Fall Mailbag: Part Deux | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Fall Mailbag: Part Deux

Answering readers' questions

click to enlarge Fall Mailbag: Part Deux
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Q: What are the most exclusive neighborhoods in Bend?

A: That depends so much on the individuals. Some are exclusive due to the price, while others are exclusive due to other factors, for example, there are only so many cute little bungalows on a large lot that are riverfront, while others feel like maybe exclusivity is more about controlled access, places like Pronghorn that have a gate and an actual "gatekeeper."

Q: How do brokers establish "list price?"

A: The first thing I do is inspect the property along with a full property report and maps from dial.deschutes.org. I look at permits that have been pulled, review the maps to verify property lines and easements. I like to tour the property to inspect the overall quality of the features and finishes, any upgrades, along with keeping an eye out for potential problems. I rely on home inspectors for more in-depth information, but with years of experience, you learn to spot potential problems or areas that need additional inspection. I often recommend a pre inspection prior to listing. By knowing and addressing issues, the seller is less likely to get nickel and dimed during the inspection period and negotiation. Next, I look at comparable properties nearby that have sold in the last 90 days, preferably, with comparable homes being similar interior and lot square footage with the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms. The final factor is the overall market conditions; are prices trending up or down? How desirable is the property being listed? What type of buyer(s) are looking for properties like that? Unfortunately, the market is always moving, and home values are very much impacted by many external factors, so getting it exactly right is not always an exact science.

Q: I keep hearing about Burnett v. National Association of Realtors in an antitrust lawsuit. What gives?

A: Basically, a jury in Missouri found that NAR, Keller Williams and HomeServices of America were guilty of colluding to keep commissions high or "price fixing" and will have to pay $1.78 billion with the potential for that amount to grow to over $5 billion. How will this impact Oregon? I don't want to speculate, but I would bet that buyers' agency agreements will become a lot more standard, as these define the agency relationship and explain how buyers' agents are paid.

For those that think this will be the end for buyers' agents, I doubt it. For years now, Oregon Real Estate Forms Buyer Representation Agreement has had the ability for agents to write in a commission or fee to be paid by the buyer, "if the seller agrees to pay the agent any fee, then said fee shall be credited against any client's obligation." An agent could write in a 3% fee as a buyer's agent and if the seller only offered 1% for a buyer's agent, a buyer themselves could be on the hook for an additional 2%. This is an opportunity for agents to explain "how we get paid" to our clients and should allow for clients to ask questions and have the transaction be as transparent as possible.

—Please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] if you have any real estate related questions!

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