Blog :: 2018

December Market Report--Montpelier, Barre Area Real Estate

The December Market Report is Here! 

AKA: So, How's the Market?


By the Numbers


On the Market (Active)

Sold Last 12 Months

Avg Sale Price

Barre City




Barre Town


















So We Can Help You Even More

In November, several Green Lighters attended the annual conference for the National Association of Realtors.

We took sessions related to getting more exposure for our seller clients, improving client service, increasing the effectiveness of buyer consultations, and of course, marijuana and real estate. Because why not! Six of us attended the conference, taking in dozens of hours of training and education from world-class presenters.



Winter is a Great Time to Buy a Home!


-Many sellers are motivated to strike a deal.

-Escrow can close faster as inspectors and appraisers are easier to schedule.

-There are fewer buyers to compete with.

-You can see the real story behind your new commute. And your new driveway.

Go to and read the full article in our blog.



Green Light Real Estate has 13 core values that we live and work by.

One is “We choose to be happy and not to bring troubles to work.” This ensures that no matter what’s happening in the world, or our worlds, when we work with buyers, sellers, and each other, we choose to be happy.

We don’t let negativity bring us down, and we don’t let setbacks keep us down. That keeps transactions moving forward, and, as importantly, makes it fun to come to work each day!



Market Slice!

How long are homes taking to sell? Different towns tell different stories, but all the information is interesting!



Avg Days on Market 2018

Which was faster than 2017 by:

Barre City



Barre Town












1/1/2017-12/1/2017, and 1/1/2018-12/1/2018

Homes in Montpelier actually took 1% longer in 2018 than 2017, but by just a tiny amount. There, there, it’ll be ok.

Montpelier ArtWalk is Friday 12/7

Montpelier ArtWalk is Friday 12/7

This is one of my favorite things about downtown Montpelier. Montpelier Alive organizes ArtWalk, in which downtown stores and offices ArtWalk Montpelier December 2018(including Green Light Real Estate, of course!) transform their space into art galleries. In years past, we've hosted painters Danny Hendershot and Andrew Wible.

Bird Close CallFor the December ArtWalk in Montpelier, our featured artists are Montpelier photographers Ted Dawson and Paul Contino. They're telling a story of being new to Montpelier, in the context of a year's passage of time.  Photos come in different sizes, and can be purchased. Or, they can simply be enjoyed at the venue.

For more information, here's a link to Montpelier Alive, which organizes the event.

Winter Drone Photo Montpelier, VTWe'll have food and drink, and the artists will be on site to talk about their work or answer questions. The Montpelier ArtWalk is Friday 12/7 from 4:00-8:00. There are 26 venues. The event is free, open to the public, and is appropriate for all ages. 

Give your spirit a bit of a lift tomorrow afternoon, and check out some really talented local artists!

**Bonus** To further uplift your spirit, Green Light Real Estate is raising funds for breast cancer awareness and treatment through the American Cancer Society's "Real Men Wear Pink" campaign. All donations are greatly appreciated, and can be done in person, through the website, or with a phone app. Here's a link to the donation page. And here's a link to additional information about breast cancer.


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    Easy-ish Projects For Even the Least Handy Homeowners

    7 Easy-ish Projects That Even the Least Handy Homeowners Can Do

    As I might not be the least handy homeowner, but I'm in the running. Having said that, here are seven projects that just about anyone can tackle in a weekend with a couple simple tools, a bit of creativity, and a few hours.

    I'm grinning as I'm writing this, thinking about the removable wallpaper for accent walls!

    Here's the link to the whole article, from but if you don't have 45 seconds to read that short article, here's a summary. Yes, a summary of a 45 second article.

    1. Update your kitchen backsplash.

    2. Install a smart thermostat.

    3. Create an accent wall with removable wallpaper.

    4. Create extra storage.

    5. Give hardware and fixtures a fresh look.

    6. Swap out your showerhead.

    7. Wait for it...Apply a fresh coat of paint.

    Maybe I'll see you at Allen Lumber, Aubuchon, or Nelson Ace Hardware soon...


    Four Reasons Why Winter is the Perfect Time to Buy a Home in Vermont

    Four Reasons Why Winter is the Perfect Time to Buy a Home in Vermont

    We've all heard it. "No one buys a home in Vermont in the winter." Well, then apparently we've all heard things that aren't true. I believe Kellyanne Conway has a term for that sort of thing, but that's a different topic altogether!

    First, the facts. From December 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018 (so, last winter), 51 homes went under contract in Washington County. 51 homes sold in Vermont in winter 2017That means that 51 buyers and sellers got together with a contract and said, "Yep, we've got a deal." I want to make a fine point here--that's not 51 sales. Those properties would have closed a month or two later, after the close of escrow. But buyers and sellers came together to reach agreement in winter. (And, anecdotally, Green Light Real Estate just put one seller client in contract  in Duxbury on 11/27/18, and one buyer client into contract in Montpelier on 11/28/18. 2017 wasn't some weird flukey winter.)

    Granted, spring and summer are busier. But if you were one of those 51 buyers, you were psyched. Same as if you were one of those 51 sellers! Psyched.

    Now, the four reasons why winter is the perfect time to buy a home in Vermont


    1. Motivated Sellers. Some sellers are actually more motivated to strike a deal in the winter. It can start to feel like a real drag with heating, plowing, and maintaining a home in the winter. Especially if the seller doesn't want to be there or the house is vacant. Someone selling a home in Vermont can do some quick calculations as to what it costs to carry the house each month, and that caBuying a home in winter in Vermont with less competitionn be motivating!

    2. Less Competition. All those other buyers who think that no one buys in the winter may have removed themselves from the game. Fewer buyers means less competition, which again can lead to lower sales prices or some other concessions that a seller might make to entice a buyer.



    3. Faster Closing. With fewer transactions working through the system, lenders, inspectors, and appraisers tend to have more time on Can Close Faster Buying a Home in Vermont in Wintertheir hands. Where it might have taken two weeks to get an inspection in June, it might only take three or four days in December. Same with appraisals. In the summer, it can take three weeks for an appraiser to get to the house, and another week or two to get the report to the lender. When there's a litttle more wiggle room in the calendar, that can take much less time. Which means that it's realistic to actually close on your Vermont home in less time!


    4. Getting the Real Story. Seeing a house in the winter might show you the house at its worst. The driveway, the walkway, the road up to Buying a house in winter in Vermontthe house. In May when everything is warm and dry, that perfect home at the top of the hill looks dreamy. Covered in snow, it might look a little different. It can be helpful to at least think about that. True story: My wife and I made an offer on the house we live in now at the open house in May. Turns out the road had just beeng graded. We didn't think anything of it. After that first winter and mud season, we realized we needed to get rid of the two wheel drive car and get four wheel drive. 

    Check out this video that I took a couple years ago going down our road in Middlesex in Mud Season. If we had looked at the house in March, we may not have bought it. But we're 100% glad that we did buy it!


    And yes, we would have bought the house anyway, cuz it's awesome and we loved it . But we maybe would have had one less surprise!


    There you go, four reasons why it's ok, and perhaps advantageous to buy your home in Vermont in the winter.


    For more information, details about properties currently on the market, or those coming onto the market soon in Montpelier, Barre, Northfield, or other towns, call or email.




    Three Things Your Listing Agent Should NOT Do


    Three Things Your Listing Agent Better Not Do

    Ray Mikus, Green Light Real Estate


    Actually there are more than three things a good listing agent won’t do. That number approaches infinity, but we’ve got to stop somewhere. Three sounds right.


    1. Use the wrong comparables. Seriously, you just can’t value a property correctly in Barre or Montpelier, if you’re using comparable sales from a different town. I will argue that the school district is the defining geography. Meaning, I’ll give homes that have sold in East Montpelier, Middlesex, Worcester, Berlin, and Calais a wider berth. They’re all in the U32 school district.


    But I’d be hard pressed to use a house from Barre or Plainfield or Northfield or Moretown even though geographically they’re right next door to those U32 towns.





    That’s where having a listing agent who knows the area and works it consistently is at an advantage. Someone who lists primarily in Burlington is just not going to have the personal or institutional knowledge of homes for sale in Montpelier or Barre. I know that’s gonna make some people upset, and I’m ok with that.


    And while we're at it, no fair using an online valuation. Just because Zillow, CRS, or says your house is worth $200,000 doesn't mean that it is. What if it's $208,000? $8000 is real money to most people. Plus, a buyer's going to have an appraisal anyway, and it sure is comforting to know that a person has already done valuation methodology similar to that of an appraiser.


    2. Skip the brokers caravan. This is one of the arrows in a listing agent’s quiver. Once a month, the new listings in some towns Montpelier and Barre Brokers Caravan(that would be new listings in Barre City, Barre Town, Montpelier, Berlin, and East Montpelier) are eligible for the brokers caravan.


    On said caravan, new listings are toured, quickly, one right after the other. Picture a dozen or so brokers and agents driving from one property to the next for previews. Hence, “caravan”. It’s a fantastic opportunity for local agents to see a ton of the inventory, and then be able to go back to our qualified buyers and tell them what we saw. Because as great as the internet is, there’s no substitute for a person going into a house and describing what it’s like.


    I can’t tell you how many times one of our Green Light Real Estate agents comes back to the car and says, “Oh, the Ryansons have GOT to see this one, I don’t care if it’s on their list or not, it’s exactly what they want!” That means it’s a huge benefit for the sellers of that property. Who knows when or if the Ryansons would have ever even considered the house. But now maybe there’s a showing. And maybe an offer. And maybe a sale. See how that works?


    So if your listing agent has a reason for not getting that exposure to buyers agents and to buyers, throw the flag. Yes. It does take some work. And yes, the listing agent has to go on the caravan, which means they have to be nice to people. Working hard and being nice are good traits to look for when selecting a listing agent in Montpelier or Barre (or anywhere).


    3. Only ever rock the iPhone for their photos. That smart phone can take good photos. But can it take great photos? And is the photographer a professional. Our listing agents at Green Light Real Estate are good at lots of things. They’re great at a few things. But professional photographers have the skills, eye, technique, and equipment behind the lens to make your property look that much better.

    In a world where you can have great photos, you should. Check out the photos of different listings. Do you see dark photos? Crooked or out of focus photos?My other favorites are the ones where the agent is in mirror, and the one where the car’s rear view mirror is visible on an exterior shot. It’s true. It is difficult to get out of the car to take a photo. Now, to be fair, sometimes the houses just don’t photograph well. In those cases, even the best photographer is going to be hard pressed to alter reality.


    If your house is one of those, then you’ll love Bonus #4!


    4. Don’t give sellers any advice. As top listing agents in Montpelier and Barre, we have to give people advice. We have to tell them things they don’t want to hear. Clean your place, get an inspection, put some money into repairs, hire a cleaner. We’re not going to be rude, but we have to be honest. You wouldn’t go to a mechanic that tells you your car is fine, it’s unique, and then they don’t know why it breaks down in three weeks. Or an accountant who tells you you’re doing everything great, just keep doing it...until you get audited.


    You want someone who’s going to tell you what they think is needed to sell your house at the best price and in the shortest time. That’s it in a nutshell.


    There you go. Three plus one things to make sure your listing agent doesn’t do when you’re selling your home in Montpelier or Barre.


    Call, text, or email to connect with a top agent who can help you make a strategy for selling your home. Even if you’re a year or two away from selling, the sooner you get good advice, the happier you’ll be!


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      For Investors: Run the Numbers On Your Flip!


      Flipping Houses? Know Your Numbers!

      We regularly get calls and emails from real estate investors who are looking to flip houses. And what a great idea that is. The trick is to buy at the right price and in the right location.


      In 2018, our office has worked with several investors who are flipping houses. Our investor clients range from those who only want to do one a year to those that are pushing through several homes each year.  Before


      When you’re thinking of flipping a house, there are a few big numbers you have to have a good handle on. We advise our clients to do some backward thinking. If you want to make $30,000 profit on a house, then add that to the estimate of the renovations. You’ll want to have a good handle on the after repair value (ARV). Then, it’s a matter of subtracting the renovation cost and the desired profit from the ARV to come up with a maximum purchase price.


      As an example, if the ARV of a property is $225,000, and it’s going to take $30,000 in renovation then you have your starting point. If you want to make $25,000 in profit, then your maximum offer would be $225,000-$30,000-$25,000 = $170,000.


      Except you need to factor in your carrying costs, acquisition costs, and divesting costs.


      AfterNone of those numbers are frighteningly difficult to figure out, but they do need to be figured out.







      Acquisition costs include:

      Attorney fees

      Loan fees

      Prepaid insurance and taxes

      Property transfer tax


      And more

      Of course, if you’re paying cash, you can avoid loan fees, possibly appraisal fees, and even some of the prepaids.


      Divesting costs include:

      Realtor fees

      Post-inspection repairs/concessions

      Attorney fees


      Carrying costs include:


      Property taxes







      So, if you want to get into or get deeper into flipping houses just make sure you’ve got all the numbers.  Let us know what types of property float your boat, and we’ll keep our eyes open for you. And, if you’ve already run your numbers, maybe it’ll be helpful to get a professional second opinion.


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        Quick Tip! Get a (Cheap and Easy) Radon Test

        If you're selling your house, here's a way to help maintain some sanity: Get a radon test done.

        Most buyers are doing the testing as part of their property inspection due diligence. But you can make things WAY easier for yourself by doing it first.

        The biggest issue is that the test that a buyer does requires doors and windows to be kept closed for 3-5 days (except normal comings and goings). That's fine in January. But in the summer? Ugh.

        So what happens is that inspection time frames get pushed out to wait for an out of town trip or for a cold spell. Closing dates get pushed out, negotiations get stalled, and people get stressed. Who has time for all of that?

        But wait! at Green Light Real Estate we always try to make things as smooth and easy and stress free!

        You can get a radon test kit from the state and do your own test. It takes a few days, and you don't have to keep the windows closed. You can do it right now, before you have an offer. The state offers three different tests, with different testing periods, and at different costs. At the time of this writing, the 2-7 day test was $50, and the longer term tests were $25. Pretty cheap. Here's a link to the order form from the state. Radon is about halfway down the form.

        Besides preventing your family from melting in the summer heat, getting the radon test before an offer will give you more information for negotiating. If you know your house has high radon, then plan on a mitigation system being part of the negotiation, Those start around $1600, and go up from there depending on the circumstances. Getting that curveball at the end of negotiation is no fun. (But don't worry, if you need to mitigate, just call or email and we can hook you up with a couple contractors who get the job done at a fair price.)

        And if we can show the buyer that your house has been tested and it's clean, then, that's even better!

        Seriously, if there's anything that can be done to make the selling (and buying) process easier, more transparent, more predictable, or just plain better, at Green Light Real Estate, we want to do it. Call, text, or email for more info.


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