And that’s because she is!

For the last couple of weeks, I have been running my business with a 3 year old in tow..oops, 3 and 10.5 months.  Olivia and I have been making the rounds, checking out the market and fielding the calls and emails.  Turns out she has strong opinions on real estate and Dora the Explorer .

This little girl is the queen of the snap judgement and finds particular joy in houses that have pink flowering trees.  But what my incredibly astute niece is really critiquing is curb appeal…and she knows it when she sees it.  We all do!  And I have discovered that the eyes of a 3 year old just get right to the point.

Olivia likes:

A nicely manicured lawn, it doesn’t have to be busy…just crisp, fresh and cared for.  Play ready.

Easy to navigate–no trick fences, free running animals (or their stuff) or odd structures.

Some decoration/ornamentation/elaboration – we drove by a nice cape with cedar siding which was a blank slate and she said it looked “sad”.  I say some color adding shutters and a few plantings and seasonal flowers with maybe an Adirondack chair outside would happy that house right up.

No Chaos is the rule…We played “which of these things doesn’t belong” and she got it right every time.  No works in progress vehicles, tools lying around, machinery; all very distracting from the property for sale–allow the house to take center stage.

Whatever the saying, houses are judged by their cover daily and harshly at that.  Good curb appeal is essential to selling a home.  The outside of your house must invite and speak to the inside quality as well.  You only get 1 chance to make a first impression, then hopefully score that showing date! 

PS-I didn’t just put my girl to work; we have had lunch dates, cookie breaks, watched Peter Pan and some crazy cartoon I have yet to figure out the name of, and visited (at 3 she has her websites memorized!)


And a rose by any other name just is not the City of Norwich.

Located where three rivers converge, the Yantic, Shetucket and Thames, Norwich was once a bustling and prosperous mill town with a thriving marina.  The place where Abe stayed, the Wauregan Hotel has been renovated and the rich town history is evident in the sprawling campus of NFA.  Founded in 1659 when it was purchased from the Mohegan tribe, I am proud to call myself a former resident.  I previously lived within walking distance of Mohegan Park, the Rose Garden and NFA…I still miss those walks.

Please check out the impressive history of Norwich at:

The real estate in Norwich is sprawling to say the least.  The town is made up of the following areas, Thamesville, Greeneville, Yantic, Norwich, Taftville, Occum, East Great Plains and Norwich Town.  There is an abundance of home ownership opportunities for every price range.  Here is a synopsis view for the whole town in the last 3 months…(it covers a big area compared to the much smaller towns I usually post about):  Residential only, Norwich has a fantastic multi-family and commercial market.

Current Active listings:  207                      Range of Value:  $28,000 – $899,900

Current Pending listings:  43                     Range of Value:  $40,000 – $389,000

Closed in last 3 months:  54                     Range of Value:  $45,000 – 380,000

The following facts obtained from The Real Estate Reporter:

Median Sale Price:  $218,000

Median List Price:  $224,000

Average days on market:  72

Average Sale Price (2008):  $179,338

Big Town, Big Post!

Love Technology, yes I do!  I am gadget girl…got my Ipod with Nike+, my laptop (all wireless and everything), I RSS and long to SMS and MMS with the best of them..hence the reason I invested in a Smartphone.

FYI, I am not Gen X or Y..I am a member of the no name generation (you figure it out…) but truly embrace the concept that the world is on the internet.  I also wholly subscribe to the thought process that this should be an era of quick response…I remember when we had MLS books 3 inches thick and tiny, tiny print we had to scour through for showings (we also had to walk up hill, both ways, through the snow).  Truly, the research part of this business has never been easier or more immediate; I am a fan.

So I went and got me a Smartphone to keep up with the pace.  The name itself mocks me; what does it make me if I can not figure this thing out?  Round one goes to an unnamed brand phone which I went with because it incorporated my previous PDA software; 3 weeks and many meltdowns later it turns out it wasn’t me (Whew!), the phone with my 5 years of data was a lemon.

Round 2 has me deep in reserved like with my new Blackberry.  In the learning curve with great thumb frustration but email accounts were much easier to set up and file conversion is proving my nemesis (fortunately I do back up).  I did manage to SMS and as soon as I get MMS, I will be certain to do it!

A real estate agent on the fly with a world of information immediately available for my clients with just a few taps from my suddenly huge thumbs.  Though my typing teacher is likely mortified by this “smart” technology, I fully expect to master it…shortly.

If all else fails, can I ring you up?  Seven little numbers once connected me with some fine conversation…now those were the days.

SMS, MMS you later :-)!

These may be troubled economic times.  Houses are not selling at the lightning pace of just a few short years ago, but there are deals to be made if you negotiate.

Everywhere the prospective buyer turns they are being told to beware…do not pay too much.  Buyers got the memo (and then some) on the declining market.

Guess who did not?

Sellers!  Granted, it is a jagged little pill to swallow…but this is not the market for sugar coating.  To those sellers who bought within the last 2 years or (worse yet) refinanced within the same time frame; there is likely not a windfall of equity heading your way.   Please remember on a refi, you cashed out your equity (no one is getting 2 bites at the apple in this market). 

Am I being too harsh, too direct?

I say it is my job to be absolutely straight with you.  This is a market of negotiation and buyers are being told to take their shot.   Buyers of real estate have formidable resources at their disposal via the internet (every real estate sale is a matter of public record!) and they have likely contracted an agent whose job it is to help the buyer determine “fair market value” for a property of their interest.

With respect, I implore you to accept that there really are no uneducated buyers out there.  And, just in case you do not believe me, there is currently a case pending in a California court against a buyers agent alledgedly not educating buyers properly about pricing; they say they paid too much.  If they win, they are certain to be the last uninformed buyers.  GOOGLE it.

Today, as before, it all comes down to price and location!