Sellers

It's Real Estate Season!

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This is a time of year when buyers and sellers come out of real estate hibernation. Considered to be one of the best times to list your home, it also becomes a great time for buyers to take a fresh look at what is on the available.

Sellers, if you are thinking about listing your home we are already entering the best time to get your house ready to list and sell.  Typically this process starts in February when the snow is still on the ground. As the snow melts people are venturing out and taking a look around. With a renewed sense of energy the market can take off quickly as the summer progresses.

Even if you are unsure, let us do a Comparable Market Analysis to assist you in your decision making process.

Although the spring is prime listing season, no need to worry if you aren't ready right now. The most important item in your arsenal is an experienced local Realtor®.  These professionals can help you any time of the year get the most out of the real estate market, whether buying or selling your home. We are fortunate in Vermont to have a true four season state and local Realtors® know how to help you take advantage of all that Vermont has to offer.

Stay informed about the local market. Vermont Properties and Development can help you no matter the season. Give us a call at 802-228-8877 or stop by our office at 29 Locust Hill Road, Ludlow; across from the Okemo Golf Club.

Congratulations to Kevin Barnes, newest CIPS Designee


Kevin Barnes of Vermont Properties and Development has completed the requirements to earn his CIPS designation.

Recognized by the National Association of REALTORS®, the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designee has undergone specialized training needed to complete international transactions seamlessly and with reduced risk.

Only agents who have completed the rigorous coursework and demonstrated considerable experience in international business can call themselves a CIPS designee, and use the name and logo.

CIPS designees must complete 5 full days of study focusing on the critical aspects of international transactions, including:
• Currency and exchange rate issues
• Cross-cultural relationships
• Regional market conditions
• Investment performance
• Tax issues

Agents who have the CIPS designation are well-informed and prepared to work with international clients to ensure a smooth and seamless experience for foreign buyers.

Real estate is a complex field, one that requires continual training. The CIPS designation is critical for brokers and agents who want to provide the best possible experience for their international buyers and sellers. Working with a CIPS designee is your best and most trusted resource for navigating the international market.

Vermont Properties and Development, Inc. is proud to have Kevin Barnes as part of our experienced team of Agents. While there are over 2800 CIPS designees worldwide, there are only 7 in the entire state of Vermont.

Congratulations Kevin on your most recent accomplishment, obtaining your CIPS designation! From all of us at VT Prop, we are proud to have you on the team!

Another Busy Season at Okemo

The 2014/15 ski season is winding down. As we come off one of the snowiest ski seasons in history here in the northeast we take stock of winter and reflect on how busy we continue to be here at Vermont Properties and Development. As real estate professionals we are often asked when the busiest sales time of year is.  Typically the answer is "going in to and out of the ski season"; this holds true again this year!

The number of closed transactions continue be up from previous years and interest rates remain low.  Many buyers we work with are very savvy about this information and use it to guide decisions. What does this mean? People are buying houses to take advantage of these conditions and we are seeing available inventory for certain properties decrease.

Do you have your eyes on a property? Better jump before someone else does and remember, we are here for you every step of the way and beyond!

 

It's Real Estate Season!

On March 20th at 6:45 p.m. all the snow will melt, the trees will bud, crocuses will bloom and the birds will be singing.  Well… maybe not, but it is the first day of spring.

What we can be certain of are two things. Spring skiing will be awesome and it is the beginning of prime selling season for real estate. The weather is getting warmer and people are getting out there. This is also the time of year when houses will begin their transformation. Green lawns, blooming flowers and bright sunny days draw people out to look at houses. It has been a long dark winter and spirits are high. It is time for a fresh start.

There is an influx of new listings and inventory comes back up. Choices are everywhere, but don’t wait too long. Just like you there are other potential buyers looking for that special place, if you find something you love, you better grab it. If not, other homebuyers are waiting in the wings.

Vermont is a special place year-round but spring brings something wonderful to Vermont. We begin to earn our name as the Green Mountain State. So come to Vermont and find your dream home. Whether you are looking for your primary home or a second home in the Lakes regions or on Okemo Mountain, Vermont Properties can deliver.

Come join us as our State comes alive with the bounties of spring! We look forward to meeting you.

Buying or selling a second home: Have someone in your corner

Buying or selling a second home is unlike dealing with your primary residence. There are many challenges to this process. The biggest obstacle is that you are likely not even in the state where you have decided to purchase or sell.

For buyers, social media brings everything right to your fingertips. You can research an area, find your perfect spot and even zero in on a couple of properties. Ultimately, you will want a professional Realtor® in your corner. Your Realtor® will manage all the back and forth work and eventually help negotiate the sale or purchase of your second home. A great agent will also work on your behalf with local service providers, contractors, and attorneys etc., to get every last detail in place. A real estate agent with knowledge of the area, local markets and preferably one who specializes in second homes will be your eyes and ears locally.  Some agents now have the designation of RSPS (Resort and Second Property Specialist). These are agents with advanced certification who specialize in buying, selling or managing properties for investment, development, retirement, or second homes in a resort, recreational and/or vacation destination.

Once you have made the decision to buy or sell your second home, your next big decision will be who to call. If you are in Vermont near the Okemo/Ludlow Valley your decision is quite easy. The agents at Vermont Properties and Development are your local specialists for second home properties, both Kathy and Alyson have their RSPS designation. With a combined 40 years of experience in this area, Kathy, Alyson and Kevin can meet all your needs from start to finish and beyond. And when the hard work is done and you have successfully purchased or sold your second home; they do not forget about you. You are now part of their Vermont family; the team is with you long after the closing. You can call on Vermont Properties for all your future needs. Sometimes it may just be a call to check in and say hi! That is the best call of all.

Vermont Properties Real Estate TeamVT Properties & Development

 

A fresh coat of paint! A fresh look for your home

Thinking about selling your house? Paint your house! Your Realtor ® can be a trusted advisor, suggesting any changes that you should make to sell your home.

What is the one thing 94% of all real estate agents agree will help sell a house? A fresh coat of paint! Sellers who invest in an interior paint job may find their homes are on the market for a shorter time and may get higher offers. It sounds easy enough but careful consideration of colors is important. Remember, you are not painting to suit your taste. Rather, finding colors that appeal to the broadest array of buyers is key!

Buyers need to mentally "move in" to your home. Depending on the impression you want to give, consider the following information.

Enlarge a space

Cool colors reflect light and can appear to recede, enlarging small areas. A monochromatic color scheme can also make a space feel larger. To really create a feeling of spaciousness in a room, choose a soft blue, spa like green or cool gray.

Create calm

Organic shades of green, brown and blue elicit a positive response from most people and are a great choice for personal spaces, like bedrooms. They're neutral to live with and aren't likely to result in a "Get me out of here!" reaction during home showings.

Embrace intimacy

Warm colors, like sandy beiges, rich browns and muted reds or plums, will give a cavernous space a sense of intimacy. These cozy colors work well with wood floors, bronze finishes and some period.

Highlight a feature

Create an accent wall to highlight a special feature - like a fireplace or built-in bookshelves - but don't overdo it. Avoid choosing a bright or dramatic color. Instead, select a color that is 2 or 3 shades lighter or darker than the one on adjoining walls.

Camouflage the unwanted

Paint heater vents and other unavoidable fixtures the same color as the walls to minimize distractions - they should not be the first things buyers spot when they visit your home.

What colors get the most favorable reactions? Depends on the room.

Kitchens should invite you in

In the kitchen it's good to stay in the orange, red and yellow families. These work well because they're food related, but it's important to still make them soft, appealing and neutral.

Bathrooms can be tricky

Bathrooms tend to be smaller so keep it light colored. Keep it in the light yellows or tans. Perhaps you can pick up colors from the tile floors. A favorite color idea is the "spa" colors like muted greens and lavenders. You can always use accessories or soaps to give it a pop of color.

Bedrooms are your haven

Ahh, the sanctuary of the house; especially important to stay away from bright colors. Choosing something neutral in tone that will work with the flooring and flow in to the master bath. You do not have to match the master bath but do keep them coordinated. You want people to have a sense of flow.

Home Offices should be cozy

For all us "old school" people who like the traditional colors. This is the space. In the home office warmer, richer colors are welcomed. People often expect an office to be painted with cinnamon, dark brown or even dark blue. These colors make the space an area to work and relax and impart comfort in the familiar.

The color to avoid may surprisepaint cans

What color should you avoid? Seems like this is an easy one but most people don't even consider it.   Surprisingly, white is the color to avoid. Many people will paint everything white thinking it is neutral; in fact it is a bright color.

 

 

Decisions about paint colors can seem overwhelming. Just stick to a few solid rules and stay away from trends and you will be fine. Select muted colors for the most universal appeal. Avoid dramatic darks or brights that may cause buyers to react negatively. And of course, avoid white, the brightest color of them all! Choose a warmer or cooler tint instead.

Happy painting!

Real Estate Sales a Good Indicator of a Recovering Economy

It is difficult to keep track of the recovering economy and all the factors that come in to play. One clear indicator of our economic state is real estate sales. Quite often the state of real estate sales are a clear indicator of an economy's strength (or weakness). Sales have been strong across the board with the northeast leading the way. A report in May shows that buyers swarmed builder lots allowing the real estate market to experience the biggest gain of new home sales in 22 years.

While demand for new homes climbed in all four regions of the country, the Northeast led these sales with a 54.5% jump. Sales of existing homes also increased by their largest gain in three years, up by 4.9%

Growing demand for new homes will give a much-needed boost to the construction industry, which in turn will boost economic expansion.

"Confidence is percolating up through the economy, making people reach for big purchases like new homes," said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York,"

As confidence in the economy increases, potential buyers finally feel as if they are in a position for long-term stability. This feeling of economic stability coupled with still low interest loans and slow home price increases continue to support home ownership affordability.

This frenetic pace has been felt here at Vermont Properties and Development. The traditional "slower season" did not materialize this year and we expect to remain just as busy. We have both the staff and  listings of existing homes and building lots both on and off the Mountain. We can meet your needs in the Okemo Valley on Okemo Mountain and in the Lakes Region.

Check out our website for details. Or stop by our office at 29 Locust Hill Rd in Ludlow, VT. We are across from the Okemo Golf Club.

good office pic summer small

Spring has sprung and so should you!

Lowering inventory has been a national headline grabber. Following an exceptionally busy winter selling season, we are anticipating the spring selling season will bring a surge of new properties to market.

This is a time of year when buyers and sellers come out of real estate hibernation. Considered to be one of the best times to list your home, it also becomes a great time for buyers to take a fresh look at what is on the available.

Sellers, if you are thinking about listing your home we are already entering the best time to get your house ready to list and sell.  Typically this process starts in February when the snow is still on the ground. As the snow melts people are venturing out and taking a look around. With a renewed sense of energy the market can take off quickly as the summer progresses.

Although the spring is prime listing season, no need to worry if you weren't ready in time. The most important item in your arsenal is an experienced local Realtor®. These professionals can help you any time of the year get the most out of the real estate market, whether buying or selling your home. We are fortunate in Vermont to have a true four season state and local Realtors® know how to take advantage of all that Vermont has to offer

Stay informed about the local market. Vermont Properties and Development can help you find your perfect home no matter the season. Give us a call at 802-228-8877 or stop by our office at 29 Locust Hill Road, Ludlow; across from the Okemo Golf Club. Heidel-View-Fox Run B-6

Is it a buyer's or a seller's market

People ask us all the time; "is it a buyer's or a seller's market? ".

This is often a difficult question to answer. With that said, all indications point to BOTH! Having all of the conditions come together to create this scenario is rare.

Nationally, the housing market is the strongest it has been in the past 5 years. Indicators in existing home sales, available inventory and median sales price all point to a national housing market recovery.

The question for Vermont real estate buyers and sellers is how the national housing market translates to our market, especially in the resort areas, which can be very different than the primary home market.

While there is a notable increase in home sales in the entire state of Vermont, there are significant variations in the price categories. Homes between $500,000 and $1,000,000 sales increased 36%. Homes in excess of $1,000,000 sales increased 55% in the same time frame. These figures indicate that the luxury and higher end markets are becoming more robust than they have been in years. (Statistics pulled from NNEREN 2012-2013)

This higher end market in Vermont tends to be primarily second homes. The increase in sales in what is considered the luxury market is attributed to gains in consumer confidence, improved economy and improving job market. These factors make more Americans comfortable spending discretionary money on summer and winter vacation homes.

As Vermont's inventory continues to be absorbed, the pressure on the price points will be reduced and the market will continue to improve.

So if you've been waiting for the right time to dive into home ownership, all indications point to that time being now. With a combination of stable prices and low interest rates and reduced inventory, it really should be great for both buyers and sellers.

Give us a call today at Vermont Properties and Development. Representing both buyers and sellers, we are here to help you navigate this complex market to your advantage.

Real estate apps-home hunting at your fingertips

If you haven't bought or sold a home recently, prepare for a culture shock!

Nothing has changed the home buying/selling experience in the past few years as much as the rise of smartphones and tablets. In the past three years, these technologies have transformed the way people hunt for, buy and even sell homes. House hunters have access to more information than ever before; home sellers and their real-estate agents have more tools to reach those buyers. Fortunately, the most popular real estate apps work well for both sides.

Popular real estate sites such as Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia offer their own apps for smartphones and tablets that allow people to search for homes, find specific information and narrow the search. You can stand in a neighborhood that you like, conduct a search and see homes for sale pop up all around you on a map. Relying on GPS technology, these apps provide real time information in your current location.

apps

In a time when people are expecting the world to be at their fingertips, it truly is. Using Zillow's app,  you can walk around a neighborhood, see a "house for sale" lawn sign, pull out your smartphone and see how long the home has been on the market and how many times the price has been reduced.

Realtor app features the adult's version of "Etch a Sketch". You can highlight an area by drawing a shape with your finger; the app will show any homes for sale within that highlighted area.

Like the others, Trulia's app allows you to search for homes using filters like price, number of bedrooms and baths, location etc. Save your searches and be notified when new houses come on the market.

While these apps provide the initial tools to start your search, they also allow you to quickly contact a trusted Realtor®. Local agents are be experts in the area and can provide insight and guidance for a successful transaction. The brokers and agents at VT Properties and Development have been your local experts in the Ludlow/Okemo valley for more than fifteen years. We are proud to be a leading real estate agency in this unique Vermont market.

Our mobile website option allows you to take full advantage of these most popular apps. Check it out today at www.vtprop.com. You can search for properties, create a favorites list, save searches and sign up for automatic updates on properties that match your criteria.

Happy mobile house hunting!