Our list of more than 20 shops spotlighting the African diaspora and children’s books, sci-fi and fantasy, artist monographs, comics, and…yarn?

Up Up Books

IF YOUR IDEA OF A PERFECT DAY is an endless meander through tall stacks of books, you’re in the right place. Portland is loaded with great bookstores, more than 20 of which we list here. (We also asked some of our favorite local authors where they shop for books.)

Powell’s monolithic “City of Books” is no doubt one of our favorites (like browsing the internet in person). But the bulk of this list consists of neighborhood places, most of which have a distinct focus that will steer you in new reading directions—toward that Irving Penn monograph you never knew you needed, that early Claudia Rankine book of poems you felt shift your worldview—not necessarily books you’re already after, like how you’d shop online. (If you are shopping for something specific, many of the stores listed do sell online through Bookshop.org, which provides the local shop with a commission). These are also the best places to kill a few hours, days, or weeks, and despite your best intentions, add to the piles eternally weighing down your nightstand, coffee table, and shelves.

A Children’s Place


Though it’s changed hands and addresses a few times over the past half-century, A Children’s Place is the city’s longest running kid’s bookshop. The midsize storefront it’s inhabited for the past two decades is loaded with titles across age groups.



Annie Bloom’s Books

Annie Bloom’s Books


Nestled in the heart of Multnomah Village, this all-purpose neighborhood bookstore has offered a wide range of new books, cards, and more since 1978. It’s also one of the main non-Powell’s sites of author events around town.



Backstory Books and Yarn


The yarns aren’t only in the pages: trading books for yarn, or yarn for books, is the game here. Crafts books star, but the shop also specializes in nautical books and African American literature, in addition to a broader selection of general interest used and new books. And yarn, of course.


Belmont Books


Belmont Books


Owner Joe Witt started his shop as a used book cart inside Mississippi Records and landed a storefront in 2018. A seemingly endless run of titles are assembled with personal vision and pack every inch of the endearingly cobbled together shop, emphasizing literature and books on art.



Bishop and Wilde


On the ground floor of the Tin House publishing offices, this queer-owned shop stocks a wide range of titles but aims to spotlight queer and LGBTQ+ authors, especially local ones, creating what may be the most dedicated queer literary space in town.



Books with Pictures


The tagline is “comics for everyone” at this comic book shop (most books here sport spines rather than staples), which was once named the best comic book store in the world by the Eisner Awards. It also hosts weekly queer and trans youth social events, and BIPOC meet-ups as well as “office hours” with acclaimed comics artists.


Broadway Books

Broadway Books


Now co-owned by long-term employees, Broadway Books opened in 1992, selling new books across all genres (and a few used ones), as well as local and national journals and magazines. Keep an eye on its calendar for regular author events.



Chaparral Books


Owner John Thomas’s enduring fascination with American history—particularly Native American and Western Americana—steers the programming at his rambling Southwest Portland shop. But it’s otherwise well-stocked across genres, including an extended selection of art books and biographies, and a robust children’s section.



Daedalus Books


Reflecting its mythological namesake, this medium-sized, mostly used bookstore tucked behind Ken’s Artisan Bakery covers a breadth of subjects. Books on art, music, and philosophy get the most space on its shelves.


Green Bean Books

Green Bean Books


Booksellers at this devoted children’s shop are famously adept at finding the right books for young readers. It also hosts regular author events, both inside the cozy converted house and on the vine-tangled patio in warmer months.



Hi Books


Just across the Park Blocks from the Portland Art Museum, this shop, opened in 2022 and focused on photography books and art-world ephemera, is a perfect post-museum stop (though note the limited hours: 1–5pm, Friday–Sunday, by appointment “or coincidence”).



Melville Books


Piles of new and used books make a breadcrumb trail down a courtyard gravel path to this one-car-garage-sized bookshop. Novels and literary nonfiction make up the bulk of the selection, which leans somewhat modern when contrasted with its piles-of-books-style-shop peers around town.


Monograph Bookwerks

Monograph Bookwerks


This tiny shop covers a massive scope of new and used art books—the only local shop of its kind we know. Find monographs of architects, painters, sculptors, and photographers, but also a selection of biographies and theory books, vintage local art catalogs and music posters, as well as original artworks and curios.

5005 NE 27TH AVE


Mother Foucault’s


Owner Craig Florence landed in Portland via Paris’s Shakespeare & Company and opened his shop somewhat in its romantic image. The name winks to the philosopher, whose books you’ll find, probably in several languages, among endless stacks of mostly twentieth century literature, philosophy, and theory that spill onto the patchwork of Persian rugs.






The front room of this art gallery has grown into its own bookstore, offering a selection of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction in addition to the expected monographs and photography books. It also stocks hard-to-find magazines, such as back issues of Lapham’s QuarterlyMother Tongue, and a range of Apartamento publications.

15 SE 22ND AVE

Parallel Worlds Bookshop


The only local bookshop we know of that’s dedicated exclusively to science fiction and fantasy, Sarah J. Maas to Ursula K. Le Guin, opened its snug, aqua blue storefront in 2022.





This appointment-only shop emphasizes out-of-print books on modern art and rare literature editions, like the run of signed firsts Patti Smith donated to the shop following a much-publicized break-in in 2020.

1801 NW UPSHUR ST, #660


Powell’s City of Books



Powell’s “City of Books,” the original, half-century-old Pearl District location, is packed with new, used, and rare books (apparently over a million). All three stores are staggeringly well-stocked across genres, but the storied OG thrums with heavy foot traffic, a devoted cast of booksellers, and almost daily author events. It’s a tourist attraction that most Portlanders visit regularly.


Sunrise Books


Edith Johnson opened the city’s only Black-owned children’s bookstore in 2020, hosting weekly playgroups and storytimes and stocking board books (extra durable for babies) through YA novels.
Johnson is currently running a GoFundMe to help offset the cost of her maternity leave.

4605 NE FREMONT ST, #208


Third Eye Books


Portland’s only bookstore focused entirely on African-centered books stocks titles across the Black diaspora for all age groups. Despite its small footprint, couple Michelle Lewis and Charles Hannah’s shop, which opened in 2019, has a big community. It regularly organizes off-site author events and coordinates with schools.

2518 SE 33RD AVE


Up Up Books


This compact and kid-friendly shop carries recent titles across genres and holds a soft spot for local authors and publishers, many of whom they host at regular book events in the back room.



Vivienne Culinary Books


The city’s only dedicated cookbook store doubles as a home for cooking classes and recently moved into an airy Alberta Street storefront. Graze the new and historical cookbooks and food-focused magazines, like Cherry Bombe and Eaten, and keep an eye out for events with local and national cookbook authors.



For this and related articles, please visit PortlandMonthly







Even when houses get offers within days of hitting the listing pages, selling a home is a long, complex, and stressful process. It’s easy to get confused, overwhelmed, or too attached to how you imagine your home sale should go.

The many moving parts of a real estate transaction might even have you unwittingly using some home-selling tactics that could backfire and ultimately kill the deal.

With the spring market heating up, we asked real estate agents how some home sellers self-sabotage by neglecting crucial aspects of the selling process.

Here are the bad habits the pros say you should give up and what to do instead to successfully sell your home quickly for the most money.

6 Surprising Home-Selling Habits To Ditch—Before They Sabotage Your Sale

Self-sabotage No. 1: Rushing the process

Jen Turano, a real estate agent at Compass in Greenwich, CT, saw countless deals fall apart in 2023, partly due to the frenzy surrounding the home’s initial listing.

“Buyers stepped up with little time for their own diligence, made rash offers, had second thoughts, and backed out for one reason or another,” says Turano. “The home was back on the market weeks later, losing some of its early momentum.”

Seller solutions: Take a breather, and scrutinize those multiple offers. Start vetting the buyers, their level of interest, and their loan qualifications.

“Thoughtful consideration benefits you greatly and leads you to the best, most certain deal,” says Turano.

Self-sabotage No. 2: Forgoing concessions

When the market favors sellers, they can afford to be a little stingy with concessions, as eager buyers are less likely to ask for seller concessions to make their offer stand out.

But with today’s elevated home prices and high mortgage rates, buyers need a little more wooing. Seller concessions can help seal the deal by taking the sting out of all the money a buyer has to shell out.

Seller solutions: “Offering concessions is not a deal breaker; it’s a chance to negotiate and build rapport,” says Fran Lisner, a real estate agent with Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty on Long Island, NY. “By being flexible and open to compromise, you’ll attract more serious buyers and increase your chances of sealing the deal.”

Self-sabotage No. 3: Overpricing your home

What Are Mortgage Points? Upfront Fees That Could Save You Money
When a house is priced too high, buyers ignore it and you lose precious momentum.

(Getty Images)

We get it. You’ve invested a lot of time and money into your home and want the asking price to reflect that. The trouble comes when your ego and pride enter the formula and you set the price too high.

“Overpricing is a buzzkill for potential buyers,” says Lisner. “It’s like offering a glass of water for the price of a vintage wine.”

Bottom line: Listings get the most action in the first 30 days. When a house is priced too high, buyers ignore it and you lose precious momentum. Buyers might think something is wrong with the house. If it languishes longer, buyers might think you’re desperate and present lowball offers.

Seller solutions: “Do your research, consult professionals, and set a realistic price that aligns with the current market,” says Lisner. “By pricing it right, you’ll attract more serious buyers, generate healthy competition, and increase your chances of a successful sale.”

Self-sabotage No. 4: Staying stuck on selling as-is

If you don’t have the time or money to spruce up your house, or you inherited a house and want to dump it for a quick profit, you might be tempted to list it as is.

That doesn’t necessarily imply the house is falling apart at the seams. It simply means the property is being listed in its current condition without making any repairs.

“As is” can seriously limit your pool of potential buyers, as they might not be able to secure financing if the property is in poor condition.

“I recently had a client who was purchasing a home as is, but the lender went back to my client to tell him that the roof was in bad shape and they wouldn’t finance the property unless it was repaired,” says Lauren Reynolds, an agent at Forte Team at Compass.

Seller solutions: While you might not want to invest a lot of time or money into a property, addressing essential repairs that could hinder financing, such as fixing a faulty roof or structural issues, will widen your pool of potential buyers.

Self-sabotage No. 5: Not listing when the market is hot

Historically, spring is the best time to sell your home. The weather is better, and buyers are eager to get into a new house before the summer or a new school year starts.

We get it. You might be thinking of selling but are not quite ready to move. But you might be missing out on selling your home for top dollar.

Turano says that unless there is a rational reason to hold off on listing your home, you should consider listing it now to take advantage of the current market conditions.

Seller solutions: To help you get a clearer picture of when to list, you and your agent should monitor the market and strategize to determine the ideal time to sell.

“If we experience a market turn, it may be beneficial to list when most buyers are active,” says Turano.

Self-sabotage No. 6: Leaving your pets at showings

Don’t forget to take your pets when you have a showing.

(Getty Images)

Though most people understand pets are part of the family, potential buyers probably don’t want your overly excited pooch jumping on them or triggering their allergies. Plus, your pets could bolt for the door and escape.

“You want potential buyers to focus on your home and its merits, and not rush through to evade a pet,” says Turano.

Seller solutions: Take your pets when you have a showing. If you can’t, keep them in a comfortable spot in the home and give your agent the heads-up on what to expect. If you’ve been neglecting cleaning the pet areas, do that before every open house. And don’t forget the yard. Stepping in dog poo leaves a really bad first impression.


For this and related articles, please visit Realtor.com

Riders pass a baton during a Pony Express relay race in Okmulgee, Okla.
Riders pass a baton during a Pony Express relay race in Okmulgee, Okla.

Ivan McClellan

As a child growing up in Kansas City, Ivan McClellan would sing the national anthem at the American Royal rodeo with a youth choir. Those performances are some of his fondest memories, but they’re also bittersweet.

That’s because just about everybody else around him was white.

“It wasn’t a place that we felt like we belonged,” McClellan told “Morning Edition host A Martínez.

Learning about Black rodeos as an adult came as a revelation to him. McClellan spent nearly a decade documenting this unique culture all across the United States.

Rodney & RJ, McCalla, Ala.
Rodney & RJ, McCalla, Ala.

Ivan McClellan

His forthcoming photobook, “Eight Seconds: Black Rodeo Culture,” out April 30 from publisher Damiani Books, features highlights from that journey. The title refers to the minimum amount of time a rider has to stay on a horse or other livestock in order to register a score during a competition.

“All of this beauty and energy and environment just stuck to me,” McClellan said about his first encounter with a Black rodeo. “I saw thousands of Black cowboys and they were doing the Cupid Shuffle in the desert and they were cooking turkey legs. And there were Black folks dressed like traditional cowboys. There were also black folks riding their horses in Jordans and women riding with their braids blowing behind them and their hands with long acrylic nails clutching the reins.”

Keary Hines, Prairie View, Texas.
Keary Hines, Prairie View, Texas.

Ivan McClellan

That event, the Roy Leblanc Invitational Rodeo in Oklahoma, is one McClellan has come to dub “the Super Bowl of Black rodeos.” It is the oldest of its kind in the country.

He began posting his photographs of the event online. As his social media audience grew, McClellan was soon traveling the country in search of similar happenings.

“There are Black cowboys pretty much everywhere. I mean, there are Black cowboys here in Portland, Oregon, where I live, which I think is the last place that I would have expected to find them,” said McClellan, who now runs his own rodeo.

“I went all the way to Oklahoma to realize that there were cowboys up the road from me who have been there for four generations … You’d be hard pressed to find a part of America where there wasn’t at least some some portion of this culture.”

Jadayia Kursh, Okmulgee, Okla.
Jadayia Kursh, Okmulgee, Okla.

Ivan McClellan

It’s a narrative largely shunned by Hollywood and the broader mass culture, where the cowboy is consistently portrayed as a white male, be it John Wayne, Val Kilmer or on TV series like Bonanza (1959-73) and Gunsmoke (1955-75).

Up until a few years ago, “I really thought that term [cowboy] was a joke when applied to a Black person,” McClellan said.

In fact, the term was once a pejorative for African Americans working on ranches and farms, while white cowboys were known as “cowhands.”

Patrick Liddell, Las Vegas, Nev.
Patrick Liddell, Las Vegas, Nev.

Ivan McClellan

But ultimately, cowboy became “a shorthand for our noblest ideals,” McClellan said. “A lot of these things our popular culture is hesitant to attribute to a Black person. So I think to have a cowboy rushing in, saving the day with a black face just didn’t jibe with the stories that Hollywood was trying to tell. I think it’s erasure. I think it’s at best, laziness, at worst, very intentional and malicious. But I’m excited to see that transforming before my eyes.”

Beyoncé’s recent country-influenced album Cowboy Carter is the latest iteration of that push for change in popular culture. Lil Nas X challenged the country genre in 2018 with his song “Old Town Road.” It became a viral hit after sparking widespread conversations about genre gatekeeping and Black musicians’ place within country culture.

Bull Riders, Rosenberg, Texas.
Bull Riders, Rosenberg, Texas.

Ivan McClellan

“It was a perfect alley-oop. And Beyoncé is hanging on the rim right now,” said McClellan. “Beyoncé is not only revealing Black cowboy culture, but she’s transforming country music forever and tearing down genres in a way that that I don’t think has ever been done.”

For McClellan, there’s now one place where he keeps returning over and over.

“As far as cultural impact, there’s nothing like the Roy LeBlanc Invitational Rodeo,” he said. “On the second weekend in August at about 8 p.m. when the sun is going down, everything is gold and all the athletes are filing into the arena for the grand entry. And that is where I like to take photos more than anywhere else on the entire planet.”

Rodeo Queen, Okmulgee, Okla.
Rodeo Queen, Okmulgee, Okla.

Ivan McClellan


For this and similar articles, please visit OBP.com

Nearly half of all window strikes happen at residential houses, which is why it’s so important for renters and homeowners to take steps to make their homes bird safe. See below for tips that fit every budget, from DIY solutions for your yard and windows to installing professional screens and films.

For those who live in the greater Portland Metro area, we also encourage you to sign up for our Backyard Habitat Certification Program to receive expert advice on landscaping with native plants and recommendations for minimizing bird strikes. You can also sign up to Take the Pledge to go Lights Out to help reduce the impacts of light pollution on nesting and migrating birds, other wildlife, and on human health.

What Happens When a Bird Hits a Window?

Western Tanager receives exam at Bird Alliance of Oregon’s Wildlife Care Center after hitting a window.

Naturescaping Approaches

  • Move bird feeders & baths far away from (>30 feet) or close to (<3 feet) windows
  • Move large houseplants away from windows where strikes are common
  • Visit the Backyard Habitat Certification Program for more information on naturescaping

Decals and Window Film

Cords, Netting and Screens

DIY Solutions

Lighting Solutions

  • Take the pledge to go Lights Out
  • Turn off unnecessary lights overnight every night, or during migration seasons: mid-March through early June and late August through mid-November
  • Ensure that all exterior lighting is properly shielded and aimed down
  • If you’re converting exterior lamps to LED, choose a warm light LED (under 3,000 Kelvins)
  • Make sure you’re not over-lighting: carefully choose the wattage of your exterior lamps
  • Switch to motion sensor lighting
  • Check out this wildlife friendly lighting that meets the International Dark-sky Association’s Fixture Seal of Approval

For more detailed BirdSafe resources and those geared specifically toward professionals, check out our Toolkit.

What to Do if a Bird Hits Your Window

If a bird hits your window, observe it before handling. Some strike victims recover after initially being stunned. If a stunned bird is in imminent danger (i.e., a lurking cat), place it in a box and set it in a safe and quiet place. Check the bird in one hour. If it is alert, active and able to fly, release it immediately. If the bird is still having trouble, bring it to the Wildlife Care Center, 5151 NW Cornell Road (open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. every day, 503-292-0304).


For this and similar information, please visit the Bird Alliance of Oregon

A Centuries-Old Design Movement Is the Season’s Most Exciting Trend

While the Internet was busy talking about the emergence of red as the latest “it” color and bookshelf wealth, a centuries-old design movement has been quietly making its way back into the conversation. Maybe you’ve noticed, maybe you haven’t, but there’s no denying it: Blue-and-white porcelain, ceramics, and tilework are quietly everywhere.

The trend first started popping up last year—in kitchens, bathrooms and fireplaces with Delft-style tiles. Originally invented by the Dutch in the 1600s, these charming, humble tiles often depict small hand-painted portraits of people, farm animals, florals or bucolic and nautical scenes in a signature blue-and-white color palette. In recent months, I’ve also noticed an uptick in Chinoiserie-style ginger jars and wallpaperblue-and-white Portuguese porcelain, and Spanish tile. They’re popping up in interior design projects and on the retail market, but no one is really talking about it…yet.

I love this trend both for its warm, welcoming qualities (it reminds me of my childhood and the dinner plates my grandmother owned) and also for the unexpected visual weight it carries. A little goes a long way, but because of the simple duo of colors, a lot goes a long way too. Try it in small doses with a pretty vase or salt-and-pepper shaker, or fully embrace it in a kitchen backsplash. Ahead, three ways to add this look to your home, whether you have $20 or $2,000 to spend.

delft chinoiserie decor
delft chinoiserie decor

If you’re looking to mix things up—just a little: Add blue-and-white decor or tableware.

Maybe you’re reading this and thinking this whole trend is a bit too “granny” for you. Perhaps you prefer newer, more modern design details? Here’s a quick decorator trick for you: If you feel like everything around you feels too new, sprinkle in a few storied pieces to nail that cool, collected contemporary-with-a-twist European vibe. An easy and affordable place to start is with some blue-and-white vasesfloral plates, or a set of coasters.

Buy them: 

Modern Delft Blue Vase With Fun Bicycle Design, $55 at Etsy

Montrose Terracotta Vase Collection, from $50 at Pottery Barn

Two’s Company Chinoiserie Mini Ginger Jar Salt and Pepper Shaker Set, $22 at Amazon

Italian Blue Floral Pasta Bowl, $15 at Sur La Table

Delft Blue Canal Houses Marble Coaster Set, from $38 at Etsy

chinoiserie peel-and-stick wallpaper
chinoiserie peel-and-stick wallpaper

If you have a tendency to change your mind: Try peel-and-stick wallpaper or decals.

I get it: Trends come and trends go, and then you have to decide if you still love them enough to turn them into personal classics. While blue-and-white decor, tile, and tableware will never really stale, there’s always the chance you’ll grow tired of them. In that case, skip anything too permanent and keep to temporary solutions like peel-and-stick wallpaper and tile decals.

Buy them: 

Porto Tile Decals, $50 for 2’ x 4’ at Chasing Paper

1680 Antique Minimalist Blue French Tiles Peel & Stick Wallpaper, from $40 at Etsy

Chinoiserie “Whimsy” Blue and White Large Scale Pattern Wallpaper by Pattern Garden, from $39 at Spoonflower

delft backsplash tiles
delft backsplash tiles

If you’re remodeling: Opt for a blue-and-white tile fireplace surround or backsplash.

Authentic blue-and-white tiles, particularly anything from the original delft manufacturer Royal Delft in Amsterdam, come with a majorly hefty price tag. A single tile can set you back several hundred dollars, and an antique set of fewer than a dozen can ring in at more than 10 times that amount. But just because you don’t have thousands earmarked for your project’s tile doesn’t mean you can’t add the classic, historical touch to your home. Even just a few tiles intermixed with simple white square tile can go a long way, especially in a fireplace surround or in the backsplash area above your cooktop.

Buy them: 

Kitchen Backsplash Delft Style, $278 for 22 tiles at Etsy

M051 Herendira Blue Hand Made Wall Tiles, $1 per tile at Milagros

17th Century: Maiolica De Delft – Piccola (Varied Styles), from $45 per tile at Clé Tile

Portuguese Hand Painted Decorative Replica Tile, $404 for 20 tiles at Etsy

Blueware Tile Golf Player, $22 at Royal Delft


For this and similar articles, please visit Realtor.com

The up and down roller coaster ride of the real estate market and continued fluctations in interest rates can leave sellers scratching their heads, wondering how to price their homes correctly.

To begin with, you should hire a fantastic listing real estate agent. These professionals will have the tools and background needed to help you sell your home in today’s market. But there are specific questions to ask so that you can pinpoint the right professional for you.

It’s smart to be picky! A great real estate agent can help find buyers to sell your home fast, and for the most money. Make the wrong choice, and your listing might languish. Then, the lowballing bargain hunters come circling—it’s not pretty.

Not sure where to get started? You can search for real estate agents in your area with online tools that offer you the chance to read real estate agent reviews from previous clients. From there, you’ll want to call or meet with a few you like and probe further.

Selling your home?

Questions to ask a real estate agent when selling a home

Here are some important questions to ask your agent when selling your home, from sales plans to listing costs.

1. What are your credentials?

As you start out to sell your home, at the very least hire an agent who has a state license and belongs to the local real estate trade association. This means that they will have access to the multiple listing service, or MLS, and can list your property far and wide to attract buyers.

2. How many sales did you close last year?

A real estate agent’s past performance doesn’t guarantee a quick sale. Their track record of success with buyers and sellers, though, is some assurance that they are professionals who will know what they’re doing in selling your home.

Ask potential agents about how many clients they’ve worked with in the past and about the price range of the homes they have sold. You ideally want someone who knows just which real estate features will be valued by buyers in the appropriate income bracket. You may also want to ask for recommendations from previous clients.

3. Do you specialize in this neighborhood?

Having a local expert can be a huge advantage for sellers. Local agents will be aware of any upcoming developments in the area, plus plans for stores or other amenities that might affect the value of your property, how quickly it will sell, and the price you’re likely to get. They’ll also know what local buyers are looking for in real estate.

“You want to know that your agent understands the market for your neighborhood right now,” says Ashlie Roberson, a New York City–based agent at Triplemint. She also advises sellers to inquire about the agent’s favorite places in the area.

After all, your agent needs to be able to not only sell your home, but your neighborhood.

4. How do you arrive at the listing price?

Few things are as important to a seller as the discussion of how to price your home, and your real estate agent’s ability to land on a listing price that is pitched at just the right level for the local market.

A property that is priced too high will languish, eventually turning off potential buyers; but a home priced too low might leave money on the table.

Make sure your agent is knowledgeable about the local market and what similar homes have recently sold for. This will help you arrive at the right price. Be sure to get answers to any of your questions about the process of pricing your home.

5. Whom will I be working with?

You want to find out if you will be working with one specific real estate agent or a member of the agent’s team. Each scenario has pros and cons for sellers, so ask lots of questions. Different agents work with clients in different ways.

“Having a team of agents makes accommodating showings easier, but specific requests made by the seller can get lost among a big team,” says JoAnn Schwimmer, associate broker and certified relocation professional with DJK Residential in New York City.

6. How much will selling my home cost?

Ask several questions about the costs that you, as the seller, will be paying in the real estate transaction, such as broker’s commissionclosing fees, and anything else, so you can plan accordingly—and compare from one agent to the next. This should all be covered in the listing agreement with the real estate agent.

7. What is your sales plan?

A good agent should have a written plan for selling your home that identifies the marketing plan for your property to attract buyers, from listing services to open houses to social media. A comprehensive plan helps ensure you’ll capture buyer interest.

“Don’t let them just rely on mailers,” says Roberson. She advises using an agent who has the capability to provide professional photography, a custom website, and even video, if appropriate. This will make the best impression on buyers.

“Marketing is the key to a successful sale,” adds Roberson.

8. What should I do to get my house ready?

See what the agents’ advice is for necessary repairs or upgrades or what hacks they might suggest for budget-friendly but impactful improvements that would attract buyers. Find out if they suggest staging services or just a good cleaning and decluttering.

Also, ask questions about whether the agents are willing to accommodate your schedule and what days and times they prefer to show houses.

9. How will we communicate?

If you’re a texter and your real estate agent prefers lengthy phone calls, that could present a problem. Likewise, you might prefer the personal touch of a call over an email. Knowing the method and frequency of communication can be important in selling your home. Your agent should also be available to answer any questions that you have along the way.

10. How long will the process take?

While no agents can guarantee how fast the sale and full real estate transaction will go, they should be able to give a ballpark range on how long it will take to sell your house. The national average is about a month, but it does depend heavily on your local market.

You can find more sales statistics about your neighborhood by entering your ZIP Code into realtor.com/local.


For this and related article, please visit Realtor.com

two movers inside a home loading packed boxes onto a cart
Adobe – Royalty Free

Moving company scams are on the rise. In 2023, customers filed 12% more complaints about moving scams than in the previous year, according to Better Business Bureau and HireAHelper data. While hiring a top-rated moving company can help ensure you won’t fall prey to a scam, raising awareness about moving scams is important for consumer protection. We’ll identify some of the most common moving company scams and give you some tips on how to avoid them.

Key Findings

In 2023, the average victim reported losing $836 to a moving scam.
The mover “no-show” scam accounts for 26% of common moving scams.
Moving scams are most common in Wyoming (1 in every 4,426 moves) and least common in Texas (1 in every 41,410 moves).

Common Moving Scams

Minor property damage or losses don’t necessarily constitute moving fraud. It’s a scam if the moving company is deceptive or makes false promises. Common scams include movers ghosting customers or charging fees that aren’t disclosed in advance. Before booking a mover, prepare yourself by reviewing the most common moving scams below.

No-Show Movers

No-show movers will provide an estimate and ask customers to pay a deposit, but on moving day, they’re nowhere to be seen. Before booking a move, verify that your movers have a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) portal.

Bait and Switch

A bait-and-switch move happens when the moving company gives you an estimate, but after loading all your belongings on their vehicle, they increase the price. They may argue that your possessions weigh more than originally estimated or that additional services are required.

Some moving companies only provide non-binding estimates, which means the price can change based on the weight of your belongings on moving day. Understand the type of moving estimate provided by your moving company and whether it’s binding or non-binding. If available, ask moving companies for a binding written estimate for services.

Hostage Goods

In a hostage goods scam, moving companies refuse to unload your possessions from their vehicle and claim you owe them more money than you originally agreed upon. Reputable companies will provide a written contract containing all agreed-upon fees. Make sure you understand the fine print.

Hidden Fees

Some companies may tack hidden fees onto a move, including fees for extra packing materials, additional insurance, or special handling for certain items. Ask for a list of all possible charges in writing before moving day.

Phantom Weight

Reputable interstate moving companies charge based on the total weight of your possessions. In a phantom weight scam, a moving company claims that your shipment weighs more than it does and charges you higher fees based on this inflated weight. By federal law, you have the right to watch the moving truck being weighed, although you may have to arrange with the company ahead of time to be there for the weighing process.

11 Red Flags To Look For in a Moving Company

The following red flags may indicate a moving company is not above board.

  1. The mover gives an estimate without having seen your goods.
  2. The mover refuses to give you a binding estimate or tells you they can’t determine the final cost until your goods are loaded. Note that some companies only offer non-binding estimates, and this doesn’t indicate a scam in isolation.
  3. The company insists you pay cash or put down a sizable deposit upfront.
  4. You can’t find a legitimate physical business address for the moving company. For example, its address is listed as a P.O. box or residence.
  5. When you call, employees answer the phone without mentioning the company by name.
  6. The company has numerous complaints on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, on online review sites, and in the FMCSA database.
  7. The moving company doesn’t give you its U.S. Department of Transportation number, which may mean it isn’t registered. You can check a company’s licensing status here.
  8. The company cannot provide proof of insurance, including liability and workers’ compensation coverage.
  9. Before a move, the company doesn’t give you a bill of lading, the legally-required contract that serves as your receipt guaranteeing the terms and conditions of your move.
  10. The company fails to give you the legally-required documents Your Rights And Responsibilities When You Move and FMCSA’s Ready to Move brochure.
  11. There’s no way to get updates from the driver during your move with any questions or to stay informed about when your shipment will arrive.

How To Protect Yourself From a Moving Company Scam

There are several important actions you can take before and during a move to protect yourself against scams.

Research the Company

Research local and long-distance moving companies by reading reviews on reputable third-party sites such as BBB and Trustpilot.

If you’re considering a moving company that isn’t well known, take the following steps before entrusting the mover with your belongings:

  • Ensure the company has a physical address (not a P.O. box) and a website.
  • Check its online reputation. Although a company can pad its online presence by soliciting fake reviews, reading reviews across multiple review sites such as Yelp and Google can give you a more reliable view of customer experience.
  • Check licensing. Ask for the company’s USDOT number and ensure it’s officially listed with the FMCSA here.
  • Check for red flags in the company’s complaint and safety history. The BBB is a good place to start. Search the FMCSA database to view the company’s complaint history. Detailed safety records are also available in the FMCSA’s Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) system.
  • Ask to see proof of insurance. Ensure the company has liability and workers’ compensation coverage.

Review Payment Terms

Reputable moving companies don’t require cash payment or a large deposit upfront. Here are a few things to consider before making your first payment:

  • Understand the payment terms: A moving contract could involve a set fee or an hourly or fixed rate. Once you sign the contract, you are legally obligated to pay the amount listed.
  • Read the contract closely: Ensure that additional charges, such as fees for long carries, stairs, or packing materials, are outlined in your moving contract.
  • Review cancellation fees: Understand the company’s cancellation policy and any fees that may apply if your plans change.
  • Avoid cash-only payments: Companies that insist on cash payments could be evading taxes or trying not to leave a paper trail. Consider paying via credit card so that you have the protection of your credit card company in the event of a scam.

According to our February 2024 survey of 1,000 homeowners, 40.3% prioritized affordability when looking for a moving company. However, remember that although budget is important, it should not be the sole deciding factor. If you pick the cheapest option just because it is the cheapest, you may get what you pay for.

Schedule an On-Site Inspection

We recommend working with a moving company that will schedule a pre-move inspection so there are no surprises on moving day.

Your movers will assess your house to identify any obstacles or hazards, such as a broken stair, that may arise during a move—or for any property damage that existed before their arrival. They will examine your possessions to determine if there’s anything that needs to be handled with extra care, such as valuable art or a piano.

A pre-move inspection ensures that the moving company knows how many items you plan to move so they can give you an accurate estimate of how much your move will cost.

Get Everything in Writing

Request the following documents and keep records in the event you need to file a complaint.

Request a written estimate from each moving company you consider that specifies whether it is binding or non-binding. Binding moving estimates guarantee the total cost of your move. Non-binding estimates may change based on the final weight of your belongings or additional services rendered.

What To Do If You Fall Victim to a Moving Company Scam

If you find yourself the victim of a moving scam, act quickly to protect your belongings and seek recourse. Taking prompt action maximizes your chances of a favorable outcome.

  • Gather documentation: Document every aspect of the issue, including any correspondence, receipts, or paperwork you have with the moving company. Save emails and write down the time and date of all phone conversations, including the name of the person you spoke to. This information will support your case if you need to file a complaint.
  • Contact the moving company: Give the moving company the opportunity to rectify the situation. Calmly discuss what went wrong and how you have documented it. Let them know that if the situation isn’t resolved, you’ll file a complaint with the FMCSA and the BBB.
  • File a complaint: If the company is unresponsive or uncooperative, escalate the matter by filing a complaint with the FMCSA and the BBB. The USDOT also has a fraud hotline you can call to report the company. The American Trucking Association (ATA)’s Moving and Storage Conference is another organization that takes complaints. State agencies also take complaints.
  • Involve law enforcement: If your belongings are being held hostage, you may need to involve law enforcement to resolve the issue. Contact your local police department and provide them with the necessary documentation to support your claim.
  • Find an attorney: Legal action may be required to recover your possessions or seek compensation for damages. Consult an attorney specializing in consumer protection or moving industry disputes to explore your legal options.

Our Conclusion

Moving scams are on the rise, but knowing how to identify them can help consumers avoid getting scammed. We recommend requesting multiple estimates, thoroughly researching moving companies, and understanding exactly what’s in your contract to avoid unwelcome surprises on moving day.


For this and related articles, please visit This Old House

Actors perform "The Three Musketeers" at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore., in this 2023 photo provided by the festival.
Actors perform “The Three Musketeers” at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore., in this 2023 photo provided by the festival.

Joe Sofranko / Oregon Shakespeare Festival

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland returns for another season starting on Tuesday. With new leadership and stable financial footing after the COVID-19 pandemic, the theater is ready to welcome back audiences for a full 10-show season.

On a recent day at the Angus Bowmer Theatre, crews prepared for the 2024 season. Large sections of a castle that resemble black stone were tied into the rigging and lifted into the rafters above.

Actor Kevin Kenerly is playing the namesake role in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” the first show opening this season.

Kenerly has performed in every theater at OSF, and knows all of the quirks that actors have to take into consideration when working there. One of those involves making sure actors move around the stage so that everyone is able to see them.

“There’s also a space right about where that little cone is in the center of the stage,” he said, pointing from a small room above the audience seating. “That sounds like a really lovely spot. You stand on it and you speak into the space, but it’s dead. It literally sounds like you’re whispering if you speak from that space.”

Kenerly has been an actor at OSF for 29 years. He stayed because it was easy to learn stagecraft by working with other actors, some of whom had been performing for twice that long.

“We are a unique institution. We are in the middle of nowhere and people fly across the world to come and visit us and buy tickets to the seven to 11 shows we are doing,” he said.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival artistic director Tim Bond at a renaming event for the theater's rehearsal hall in Ashland, Ore., in a 2023 photo provided by the festival.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival artistic director Tim Bond at a renaming event for the theater’s rehearsal hall in Ashland, Ore., in a 2023 photo provided by the festival.

Joe Sofranko / Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Another OSF veteran returned to Ashland for the 2024 season. Artistic director Tim Bond was the associate artistic director at OSF under Libby Appel until 2007. He said the festival’s productions are a balancing act between performing Shakespeare and introducing new plays to the stage.

“It was a company really committed to classics and doing Shakespeare, obviously, and a few new plays,” he said. “But then we really started working on bringing more diverse playwrights, more diverse actors into the company and designers as well.”

Back then, Bond said, the company worked hard to bring in new voices to the theater space. Twenty years ago, he started a successful career development program.

“That brought us many, many administrators, artists and artisans, many of whom are still with us actually on staff, and then many who I’ve met all over the country,” he said.

Bond is hoping to restart that program in 2025, as well as other programs and initiatives that took a backseat during the pandemic. One of those is improving OSF’s community engagement.

The organization’s rocky recovery has threatened Ashland’s tourism economy. Katharine Cato from Travel Ashland said her organization has shifted toward promoting other reasons to visit, including wineries and outdoor recreation. According to a 2021 survey of visitors, more people listed restaurants or outdoor activities as a motivator to visit than OSF.

“It isn’t necessarily healthy to have all our eggs in one basket,” Cato said. “And that, at one time, was OSF. But things broke open during the pandemic.”

OSF is bringing back its business alliance to collaborate on events. It’s also restarting its volunteer programs. Bond said he understands the city and the theater rely on each other to thrive, and that means making sure everyone is involved.

“I have a lot of friends here and a lot of old associates from all the years I was here that I’m reconnecting with,” Bond said. “All of us on staff are very keenly aware of how we can connect and collaborate more with the community.”

In 2023, OSF held emergency fundraisers to raise around $10 million to keep the theater running. Bond said the company is now on more stable financial footing.

It’s had to work on convincing people to return to the theater after being gone for so long. So far, that’s been successful, he said.

“We’re projecting that we’ll be 33% larger in our audiences this season than last year. So far, we’re on track, but we’ve got a long way to go.”

Actors rehearse "Macbeth" before the opening of the 2024 season at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore., in this undated photo provided by OSF.
Actors rehearse “Macbeth” before the opening of the 2024 season at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore., in this undated photo provided by OSF.

Joe Sofranko / Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Bond is excited for this season to bring the theater back to what it once was. He said this is the first year that OSF feels like it was back in 2019.

“It’s really important for people to know that coming in community with others has been taken away from us through the pandemic,” he said. “And the theater is one of the great ways to get that back. And when you get it back, you will realize how much you’ve been missing it.”


For this and related articles, please visit OPB.com