Tag Archive | "buyers"

Location, Location…Condition?

Location, Location…Condition?

You have heard the old real estate adage: The most important thing in real estate is Location, Location, Location. But, is that still the case for buyers? We are seeing an interesting trend in the market with a priority of finding the perfect home in great condition, with a second consideration of location. Buyers are also including many towns in their search. So, towns, areas, and neighborhoods are taking a backseat to condition.

I find this fascinating since my understanding of buyers (after 29 years in real estate) has always been that they decide on the town, and zero in on a neighborhood first, with the home becoming (almost) the secondary concern. In this market, buyers are clearly less forgiving of any home in less than perfect condition. This could simply be a by-product of the shift in leverage over the past few years to their side. So sellers who “wow” buyers with condition and staging may have a leg up.

So, maybe our new mantra should be: Location, location…condition? Let me know what you think.

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real Estate, Westport CT Rentals, Wilton ConnecticutComments Off on Location, Location…Condition?

Stay Away Old Man Winter!

Stay Away Old Man Winter!

We all have clear memories of Old Man Winter rearing his ugly head in January last year and not letting up until March. We hibernated and dealt with the snow that piled up until there was no place to plow it. Understandably, sloppy weather impacts the general pace of the real estate market including homeowners listing their homes and buyers wanting to search. Even after the thaw last year, homeowners delayed listing their homes due to repairs from snow and major icing problems.

This winter season had an early start with the destructive snow storm we had in October 2011, but stalled through the holidays. As we enter February it feels oddly like Spring. We all feel a little more chipper and hopeful. Buyers are very active in the market, and attending open houses in droves. There is a distinct “buzz” in the market and negotiations are taking place.

I hope the sunny, clear weather holds on and we have a mild winter. It will bode well for buyers , sellers and the real estate market. So, stay away Old Man Winter! See you next year!

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Southport Connecticut, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real Estate, Westport CT Rentals, Wilton ConnecticutComments Off on Stay Away Old Man Winter!

Weston Connecticut Real Estate Market Update (Units Sold)

Weston Connecticut Real Estate Market Update (Units Sold)

Even though this blog is dedicated to Westport, I would be remiss by not including some of the market dynamic in the neighboring town of Weston. Weston has an entirely different feel to it from a population size and zoning requirements. It’s a sweet and comfortable small town which has a very tight-knit community as represented by the message from the First Selectman, Gayle Weinstein. “Weston is a community of friends and neighbors dedicated to our families and each other. Weston is committed to quality education in a rural and residental atmostphere.” Needless to say, it’s been a highly desired community for local buyers and buyers looking for more acreage an value.

Let’s delve into what we are seeing from a factual standpoint in the Weston market and target the trend in units sold.

The number of units sold over the past 10 years from January through September in Weston Connecticut:











The general feel from many local agents is that the market in Weston has slowed down considerably. In order to finish out 2011 at the same number of closed units, we would need to close 37 more properties between now and the end of December. Looking at the current bindered and pended units (and allowing for a percentage of fall-throughs), we are likely to finish out the year behind the 2010 unit count.

Even though homes are closing (albeit a slower rate), inventory is building and their are still signs of overpricing by sellers in the market. Buyers are still armed with tons of leverage in the market and are using it to their advantage. Check back in for more posts on details of the Weston Connecticut market.


Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Weston Connecticut Real Estate Market Update (Units Sold)

Fast Spring Market In Westport Connecticut

Fast Spring Market In Westport Connecticut

Despite early predictions, our Spring market in Westport Connecticut has been very active with sold units up over 25.49% from May (Year To Date) 2010. There were 128 closed units versus 102 in 2010. With the winter storms lasting well through the beginning of 2011, we expected the real estate market to be severely impacted compared to 2010. Many sellers withdrew their homes from the market or delayed listing to fix the extensive damage from weather-related issues with roofs, sump pumps and interiors. 61 units were closed by May 2009, and 90 were closed by May 2008. 2007 was one of the strongest Spring markets with 156 closings. So, 128 closings is a respectable start to the year. More interesting market statistics to follow.

Posted in Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Fast Spring Market In Westport Connecticut

Snapshot of Westport CT Real Estate Prices 2007-2011

Snapshot of Westport CT Real Estate Prices 2007-2011

Interesting things are happening with pricing in the Westport Connecticut market. Looking at the numbers since 2000, Westport CT median prices peaked in 2007 at $1,400,000 and started sliding in 2008, down to $1,251,000. 2009 took a toll on the overall market and the median price to $930,000. In 2010, it flattened out at $938,900 and 2011 is showing some signs of life at $1,139,500. Remember, the median is the middle of the market. It simply represents the “mix” in the market. So, in 2011, we are seeing the “mix” increase. The lower end of the market is still moving and  the number of units sold are at 128 versus 102 sold through May 2010. Encouraging news for sellers, however, “right pricing” and perceived value are key to attracting buyers. They are still in drivers seat and there is continued pressure on pricing. Check back in for additional details of the market including average “days on market”, and average list prices.

Posted in Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Snapshot of Westport CT Real Estate Prices 2007-2011

Attention: Buyers, Sellers and Realtors!

Attention: Buyers, Sellers and Realtors!

Our state lawmakers continue to come back to the well to solve the budget problems through anti-housing legislation. They unfairly burden Connecticut buyers and sellers with taxes. Here is the latest challenge that will severely impact the housing market and potentially cripple the real estate industry. We need your action to prevent this bill from being passed.

An alert from the Connecticut Association of Realtors:

The General Assembly is considering ANOTHER increase in real estate conveyance taxes – this time on homebuyers!

Senate Bill 1019 calls for a new, 1% tax on the purchase price of property in excess of $150,000. [$8,500 tax on a $1,000,000 home – due at closing!] Governor Malloy and the General Assembly have already imposed a 50% increase in the conveyance tax on sellers in the budget signed on May 4.

We encourage you to call your state Senator and Representative and tell them that:

  • Real estate conveyance taxes target the few (home buyers) for the benefit of all, regardless of ability to pay.
  • A tax on buyers could put the price of a new home out of reach for first time buyers.
  • Taxing home purchases is contrary to the efforts to improve the economy and create jobs.
  • If economic recovery is truly our goal, Connecticut’s elected leaders should be making it easier for citizens to buy a home, not more difficult.
  • Tell your elected officials to reject new taxes on home and real estate sales!

This bill will be moving to the Office of Legislative Research and Office of Fiscal Analysis, and next week, to the Finance Committee. Connecticut Association of Realtors Leadership agrees that this is a particularly onerous and regressive tax and will forcefully attempt to prevent it from being enacted. 

Don’t hesitate – go to http://www.cga.ct.gov find and contact your elected officials today!

Posted in CT Real EstateComments Off on Attention: Buyers, Sellers and Realtors!

The Buyer, The Seller And……….The Appraiser

The Buyer, The Seller And……….The Appraiser

Think only a buyer and seller need to agree on the sale price of a home? Think again. Due to stricter lender guidelines, appraisals are playing a larger role in our real estate market.

Our market has become so dynamic and as expected, the most appealing, well-priced homes are selling. While there are fluctuations in the market, overall, there is still downward pressure on pricing and the buyers are in the driver’s seat in most price ranges. Another consideration of growing concern for sellers in this market is the appraisal process. With lender requirements tightening, the appraisal has become a focus on many transactions. Appraisals are ordered after contracts have been signed and the lender is reviewing the borrower’s information.

Enter the Appraiser. This is the person that is contracted by the lender to give an “opinion of market value” or what the home would likely sell for on the open market. The appraiser is held to strict ethical guidelines and uses a USPAP form (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice). This detailed report will include condition of the home, location, neighborhood, and comparables selling near the home (usually within one mile) and other variables. They use active, pending properties and sold comparables within the past 90 days, if comparables are available. Appraisers attempt to get the best information from the market. Essentially, they are looking to see how the subject property competes against “comps” in the market. The USPAP form includes a grid with detail and adjustments made to the comparables against the subject property.

The biggest challenges in any real estate transaction occur when the appraisal comes in lower than the sales price. This immediately impacts the buyer’s ability to borrow and what the buyer is willing to pay. An appraisal that does not support the sales price can be another point of negotiation for the buyer. We suggest to some of our sellers to order an appraisal up front so they can see how a typical appraiser would analyze the market value of their home. Appraisals can run between $350-500 or higher, depending on the price range and detail needed. It is money well-spent by a seller to get a handle on what to expect.

So, it’s not just the buyers and the sellers who have to be amenable to the transaction. It’s also the appraiser. Keep this in mind when you enter any real estate transaction.

Posted in Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on The Buyer, The Seller And……….The Appraiser

The Beginning Of The Shift Of Leverage Between Buyers and Sellers in Westport, CT

It’s interesting being on the inside of the real estate market. After 28 years in real estate, I still find it fascinating to look at the day-to-day patterns in an successful real estate office. In 2007, we started to see an increase of listings and mild buyer resistence. Sellers were pushing the upper end of the range for their listings and buyers were showing signs on weariness in overpaying. We starting focusing on making sure our listings were priced in the bottom 25% of the comparables. Since buyers search from the bottom up, it increased the odds of reaching buyers. Buyers began talking about the investment side of the transaction versus the emotional side of buying a home. The word “value” was repeated over and over again by our buyers. All of this resistance contributed to an overall increase in “days on market” or DOM. DOM is a great indicator of the pricing “disagreement” between buyers and sellers, and the gap was widening.
All of this was a new twist for sellers, who for the most part, had the leverage for many years. Many sellers were in shock and some were in denial. They were certain that this “strange” buyer behavior was short-lived, But, buyers had other plans. They began to apply the brakes. The shift was ON.
Check back for more insight on the shift in leverage, and what we call “The Price War and Beauty Contest”. If you were at buyer in 2007-2008, I would love to know what you personally experienced.

Posted in Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on The Beginning Of The Shift Of Leverage Between Buyers and Sellers in Westport, CT

Buying, Selling Or Renting In Fairfield County Connecticut? Contact Us At (203)253-9222

FreshPickedRealEstate.com is known as "Fairfield County CT's Favorite Real Estate Blog". We feature market statistics, community events and interesting happenings in and around lower Fairfield County Connecticut, including Westport, Weston, Wilton, Norwalk, Fairfield and Easton. Look for real estate tips with a focus on "green living" in the area.
Contact me at MelissaBrownRiley@gmail.com or at (203)253-9222 for info on all real estate services, including buying, selling or renting in Fairfield County, Connecticut or in any other county or state through our national network. We also specialize in buying or selling "short sales" and foreclosures.

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According to the National Association of Realtors, 91% of all buyers begin their search on the internet. As a seller, having a definitive online strategy creates a differentiation to maximize your exposure to the right target market. I offer 31 years of real estate experience with a strong technology twist and focus on utilizing Google to attract attention to your listing. Find out how we can create an advantage for you.

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Luxury Rental Listings Are Needed

Fairfield County, including the towns of Westport, Weston, Fairfield, Easton, Wilton and Norwalk are highly desirable towns for rentals.
We are experiencing a lack of quality luxury rental listings in lower Fairfield County. We have tenants looking for rental properties that fit their needs.
We will assist you with establishing the rental value on your home and helping you through rental process. Proper representation is the core of our business and I we zero in on your needs no matter if you are landlord or tenant.

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