Portland realtors ranks may slim with economic downturn, KGW.com

By ERIC ADAMS, kgw.com Staff


PORTLAND — Area realtors are adjusting to new economic realities and cutting costs.

The Metropolitan Association of Realtors announced its cutting marketing and other costs as it anticipates that as many as 1,100 of its 7,800 members may not renew their licenses.

Realtors received their renewal notices earlier this month and have until Jan. 1 to pay their bill, which amounts to about $400 and includes local, state and national fees.

Kathy Querin, the association’s chief executive officer, said there is no way to know until New Years Day just how many agents will not renew their memberships.

She said sales have slowed, though, and that realtors may decide they can’t make a living selling houses in the metro area.

“What we do know is the market has seen decline,” she said.

Through September, 15,389 houses have been sold in the Portland area, a 32 percent drop from 2007, according to the association.

The state reports a 3.5 percent drop in real estate licensing since 2005, which many consider was the high-mark year for home sales.

Jim Homolka, president of Re/Max Equity Group, said he expects the number of realtors in the region to shrink by about 10 percent.

Re/Max recently closed its Bend office, where 55 people were employed. Offices that have closed around the Portland Metro area include Tualatin, Raleigh Hills and Vancouver Salmon Creek.

Most of those realtors have shifted to nearby branches, Homolka said.




Land Sales Contract

20 years ago when I first entered real estate money was tight…especially for people that wanted to buy homes in Inner North and Northeast Portland.  No reason to rehash why as what is more important right now is to visit how people adapted and moved forward. 

Land Sales Contracts are agreements between the buyer and the seller that allow the transfer of equity interest in real property.  This tool allows greater flexibility in the terms used to carry properties.  Selling price, down payment or payments, payment schedules and other terms can fit the uniquness of the transaction. 

You might be thinking why a seller would consider contract terms over cash out terms?  There are several reasons why a seller would consider this avenue.  Some are motivated by nessity and others have more calculted reasons.   I hope to discuss those easons on this blog over the coming weeks.  I will leave you with one interesting situation why someone would consider using a land sales contract to sell property. 

One of the first clients I had when I entered real estate was a school teacher.  He and his wife were planning on retiring and over the years they had aquired several rental properties and their family home.  Their plan was to sell all of the properties on land sales contract at an interest rate of at least 10%.   The payments they would recive from the contracts in addition to their other investments would mean they would have a comfortable retirement.  With the exception of the home they lived in which was in Alemeda, all of their properties were located in close in Northeast Portland/Albina.  The buyers put down downpayments that ranged in 10-15% and the interest rates ranged between 10% and 12% .  Non of the buyers could have obtained a loan at the time.  Either because they or the home they purchased would have conformed to lending standards of the time. 

Looking back, I can see the benifits to the buyer, the seller and the community at large.  Contract sales allow the market to move at a time when lending resources were limited.  It allowed families and invidvidulas to invest in the community they lived in and take ownership of their lifestyle.  Bottom line, it was a win, win, win situation for most.  

The challanging times we live in is a good reminder that cash is not always king.  That there is always another way to obtain our goals.   For some selling or buying property on a land sales contract is the right opprotunity and for some the only one.