert is More Important Now Than Ever Before

As many of us know and appreciate, Central Oregon is a special place to live. Both Bend and Redmond markets are rapidly growing alongside the real estate boom. As you consider your housing needs, start to plan and look ahead; whether you want to buy or sell a home, keep us in mind for your real estate ventures. Our professional brokers can offer great insights as you navigate your next home experience. Give us a call today and let us help you get started! We can be reached at 541.382.8262 or send us an email at info@dukewarner.com. Because you cannot fake experience.

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Time for a Home Makeover?

How to get the most bang for your renovation buck.

If your house hasn’t been keeping up with the times lately or if you’re looking to upgrade a property and flip it for a tidy profit, it would help to know what today’s buyers are looking for. Well, while we can’t exactly offer you a crystal ball, we can suggest several sure-fire tips to prioritize your remodeling efforts.

When preparing to put your home on the market, you obviously need to start by examining the major structural and internal elements of the home – the roof, HVAC system, interior and exterior paint, etc. Once you’ve determined that these are in good shape, you can turn your focus to more exciting aspects about the house. Specifically, the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms and living areas.

Let’s start with the kitchen, the place where everyone gathers. Think about all of the wonderful times you’ve spent preparing and sharing food, having a drink and catching up with family and friends. The kitchen is the heart and soul of the home, a fact that isn’t lost on buyers. It needs to sparkle with delightful finishes while remaining functional for the user. Consider using a mix of materials, such as wood, stone, tile, metal and painted surfaces. Balance organic, natural finishes with those that have a human-made feel. And since the kitchen is such a vital part of the house, try to create a design theme that can be extended and incorporated in the remainder of the home.

Speaking of which, as impressive as your deck, landscaping and entertainment center may be, they are not nearly as important as having a first-rate master suite. The bedroom, obviously, is where the day begins and ends. From the lighting to the space for the TV, creature comforts and convenience are everything. And of course, the master bathroom offers a daily reprieve from the chaos of life. It is a sanctuary where one can prepare for the day or relax afterward in the comfort of a soothing shower or a deep jetted tub. If you’ve already got the perfect shower or tub, then consider resurfacing the cabinets, replacing the countertops, or updating the sink(s) or a new toilet.

If you’re not quite sure where to begin, your first course of action should be to seek inspiration from open houses, design showrooms, or remodel TV shows and remodel websites. Not only will they show you how to catch potential buyers’ attention with trendy touches, but how to keep the palette toned down to appeal to a broad demographic over many years.

Some information provided by Abbie and Rick Sams.

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To Buy or Not to Buy

What Keeps Home Buyers on the Fence

From Ranch to Colonial, from Craftsman to Contemporary Treehouse Mansion, there are hundreds of types of home styles you can live in. But when you come right down to it, there are only two types of buyers:  those who are decisive and ready to make an offer as soon as they see what they want; and those who are wishy-washy and hesitant to make an offer, even when they seem to have found their perfect home.

For folks in the latter category, the delay in pulling the trigger can be caused by multiple factors, including anxiety over market conditions, fear of missing out on a better property, or concerns of over-paying. Employment and economic concerns frequently add another layer of worry and uncertainty in the housing market, potentially creating “paralysis by analysis.” These concerns are completely understandable, as buying a home is most likely the largest purchase that most people will ever make. However, there are a several significant reasons why he and she who hesitate should hop off the fence and stop waiting for an opportunity that might never come again.

  1. Mortgage interest rates are hovering at record lows, which boosts a person’s buying power. Buyers are often surprised with how much more they can afford due to the lower monthly payments from the lower interest rates.
  2. Home prices continue to escalate almost everywhere, almost every month (certainly in Central Oregon). Clients who hesitate are continually being priced out of their desired cities or neighborhoods. No one wants to overpay on a property, but if a home is in an ideal location and checks all of the family’s boxes, it’s important to consider that real estate has proven to appreciate significantly over time in Central Oregon.
  3. The housing market has more than rebounded from the crisis of 2008 and despite uncertainties in the economy this year, prices continue to climb. This can be directly attributed to the desirability and relative affordability of the area. Bend and the Central Oregon area is on everyone’s radar from all over the country, and there continues to be a surge of new residents relocating to the area with no signs of a slowdown. Prices may seem high to some, but for those moving from metropolitan areas, this is an affordable price to pay to live in a dreamlike location.

Overall, it’s reasonable to be cautious when buying. Most hesitant buyers are hopeful that home prices will drop and that better deals are ahead—but realistically, both home prices and interest rates are more likely to go up than down. It’s never a good idea to make a hasty decision So gather all possible information, assess your personal situation and if a purchase is in your near future, get prepared to make that move sooner rather than later.

Some information provided by Abbie and Rick Sams.