PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland saw record-low real estate inventory in December 2020 and experts don’t expect that number to improve in January 2021.

With fewer homes on the market and more people looking to buy while mortgage interest rates are so low, Portland is encountering a supply and demand issue. Homes are selling for well above their listed price and buyers are forced to make multiple offers.

While it’s a challenging market to navigate, Andrew Finkle, owner of Finkle Real Estate, which serves the Portland metropolitan area, said it’s not impossible to secure a home. He has five tips and pieces of advice he uses to help his clients find the home they’re looking for.

  1. If buying your next home is contingent on selling your current home, make sure you’re ready to sell as soon as you make your bid.

“Paperwork’s done, get the house ready, fix these things here and there, get it staged right, get the photos taken so it’s 99% done,” Finkle explained. He said if homeowners can prove that all they need to do is settle on a price and list their home, it’s less likely their offer to buy will be denied.

2. Finkle said if his client knows the neighborhood they want to move to, he’ll have them write a letter and he’ll personally go knocking door to door, asking around to see if anyone’s planning to sell soon.

“If they wanted that [home I found], I’m creating an opportunity off-market because once that thing hits the market, it doesn’t matter the price point,” he said.

3. “Hire a realtor that is going to go grind and knows what they’re doing.”

Finkle said there’s no excuse for realtors to make small mistakes, like forgetting to attach a pre-approval letter. In a competitive market like this, every detail matters and it could give you an edge over your competition.

4. If you are financing, find a lender that knows what they’re doing.

Finkle said having a strong partnership with a good lender is huge when you are competing with other buyers. He said when a lender tells a seller that the buyer they’re associated with is pre-approved, it reassures the seller of a smooth transaction.

5. Mentally prepare yourself for the fact that it might take multiple offers before you win and don’t give up.

“The most [offers] I’ve written for one client is seven, but if they would have given up on six, they wouldn’t have been in their house currently. So, don’t give up, because it can and does happen. It sometimes happens on the first try and sometimes it’s the seventh,” he said.

Finkle knows it’s stressful but said at the end of the day, when you’re sitting in your backyard or sipping coffee in your favorite room in your new house, the entire home buying process will be worth it.