Selling Your Home in the Litchfield Hills

Are you thinking of selling your home in the Greater New Milford, CT area? Pricing your home to sell is STILL key!Selling your house I heard something a few months ago that has stuck with me ever since. An agent offered an explanation of a significant price increase on a listing to another. The home owner was an elderly gentleman who instructed the agent to raise the asking price because the Wall Street Journal had said the economy is improving.

Certainly the sales in the area indicate a still declining market, and in this particular instance, the demand has been even lower than the average demand in the area. Apparently explanations to the homeowner fell on deaf ears. The Wall Street Journal said so. We can shake our heads, we can disagree, we can wonder what on earth what this gentleman was thinking. But... in the end, it is up to the home owner to decide pricing.

Look at what has sold and what is you current competition. Look at how long homes are sitting on the market. Sales are still down in the greater New Milford, Connecticut area. If homes sold are rising a bit month by month, the values are still down. It is a very fragile and very volatile market. We are looking at rising short sales and foreclosures. The experts are warning of a shadow inventory, and I am seeing signs this is indeed of concern to us. Many foreclosures have been stalled within the court systems here in CT because of rulings on the validity of MERS to transfer mortgages. And now, Connecticut has added an automatic 6 month delay on foreclosures!

Raising the asking price on your home or over-pricing your home will ensure a sale, however it will be a sale on another home that is well priced considering location, condition of the home and market conditions! It will not sell your home.

In such a turbulent real estate market, what should you do to try and get your house sold?

  • Price according to location
  • Price according to condition
  • Price according to the local market
  • Clean it up
  • Spruce it up
  • Make it available for showings

Make sure the Realtor that you pick is using all available marketing tools to get your home out to the widest audience possible. As you clean up your house and get it ready for showings, your agent needs to make sure the marketing they are doing is cleaned up, spruced up and hitting the widest group of people possible.

For more information on what I can do for you to get your house sold in the Greater New Milford, Connecticut area, call me at 203.460.1775 or send me an email. We can discuss my detailed marketing plan that reaches the widest range of people in the shortest amount of time, highlighting your home in the best light possible.

Price Your Home Accordingly

Price is accordingly, it should be the new catch phrase.  Yes, there are a glut of homes that aren't moving. However there are homes that are moving, homes that are well priced are being sold. What does that mean? 

Well priced considering condition. If your find a home that sold that is very similar in many ways to your except one, condition, you need to price your home accordingly. If you are in better shape, you have done recent upgrades, you are clean, neat, ready to move in, you are on top of the heap. If you home requires work you need to be priced lower. Take for instance you know you need a new roof. You know what that is going to cost. What is your best option? Price it accordingly if you can't replace the roof yourself.  Price it accordingly if you can't put in that new septic.

Well priced considering location. Are you on a busy road? Is there a half mile long dirt driveway to your house? Is your driveway steep up or down? These affect the pricing of your home too. You must consider these when pricing your home to sell. Finding the right buyer can be hampered by a severely compromised driveway, however pricing accordingly can help to get that offer.

Well priced all the way around. Take a good long look at the comparable homes that have sold. It is very difficult to be objective about something we not only have so many memories tied into, but debt certainly plays a part in our ideas about what a house should sell for. Debts are never to be considered in the pricing of your home. A buyer is not going to care what your mortgage obligation is, or what your credit card obligation is. An appraiser will certainly not take your debt into consideration when giving an opinion of value to your home.

My strongest advice on pricing your home these days? You guessed it. Price it accordingly!

Time To Sell, What Do I Do?

In this real estate market you have to offer the buyer a reason to see your home, and then to like your home well enough to make that coveted offer. Just being on the market is not going to get the job done. Here is a quick checklist if you are at that point.
  • Curb appeal. It all starts here. When a prospective buyer pulls up to your home, what are they going to see? Discarded items in the bushes, branches all over the yard, large areas of dead grass? I hope not. Set flowers by the entryway, clean up the yard, mow the lawn, paint the front door and garage doors if necessary. If you can't get them past the outside and in the front door, you can't sell them the house.
  • The Entrance. Make sure when a prospective buyer walks through the front door they see clean, they see fresh paint if needed, make sure there are no strange odors emanating from you house!
  • De-clutter. You must de-clutter and organize. What you have become accustomed to living with may really turn off a potential buyer. Keep items off the floors and counters. Keep your closets organized, if they can't see the closet for the junk accumulated in it, they will think you don't have enough storage space in the home for their own "stuff".
  • De-personalize. That wall that has the 50 portrait pictures of your family will do 2 things. It will highlight to the buyer that there will be 50 holes in the wall to repair, and it will distract them from really looking at the house. They will be too busy looking at the photos, and they will see YOUR family in the home, not theirs.
  • Clean. I can't stress this enough, the house MUST be kept clean. Clean floors, clean windows, clean tile and grout, clean towels in the bathrooms, clean all the way around.
  • Paint. Does your home need a fresh coat of paint? Probably. This could make all the difference in the world. That orange color that you just had to have in the dining room may just kill the deal.
  • Call a professional stager. It really is a monumental task to assess the situation when you are so close to it. If you find that you are overwhelmed, perhaps you need to contact a professional stager to help you reorganize, re think design, get it ready for sale.
Price it right. This is a BUYERS market. In order to sell your home needs to be priced to reflect a realistic selling price. Adding $50,000 for "negotiating room" will discourage prospective buyers from even looking at your property.

Be realistic, reasonable, and listen to what your Realtor is telling you!If you are ready to make that move, contact a real estate professional. They will guide you through the process. If you owe more than it is currently worth, there are options available to you. Make sure you let your Realtor know in the first meeting that this is the case.

If you are thinking about selling your home, give me a call at 203.460.1775 or drop me an email. I would be happy to discuss your options.


c Andrea Swiedler 2009-2011


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Sellers, Inquire Here

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