Blog Community Adventures in Real Estating: Selling During Covid

Adventures in Real Estating: Selling During Covid

By Sarah Grumbling, May 21, 2020

This dreamy South Tabor farmhouse of infinite possibilities just sold in the midst of covid panic at $52k over asking with 7 offers in just 3 days.  Many congratulations to my client — all his hard work getting this gem ready for market paid off big time!

Before covid began, we met to discuss how he could best prep his home for the market.  I always recommend scheduling a consult and walk through with your REALTOR® before embarking on home projects. This can save you lots of time and money, as we are able to identify which changes will have the greatest impact on your sale in the current market. In this case, most of the work was focused on the exterior, but inside, fresh white paint and top notch staging brought the house to life in a whole new way!




Here is the living, dining area and kitchen before…






And after!!






It was as if the whole house sprang to life! I remember walking through after it was painted and could practically feel the walls beaming and calling out for the next stewards of home.

view from South Tabor

One of the aspects I love most about this home is the SPACE! All kinds of spaces for all kinds of imaginable fun. Outside there is not only a nice sized grassy backyard + side yard perfect for garden beds, but also a hot-tub cabana, big locking bike shed and a carport with storage and workbench. Inside, the 3 bedroom/2 bath home also includes a den and office upstairs while the basement offers a finished bonus room, laundry area and unfinished space for storage or projects. But I think my FAVORITE space is the upstairs bathroom ~ clawfoot tub and Mt. Tabor views? Yes, please!!


My seller put a lot of love into creating a lush grassy backyard where an old blank deck lived before and added many sweet details and upgrades to the exterior to boost curb appeal and honor the 1910 vintage of the home.

When the time came to list, we had just hit the 1 month mark into this new covid reality and I offered my best advice on competitive pricing as things were still feeling a bit uncertain in the market of pandemic proportions. Covid protocol for all potential buyers meant current preapproval letters, masks, shoe covers and hand washing at the beginning and ending of each showing. No more than 3 people in the house at a time and 30 minute showings with 15 minute buffers. When the listing went live we had  immediate interest and within 48 hours over 40 showings were scheduled.  Three days later, my seller went pending with a solid offer that beat out 6 others at $52,000 over asking and stellar terms.

Throughout this transaction, both my seller and the agent on the other side were excellent communicators, easy to work with, and at the end of the day everyone wrapped up feeling really happy about the outcome. I am deeply grateful to my client for his ease in trusting my expertise and putting in the time and energy to give his house the best possible outcome in our market.

These are the stories that really light up my spirit: feeling the energy of a home brighten up with a little bit of love and elbow grease ~ the house that calls in its new owner like a match that was meant to be ~ clients’ joys of new beginnings ~ and navigating through unprecedented times with presence, awareness and clear communication. If you are curious about the market in these times, or are looking at buying or selling now or down the road, I am happy to chat over some socially distanced coffee or tea. Let’s connect!

Stay safe out there, be gentle with yourself, and take care of each other ~ we will get through this ❤️




Many Blessings,




Sarah Grumbling

Broker | Earth Advantage | OR


Rooted in delivering authentic client centered service, Sarah is a REALTOR® fueled by a deep love of homes, the stories they hold, and the people who get to create those stories.

Sarah Grumbling has called SE Portland home for 15 years and she couldn’t imagine anywhere else she’d rather be. On a spontaneous road trip to PDX in 2005, she was won over by the beautiful old houses, gardens, parks and amazing proximity to mountains, rivers and the ocean. Three days in, she decided to make a move. Getting to know the rich and vibrant communities, neighborhoods and people over the last 15 years is what makes Portland home today.  Sharing this Portland magic with first time home buyers or newly relocated clients is one of Sarah’s favorite aspects of helping folks find their spot to land. Matching clients with their future home is one of her greatest joys in life — there is nothing like the spark and magic that comes with finding the very place you know deep in your bones is exactly where you are supposed to be: HOME. Similarly, when working with sellers and the homes they have created, there is a sense that each home, each place, bungalow, craftsman, contemporary build or condo is calling out for their match as well — a new guardian to fill the space with fresh energy and create a life with in it. Sarah helps her clients navigate the road from creating their real estate goals to seeing that vision become reality.  Together a plan is crafted to breakdown the home buying or selling process (one that at first, can easily feel overwhelming!) into a one step at a time journey where clients are educated, informed, and know what to expect in our competitive market. It is important that her clients feel heard and understood throughout the entirety of the buying and selling process. Sarah is a detail oriented hard worker and will make sure you understand those contracts before signing. She negotiates to find solutions where everyone feels like they are getting the best deal, a true win-win. She is a firm believer in the wisdom available when clients trust their gut, AND she wants to make sure those guts are fully informed with the latest market data, research and her professional expertise. There is enough room for numbers and magic in real estate. When not showing homes or negotiating contracts, Sarah spends her days tending to her garden, numerous fruit trees and 1920’s bungalow. She loves exploring out in nature and Mt. Tabor is like a second home. You will also find Sarah leading community kirtan (a heart centered yoga practice based in chanting and singing), dancing, practicing aerial silks, loving her sweet 17 year old kitty Jaida, and finding joy in authentic connections.
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