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      Blog :: 06-2018

      Don't Be Like the Watergate Hotel


      Don't Be Like the Watergate Hotel

      At Green Light Real Estate, we’re always telling people that there’s no such thing as a perfect house. Something almost always comes up during an inspection. But this one is kind of ridiculous.


      My family recently took a long weekend in Washington, D.C. Here’s a picture of part of the Watergate Hotel there (yes, THAT Watergate hotel, where, out of desperation, I broke down and spent $15 on an order of chicken tenders for the kids.)

      The hotel was beautiful, modern, sparkling clean, and very well--staffed. It’s a top notch hotel in an expensive city. And I admit it, the tenders were good.


      But...it looks like they should have had one of us come over and do a “Green Light Red Flag Walkthrough” Check out that dangling electrical outlet! (Who needs electricians when you have plumbers...) We spot things like this for our buyer and seller clients so they don’t become problems during the negotiation.


      I know, I know...I was supposed to be on vacation.


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        Market Slice! What's Happening in the Upper End of the Central Vermont real estate market?

        Central Vermont Real Estate Market--Upper End of the Market

        When people talk about home sales, and sale prices in the Central Vermont real estate market, they tend to talk about average or median homes. And that’s fine, because averages tell a story.


        In today’s post, I want to go a little deeper about the higher end of this market. What are we seeing as buyer and seller trends for higher end homes for sale in Central Vermont? And, in general, what’s happening in this upper end of the market?


        Since it’s my post, I get to pick the rules.


        And I get to define the terms.


        Let’s call the higher end of any market the top 10% of sales. That makes more sense than a dollar figure that cuts across towns. Because the truth is that there a lot of people who want really nice, upscale homes, and they want them in particular towns. 

        Want to know more about what's happening in the upper ranges of the Central Vermont real estate market? Click here to send a quick email.


        Here’s how that’s going to break down in this area, and statewide:



        Price for top 10%

        Average Price in Upper Range




        Barre Town



        U32 Towns (Middlesex, Berlin, Calais, East Montpelier, Worcester)



        Barre City



        Northfield, Williamstown, Roxbury



        Harwood Towns (Waterbury, Duxbury, Fayston, Moretown, Waitsfield, Warren)



        In the table, the middle column represents the top 10% of sale prices in the different markets. The range is the actual sale prices of those top 10%.

        At the top end of all of these markets, buyers are expecting updated, finished homes, and no loose ends. That means higher end and contemporary kitchens with more expensive materials (quartz or granite countertops, not tile or laminate) It means matching, newer appliances, preferably stainless steel.


        Click here to send a quick email to us here at Green Light Real Estate. We're completely comfortable answering specific questions and general questions.


        At top price points, buyers are looking for updated bathrooms as well, with tile or stone showers.


        They expect to see large bedrooms with walk-in closets and en suite bathrooms.


        And none of this is really surprising.


        With the exception of upper end homes that sold in Montpelier, most of these high end properties have land, views, or in many cases, both. In Montpelier the source of the value is in location within the town and the overall  level of finish.


        But as a seller, if you want to attract the high end buyers, and you want to appeal to them, and you want to get the best price you can when you sell your home, your goal really has to be “perfect”.


        You may have to spend some money to make some money. If you’re selling a high end Central Vermont home, you already know that.


        At Green Light Real Estate, our upper end buyer and seller clients appreciate that kind of honesty and transparency. When you’re ready to buy or sell a higher end property in Barre, Montpelier, Northfield, or the surrounding communities, just give us a call.


        For more information about the upper end of the Central Vermont real estate market, click here to send us a quick email.


        Barre Home Tour, Green Light Style

        Doing It Our Own Way

        I know it sounds old school and not very techy, but at Green Light Real Estate, we actually spend time going to, in, and through houses that are on the market. In person. Not virtually. Not with facetime. I know, it's hard to believe!

        To make that easier, we always participate in the Montpelier caravan and the Barre caravan. That's our opportunity to get a bunch of local Realtors into our sellers' homes, and for us to preview other homes on the market.

        But yesterday's Barre caravan was cancelled. We had three homes scheduled. So not only were we a little bummed, our sellers were going to be too. Made us sad.

        We prefer to be happy! So we had our own Green Light Real Estate caravan. We lined up several of our Barre (ok, and one Orange) homes that we have for sale, and made our own caravan. Five of us (Kate, Kylie, Lindsay, Hannah, and Ray) toured the homes, became familiar, talked aabout potential marketing strategies, presentation strategies, and what might come up during inspections. Basically, we just gave each of these four home sellers five personal and professional opinions on how to make the sale go better.

        And yes, it did take a bit of time on a Tuesday morning. And yes, we had all seen some of the houses already. It's just that now we've seen them all, and when we talk with people looking to buy a home in Barre, we're that much more informed. 

        Side benefit? We got to bounce ideas off each other for a couple hours, which is great for bringing the team closer together. That kind of camaraderie also helps our buyers and sellers.

        Double side benefit? It was a beautiful day for a drive!

        185 Bisson in Orange--2.5 private acres103 Silver Circle--Mint Condition and Awesome Pool!8 Scenic View in Barre--Upscale Renovation6 High Holborn in Barre--Afforable and Totally Renovated!


        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.

        Radon Test KitThe 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 with the short term test, you do need to keep the doors and windows closed. The medium term test (30 days) doesn't have that "closed environment" rule. 

        You can do either of those tests 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, June 2018, the 2-7 day test was $50, and the longer term tests were $25. Pretty cheap. Go to the Vermont Department of Health's website at healthvermont.gov, and you'll find information on the different tests, as well as order forms.

        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.

        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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