Brett Stomps | Windermere

Steps to Selling a Home in the Columbia Gorge

Brett Stomps
Selling a home in the Columbia Gorge can be an intimidating process, but don't worry, here's a step-by-step look. Plus, I will be here every step of the way. Let's get started!
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

5 Factors to Selling a Home

Before we begin, review the 5 factors to selling a home in the Columbia Gorge below.

Condition

As a homeowner, improving the condition of your home is the #1 lever you can use to increase your selling price. To a degree… take too long and you may over improve or fall into an unfavorable market cycle.

Timeline

Depending on the urgency of your situation, you may be required to sell quickly or you may have the flexibility to wait for the best offer. Just don’t miss the market!

The Market

As a seller, it’s you vs. the marketplace. Understanding the current market is critical when listing your home to achieve your desired outcome. Brett will update you on today’s market, or take a look at our Market Updates for the latest info.

Pricing

Pricing is ultimately the #1 driving force behind actually selling your home. Let Brett help you maximize your selling point between these 5 factors.

Marketing

Brett’s has an expansive set of resources, contacts, and procedures to maximize your home’s exposure to neighbors, brokers, and the entire web.

Seller Consultation

When we first meet, it’s Brett’s recommendation to determine if we’d make a great team together. There are a lot of moving parts in Real Estate, so teamwork is crucial to predict the experience and outcome of a real estate transaction. 

Through listening to your dreams, concerns, situation, and future goals, Brett will work with you to create a personal path to sell your home in the Columbia Gorge.

During this initial consultation, we will either tour your home or schedule a tour at a later date. 

Property Evaluations

In order to effectively evaluate the price your home in today’s market, we must see it in person. We can do this during the initial seller consultation, or at a later date.

During the tour of your home, you become the buyer’s agent! Tell us about your home as we take notes. 

  • What do like/dislike about your home?
  • If you were going to stay there for another 5-10 years what would you do?
  • How long have you owned it?
  • What is the neighborhood like?
  • Why did you buy it?
  • Etc.

I (Brett) will then return to his office and compile a, Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). See Brett’s video on, Real Estate CMAs in the Columbia Gorge to learn more, including how they’re made. Alternatively, if you want something quick and automated, Homebot is a great tool, but not as accurate. 

Request a free CMA

Additionally, properties in the Columbia Gorge are unique. So, knowing your price range is a major part of selling a home in the Columbia Gorge.

Suggestions & Repairs

Once the CMA is completed, we will have a better idea what we’re up against in comparison to similarly active listings.

Depending on your available funds and desire to make repairs or upgrades to your home I (Brett) can offer a priority list of tasks to improve your home’s value. See Brett’s list of Helpful Contacts if you need a job done.

If you aren’t quite ready yet and want to make these repairs or upgrades, I will come back at a later date and re-do my CMA once the work has been completed. 

Pro Tip: Sometimes in a declining market, doing additional work to your home may mean missing the height of the market. Work with your agent to decide whether or not you should make certain time consuming repairs.

Listing Contract / Commission

Before we can proceed with with listing your home, all brokerages require a listing contract.

This includes but is not limited to:

Seller’s Disclosure

Prior to listing your home on the market, it’s recommended that you complete a Seller’s Disclosure Statement. Often times, these are required. Please do not leave any box un-checked, and answer truthfully to all of the questions asked.

Photography & Videography

Obviously, photos and video deliver the first impression to potential buyers interested in your Columbia Gorge home. 

Brett has have created relationships with the best local photographers and videographers. Let Brett help you by providing staging suggestions prior.

See our Photo Ready Checklist to be the most prepared for your day of photography. Videography is also increasing in importance, see our post on The Benefits of Real Estate Video Marketing to learn more.

Property Research

As part of my dedication to securing the best outcome for your property, my marketing philosophy includes conducting thorough research to ensure we create well-informed agents and well-informed buyers by providing knowledge through organized & easy to understand marketing materials. This is done to:

Save Buyers & Agents Time: Having worked with hundreds of buyers, I know first hand the amount of time it takes buyers to conduct their due diligence (even with the help of an agent). Some buyers even insist they do it prior to writing an offer. While I always recommend that buyers do their own due diligence and to not rely on the seller’s (or their agent’s) marketing materials, I have seen first hand how uneducated buyers and their agents miss out on the right property because they simply do not understand how easy or cheap a fix might be, etc.

Mitigate Concessions: Additionally, having done this research in advance, we can strategically mitigate in any issues, counters, or objections that a buyer may come up with during their own due diligence before it creates turbulence during your transaction, potentially saving you thousands in concessions or more time on the market.

Broker Tour

Windermere Real Estate in the Columbia Gorge is home for the largest number of experienced brokers in town. So, prior to listing your property, allow our team of brokers to tour your home in advance. Our brokers will provide any final suggestions or pricing opinions if they are requested. 

Pro Tip: This is also a great way for Brett to showcase your home to local brokers already working with buyers in your area. 

Listing Live

It’s go time (and time for the signs!)

At this point, you will work with Brett in regards to your showing availability and what to expect in the coming days. Lastly, we will do a final review of your listing for any last touch-ups and we will begin to market your home for sale!

Pro Tip: If you live in the house, consider taking a vacation if you expect a lot of showings in the first week to avoid cleaning personal items and last minute showing requests. 

Open Houses

Once your home is listed, it’s a great idea to allow Brett or some of his Windermere colleagues to hold an Open House. This is a great way to offer a single point in time for neighbors, drive-by’s, brokers, and buyers to tour the home without scheduling an appointment. Remember, it’s all about exposing your home to potential buyers! Open houses work the best in non-rural areas.

Pro-Tip: If you have a lot of neighbors interested in your home, either for themselves or their friends, hold a “neighbor’s only” open house accompanied by you and your broker. It also makes for a great going away party. 

Offer Review / Mutual Acceptance

If your home is priced correctly for it’s condition, location, and current market, you should expect to receive an offer near the average DOM (days on market) for your area and property type.

Whether you received multiple offers or just one, Brett will work with you to explain the benefits of each offer and help you either counter or decide which offer to take based on your specific needs.

Once all terms of Purchase & Sale Agreement are signed by all parties to the transaction, you will be, “Mutually Accepted“. Congrats! 

Pro Tip: The market will influence the types of terms you can expect to receive.

Buyer Contingencies

See our Steps to Buying a Home page to learn more about the buying process and the Contingences a buyer has. Generally, if the market is balanced you can expect most of these contingencies.

These contingences usually include, but are not limited to:

Septic Pumping & Inspections

If your property is served by a private on site Septic System, this will apply to you. Otherwise, if you are on city sewer, it won’t. 

In most cases, it is required by the seller to have the Septic System Pumped to allow for the buyer to inspect it. Traditionally, sellers are asked to pump and pay for the inspection. This is only true if this contingency exists in the contract.

Pack & Clean / Schedule Movers

You may have already started this prior to photography, but as we near the closing date outlined in your Purchase & Sale Agreement, it’s important to have a plan to move your items out of the house. That may be to storage, your new home, or your mother-in-law’s. Your pick… See our List of Movers.

Prior to leaving the keys and closing the door, consider having your home Professionally Cleaned. Ask your Realtor if this applies to you specifically. 

Pro Tip: Call movers in advance, it’s better to reschedule than to not have them when you need them!

See my list of Moving Tips.

Closing of Escrow & Recording

Prior to Closing, Escrow will call and schedule a signing day with you. This will be on or near the contractual closing date. 

On signing day, you will meet with the closing agent who will review your closing documents. They will be with you as you sign. In some cash transactions, this can be done remotely with a traveling notary. 

Once completed, that’s it! Now you wait until the property is transferred into the buyer’s name at the county and you receive the funds for your home, minus any loans you may have.

Now you’ve sold your home in the Columbia Gorge! Congrats.

Helpful Resources

Real Estate Guides: Find more guides like this one and take more control of your transaction.

Market Updates: The latest real estate market updates for the Columbia Gorge and in the nation.

Local Resources: A list of local contractors and lenders, including but not limited to: septic pumpers, well testers, home inspectors, etc.

Local Utilities List: A list of local utility companies in Klickitat, Skamania, Wasco, and Hood River County.

About Brett Stomps
Brett is a Realtor in the Columbia River Gorge. He designed and built brettstomps.com as a collaborative platform for real estate industry leaders to educate and empower buyers and sellers. In his free time, Brett enjoys photography, learning Spanish, and adventuring with his dog, Ollie.
Disclaimer

The information provided on brettstomps.com is intended to be educational and accurate. However, information on brettstomps.com does not substitute as buyer and seller due diligence when transacting real estate. Buyers and sellers are advised to work directly with a licensed real estate professional, seek additional professional services when applicable, and to inquire at the state, county, and city offices for their due diligence.