Real Estate Information Archive


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Holiday Advice For Home Buyers and Sellers

by Cheryl Scott-Daniels

As an experienced REALTOR in Fairfield County, I know that selling a property during the holidays can be a stressful event, and most families do need to continue living in their property during the marketing process, holidays or not! So in order to help them enjoy the season, and still have their property staged to sell, we recommend a couple of thoughts before decorating:

We stress that less is more and encourage our sellers to choose a couple of their favorite holiday pieces instead of all of them and be sure they display the ones in really good condition.  No matter how well loved or how much sentimental value there is, tacky decorations won’t help the sale of the property.

It is equally important that the home be available for showings.  Getting qualified buyers into a property when there are many competitive properties in the marketplace is challenging enough, so we sure don’t want to miss an opportunity to show a property during the season.  We say they can ask for at least an hour notice, but we know for the most part, buyers at this time of the year are serious buyers, so we try to accommodate them when possible.

As for buyers - when we first counsel our buyers before they begin their house hunting activities, we help them to focus on the features of the property they are viewing that best suit their needs.  It is way too easy to get seduced by the warmth of holiday decorations that may distract them from what they really need in a property after those decorations are taken away.

As an example: Exterior Lighting is usually added during the holiday season, and that won’t be there when the season is over.

Another example is with interior lighting.  Soft holiday lights on trees and around hearths may distract from the standard lighting that lights the home.  The rooms may look darker and smaller after these additional lights are removed.

Often we counsel our buyers to visually “subtract” personal items when they walk into a property.  In order for the real property to show through, we help our buyers to “subtract” the garland and extra ornaments to try to visualize the property without a lot of extraneous decorations.  We try to help them to actually “see” how the property really looks. If buyers can’t see beyond these things, then they will have difficulty evaluating the property for their needs.

There are some great opportunities in the real estate market this time of year. If you are interested in finding out your home’s market value or viewing homes for sale in Fairfield County, please let me know. I would be happy to help.

Fairfield County Real Estate Market Update

by Cheryl Scott-Daniels

There is a healthy, active inventory of 7,016 single family homes on the Greater Fairfield County Consolidated Multiple Listing Service. To date, we have had 6,360 closed sales.  This represents a unit sales increase of 16% vs. the first ten months of 2009. The result is an 11 month supply of homes currently on the market. The median selling price county-wide is $411,250 which is an over-all increase of 9% from last year. This is not the case in every town and can be calculated for each specific town so it is important to talk to a REALTOR® about the advantages of buying or selling in your particular town and price range at this time.

Although sales in the upper price brackets have slowed down in the past two months compared to the first eight months of 2010, the number of sales is up significantly over 2009. The number of units sold over $2MM has increased by 44% and the number of sales over $3MM has increased by 62%! There are currently 650 single family homes on the market over $2MM and 340 over $3MM.

County wide, there are 937 properties with fully executed contracts waiting to close.  There are 448 properties with accepted offers.  The median list price of those with accepted offers is $410,750, 4.5% lower than the median selling price for the properties that have closed so far this year. I report these numbers each month because they can be predictive of the latest market trend.  In this case it looks as though the median sales price is stabilizing and will be either flat or slightly lower during the last couple months of 2010.

I encourage our readers to contact me for the market statistics specific to their town and neighborhood as they may vary greatly from town to town and even neighborhood to neighborhood. If our readers wish to receive market statistics monthly electronically, they can email me at [email protected].

New IRS 1099 Requirement for Landlords

by Cheryl Scott-Daniels

Starting in 2011, there is a new tax requirement for landlords. All landlords who receive $600 or more in rent for the year must send a 1099 to all service providers that the landlord paid $600 or more during the year (such as plumbers, carpenters, yard services, and other repair people).

The new requirement applies to owners of both residential and commercial property. Prior to 2011, this requirement had only applied to those involved in full-time property management, but now the requirement covers all types of landlords. Landlords will need to gather federal tax ID numbers from service providers in order to file the 1099s. Failure to file the 1099s with the IRS can result in fines of $50 per 1099 not filed with the IRS. In 2012, these requirements will expand to cover providers of good to landlords.

Call or email me for more information!


2010 State REALTOR of The Year- Celebration Continues!

by Anne Nelson

Cheryl Scott-Daniels with Nicholle Dagata, The 2010 President of The Connecticut Association of REALTORS

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Contact Information

Photo of Cheryl Scott-Daniels  Real Estate
Cheryl Scott-Daniels
CSD Select Homes
991 Post Rd East
Westport CT 06880
Fax: 866-806-6909