Homes Under 300K in Portland and Include a Personal Note with Your Offer

Shayna Denny, Portland area Realtor

Shayna Denny, Oregon Broker

We were definitely feeling the fall slow down, then three weekends ago, BOOM. My world got really busy. But that’s good news because that means there were lots of great new listings that people wanted to see.

Homes Under 300K in Portland

In Portland’s low inventory market new listings under 300K are fantastic news!

Two weeks ago I should have attended my friend Max’s mediation class, but where was the time? I found out two of my clients had accepted offers on homes under 300K!

The livable homes under 300K are still out there, even in the hot Portland market. You just have to know where to look.
Shayna Denny, Oregon Broker

Include a Personal Note with Your Offer

One offer was a challenging 265k budget and a buyer who needed the seller to credit money for closing costs. That home had six offers by the time the seller could review them. When the listing agent called to let me know the seller had chosen my buyer’s offer, she said there were two very similar offers and the seller appreciated the letter my buyer had written.

My buyer chose write a short note to the person selling the home. She wrote about how much she loved the house, and though she’d already seen it, went back to both open houses. She wrote a little about herself and where her life was headed and how she could see her future in that house.

People’s homes can be very sentimental and there is often a strong emotional attachment. We want to know that our home will be in good hands if we no longer live there. Because of this, writing a letter to the seller can be a great addition to an already strong offer.

Both sets of buyers are so excited for the homes they are buying and I couldn’t be happier for them!



How to Buy a House in the Portland Metro Area, Part 3

This is the third part in a blog series about home buying in Portland. Written by Oregon Broker, Shayna Denny, the series covers the steps home buyers need to take in order buy a house in the Portland Metro area.


Shayna Denny, Portland area Realtor

Shayna Denny, Oregon Broker

Sounds scientific, right?

There are three main objectives when looking for a home:

  • Price
  • Location
  • The House Itself

Depending on who you are, the specifics of these three objectives will rank higher or lower on your priority list. I call it your Triad of Priorities… and you will need to rank them. Most home buyers (especially first time homebuyers) will not be able to purchase a home with every single thing they are looking for.

Price – Location – The House

Many people are not very flexible on price; the price objective will rank high on your list of priorities because you’ll want to stay within a comfortable budget. That usually means you will either need to be flexible with location, the house, or a little of both. For example, if you want to stay in a particular neighborhood, you may need to settle on a smaller house that needs some updating and repairs. Or maybe you would really like a newer, modern house or need a bigger house with more bedrooms or square feet. In that instance, you may need to be flexible about the location.

Home for sale by Realtor Shayna Denny on Burnside Street in PortlandAlternatively, maybe you have some flexibility in price. Maybe you have the option to borrow money from a parent or purchase the home with another person. If you are really set on a move-in-ready home in a specific neighborhood, maybe you will be ready to spend a little more than you originally thought. Maybe you can buy a bigger house and plan to have roommates to help pay the mortgage. There are definitely some creative options out there!

The majority of people buying a home will have to be flexible on at least one of these priorities. Sometimes, as you’re looking for a home these priorities will change. And that’s okay. But, taking a look at what is most important to you going into this process will help make the searching process smoother and may save you some heartache in the end!

Read some of the home buyer testimonials written for Shayna Denny.


How to Buy a House in the Portland Metro Area, Part 2

This is the second part in a blog series about home buying in Portland. Written by Oregon Broker, Shayna Denny, the series covers the steps home buyers need to take in order buy a house in the Portland Metro area.

Get a Pre-Approval Letter from a Mortgage Professional

Shayna Denny, Portland area Realtor

Shayna Denny, Oregon Broker

You can submit an offer without a pre-approval letter from a mortgage professional. But, in this crazy housing market, you wouldn’t want to. Beyond price, the pre-approval letter is the biggest thing the sellers will want to see with an offer.

You could offer them the world, but they want to make sure you can pay for it. The listing agent may even want to speak with your loan officer or mortgage broker before accepting your offer. If you already have a relationship with your mortgage professional they can speak very highly for you. It can definitely give you an edge in this competitive market.

Beef up credit scores to get a better interest rate

Exterior of home showing raised garden beds and flowers in home for sale by Realtor Shayna DennyIn addition to having something to submit to the sellers, it’s good to start talking to a mortgage professional early on in the process. They may have suggestions of how you can beef up your credit score to get a better interest rate. There may be special programs that can assist people with buying a home.

They will also be able to tell you exactly how much you qualify for. They can also tell you what your monthly payments will be for different loan amounts with much greater accuracy than any online mortgage calculator.

Know your monthly payments in advance

Most importantly, if a mortgage professional has already looked over all of your financial information, you know exactly what your monthly payments will be, and you know how much cash you need to bring to closing. There won’t be any surprises. You don’t want to get to the homestretch and find out the numbers are drastically different than you anticipated!


How to Buy a House in the Portland Metro Area, Part 1

This is the first part in a blog series about home buying in Portland. Written by Oregon Broker, Shayna Denny, the series covers the steps home buyers need to take in order buy a house in the Portland Metro area.

Get a Realtor

Shayna Denny, Portland area Realtor

Shayna Denny, Oregon Broker

First and foremost, as a buyer, you rarely pay your own Realtor fees. So there’s no reason to go it alone. Enlisting the services of a Realtor will help you understand the whole process of buying a home, start to finish.  They will also help navigate you through the mounds of paperwork you will encounter.

In this tight market of multiple offers, the Realtor should also have the experience to get you an accepted contract. You may only go through the process of buying a home a few times in a lifetime. A Realtor does this all the time!

How does a buyer’s agent get paid?

In the Portland area market, the seller generally pays the fees of both the listing agent and buyer’s agent. When a real estate agent takes a listing, the agent and sellers agree on a commission amount. The listing agent then gives a part of that commission to the buyer’s agent. You could argue that the buyer does in fact pay for the Realtor commission because of inflated prices. That might be true, but you’ll be paying that inflated price anyway, so you might as well have representation.

The only times you might end up paying a fee for your Realtor as a buyer would be if you purchase a home that is for sale by owner with your Realtor. Or, you may agree to pay your Realtor a fee for another reason. In both of these instances, your Realtor would need to discuss the reasoning and amount with you before you make any kind of commitment.

Interview to find a Realtor right for you

View to the courtyard of a condo in the Irvington neighborhood.

Interview to find the right Realtor for you.

You may already know a Realtor; maybe it’s a friend or a family member. It seems like these days everyone knows at least a handful of Realtors. Even if you have a personal connection, make sure it will be a good fit. You will be working very closely with this person and you will need to make sure that trust is there. NOT ALL REALTORS ARE CREATED EQUALLY! If you are unsure, sit down and chat with at least a couple Realtors to see what feels most comfortable.

Do actually pick one Realtor to work with. Realtors don’t get paid until you complete the purchase of your property. There is a lot of work and trust that goes into finding a home for someone. If you are jumping back and forth between Realtors, you are hurting that relationship. That being said, if you begin talking or looking with a Realtor and decide that it is not a good fit, as long as you have not signed a buyer-broker agreement, you can switch Realtors. Tread carefully with this one, and make sure you let your Realtor know that you will no longer be working with them and why.

Dual Agency

Another reason to pick a Realtor at the beginning of your search is called duel agency. Duel agency is when one Realtor represents the buyer and seller in a single transaction. Duel agency is legal in the state of Oregon, but it must be disclosed in writing. There are specific circumstances when duel agency might make sense, but they are rare. It is hard to fairly represent both sides in a negotiation.

When you are interviewing Realtors, this would be a good question to ask: How do they feel about duel agency? If you go to an open house, it is likely that the listing agent is the one you will talk to. They may say they can write up an offer for you, this would be duel agency. Also, if your agent is not able to accompany you to an open house, take some of their business cards to hand out to the agent holding the open house. It’s like your “get out of jail free card.”

The lesson here is that you want a Realtor who represents YOU, and only you in a transaction.


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