Your Doorstep is Everything

Reddish brown front door with light rectangular stone work around frame with single concrete step up to door with two black cavelike sconces flanking the door along with two tall rod iron twisted plant holders holding terra cotta pots with spring pansy flowers and greenery

So, you’re thinking about selling your home?


There are some simple things you can do that will make a huge difference.  

Your doorstep is everything.

I work with both buyers and sellers and can tell you there have been many times when I’m out showing a buyer a home and they decide they are in love with the house before I even get the door open. That probably means something about the character of the exterior and the neighborhood really works for them. And, it also usually means the mailbox is in great shape. The exterior lights are working. The doormat is fresh. The spiderwebs are gone. There are blooming flowers near the door. And the listing agent has placed the lockbox in an easily accessible place.


Consider the process…. I’m standing on your doorstep working the lockbox while the buyer and I chat away. They’re checking things out from that viewpoint. Making a strong first impression is so important. If you can’t be bothered to touch up the front door paint, then maybe you also haven’t been servicing the furnace???   

Remember, your doorstep is everything.

I’d be honored to help you sell your home and can help you with many other tips to help you secure that best offer. Let’s talk!

Finding an Out-of-Town Agent

Scandinavian home interior scene with a medium sized bookshelf with lots of books and props, two old leather chairs, a small table with a chess board table and a rectangular rug under the table and the chairs.

I am often asked for help finding just the right agent at the Oregon Coast, or Texas, or Florida, or Utah, or New York… you get the point. Finding an out-of-town agent on your own can be stressful.

So, I’ve put together a program where I can help you find just the right agent anywhere in the country by not only checking their behind-the-scenes agent reviews, but also by calling them and interviewing them for you. Yes, I vet them personally!

Then, I give you two agents that I think would be a great fit. You want an agent who not only has a proven track record, but one who has good relationships and a great reputation in the industry. Finding an out-of-town agent is a delicate balance.

This is a free service I provide and I am honored to help. Please don’t hire your agent off a park bench in a new town or because it’s your brother’s, ex’s cousin twice removed.  

This is one of your most personal decisions, not to mention one of your most expensive investments. Let’s do this right.  I can help.

Let’s chat!

Exceptional Care

A vintage style retro bicycle with bouquets of flowers in the baskets as party decoration at an outdoor event.

The joy of real estate is taking exceptional care of the clients with whom I choose to work.

Here are just a few of the ways I can be of service:

Relocating? I belong to a vetted network of exceptional agents and can connect you at no cost to someone fabulous anywhere in the country.

Planning: Real Estate happens around your life needs. I’m happy to help you plan even if you aren’t ready to do something yet.

Preparation: I handle prepping your home for sale so you don’t need to spend time and money where it’s not needed.

Staging your home. I work with both physical and virtual stagers.

Pricing: I price your home for current market conditions, your neighborhood and to get you top dollar.

Information: You will know every step of the way what is happening next, your choices in how we respond and strategies for the smoothest possible transaction. I have written both buyer and seller guides to assist you along the way.

I never pass you off to an assistant; I am always your main point of contact.

I have built a team of exceptional professionals, including lenders, escrow officers, inspectors, photographers, contractors, stagers, landscapers, etc. Even after your transaction is long completed, I am here for you.

I have a stellar reputation in Portland, Oregon and have worked hard to develop relationships with other agents. That means when I send in an offer, or take a listing, they want to work with me which helps you get your offers accepted/ or your listing sold more quickly.

Exceptional care is part of who I am and not just something I say to get business. I believe it taking care of you as you go through the peaks and valleys of selling or buying your home.

I’d be honored to work with you. Let’s talk!

Thinking of Buying?

Small blue gray mobile home with a front and side porch. It has a white porch railing out in the country on land shared by a larger siding house.

Thinking of buying? Why buying now may actually be your most brilliant move.

If you are thinking to purchase, this market may have discouraged you a bit.  

Here’s a few financial things to consider if you are currently renting, and first steps towards your home purchase should you decide to move forward.

  1. Rent paid this year is cash out of pocket, plus you don’t get the write off of having a mortgage and you aren’t gaining appreciation.  So figure that equals whatever you are paying in rent x 3.
  1. Home prices statistically and historically continuing to rise.  So, the same home you might buy today, will most likely be quite a bit more expensive next year.  Depending upon your price point that could be $40,000 to $100,000 more…. appreciation that could be yours if you had purchased it.
  1. Interest rates are expected to continue to rise. They doubled in just the past few months. Every .25% increase to an interest rate can make a several hundred dollar a month difference to a mortgage – again it depends on the amount of the loan.

So in my opinion it’s still a great time to be buying a home, even though the market is competitive and a bit stressful.  

To have the best experience and success with the process you need two things:  

First an exceptional lender.  If you don’t have one please reach out I can connect you to resources. Trust me they are not all created equally. Being pre-approved for your loan is critical before shopping. You want to know what your payment will be, what you are pre-approved for and that paperwork must be submitted with your offer when you find a home.


Second an exceptional agent. You need an agent who is resourceful, responsive and creative. You need an agent other agents want to work with and who has a stellar reputation.  I am all of those things and more and would be honored to be of service!

First-time Home Buyer?

Summer garden clematis vine plant flowers outside closeup of blooms with sunlight and white fence in backyard copy space background

First-time home buyer?  

What exactly are you getting yourself into when you go from having a landlord you can call to caring for your first home?  

Here are some of the things it takes to maintain your new home:

1) HVAC system – it’s a great idea to have your AC and Furnace cleaned and inspected at least every two years. Ideally, you would want to do that off-season so that during that ice storm or heat wave when the rest of the world is calling for repairs you are comfortably settled in your space. The technician can advise you regarding how often to change filters.

2) Exterior water and foundation. Before winter, turn off outside spigots and drain hoses to avoid bursting pipes. Once a year, shine a flashlight on that unfinished basement or crawl space walls to check for any new cracks or stains.

3) Gutters and downspouts. Have these cleaned late fall after leaves have stopped dropping. Gutters that are clogged can create water damage to roofs or foundations. It’s much cheaper to clean the gutters than deal with those things!

4) Roof and chimney. Unless brand new, every two years it’s wise to have an expert double check for missing shingles or holes and around flashing. The goal is to stop water and animals from getting into your home or moss from building up (which pushes apart shingles and allows water in). Your roof inspector can also check for cracks in your chimney and mortar if applicable.

5) Septic and well. If you purchased a home that is not connected to public water and sewer, you’ll want to have your on-site systems checked.  A septic tank should be pumped out every three years or so depending on its size and how many people live in the home. Wells should be inspected yearly.

6) Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers. All homes should have these items. Batteries will need to be replaced. Think about scheduling these when the time changes twice a year.

7) Pest control. I live 3 miles outside of downtown Portland in the woods; so ants, squirrels, raccoons, owls, birds… you name it, we’ve got it. There are tools you can get at your local hardware store to deal with some of these. Relocation companies that catch and release and companies like Terminix can also help. Just be mindful that you don’t want to catch or harm your neighbor’s pets or the planet with your choices.

Take it in and remember to breathe. I don’t share this list to create overwhelm. I share this list because being a proactive homeowner is way better and usually cheaper.

Best of all – you are not alone!  I am happy to connect you to resources should anything come up.

Welcome to home ownership and being a first-time home buyer!

I Am Not A Mechanic

Picture of Kelly Sandstrom, Caucasian woman with curly, red hair wearing two strand white pearl necklace with black sleeveless dress

I am not a mechanic.

Sure I know a few things. I know every so often I need to have my tires rotated, that my Mini S Coup likes premium gas and an oil change will never JUST be an oil change.

Oh sure I could read some books, I could go back to school, I could train and study and start working as a mechanic, get some experience, and learn some stuff and take ongoing courses to stay on top of all the new technology.  

Except here’s the thing… I have no passion for that career.  So, I’d never be as good as someone who does it day in and day out and who has years of experience. I don’t want to know how to fix my car. What I want is someone who is great at that career and who has a passion for it and is on the top of their game.  I want someone who will look out for me, give me great advice on where I need to spend money and where I don’t. I want my car to be cute, zippy, and run well. And, I want a trusted advocate to help with the rest.

You might feel that way about real estate. I can promise that few of us knew what we were getting into when we chose this career. The hours are long, often 7 days a week.  We’re working with people during one of the most stressful processes of their lives. The pressure is high. The ways to be out of compliance with a transaction are many. It’s no wonder 82% of those who go into real estate don’t make it past the first year. It’s more tricky that it looks.

What you need is a trusted advocate who is passionate about helping you reach your real estate goals.  You need someone who will look out for your budget by helping you prep your home to sell in the most cost effective ways; you’ll need someone on your team who will negotiate the best terms for your transaction, who will help you not leave money on the table when buying and connect you to the best resources in terms of lenders, escrow officers, inspectors and home vendors.  You’’ want someone who has done the training and given the blood, sweat and tears to be exceptional at this profession.  You’ll want someone who can explain your options and help you decide which choices best suit your goals.

You don’t have to be a real estate expert. You simply need one on your side. That’s what I do best!  My goal is to take such exceptional care of you that you are not only a happy client but a raving fan. And that we get to work together again some day in the future. And, that you’ll also trust me to help your friends and family.  I love this crazy business. I’d be honored to chat.  The sooner in the process the better – that way I can share other great resources with you as well. For evidence of “raving fans,” check out my Zillow reviews

Crazy Market

Beautiful kitchen room with green island and farmhouse sink.

Here’s the bottom line, yes inventory is low now. 

It’s been low in the Pacific Northwest for years.

Yes, interest rates are starting to rise.  

Anyone else remember when they were 8%???

When the market is challenging, what you need on your side is an exceptional, talented, hands on agent who cares about your real estate goals.

I can help you prep your home for sale, market and negotiate, so we actually close at the highest price bid instead of having it not appraise at last minute before closing and price coming back down.

Or, if you are buying I can help you write an offer that isn’t necessarily the highest bid, but because of my stellar reputation with other agents, great terms, and some personal touches helps us drastically increase the chances of getting your offer accepted in a crazy competitive market. 

And did you know that working with a buyer’s agent is 100% free to you?  Most people don’t know that!

I’d be honored to talk about your plans whether you are two weeks from doing something or two years.  Let’s chat…. People are buying and selling all the time.  As Lady Gaga would say, ”I’ve got you”.

Getting to your next:  Selling your home

House with elegant wood grain front door surrounded by ivy

While inventory is low, it’s a wonderful time to capture top dollar for your Oregon home. If you are thinking about selling, here are a few key things to consider to prep your home for sale.

  1. You’ve heard it said. You should declutter your home. This is so true for several reasons:
  • We want to make your home appear as spacious as possible. 
  • We don’t want to distract potential buyers with your belongings. Collections, family photographs, too many books on potentially controversial topics and your drinking or smoking preference are some of the things that can create distractions and should be eliminated.
  • Working with me means we’re using the best photographers and there are ideal furniture placements and removal of “normal” home items that will make your home appear more desirable. Things like clearing kitchen countertops, and shower shelves, packing up some of your closet items so closets appear more spacious, etc.
  1. Go out to the street and look back at your home.  How is your mailbox? Doormat? Flowers?  Is there anything you can remove or spruce up?  Specifically at your front door are there spiderwebs? Do we need to update the doorbell, paint the front door, change a lightbulb?  Buyers will be standing at the front door while their agent retrieves your key for showing. Make a great first impression by looking at that space with fresh eyes and making any needed tweaks.
  1. Inside – clean is everything.  I am happy to assist my clients with cleaning services and to do a quick walkthrough with staging and decluttering suggestions. As a rule, realtors don’t usually photograph the inside of a garage so boxing and storing extra things there works great!  Just keep it as tidy as you can and put everything in the center of the room so that inspectors can see all the walls and get to electrical panels, attic access, etc.
  1. If you have not had your HVAC serviced in the past year have it serviced and do any recommended repairs and put in fresh filters.  That paperwork will save you time and money once you are under contract with your buyer.
  1. Make a plan for that first weekend on market. I advise my clients, if possible, to go away for the weekend so that we can accommodate as many showings as possible and do two open houses.  This gets us off to a great start and, in the current market, with exceptional marketing might even land you a contract in the first week.  

These are just a few of the many ideas I share with my clients when prepping their home for market. There are strategies for everything in real estate! From timing your sale and purchase and navigating two transactions at once, to getting not only top dollar but the best terms for your home.  This is a very personal transaction and you need a stellar agent with great marketing, negotiating, management  and communication skills.  If you are thinking about selling your home in two weeks or two years, I’d be honored to have a conversation about the possibilities and to learn more what works best for you and how, together, we can create that and get you to your what’s next!

Don’t Find Your Agent Off of a Bus Bench…

Concrete and brown park bench with graffiti over pictures on the bench

Moving out of state and wondering how to find your next home?

We realtors spend a lot of money promoting ourselves, but as you probably already know, not all agents are created equally. Did you know that 87% of all Oregon agents never make it past their first year? 


I belong to a nation wide program that allows me to vet an agent out-of-state for you – for FREE!

This past year I have helped people find agents who not only have a proven track record, they also have good relationships and reputations in our industry. Those things are critical when you are trying to get an offer accepted on a home you love.

If you are in another state or city, I’d be honored to help you find a new agent. This service doesn’t cost you a dime and can make your move SO much easier knowing you are in capable and competent hands. 

Let’s talk!