Football-Free Sunday = Big Day For Open Houses In Weston, Easton

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The "spring" home-buying season has begun throughout Fairfield County.
The "spring" home-buying season has begun throughout Fairfield County. Photo Credit: Flickr user GeorgieD

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The end of football season signals the start of the spring house-hunting season. But as a potential home seller, are you ready to run with the ball if you’re on the receiving end of an open house?

“It’s an undocumented pact between spouses that once the Super Bowl is over, it's time to start or resume searching for a new home,” said Brad Kimmelman of William Pitt Sotheby's in Fairfield County.

While Kimmelman said the number of open house visitors depends on a lot of factors -- including a home’s desirability, location, price and length of time on the market -- brokers frequently notice a “substantial increase” in attendance at real estate open houses in the aftermath of Super Bowl Sunday.

But before you decide to put your home on the market and have an open house, Fairfield County-based interior designer and home-stager Birgit Anich suggests a moment of reflection: “Ask yourself: ‘Are there any repairs I’ve put off for a while?’”  Now, she said, after the Super Bowl, is a good time to address of them.

Taking care of at least a few of them, said Anich, can be easier than you might think.

Anich said: “One of the easy fixes I see in so many houses in our area is something as simple as replacing dated lighting fixtures. These changes don’t have to be expensive, but updating them, say, from all brass to oil-brushed bronze or brushed nickel, will make a big impact in the value perception of your house.”

Anich also suggests adding frame-less mirrors in the bathrooms. “They are not difficult to install and will immediately update the look of your bathroom.” And, she adds, having carpets professionally cleaned and refinishing floors can also help the sales appeal of your home.

Not all people, said Kimmelman, are eager to traipse to open houses in winter weather -- “even realtors” -- he joked. But the end of football season, though technically mid-winter, marks the spring season, which brings more serious interest and significant upsurge in the home-buying process, he said. 

Regardless of inclement weather and sports-related distractions, Melanie Smith, of Prudential Realty in Southport, said the real estate market is gaining traction. “I recently put a Westport property on the market and received five offers within a week.”

“The activity is here,” she said.

And with only a few days before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, that could be a home run for home sales this season.

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If you say that buyers are willing to pay close to the asking price, that may be if the asking price is not underwater. I know homeowners who would like to sell but have no hope because they owe more than the property would sell for. And they did not take cash-outs or HELOCs, just straight repayment (and with initial down payments, as well, not subprime or interest-only mortgages). Curious of the statement that home prices may never reach such values again, and if so, then there is a segment of homeowner who will never recoup their purchase costs. I do not know of anyone who has recently been able to sell their home quickly even though the listing price was well under its recent valuation.

Now that property values are increasing due to the leadership from President Obama this should be a boom season for home sales.

In response to the last two posts, we certainly aren't seeing prices where they were several years ago, and it may be several years before we're there again (if ever). However, the real estate market in Norwalk and Fairfield County as a whole is seeing a resurgence in the past few months. Property values are increasing and those who price their homes fairly are selling quickly. Combined with current interest rates in the 3.5% range, buyers are willing to pay very close to asking asking price.

I was amazed at how much the value of my home went down since last spring. Looks like I won't even consider selling, renting is the only option for us.

Not very optimistic since our property value has declined since last year at this time.