How to Find the Best Real Estate Agent in Oregon and Washington

Part of the Fast Home Selling University educational series

A rare insider’s perspective on how smart home sellers attract and hire the best agents or property investors to achieve faster selling times at higher prices.

Smart home sellers realize that not all real estate agents are created equal. Some agents have more experience, natural skills, and valuable connections than others, and that can make a big difference in how fast and for how much they sell your house.

These top agents are also very selective about who they work with because they value their own time, energy, and reputation. Top agents understand they can sell homes faster and for higher prices than average agents, and that advantage enables them to choose their ideal clients.

Take, for example, Portland agent Lauren Plant. Known for her professionalism, honesty, and dedication to her clients, she has a proven track record of selling houses quickly and for top dollar, even in challenging markets. She also has a network of buyers, investors, contractors, and other professionals who can help her clients with any aspect of the home-selling process.

Experts like Lauren only work with clients who are serious about selling their house, who are realistic about their expectations, and who are willing to follow or at least consider their professional advice.

How to hire a top Portland real estate agent

Experienced agents can assess a home-selling client within the first minute of a phone call. And while it may sound harsh, the reality is that if you show signs of being a “problem client,” you might not get the opportunity for a second call with them.

Therefore, if you want to attract and hire a top Portland-area agent, you need to be a great client. This is crucial to understand, because most home sellers believe they are selecting the agent, when in fact, top agents are the ones selecting (or not selecting) you.

Portland expert real estate agent Lauren Plant

“Overall, the key to a successful seller-realtor relationship is effective communication, trust, and cooperation. By working together, you can achieve the best possible outcome in selling your property.”

– Lauren Plant, Portland Real Estate Agent

Follow these insider tips provided by Lauren Plant to become a great client and attract top real estate agents. 

Be responsive. If you really want to sell your home, don’t take three days to return a call. Home buyers are in a hurry, and your agent will need your frequent input.

Have clear direction. Communicate your goals with your agent so they know how to prioritize. For example, if you’re in a rush to sell, you can’t also expect top dollar.

Be a team player. You and your agent are a team, so if you plan to conduct a few showings on your own, keep your agent informed. If you get an offer, record the details carefully and share them.

Be realistic. You may think your home is the best on the block, but listen to your agent’s more experienced opinion. They’ll know if you’re being too aggressive with pricing for the current market.

Communicate clearly. Share all relevant information about your property, your expectations for the sale, and any concerns you might have. This ensures that your agent fully understands your situation and can provide tailored advice and services.

Address repairs. Proactively handling basic repairs and maintenance issues can save you and your agent time. A maintenance log can demonstrate to buyers that the property has been well cared for.

Prepare for improvements. A top agent will advise you on what repairs or renovations are worth considering, and you may need to address repair issues that arise during inspections and negotiations.

Set a pricing strategy. Determining the right asking price is a delicate balance that requires market knowledge and realism. Collaborate with your realtor to analyze market trends and set a competitive price that reflects your property’s value.

Stay flexible. Flexibility in scheduling viewings and open houses can significantly improve the selling process, which can lead to quicker offers and possibly better deal terms.

Be available. Whether it’s answering inquiries, reviewing offers, or making decisions, your availability can speed up the process and prevent loss of interest from buyers, which is crucial in a dynamic real estate market.

Organize documents. This includes property titles, disclosure forms, maintenance records, and any warranties. Proper documentation can expedite the selling process and prevent legal complications.

Support marketing efforts. Allow your realtor to use their tools and strategies, such as professional photography, virtual tours, and online listings, to showcase your property. Coordinate with your agent how you can support them. 

Trust your realtor. Your realtor’s expertise and advice are invaluable in navigating the complexities of selling property. Trusting their guidance on pricing, marketing, and negotiating can lead to a more successful and less stressful selling experience.

Be patient. Selling a property often takes time and patience. It’s important to understand that the process might not be as quick as you hope, and that the best offers often come from waiting for the right buyer.

When to sell your home to a property investor

Selling homes directly to property investors (sometimes called “cash home buyers”) is becoming more common because it’s significantly faster than listing a home on the open market. It also saves the time, energy, and money typically required to ready a property for showings with an agent.

Aside from being faster and less expensive, selling directly to an investor can be especially helpful in these situations:

Tax foreclosure. Homeowners facing tax foreclosure struggle to sell because they owe back taxes, making traditional sales challenging.

Divorce. Divorce often necessitates a quick and uncomplicated sale of the marital home, a process fraught with emotional and legal complexities.

Probate. Selling a property in probate involves legal hurdles and can be time-consuming, complicating the process for heirs.

Distressed house. Owners of distressed properties face challenges due to the poor condition of the house, which deters traditional buyers.

Inheritance. Inheriting a property often comes with the challenge of managing or selling it, especially if the heir is not local.

Needs repairs. Homes that require extensive repairs struggle to attract buyers in the traditional market, or require substantial repair costs by the owner.

Mortgage default. In cases of mortgage default, sellers are under pressure to sell before facing foreclosure, but finding buyers quickly is often difficult.

Reverse mortgage. With a reverse mortgage, selling a home can be complicated due to the need to repay the loan balance.

House not selling in tough market. In a difficult market, sellers might find it hard to attract buyers, leading to prolonged listing periods.

Quick relocation. For homeowners who need to relocate quickly, selling their home swiftly is essential but often challenging.

Job Transfer. A sudden job transfer requires immediate action, but selling a home traditionally through an agent can take months.

How to find a top Portland property investor

Dustin McGuirk is an expert property investor in the Portland area. His team at makes immediate cash offers on properties, and can close deals within seven days.

Portland expert home buyer Dustin McGuirk

“I choose to work with reputable home sellers who also believe in our values of fairness and transparency. My goal is to have a real conversation about your situation, about your property, and what you want to happen. I’m honored if I can help you that way. Or if I need to refer you to someone else or recommend a different route, I’m also grateful to be of service. This approach is core to my mission.”

– Dustin McGuirk, expert Portland property investor

Just like finding a great real estate agent, you should follow some guidelines to attract a top investor like Dustin McGuirk. Here are Dustin’s top tips for finding an investor and closing a fast and fair deal:

Give full disclosure. Mention to the investor all potential issues with the property, including liens, damage, and any challenges with your moving plans to prevent surprises during the sale process.

Understand reduced value. Appreciate that distressed properties and faster sales typically result in lower valuations.

Understand the buyers. Recognize that the buyer pool for distressed properties is limited, mainly consisting of investors and fixer-upper enthusiasts.

Consider repair needs. If your property requires significant repairs and renovations, be prepared to accept a lower offer because the investor will need to pay for them.

Address legal issues. Try to resolve any legal or title issues, like liens or disputes, before contacting the investor, or at least fully disclose them.

Be realistic in negotiations. Understand that you have limited leverage in negotiations due to the urgency of your sale and the property’s condition.

Manage emotional attachments. Try to detach emotionally from the property to make more pragmatic decisions regarding pricing and negotiations.

How to get the best deal for your home sale

The best deal for your home depends on how much you value speed and simplicity (fast cash sale) versus extensive preparation to find the highest bidder (traditional home listing).

Fortunately, there’s a new option in the Portland market that combines both approaches: ibuyhaus now offers a cash offer with listing option.

A cash offer is exactly what it sounds like: Dustin McGuirk’s team at will make you a fair cash offer for your house, as-is. You don’t have to worry about repairs, commissions, fees, or contingencies. If you then prefer a traditional listing, Lauren Plant will help you assess your home for an open market listing where you may attract higher offers. You can learn more about this new hybrid sales model by reading an example scenario in this free lesson.

To get both an instant cash offer on your house with the option for an agent listing, enter your property address in the ibuyhaus cash offer request to receive an offer in less than a day.