The coronavirus has altered almost every aspect of a real estate deal, from touring a property to signing the deed. Open houses, which are one of the best ways to interest potential buyers, were temporarily put on hold to reduce the spread of the deadly virus. They are slowly coming back.
Instead of casually stopping by a property with an open house sign, shoppers now narrow their criteria for a home and location by conducting their initial search online by viewing photos, video walk throughs and 3D tours produced by companies like Matterport.
When a qualified, serious buyer wants to actually walk inside, a real estate agent sets up a private showing. Owners leave, and face coverings, gloves and booties go on.
The no-touch viewing means the front door is open by a gloved agent who stands far away throughout the tour.
Prepping the house also means lights are turned on, blinds are up and cabinets and doors are open so strangers don’t have to touch switches, cords or knobs. Before and after, disinfecting wipes are used on surfaces.
Real estate agents are carefully holding open houses again after taking safety precautions set by local, state and federal associations such as pacing one or two people at a time, directing them to a hand washing station near the entrance and frequently sanitizing surfaces.
Last Sunday, Ryann Carroll of Portland Digs publicized the time in which one of her new listings, a split-level house built in 1964 in Portland’s in East Columbia neighborhood, would be open for viewing by the public.
She and another person from her agency made sure people adhered to distancing rules throughout the dwelling’s 3,522 square feet of living space. As one couple left a level of the house, someone else was allowed inside.
She explained to people dropping in that in addition to the four bedrooms and three bathrooms there was a second, self-contained living space with a separate entrance that could be used by an extended member of the family or rented out.
The 0.46-acre property at 650 N.E. South Shore Road is listed at $599,900.
Attendance was low but steady, she says, since more people have accepted the noninvasive practice of virtual tours and some buyers are still not comfortable attending an open house.
She hasn’t yet found a buyer for the property, which has been on the market since July 23, but she did list a home in Damascus on Thursday and intended to hold an open house, but she quickly received an accepted offer and canceled the public event.
In this week’s real estate gallery, we look at Portland area homes with an open house scheduled for this weekend.
Open house 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Saturday: 14255 S.W. 125th Ave. in Tigard is for sale at $1.15 million. The Northwest contemporary-style house, built in 1980 on 1.66 acres, has a two-story living room with a stone-wall fireplace plus a sound dampened media room as well as five bedrooms, four bathrooms and 3,616 square feet of living space.
There is also a detached office or in-law suite with a bathroom, an oversized garage with a shop plus a koi pond, personal trails and small creek.
“This secluded custom home exceeds all expectations. You’ll never want to leave,” says listing agent Jennifer Johnston of eXp Realty.
Open house 1-3 p.m. Saturday: 18008 Greenbluff Dr. in Lake Oswego’s Skylands neighborhood is for sale at $1,795,000. The remodeled Craftsman-style house, built in 1979, has three bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and 4,402 square feet of living space.
The 1.39-acre property has professional landscaping, a covered patio with a built-in barbecue and gas heater plus a water feature, rose garden and an oversized detached garage/shop.
“The home features two master suites, craft room, den, great room, gourmet kitchen and quality finishes throughout,” says listing agent Matthew Tercek of Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty.
Open house 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Saturday: 11502 N.W. Laidlaw Road in Portland’s Bonny Slope neighborhood is for sale at $1,219,000. The contemporary house, built in 2000 on 2.86 acres, has four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and 4,352 square feet of living space.
There is a sunny separate upper studio plus a 280-foot cedar fence, three-car garage, covered RV parking and room for a pool and sport court.
“Room to breathe indoors and out,” says listing agent Lori Lane of Happy Homes Properties.
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Open house 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday: 4029 S.W. Hamilton St. in Portland’s Bridlemile neighborhood is for sale at $1,149,900. The daylight ranch-style house, built in 1974 on 1.54 acres, has refinished cherry wood floors, four bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms and 4,520 square feet of living space.
The price has been lowered by $349,000.
“City approved the property for two additional houses with 10,000 lots. Buyers to do their own due diligence,” says listing agent Jan Groff of Residential Realty Northwest.
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Open house 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday: 130 S.E. Pounder Road in Corbett is for sale at $549,000. The split-level house, built in 1969, has five bedrooms, three bathrooms and 3,864 square feet of living space.
There is an oversized family room and bonus room on the lower level with sink, cabinets and private entry.
The 2.1-acre property has a creek and koi pond and offers “privacy, quiet, proximity to wildlife,” says listing agent Rick Sadle with Ian Palmer of Keller Williams Realty Professionals.
Open house 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Sunday: 41051 S.W. Sandstrom Road in Gaston is for sale at $675,000. The remodeled farmhouse, built in 1975, has hardwood flooring, three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,502 square feet of living space.
The property has 4.48 acres and an easement, a covered porch and patio, landscaped yard with a sprinkler system, 24×48 shop, barn with two horse stalls, fenced pasture, gardening shed and well house.
“Secluded country living with gated private drive and spectacular view, four miles to Forest Grove,” says listing agent Donald Shelby of Shelby Real Estate.
— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072
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