Hello again for another exciting edition of “5 Questions With …”  We’re still playing catch-up, but getting ever so closer.  Don’t count us out yet!  Today the intrepid superhero Portland Realtor Gene Moreland speaks to Portland freelance writer Mahesh Raj Mohan.  Gene has been with Hasson Company Realtors for more than a decade and he shares his insights below.

Mahesh Raj Mohan:  When did you decide to become a Realtor?

Gene Moreland:  I first got the idea to become a Realtor back in 1998 when my wife and I were getting married and my mother-in-law (who is a Realtor in my firm) helped us buy our first home.  I enjoyed the process very much, and I was struck by how much trust we placed in her as she helped us with the exciting (and somewhat intimidating) process of buying a home. Two years later, I became officially burned out on teaching high school and I made the leap.

MRM: What are the positive aspects of the current housing market, for both buyers and sellers?

GM:  The current housing market definitely has its challenges, but as with any situation there are tremendous opportunities.  For buyers, the opportunities are more evident: there continues to remain downward pressure on prices from where they were a few years ago.  That means that houses are not only more affordable, but fewer people are competing against the same house.  Just a few years ago I had clients who would often be in a bidding war against 5 or 6 other offers on the same house.  Thankfully for buyers, that isn’t happening too much today.  And, although interest rates are edging upward again, they are still at historically very low levels.

For sellers, the advantages are most evident when they are selling in order to move up: they may have a harder time getting the best price that they want on their sale, but savings are often recouped in the purchase.  Still, for sellers who aren’t buying anything and simply want to sell their home, there still is a market for them.  The Portland area remains one of the more popular relocation destinations for young people, and this ensures that we will continue to have a healthy baseline demand for homes – even during difficult economic times.

MRM:  You mentioned during your presentation a couple of weeks ago that you perform a market analysis on a prospective buyer or seller’s home.  Can you tell us what a finished market analysis contains?

GM:  A comparative market analysis (CMA) is a report that shows an estimated value of one’s home based upon similar properties that have recently sold in the area.  Pricing a home is not an exact science.  We are looking at what people have done in the recent past in order to try and forecast what others will do in the near future.  Still, a CMA is helpful in assessing the value of a  home.  I look at what the comparable homes have sold for, and then I look at what the homes currently are selling for on the market in order to gauge what the competition looks like.  If someone is looking to sell, I use this data to give my best recommendation for a starting price and create a strategy for effectively positioning their home on the market.  The market analysis contains data such as the original listing price vs. the sold price; the number of days that the comparable homes were on the market, and so on.

MRM:  You have a new website up; what types of cool things does it have for your clients?

GM:  My new website (www.GeneMoreland.com)  has a lot of great features in it: there are profiles of dozens of different neighborhood communities throughout the region (broken down by the Portland Metro area, SW Washington, and Central Oregon – the three regions that my company serves), with numerous photos and news feeds that detail each of those communities.  For home buyers – or those who are simply interested in looking at real estate listings –  there is a “Hometracker” system where a person can log in, give themselves a password, and can create property searches, save those searches, and have the system email listings to them if they wish.  There is no cost or hassle involved with doing this, and participants will only be contacted if they specifically ask to be contacted.  I’m just hoping that people will see value in going to the website to play around and look at houses.

For sellers, the coolest new item is the Individual Property Website: for each of my new listings I will create a website unique to that property and it will contain photos, virtual tours, community information, and the like for that property. These websites will dramatically increase the internet search capability and  online presence of my listed properties.  I am confident that this dramatic increase in on-line presence will give my sellers a distinct advantage over listings that are marketed by my competitors.

MRM:  You’re a long-time Blazers fan, right?  What are your thoughts on this season and the future of the franchise?

GM:  The Blazers, huh?  I’m sorry to admit that I’m not as rabid of a fan as you might think (or as rabid as many others in our networking group are).  I’m really much more of a football fan and a college basketball “March Madness” fan.  I found pro basketball to be much more interesting back in the 80s and early 90s than it is today.  (I’m dating myself on this one, eh?) The Blazers have made some epic mistakes in the past regarding drafting injury-prone risks over nearly sure-fire talent (e.g., Sam Bowie instead of Michael Jordan; Greg Oden instead of Kevin Durant), so it gets difficult to hitch too much hope into an organization that seems to keep missing out on the Big Time.  I’m just hoping that Brandon Roy can get healthy and stay that way, and the LaMarcus Aldridge continues to progress into an All-Star.

Thanks for talking with us, Gene!

Gene is a detail-oriented Realtor who will spend time understanding your exact needs, whether you’re a buyer or a seller.  You can contact him here for more information.

As always, feel free to come to our meetings, Every Wednesday, 11:45 a.m. Jake’s Famous Crawfish, 401 SW 12th Ave. Portland, OR 97205.

See ya soon!

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