Blog Stories Why Buying/Selling a home cannot be Uber-ized

Why Buying/Selling a home cannot be Uber-ized

By Ross Seligman, November 26, 2018

There are so many variables and so many obstacles to the sale actually closing once an offer is accepted, you must have an agent working hard for you on either side of the sale. Buying or selling a home can’t be Uber-ized.

Selling SW Canyon Ln is a perfect example. This was my third transaction with these clients (who are wonderful people and have become friends along the way), and boy did they get a master class on how something totally out of your control can derail an otherwise slam dunk sale for a seller. 

What was the variable this time? The appraisal. People tend to think that an appraisal is gospel regarding the value of a home. This just isn’t the case. In my experience, three appraisers can walk into a property and come out with three different numbers. In addition, the purpose of the appraisal matters as well. If it is for a home purchase, the point is either to support the sale price or not. So, we frequently see it come back at the EXACT price of the sale. 

When determining the sale price for this condo, I did what what I always do – created multiple data reports and combined that with my daily experience in the field, including where I think the market is headed in the near future. In this way, I help the seller make a decision on what they want their list price to be. With SW Canyon Ln, I really felt that we had nailed the price when listing the condo, keeping in mind that being strategic is crucial in a cooler market. 

We got through the inspection period negotiations successfully and then it was appraisal time. It came in $30,000 low! There was just no way that we were off by $30k. We don’t make up these prices, after all, they are informed by real data. After looking at the comparables, we noticed that the appraiser had made really poor choices, choosing properties that were 3 miles away instead of perfectly acceptable ones nearby. 

This is when the excellent buyer’s agent, Emily Corning of Hasson Company Realtors and I joined forces to fight this bad appraisal. If we didn’t succeed in getting them to change their mind, the sale would fall apart. And, here’s the thing, it is SO rare that an appraisal company will revise a report. It’s like they have to admit that they did a poor appraisal in the first place and really don’t want to admit it. Emily and I worked hard to choose better comparables and respectfully submit our argument with the hope that we could save this sale. 

The buyer is a veteran and was using a VA loan. It really felt heartbreaking that he may lose the home he wanted over one bad appraisal report. Next we were told the VA would review and it could take 18 business days. I tend to be very optimistic with bumps in the road on the way to closing but, honestly, I thought there was very little chance it would work out.

Amazingly, it did. The VA agreed with us and revised the appraisal back to the original contract price of $30k higher. The buyer got his new keys and my sellers are thrilled and relieved. Thank you to Emily Corning of Hasson for your wonderful cooperation and hard work. Real estate transactions just can’t happen with an app or without agents who care and will work together to solve problems. If we had just decided that the appraisal was low and that’s a shame without fighting the good fight, the sale would have been over. Congrats to the new buyer and to my extremely patient and wonderful sellers! Victory feels great and you all deserve this happy ending!


Looking for your next home? I’d love to help.


Ross Seligman

Principal Broker

Ross Seligman moved to Portland in 1999 after accidentally discovering this oasis of a city in a nationwide desert of strip malls and sprawl. Ross likes to call Portland the "land of opportunity." Why, you ask? Where else can you be a successful real estate broker while simultaneously leading a double life as a musician? That would definitely be a bizarre combination in New Jersey but, in Portland, quite ordinary. In Portland, one expects that their straight-laced accountant is secretly oil painting between Yoga classes. From the moment he arrived in Portland, Ross quickly fell in love with the vibrant energy of the people, gorgeous homes and neighborhoods, and exploding arts scene. Deciding to embrace it all, Ross became an active real estate broker and quickly immersed himself in the city culture. Working with premier Portland boutique company Living Room Realty, Ross is well known for his accessibility, integrity, professionalism, knowledge of the market, and passion for Portland. When he is not busy representing clients or studying market trends, you can find Ross playing music around the city, hiking and camping in the unparalleled beauty of the Pacific NW, and spending as much time with friends and family as possible. Ross Seligman also appeared on Broadway at the Lyceum Theater in NYC as Janis Joplin's guitarist in "A Night With Janis Joplin". Ross is known for his passion for people and real estate. He is enjoying Portland's growth and expansion all while embracing the quirks that make this city so special. Ross and his team can help sell your house for the highest possible price as well as release you from the unpredictable rental market and secure your dream home as a buyer. Ross will answer any questions about the Portland real estate market and process, all while making you feel part of a strong team. Click here to read more client testimonials
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