Bend Homes, Buying a Home, Home Sales, Moving, Oregon, Properties, Real Estate, Second Homes, Selling a Home, Uncategorized

Buying or Selling in 2020

A new year is like a blank sheet of paper… anything is possible. While you may have already resolved to eat less and work out more, or to spend less and save more this year if you’re also looking to buy or sell a home in 2020, or simply to keep the house you have in tip-top condition, consider adding these to your list of New Year’s resolutions.

15 Resolutions


If you want to own your home faster and save money to boot, make just one extra mortgage payment a year and you’ll shave years off the term of your loan and thousands in interest.

Even though the Federal Reserve raised interest rates, mortgage rates are still historically low. If you have an adjustable-rate loan or just want to lower your existing monthly payment, consider refinancing.

You love your home but it’s awfully needy, requiring constant care, feeding and upkeep. To ensure your house gets the love it deserves, draw up a list of the annual maintenance chores that need doing then tackle one or two each month.

You take pains to create a beautiful home, like a page out of a magazine, so why not ensure its safety for you and your family? Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test their batteries regularly. Similarly, check your house for radon, a colorless and odorless gas linked to lung cancer deaths. Make sure your house can freely breathe; proper venting to the outside will help prevent mold growth and other health hazards.

Are you still overwhelmed by all the stuff in your home before Christmas added even more? You don’t have to go all Marie Kondo on your house, but getting organized and losing what you don’t use will go a long way to make you and your home happier in 2020.

home sellers

Most home buyers (The National Association of Realtors say 77%) who make an offer will get a home inspection to determine the condition of your house, and then use that knowledge to negotiate pre-close repairs or a lower price. Be proactive and get your own inspection so you can remove or address issues that may be obstacles to selling your house.

Most home searches today begin online, with mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) fast becoming the norm. Hire the Dempsey Phelps team, internet-savvy brokers, to make sure your listing is optimized for web viewing and mobile apps. We include a good description, accurate data and high-resolution photos to show your home to its best advantage and attract the most buyers.

Prep your house for a quick sale. Fix things that don’t work, touch up paint, update your landscaping, de-clutter and de-personalize, and deep-clean everywhere (that includes the cobwebs near the ceiling, the baked-on oven mess, the grungy bathroom tile, etc.). Consider hiring a stager to give your home professional panache. According to NAR, 46% of buyers say they are more likely to tour in person a staged home they saw online.

Educate yourself about your local real estate market; have the Dempsey Phelps team run comps to learn which properties are selling and which are languishing. Then work with the Dempsey Phelps team to reasonably – and competitively – price your home. Don’t assume a hot market guarantees multiple offers or a quick sale. Realistically set your expectations.

No question, selling a house is an emotional process. For most of us, our homes are where precious memories are made and we’re sentimentally attached. But the minute you list your house it becomes a product, one that will be poked, prodded and picked over by a fickle buying public. Be sure you’re truly ready to cut the cord so your emotions don’t get in the way of selling your home.

home buyers

Want a great mortgage? You’ll need good credit. Know your FICO score (740+ gets the best loan rate) and take steps to repair or boost a low score (below 620) by paying your bills on time and paying off your credit cards. Plus, buying a home takes cash – you’ll need money for a down payment, closing costs and loan fees. If you haven’t started already, now’s the time to save, save, save. Then save some more.

Get and keep handy documents you’ll need to apply for a home loan; they include your W-2s, copies of your tax returns, credit reports, pay stubs, bank account statements, divorce or child support payments, etc.

Shop around for the best loan with the best terms. Talk to multiple lenders because government programs (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA), banks and credit unions all have different terms. Find out too if you’re eligible for any state or local home buyer programs, many of which offer down payment help or mortgages with 3% down.

Not only does having a pre-approval letter from your lender indicating how much mortgage money you qualify for, making it easier to house-sho in your price range, being pre-approved also strengthens your position as the buyer, improving the odds of your offer being accepted.

Rely on the Dempsey Phelps team, qualified & experienced brokers, to help you find the home of your dreams. Trust us, your real estate professional, to help you navigate negotiating and closing your transaction, as the new TRID rules have significantly changed the home-buying process.

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Buying a Home, Real Estate, Selling a Home

How to Pick a Real Estate Agent

Real estate takes a lot more knowledge than just having great houses on their list. It’s having the experience, knowing the area, and the ability to represent the client’s needs above anything else.

But how do you know who is the right real estate agent for you? Maybe your friend recommended their friend or your friend recommended themselves. Here are a few things to keep in mind when searching for the right fit in an agent.

How to Pick a Real Estate Agent

Your Agent Should Be Local – Like Central Oregon Local

You’re looking for someone who has the knowledge of Central Oregon, who understands the market, knows the inventory, is familiar with different neighborhoods, schools, doctors, traffic, and so much more.

The person who was recommended to you in a different city should not be your agent – even if he or she produces big results. You’re looking for someone who knows the area you’re interested in.

So how do you find them?

Check out who’s selling in the area. Drive around and see whose signs are up. Use Zillow,, and even Google to see who’s getting the best reviews and who is the most active in your area of interest.

Don’t Pick the First Agent You Meet

Do a little self-examination. It’s important to make sure your personalities match. So don’t just pick that one real estate agent you met when you were out to dinner. They may not be the right fit for you.

In fact, shop around. Meet several agents and get an idea of what you’re looking for, what your requirements are and be sure they have the right compatibilities for you. Ask friends for recommendations and start doing your own research – online and in person.

Don’t Pick Your Friend Just Because They’re Your Friend

Now, that doesn’t mean don’t pick your friend at all. Just make sure to do your research and consider whether or not you’ll work well together in that environment. A real estate transaction is likely going to be the biggest money deal you make in your lifetime, and it’s important to choose a partner wisely in that endeavor.

Now is not the time to toss your friend a bone who just got their real estate license. It may be a little sensitive and your friend may be a little offended, but times like these call for first-hand knowledge of the process, area, and what you’re looking for when buying or selling your home.

If things aren’t going well in the buying or selling process, you need to be able to have a professional conversation with your agent. There can’t be room for fear of hurt feelings or concerns about what their reaction might be.

You have to hire the most qualified person for you.

The Best Listing Agent Doesn’t Tell You What You Want to Hear

Obviously, you’re always hoping for top dollar. And our human nature tends to lean toward the guy who suggests the highest listing price.

This is often a poor way to make your choice.

Go with the agent that backs their price up with local data and doesn’t just tell you what you want to hear. Because they can’t necessarily deliver and will often come back to you a few weeks later asking for a price reduction.

There are many strategies to listing a house. So listen to those strategies. Some agents will price a house low and let the marketplace drive up the price. Others think pricing it high and testing the waters will get you comfortable with the idea that your house isn’t really worth as much as you though. And that is an agent who tells you what you want to hear.

Go With an Agent Who Actually Closes Deals

There are career real estate agents and there are those whom career real estate agents call “hobbyists.” Some agents use their license a few hours a week while their kids are in school or as a supplemental income.

Make sure your agent is closing a deal at least once a month.

It’s hard work to sell houses and help buyers. Make sure your agent is working the hours necessary to get the job done.