It’s a seller’s market!

A recovered market: Sales return to 2006 levels, now shortage of available properties

Plus a few tips from a local agent on how to prepare your property for sale

By Michelle Gates

Some might say that the real estate market has officially rebounded. “The market is fantastic,” said Sandy Lyness of Sandy Lyness Real Estate Investments. “When properties are priced right, they’re moving. Our market is short of homes for all the buyers out there looking.”

Year to date home sales in the valley match those of the 2006 levels, with 913,300 properties sold so far this year. That’s an 8.39% increase over 2015, according to the Willamette Valley Multiple Listing Service (WVMLS). Sales data shows that in Linn and Marion counties, homes are spending an average of 107.5 days on the market and are sold for an average of 97.5% of their list price.

Sandy Lyness, who has been working with buyers and sellers in the Santiam Canyon for the past 20 years, said that she’s definitely seeing an increase in people moving here from out of town. She’s seeing a big demand for riverfront properties, single family homes in the $150,000 – $250,000 price range, and properties with 1-5 acres.

“With all of the new businesses coming in, our area is offering a positive look and a positive reason for people wanting to move here.” Plus, said Lyness, interest rates are low, and “there’s a lot of first time home buyers ready to take the next step to homeownership.” According to the WVMLS, data from this year shows that about 45% of all loans are conventional, about 17% are FHA loans, and about 11%are VA and USDA loans combined. Cash buyers make about 25% of purchases.

So what does this mean for sellers? “Since most of our buyers are working with conventional lenders, that means that sellers need to make sure that any home repairs focus on basic structural elements first,” said Lyness. “In other words, will a bank finance your home?”

Lyness says to check for dry rot or mold, and repairs should be made to plumbing, degraded floors or broken windows. Most banks require at least a 3 year life expectancy on the existing roof, as well. “It’s important to take an unbiased look at your property. Cosmetically, there are things that you can do to make your property more attractive. For example, smell is very important. I always suggest that you invite a trusted friend to come over and give your home the “smell check” because often we get used to the scent of our favorite animals, but a potential home buyer may not appreciate your pets as much.”

Lyness also says that things like a stained carpet can give a buyer second thoughts. “If the buyer gets that vision, that there could be stains through the subfloor, that means a major repair.” Other tips for sellers include keeping your property picked up and clean, and sometimes a fresh coat of paint can cover cigarette scents. But, “keep paint colors neutral because a lot of the time the new owners will want to paint with their own colors after they move in.”

For more information about listing your home, and it’s potential value, call Sandy Lyness at 503-551-2645, email or visit Sandy Lyness Real Estate Investments is located at 49258 SE Kingwood Ave., Mill City.

“It’s important to deal with someone you trust that works and plays in your backyard,” said Lyness. “When you go with an agent who knows the area, it definitely pays off for a seller.”

A big thanks to our local newspaper, The Canyon Weekly, for printing this article.