15 River Mead, Avon

15 River Mead, Avon

Move right into this updated townhouse in the River Mead community of Avon.

The main level features an updated kitchen with Corian counters and stainless appliances. A comfortable living room includes a fireplace, and a slider out to a deck facing the woods. There is a formal dining room and an updated powder room.

Upstairs the master bedroom includes double closets and an updated en-suite bathroom with heated floor. The second bedroom also has an updated en-suite bathroom.

The lower level is partially finished with family room space that walks out to a stone paver patio. The unit includes a private garage space, gas utilities, and central air.

15 River Mead is offered at $225,000. If you’d like to see this home, please have your agent arrange a showing, or call me at 860-655-2922 to schedule a visit. More details and a photo tour are available.

Advanced Real Estate Photography

New techniques and technologies are changing the way real estate is photographed, and how properties are presented online. Two new approaches that have been developing in the background finally seem ready for early adopter agents; drone photography, and 3-dimensional media.

MLS listings occasionally include exterior photos of homes that were taken from a drone, or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The new and unique feature of drone photos is the dramatic angle of the shot. Typically the camera is positioned above the street, allowing the viewer to see the home and surrounding area from a bird’s eye perspective.

Drone View of Home

3-dimensional media is a new way to interact with house pictures. A special camera is set up in the center of each room, and takes a 360 degree photo of the space. The images are uploaded and processed to create a 3 dimensional photographic model of the home. The final result is a complete model of the interior of the building that resembles a doll house. The viewer can interact with the overall building to get a sense of the floor plan, and can zoom into any of the camera positions to look around the individual room.

Both types of photography have a “wow factor.” They’re impressive, mainly because they provide a view of real estate that most people don’t get to see. But how do they fit into the listing agent’s arsenal of marketing tools?

Local professionals are available for drone photography, so it’s ready when we need it. However, we have not chosen to use it for any of our listings yet. Our view is that drone photography is most appropriate for properties with significant acreage, so that buyers can see the home in relation to the land. It is also nice for showing the scale of mansion style homes, as it has the feel of the helicopter shots that have been used in the industry for quite some time.

Traditional Photo of Home

More often than not, we find drone photography counterproductive. When used to show homes in dense neighborhoods, the aerial shots end up showing how close the neighbors are. Aerial shots also tend to prominently feature the roof of the home. Properties with an older roof, especially if it has staining or is made of slate, could be shooting themselves in the foot by showing its condition so clearly and making it a first impression of potential buyers.

3-dimensional media is still quite rare in our region. The finished product isn’t as easily displayed as a photo, so potential buyers have to visit a special website where the media is hosted. The MLS allows listing agents to upload links like this as “virtual tours.” Agents and buyers have to know that more info is available and seek it out to some extent, as the layout of the MLS and other real estate sites focus more on the traditional photos than on the extras.

Consumer real estate sites are focused on engagement, since that’s how they make money. Video is big right now, though they tell us that most consumers only watch the first 20 seconds of a clip. The sites are saying that they want to do more to promote virtual tours, like 3-dimensional media, as their next innovation. How they implement that feature will likely determine how many agents use the new technologies.

Currently, the best use of drone photography or 3-dimensional media is to help an agent win a listing. Sellers are impressed when agents talk about the innovative techniques that will be used to market their home. We feel these two advanced photography techniques are more useful as talking points than to actually attract a buyer. That may change as the online presentation of homes evolves, and as technology improves. We’ll reevaluate as needed.

On a related note, we continue to be surprised at how many agents still don’t use professional photos. Agents that don’t feel quality pictures are needed are highly unlikely to adopt more advanced (and expensive) photographic technologies.

83 Kenyon St, Hartford’s West End

83 Kenyon

Excellent opportunity to own a Scoville designed West End Victorian! The home includes many period details, while offering 4 bedrooms and 2.2 baths over 2,556 square feet.

A charming front porch welcomes you and leads through a double entry into an open foyer. Off the foyer, the formal living room has a wood burning fireplace and built-in bookcase. The formal dining room is a large space that makes entertaining a breeze. Connected to the dining room is a neat and clean kitchen with stainless steel appliances and a blackboard wall. The first floor is completed with a mudroom and updated half bath.

On the second floor you’ll find an oversized master bedroom with walk-in closet and updated half bath. There are two additional bedrooms and a remodeled full bath.

The third floor has a spacious family room with built-in bookshelves and a small kitchen area. There is also another bedroom with a renovated bathroom.

Outside, the patio and yard are large enough for play or gardening. An oversized shed holds all of your outdoor equipment, and there is off-street parking for 3 cars in the driveway. Stay warm all winter with a high efficiency gas furnace.

Don’t miss this great home in an amazingly convenient location!

83 Kenyon Street is offered at $250,000. If you’d like to see this home, please have your agent arrange a showing, or call me at 860-655-2922 to schedule a visit. More details and a photo tour are available.

Two Bidding Wars

2017-02-06 Bidding War

As recently noted, the local real estate markets were very competitive in January. I had clients involved in two bidding wars during the month. They were quite different experiences.

Property #1 was in a premier location, with an excellent layout, but it needed a considerable amount of updating. The asking price was set rather low, and it attracted a lot of interest immediately. My clients liked the home, and agreed that the asking price was too low, so they quickly submitted an offer well over asking.

Property #2 was in good condition but had been on the market for a long time. The seller had done a price reduction about a month before, but still wasn’t seeing much interest despite the home being quite large and in a good location. Its challenge was that it had a big addition that gave it a non-traditional layout. My clients liked the home, but not the price. After being told that someone else had submitted a bid, they decided to make an offer below asking just in case their competition valued the home even lower than they did.

When people hear that there is a bidding war, they usually assume that the winning offer is above the asking price. That’s not always true. Sometimes a property can receive multiple offers with all of them below asking.

The key to navigating a bidding war is information and confidence. First, you have to have a strong understanding of the current value of the home. You need to know if the asking price is fair, too high, or too low. Next, you need to decide what the home is worth to you. Based on those two factors, you need to feel confident about the offer you submit.

Buyers only get one shot in a bidding war. If they win, they need to feel they paid a fair price. If they lose, they can’t have any regrets about their offer. The best way to gain that confidence is to pay close attention to the market, and learn about the pricing environment. Having a knowledgeable real estate agent on your team can help quite a bit, but you need to be paying attention to the market too. Buying a home is a team effort, and that’s especially true during a bidding war.

So, which property do you think my clients have under contract, property #1 or property #2?

January Contracts: More Buyers than Sellers

2017-02-03 Hartford County Single Family Contracts in January 2017

Hartford County began 2017 with 636 single-family homes going under contract in January. The total represented a 4% increase over the total from January 2016.

The market is currently imbalanced in favor of sellers in most price bands. Because most owners target listing their properties in the “spring market,” the number of available properties does not grow quickly in January. Buyers have been eager to start their home search this year, and are currently outnumbering sellers by a meaningful margin.

Months of Inventory is the metric that we use to compare the activity level of buyers to the number of homes available for sale. Inventory is currently at 3 months, which is a low number for Hartford County. Buyers have even fewer options at price points below $300,000s, which was the strongest portion of the market in 2016.

We are expecting the real estate markets to be active this year, perhaps even building on the gains in the number of deals observed from 2014 to 2015 to 2016. The best opportunities we see right now are for homeowners looking to move up to a larger home. Most markets are much stronger at the lower price point (where the move-up buyer would sell) than they are at the upper price points (where the move-up buyer would buy).

As always, we’re here to help with your real estate needs. Feel free to reach out to us at any point.

2017-02-03 Hartford County Single Family Contracts in January 2017 by Town