Waterbury Vermont 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.

 

 

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

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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.



 

2015

2014

2013

Barre City

76

71

56

Barre Town

99

81

68

Montpelier

64

49

49

U32

48

37

46

Northfield

46

33

34

Waterbury

63

34

37

Total

396

305

290




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