Top Challenges for Portland Sellers in 2020

Agents offer their market predictions

Downtown Portland

We are well into 2020! With warmer weather approaching, now is the time to consider getting a leg up on eventual challenges that Portland home sellers may face this year. According to Zillow’s metrics, the Portland area is currently experiencing a neutral market. Although home prices have stayed relatively steady over the past year with a very minimal decline, Zillow predicts they will start to rise this year.

The year to come will certainly have its challenges, but don’t fret: If you are selling your home this year, there are ways to mitigate the issues you might run into in the process.

1. Pricing a home right despite fluctuating values

According to 500 of America’s top agents who participated in HomeLights Q4 survey, overpricing was the number one challenge for their seller clients in 2019. The problem with overpricing is it can make your property appear stale, attracting low-ball offers.

Best Portland Real Estate Agents


  • First off, make sure you list with a top agent in the Portland area who can guide you on the current market. (The Drew Coleman Team was #4 locally last year….just saying!)
  • Check out this free online home value estimate tool that uses real estate data to give you an idea of what your home is worth. 
  • Refer to comparable sales, or “comps”, to get an idea of the prices similar homes nearby are going for. (Related: What to do in the case an appraisal does come back low? You have a few options.)
  • Understand the state of the market. Knowing the reasons behind fluctuating values in your area could change the way you price your home. Check out Drew’s latest monthly market report for more details on Portland trends.

2. Bending to buyer demands

When preparing a home for sale, it’s best not to avoid those maintenance issues you’ve been neglecting for a while. Fixing them may well be part of a buyer’s demands, from structural defects to safety concerns and code violations. About 14 percent of top agents surveyed said this was the biggest challenge for home sellers in 2019. It will benefit you – and your eventual bargaining position – to be proactive in addressing these.


  • Stay on top of regular cleaning. Getting face-to-face with the dirt and grime of your house might reveal small repairs you otherwise wouldn’t notice. Our team can make some great recommendations if you opt to hire some help.
  • Peruse maintenance checklists to identify areas that may not usually receive much attention. 
  • Don’t forget to scrutinize the basement, attic, garage, and outside spaces to anticipate repairs likely to be requested by a potential buyer.
  • Hire a professional for any needed structural maintenance on the roof, foundation, plumbing, and heating and cooling aspects of your home.

3. Managing expectations of the home-selling process

Portland's Tilikum Crossing

Don’t underestimate the time commitment needed for the entire process of selling a home. About 7 percent of top agents believe the uncertainty and time that comes with selling will be a greater challenge for home sellers this year.

At the moment, median listing prices in Portland are $449,950 (higher than what they are selling for, at $434,600). However, as the market balances out and potentially heads towards a seller’s market, patience might be the key to selling your home for more.


  • Do your research. Home sellers should check the facts to find out what factors might affect the home-selling process in their area. An experienced agent will be a resource for quality insight.
  • Again, make sure you have priced your house correctly. Overpricing could mean you’ll be waiting a while for the right buyer to come along.
  • Expect the unexpected. Keep calm during the potentially long process and know that many factors are out of your hands. That’s where a top agent comes in – to address unexpected issues and help keep you relaxed.


Now, shake off those winter blues! It’s expected that 2020 might throw a detour or two your way, but with these and other resources, you’ll be in good shape from the start.

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