Real Talk Ken Edwards Frosty weather didn’t stop post polar vortex home sales

February 25, 2019

Now that the polar vortex has gone back to where it belongs, Canada, we can get busy preparing for our spring market. Punxsutawney Phil can’t reliably predict when our spring will begin but spring will be upon us sooner than we think.

It was a relatively thin transaction week but six properties did trade hands last week, amounting to just a little more than $5 million in aggregate.

My sale of the week selection is a backcountry listing just off Taconic Road that hit a “sweet spot” for a buyer after only 48 days of market exposure.

My buy of the week selection is a three-bedroom raised ranch in Cos Cob’s mid-country that sold after a foreclosure auction and a 114-day exposure as a Multiple Listing Service listing.

Buy of the week

My buy of the week selection was a raised ranch home on Cognewaugh Road that sold last week and had been listed for a foreclosure auction last October and again in January. It went for 69 percent of its initial asking price and 85 percent of its tax-appraised value.

This three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Cos Cob features a two-car garage, and a family room with a fireplace, a wet bar and sliders to a large deck. There’s a laundry room located on the lower level and it has a nice level one-third acre yard.

The total square footage is 2,247 and it carries a tax of only $7,746. There has to be something else, right? In the agent-to-agent remarks there’s a note: “In Ground Oil Tank to be removed and soil tested.”

That’s a hassle that most buyers and their attorneys want to avoid. On the plus side this home and/or its property has a large upside potential to a new owner or contractor.

Sale of the week

My sale of the week selection on Howard Road was in great shape and also included a separate cottage on an almost 3-acre flat parcel of land. The main house has a living room with a fireplace, three en-suite bedrooms and an attached garage. The master bedroom on the second floor is large enough to be reconfigured into two bedrooms if a fourth bedroom is needed.

The cottage is only eight years old and features a living room with a fireplace, giving this property the potential to become a family compound. A doll house is also included for storage and an additional shed for even more storage.

This property sold for near its asking price in 48 days on market, a rare feat in backcountry.

Getting your home ready to sell

If you’re getting ready to put your home on the market this spring you may be wondering what to do to quickly enhance its value and marketability without spending a ton of money and delaying its entry, making it a summer listing.

My advice if I’m coaching you as your listing agent involves paint scrapers, brushes, rollers and possibly a floor sander. Not only can you freshen up, or in some cases transform your interior, but it will happen quickly and at minimal expense. The increase in value of your home will be multiples of the expenses involved.

Now the next question you’ll probably ask is which colors sell best. Linen white, which is a warm off-white color, was the mainstay for many years but over the last ten years, it has been supplanted by shades of gray.

As an example, painting a kitchen with stainless appliances with one or two shades of a neutral gray with colorful fruit and/or vegetables in a basket will make their color pop. Don’t be afraid to add a brightly colored picture or painting to get the desired effect.

A perfectly refinished wood floor will also bring a smile to prospective buyers’ faces. Flooring is way more important than you can imagine. Make yours shine!

This Week’s Success Quote

“Houses with front doors in shades of black from charcoal to jet — fetched $6,271 more than expected when sold. Tuxedo-style kitchen cabinetry — where the upper cabinets are white or light-colored and lower cabinets or kitchen islands are dark navy or black — garnered a premium of more than $1,500.”

— Kerry Kelly, a Zillow home design expert

Ken Edwards is the principal broker for Edwards & Associates Real Estate and has lived in town since 1974. All opinions expressed are entirely his own and not those of this publisher. Comments and questions may be sent to K_W_Edwards@ Yahoo.com or call (203) 918-4444.