northfield real estate market

5 Ways to Prepare for your Home Sale

5 Ways to Prepare for your Home Sale

(all under $1000!)



If you’ve got a year or two before you’re selling your house in Vermont, then go ahead and tackle some bigger projects. Update the countertops, redo the old carpeting, paint the exterior, etc. But for this post, we’re talking about things that you can do pretty quickly, and for not a whole lot of money. 

(Author’s note: This was written to people selling houses. But items 2-5 apply to homeowners as well, and you’ve probably already done the first item. These will help you enjoy your home, keep it ready for resale, and allow you to look past some relatively inexpensive cures when buying your home in Vermont.)


The truth is that it almost always costs a little money to get your house in top form for a quick, best -sale (bonus: these tips will help your escrow close more smoothly, meaning less stress, less uncertainty, and less “yuck” factor.)


1. Get a professional home inspection, including a radon test, (and, if you’re on well and/or septic), get the water tested and the septic tank pumped and inspected. Who knows what you’ll find on that report. Maybe nothing. Maybe your house is like one of those people who exercises all the time, has great genes, and eats a plant-based diet. Kind of annoyingly perfect.


If that’s the case, then we’d have documentation from a third party to back that up. Sometimes the report itself is enough to give a buyer peace of mind.


But more often, things will come up. Usually little things. Usually things that if you really think about it you might have thought needed to be addressed anyway. Then, here’s the fun part, you just get those things fixed and updated. It’s as easy as that!


2. Clean the H out of your house. I mean EVERYTHING. Dust the baseboards, clean the oven (there’s a button for that on the oven, so that’s not really that hard…), get rid of the cobwebs in the basement, mop the floors. Everything. And then keep it spotless. 


If you’re like many people, cleaning your house isn’t your favorite thing. Hire a cleaner. Simply getting some help once a week or every couple of weeks will make a humongous difference. Between cleanings, it’ll be a lot easier to spot clean or pick things up before showings


Plus, you’ll probably really like not having to wipe down a bathtub. And your house will look awesome.


3. Paint the interior. Ok, maybe you don’t need to paint every room. But if it’s been two or three years since a room or hallway has been painted, just do it. It’s stunning the difference that a coat of paint (yes, it may take only one coat, if you’re not changing colors) makes.


Painting is one of those homeowner skills that seems easy. Be honest with yourself. If you stink at painting, or your edges look like the silhouette of a mountain range (you know who you are!), get a professional. True, that’ll cost more than $1000, but it’s worth it.


And on paint...color trends change over time. Light is always a good choice. White is always a good choice. Stay away from the dark greens and dark reds that were popular in the 1990s and early 2000s. And please stay away from pastels. If white walls are boring to you, pick one wall in a room as an accent with a more fun color. But, honestly, you can liven up a room with a colorful print or painting just as easily, and you’ll be much less likely to hear a buyer say, “I just don’t know about that color!”


4. Update your lighting. Again, fashions and styles change. If it’s been 10 years since you have changed light fixtures, you now have permission to change them. This isn’t the place to be super cheap (says a guy who’s been called cheap before. ) Yes, I know you can buy a $10 ceiling fixture from a hardware store. But don’t. I mean, if that’s truly all your budget allows, then do it. You’ll be able to find stylish fixtures for $40-$50, or more.


As an exception--if your house is older and has older (but cool) lights, keep them. Here I’m talking the 1930 Craftsman lights or period wall sconces.


Chrome and brushed nickel are popular now. Rubbed bronze, brass, and gold look dated. Track lighting works, but not the ones from 1980. Your Green Light Real Estate agent can give you honest advice on what looks good and what needs updating. We also work with interior designers and stagers whose ideas and visions will blow you away! 


And while you’re at it, spend another $100 and replace any switches, outlets, and cover plates that are old or dirty. Plain white ones from the hardware store work just fine here.


5. Tie up any loose ends around your house. Just about everyone has a list in their head containing repair or updates they’ve always wanted to do, or projects that need to be finished. NOW is the time to do that. 


That might mean hiring a contractor or a handy person. Maybe you took the project as far as you could go, and then realized you were a tiny bit in over your head. (I’m looking at you, baseboards that didn’t get coped, but instead only butt jointed). 


Common things to fix include loose caulk, cracked tiles, dangling wires, stains on carpet, unpainted patch jobs, etc. Usually these are little things. But we’re all busy. While it might take a contractor a couple hours to finish, it might take you a full day. Which means Saturday. Which means you miss a day with your family or hanging with your friends. Which feels REALLY expensive. 


So, commit to doing it, or commit to getting someone to do it. Either way, that “to do list” needs to get done.


Taking on these five relatively inexpensive repairs and improvements will reap huge rewards when you sell your home in Vermont. Routinely, we see that homes with few inspection concerns, updated lighting and paint, no deferred-maintenance, and that are super clean sell faster. They sell for higher prices. And they are much more of a “sure thing” when they get into contract. 


For more information or, for a personalized pre-selling walk through with a real estate professional, call, text, or email Green Light Real Estate, right here in Montpelier.



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.

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...


645 North Main in Northfield, VT. Beautiful 4 Bedroom Home for Sale

  • By
  • Posted

645 North Main in Northfield is a great combination of old and new, and really, one of the best and most pleasantly surprising backyards in town.

The classic New England construction has three bedrooms on the second floor, along with a full bathroom. The first floor has warm hardwood floors, a formal dining room, bright living room, and the fourth bedroom. There's also a 3/4 bathroom on the first floor.

Lots of fun spaces in this house, and lots of flexibility. From the back of the house, as you pass through the mudroom, there's an office / flex room. Could be used as a guest suite, a home office, play room, and more. Upstairs, there's another office space. It's currently being used as Jeff's closet!

Nice-sized, eat-in kitchen, separated between the hang out area and the work area. The work area is tastefully tucked into what was the butler's pantry (butler not included) and includes a new microwave and a new dishwasher.

You'd never expect to see the backyard that's here, though. Professionally landscaped with stone walkways, a patio, ornamental trees, a fire pit, and fencing. Many friends and families will personally attest to the fun and festivities of a "Le Jardin" party.

Need storage? How about a big barn. Yes. A barn. In town. Two floors of storage / man cave / she shed (I believe you can figure what a She Shed is). Add a little finishing touches and make this into a great studio or artist space. Be creative!

645 North Main in Northfield is convenient to Norwich University, the Northfield Common, and a quick drive to Montpelier or 89. 


How's the Market? July 2016 Market Report

  • By
  • Posted

Real Estate Market Report for Montpelier, Barre, Northfield, U32

Green Light Real Estate


On the Market

Sold Last 12 Months

Currently Under Deposit

Barre City




Barre Town





















This is good staging. People smile when they walk into a house like this.


This is bad staging. It just is.

This Central Vermont market is giving all signs of a strong sellers’ market. With an inventory ranging from 3.6 months in Montpelier to 10.9 months in Barre City we see that homes in some markets tend to move faster than in others.



Buyers--be ready to move fast and make strong offers.

Sellers--Price right, and solve any problems beforehand. Everyone will be happy.


Quick Facts--Washington County

Average Days on Market 142 Days

Average List Price: $224,737

Average Sale Price: $215,033


Welcome to the Team!

Lindsay 2016 resized 1.jpg

Lindsay Ericson has joined Green Light Real Estate as a Buyer Specialist.


Lindsay has years of experience in financial services and management in Florida and Vermont, and is already getting great reviews from her buyer clients.


“Thanks for working hard for us. I’ve bought two houses in the past, sold one, and I haven’t had a Realtor work this hard before.   I appreciate it.”


We do too! Lindsay joins Brian Steinmetz, Marina Carleton, and Ray Mikus, along with Administrative Assistant Maria Lamberti.

Well, Vermont had to be in at least one category with Montana and Wyoming…(Source: National Association of Realtors)


Congratulations to all our buyers who took advantage of our May and June promotion. Several savvy buyers got $500 from Green Light Real Estate to pay for some of their closing costs.


And, a shout out to Wanda at Academy Mortgage, for matching our promotion with an additional $500 for buyers working with Academy.

The Crystal Ball: We get a lot of calls from people who don’t want to sell their homes.


Yet. It’s really smart to think ahead. If you're thinking that next year is the year, talk with a Realtor, make a plan, get some numbers and put yourself in a great position to sell for the best price NEXT year.


We can help with inspection items, appraisal issues, improvements, and staging. Give yourself all the advantages!

Call, text, email, or just stop into our office to find out how much your house is worth.


Or to have a FREE consultation and make a strategy for finding, and BUYING your new home.


Get a plan. Get a house. Pretty simple.

Green Light Real Estate is locally owned. We don’t have headquarters in Texas, New Jersey, or Connecticut. Um, actually, we don’t have headquarters. But you can stop into our office on State Street.


Our core values include being creative, intelligent, fun, and energetic. We’re open minded and love trying new ideas.

2015 Real Estate--Year in Review Montpelier, Barre, Northfield, Waterbury Vermont

  • By
  • Posted

2015 Real Estate Year in Review

Montpelier, Barre, U32, Waterbury, Northfield

Number of Sales

Looking at the table below, it’s pretty darn easy to see the clear overall increase in number of sales. Every town in the survey had increases from 2014 to 2015. Some towns (Barre City) had smaller increases, and other towns (holy cow--Waterbury!!) had big increases.





Barre City




Barre Town
























Selling? Looking for advice on getting your house ready for sale? Call, text or email. All our advice is FREE!

Average Sale Price

The average sale prices have been more of a mixed bag, with the majority of towns posting small decreases. Barre City is on a two year slide, but that’s not going to last long. The number of sales will bolster those prices soon enough!

Taken as an average across the market, prices are remarkably stable. Weighted average sale prices inched up from $203,000 to $205,000. Nothing terribly exciting, although we would generally like to see a little more appreciation.

This Year and Next Year

We’re proud of how many buyers and sellers trusted us to do the job this year.  In 2015, Green Light Real Estate had 72 sales, and sold just over $14 million in real estate. That’s a lot of property, and with everyone here already hitting the ground running early in 2016, we expect both of those numbers to increase substantially this year.


Days on the Market

One metric that’s informative is the Days on the Market (DOM). In four of the six market towns in this report, the days on the market went down. That means that houses sold faster in 2015 than in previous years.

Unfortunately, the stories we’ve heard about houses in other parts of the country selling in one or two days just don’t happen here very often. Over the past three years in Central Vermont, it’s taken, on average, almost four months for a house to sell.

Buying? Ask us about a FREE comprehensive market overview. We’ll help with the inventory, the process, the numbers, the whole thing!

Sales by Month

This is one of the most interesting stories. Over the past three years, there appears to be a pretty clear trend. Sales start increasing rapidly in April and May, then they dip a bit, and then spike again in August. The highest numbers of sales have been in August.

That’s interesting to us here at Green Light Real Estate, especially in thinking about what that means. Those April sales are from contracts that were signed in February. And those February buyers were looking in January and February. So, many of those “spring buyers” that we hear about are actually winter buyers!

If you have questions, or if there’s anything that we can help with, call, email, or text.

Check us out on Facebook, visit our website, read customer reviews on Zillow and Trulia, or stop by our office on State Street in Montpelier. And, if you’re thinking of buying or selling, keep us in mind!

Ray Mikus, Broker/Owner

Brian Steinmetz, Realtor

Marina Carleton, Realtor

Maria Lamberti, Administrative Assistant



  • By
  • Posted

Snapshot: Come on, are there really 115 houses for sale in Barre City? And with 82 sales over the past 12 months (which is a lot of sales), that’s 15 months worth of inventory. If you’re a buyer, you know you can get a great house at a good price. If you’re a seller, you know that you got that great house at a good price when you bought it. And people are buying. Of the eleven houses under deposit, Green Light Real Estate has three of them. Not a bad market share…


Active New March 2015 Under Contract Closed March 2015 Closed Last 12 Months
Barre City 115 16 11 3 82
Barre Town 62 15 13 9 97
Montpelier 54 12 8 8 75
U32 48 7 10 1 70
Northfield 60 5 8 5 45
339 55 50 26 369

Sale Price: Well, nothing super exciting, except a nice, steady, 3.5% increase in average sale price across the market here in Central Vermont. That’s fine with us. We’ll seek our excitement elsewhere.

March 13-March 14March 14- March 15% ChangeBarre CityBarre TownMontpelierU32NorthfieldAverage

$125,135 $120,802 -3.46%
$191,596 $182,029 -4.99%
$218,956 $233,125 6.47%
$222,454 $248,273 11.61%
$157,569 $169,811 7.77%
$182,528 $188,915 3.50%

Tech Edge Conference:

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) hosted this conference at the end of March in Burlington. It was a day of national speakers, thought leaders, and local and national experts in both real estate and technology. Every member of Green Light Real Estate attended, and we came away with great ideas, exciting apps, and even more energy.

A lot can change in a few weeks. We went from cold and covered in snow to snow and covered with mud. There are a couple of fun videos of mud season driving on our YouTube channel and our Facebook page, if you’re into that sort of thing.

We’re excited to introduce two new Green Light Real Estate agents--Brian and Marina

Brian Steinmetz has joined Green Light Real Estate as an agent, and we are psyched! His background in video and photography are major assets to our clients, plus he tells good jokes. Brian and his wife, Nikki, live in Montpelier with their two year-old daughter, Zara.

And, honestly, if you’re looking for a motivated real estate agent, it’s tough to beat the one with a two year-old daughter.

Marina Carleton has joined Green Light Real Estate as an agent, and it’s about time. Marina has a world of diverse experiences. What makes her a great real estate agent are the same things that made her great at everything else--she listens, asks questions, is reflective, and cares.

And you know how sometimes you want someone on your side who just kind of “gets it”? Where it’s direct, and there’s no BS? That’s Marina.


Trending in Montpelier/Barre Real Estate

Homes are starting to sell FAST. As in, lasting only a couple days on the market in some 

cases. This isn’t happening all of the time, but there is a growing population of buyers who are making quick decisions, trying to beat other buyers to get the house they want. TIP:  Get pre-approved, and then get looking at houses. Don’t wait two weeks to set up the second showing.

Escrow times are starting to get a little slower. Yeah, so there’s the rush and excitement of the offer and the negotiation. And then things slow down. Inspectors and appraisers are getting booked 7-10 days out. Make sure you have a realistic time frame for getting the inspection done, and for scheduling the actual closing. Hmmm...this seems like something that a good Realtor would be able to help with…

Sellers are making their houses even easier to buy than ever. They’re getting estimates on bigger projects (and sharing the estimates with buyers). They’re going through appraisal guidelines to make sure there that all the small repairs are done, and buyers will be able to get their loan. Yes, interesting side note--the house has to meet value, but for most loans, it also has to meet a number of safety / repair / finish standards.

March Sales--You Know You're Curious!

TownAddressOriginal ListFinal ListFinal to OriginalSelling PriceSale to Final ListDOM

Barre City 26 Berlin Street 129,900 $89,900 69% 74,000 82% 459
Barre City 36 Berlin Street 107,560 $20,000 19% 20,000 100% 499
Barre City 20 Garfield Ave 114,500 $89,900 79% 76,000 85% 272
Barre Town 26 Meadowcrest Lane 165,000 $149,000 90% 134,400 90% 117
Barre Town 38 Middle Road 175,000 $175,000 100% 167,144 96% 113
Barre Town 91 Waterman Street 189,900 $189,900 100% 176,000 93% 28
Barre Town 349 East Montpelier Road 193,000 $193,000 100% 187,000 97% 148
Barre Town 64 Miller Road Extension 225,000 $225,000 100% 215,000 96% 18
Barre Town 303 Camp Street 275,000 $250,000 91% 238,000 95% 111
Barre Town Lot #2 Cummings Road 289,900 $289,900 100% 381,573 132% 172
Barre Town 311 Beckley Hill Road 335,000 $319,000 95% 300,000 94% 151
Barre Town 40 Phelps Road 330,000 $319,900 97% 300,000 94% 217
Montpelier 77 Hill Street 174,000 $165,000 95% 155,000 94% 126
Montpelier 9 Pearl Street 185,000 $174,700 94% 160,000 92% 106
Montpelier 179 River Street 225,000 $225,000 100% 208,000 92% 187
Montpelier 64 Terrace Street 269,000 $269,000 100% 270,000 100% 7
Montpelier 2 North Park Drive 352,000 $297,000 84% 295,500 99% 631
Montpelier 2 Summer Street 471,500 $359,000 76% 340,000 95% 668
Montpelier 56 Independence Green 155,000 $155,000 100% 152,500 98% 14
Montpelier 330 Cityside Drive #74 320,000 $320,000 100% 280,000 88% 39
Berlin 99 Hideaway Drive #16 239,800 $230,000 96% 220,000 96% 879
Northfield 1257 Route 12 89,900 $27,000 30% 21,000 78% 895
Northfield 390 Dickinson Drive 149,900 $85,500 57% 79,200 93% 958
Northfield 1677 Hallstrom Road *Entry Only 284,000 $284,000 100% 284,000 100% 123
Northfield 334 Vine Street 242,000 $242,000 100% 236,600 98% 358
Northfield 3839 Steele Hill Road 61,500 $55,000 89% 52,000 95% 49