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Still a buyers market in New Milford, CT

January 30, 2010

It is still a buyers market in New Milford, CT.

This is a buyers market in New Milford, CT, no doubt about it. As a result it is impimperative that your home be ready to sell. Before you sell you should be aware of what issues may prevent the sale of your home, or prevent you from getting the best price possible. You see your home one way, a buyer sees it in another light, and you can take that to the bank… (or not).

With current market trends issues or potential issues should be addressed prior to
placing your home on the market. Lenders are reading the disclosures
and listings, they are also reading the inspectors reports. Have you done renovations yourself? Did you get the proper permits as needed?

You may have owned your home for a few years and not even realized there is an open building permit at the town hall for work started by the prior owner. This can really cause problems for you if you wait until you have a buyer for your home.

Your Realtor® should be checking for potential issues at the town hall. Don’t hold your breath and hope no one notices. Someone will notice and it will cost you in the end. Cost you $$, cost you the sale, cost you in many ways.

You may not have the money to hire an inspector, and with the economic climate this is understandable. But you can eyeball a few things and point them out to your Realtor® as they walk around your property with you getting ready to list your home. This will NOT replace a full inspection, but it may bring to light some obvious issues you need to think about. If you can hire an inspector pre-listing, even better!

Some very common issues that pop up today are:

  • No permits or CO’s for decks or additions.
  • No permit for new roofing.
  • No permits or CO’s for anything that it was required for actually!
  • Decks improperly built. If you are able to walk under your deck, do so and LOOK UP. Are there joist hangers? Is the deck bolted to the house? Of course standards change, and your deck may have been built with older standards, but if there are apparent structural issues, if the wood is rotting, if the deck wobbles, if the railings are loose it will be a problem.
  • Electrical issues. I have an unnatural fear of electricity, looking inside a box gives me instant stomach churn. However I know enough that if I see exposed wires or a rusty box there may be bigger problems. And if you can’t turn on the hair dryer and the microwave without tripping the circuit breakers then you already know you have a problem. And if you don’t even have circuit breakers, this will be an issue too.
  • How about your roof? If there are 3 layers of shingle on your roof that is it, the next time all that has to come off and it will cost big bucks. Are the shingles loose? Are they looking old and worn? And more importantly, does your roof leak? If you can get upstairs to your attic, look up! Are there water stains on the underside of the roof?
  • Clogged gutters, missing gutters, loose gutters. This is not only unsightly but it can cause so many problems.
  • Is your basement wet? Does it get wet on a regular basis? Address the issue!
  • Check your home with your nose! Pet smells will deter buyers, a mildewy smell will raise a red flag. Mold is a big problem for homes. Find out what is going on. If you see a bit of mold on the outside of the wall you may have a far larger problem behind the walls. A note, please don’t try to attack this yourself, mold spores are very small and will spew into the air and travel all around the house!
  • If you are on well water, take a water down to be tested. There are many places that do this testing and they will tell you how to pull the water for the test.
  • On the well issue, look at your well head cover, if it is close to the ground that may not fly. Is the cover cracked? Broken?
  • When was the last time you had your septic pumped? In older systems I find a big problem is there is no riser installed, the opening is buried beneath current standards.  Since 2000, no matter how old your system is, access to the tank for clean-out cannot be more than 12 inches below the surface of the ground. If it is, risers must be installed.
  • How does your heating system function? Do you get your furnace/boiler cleaned regularly? Have it cleaned and checked. Buyers and agents check the side of the furnace/boiler for information telling how regularly it has been serviced. Something that looks like it came out of the dark ages will scare the pants off a buyer!
  • If you still have an in ground oil tank this will stop a sale dead in its tracks. This is something that must be addressed, speak to your Realtor® immediately for solutions to handle this issue if you don’t have the resources to pull the tank right away.
  • Check under your sinks for leaks. If the cabinets are moist, if there are stains on the wood get it addressed!

Remember, you are not a licensed home inspector, electrician, carpenter, plumber or septic installer. But you and your Realtor® certainly can look around for potential issues before you put the house on the market. And sometimes you just know there is something wrong. Face it head on, don’t put your head in the sand!

As I said, it is a buyers market in New Milford, CT. Not only does your home need to look good visually, it needs to be in good “working order”. And if you can’t address some of the issues you know about, make sure you price it accordingly and that you disclose potential issues up front.

Start your home search here.

Greater New Milford, CT area information. Litchfield County at its best.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain

2009 Andrea Swiedler. Unless otherwise noted, the content, both written and in pictures, is the property of Andrea Swiedler. If you wish to use something you see here, please email me at with your request. Most likely I will oblige, with a link back to my original content as well as an acknowledgment. Although imitation is the highest form of flattery, please let me know before you decide to bestow this form of flattery on me! Thank you.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sonny K permalink
    January 30, 2010 4:17 pm

    Great article with lots of information and tips for the home buys and sellers as well.
    Would like to offer a little tip for the homeowner who wants to improve the exterior look of their home with more “curb appeal” as a potential buyer walks up the sidewalk, they see that you “care” about your home.
    When getting ready to sell our home, we walked out to the street curb and gave it a serious, critical, once over to see what could “spruce up” our home. To our amazement, we noticed our rain gutters first! They were grey in color, with nasty water marks and it appeared there were small “trees” growing out of them.
    I went onto the web and after much research found two great, new tools, that appeared as if they would help “spruce up” once again those nasty looking gutters, without much hard work!
    For the inside of the gutters, to get rid of all the nasty wet and dry gunk, we found the Gutter Clutter Buster attachment tool for our wet/dry vac hose (2.5″) that allowed me (female homeowner) to literally “vacuum out” all debris, without a ladder! I stayed safe on the ground while the shop vac did all the work.
    For the outside of the gutters, to get rid of all the nasty, gray, water marks, some call them “tiger strips” I got another tool, on a pole, that was also safe and easy to use. It got all those marks off and the gutters look like brand new, without even having to paint them! Again, I did not have to use a ladder and I could do this from the ground.
    Now, my house had “more curb appeal” than any house for sale on our block! Can’t wait to sign that contract!

    • January 30, 2010 4:19 pm

      Sonny K, hope you sign the contract and are in a new home soon. Thanks for adding to my post!

  2. February 10, 2010 1:07 pm

    Good to see, the rest of the USA is suffering though, mostly sellers, not buyers, Going to need a lot of home renovations going forward to increase selling value!

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