The Art of Real Estate: Top Tips from Expert Blake Ellis

Experienced broker Blake Ellis (503-473-5097) lives and breathes Pearl District real estate. Before joining Windermere Stellar, Blake’s first job out of college was selling apartment buildings and developable land. After venturing out on his own, he was recruited to sell a development of townhomes and condos in the Pearl, where he honed his knowledge of the downtown condo market and his since become a member of the Pearl District Business Association.

This specialized experience in townhome and condominium sales, along with an uncommon start in commercial real estate, has armed Blake with a unique background that guides his work in Pearl District real estate today. Having worked in this field for more than 10 years, Blake is ecstatic to be growing with Windermere Stellar as it opens its first Pearl District office in spring 2016.


Here are Blake Ellis’s top three tips for Pearl District buyers and sellers:

If you live or work in the Pearl District, you already know what a special neighborhood it is.  Over the past few years, it’s grown and evolved into an electric and dynamic part of town that more and more people want to experience for themselves.

But, in a real estate market where inventory levels remain at all time lows, it can be difficult to find the perfect place, get an offer accepted, and start living the Pearl District life. As of early 2016, there were fewer than 35 listings available in the entire neighborhood!

So what are hopeful Pearl District buyers and sellers to do? As my company, Windermere Stellar, is opening its new Pearl District office at 937 NW Glisan Street in February 2016, I’ve put together some helpful hints for both buyers and sellers that are venturing into today’s real estate market.  Regardless of which side you’re on, starting off with a smart strategy will minimize the stress and make for a more fulfilling home-buying or -selling experience.

Three Tips for Pearl District Buyers:

  • Network. Right now, it’s more important than ever that you work with a broker who is tapped into the pulse of what’s happening in the neighborhood market. Creativity is the name of the game in a market with such low inventory. Finding options beyond the MLS website and the myriad of online real estate sites is a key benefit of working with a true neighborhood expert. Work with someone who confidently engages the neighborhood and knows who to call when inventory levels aren’t cooperating.
  • Knowledge. Your broker should understand the inner-workings of each condominium building—someone who keenly understands the complex dynamics of HOA boards and management companies. Remember that you’re buying into a building and the owner’s association just as much as you’re buying the individual unit itself.
  • Experience. Your heart may be set on a building that is in the midst of a pending or proposed claim. What does this really mean for you and your purchase? You’ll be best served by working with someone who has been been through this process, and who can offer reasonable, experienced-based insights on the possible risks and their potential effects on you.

In brisk markets like ours it’s normal for buyers and sellers to get stressed and anxious. “Will my offer be the one chosen?” “Did we accept the right offer?” Approaching your purchase or sale with a focus on the fundamentals will help ensure that you make confident, well informed decisions. How can you make your offer the strongest one? What can you do to make sure the offer you accept will be the most likely to close?

Three Tips for Pearl District Sellers:

  • Transparency. Establish a plan with your broker for how you’ll handle a potential offer or offers. Will you respond as you receive them? Will you wait until a specific date and time to review and respond? Make sure that all interested parties understand the plan and follow through. Be clear, confident, and consistent.
  • Verify. It’s important to review all the terms of each offer and weigh the risks and benefits of each. What’s most important to you? Verifying the accuracy of the terms and conditions of an offer is incredibly important. It’s hard to re-create the buzz and excitement of a listing after it’s already been on the market.
  • Flexibility and Understanding. Sometimes, even the strongest “slam dunk” offers encounter problems that need to be addressed and solved. Even the best planning can experience unexpected issues. A true professional will help you handle the ups and downs with a calm, level head and ease these potentially stressful moments.

The Pearl District is a special mix of stories from all over the country and the world. In the coming years, even more people will add to the excitement and creativity that has made the neighborhood so special.  I’m incredibly excited to add to the neighborhood’s story with Windermere Stellar’s new office.

Please make sure to stop by the new office on the ground floor of the 937 Condominiums building! We are excited to hear your stories, and be a part of them, too.