real estate

August Signature Report

 

We are about two years into a national trend of decreased housing supply and increasing average sales prices. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but the market is shifting predominately in favor of home sellers. This is great news for homeowners, and home sellers, as property values continue to rise along with demand. Purchasers will be happy to hear that interest rates have remained low, but are expected to creep up in the year to come.

We've seen dozens of multiple-offer situations over the summer, which makes having a realtor on your side crucial to negotiate the best price and terms for your sale or purchase. With a market this aggressive, having a professional working on your behalf is more important than ever. 

With an increased demand for homes the average amount of time a property spent on the market in August continued to decrease. This is especially true of homes listed by a licensed real estate agent as they're more widely visible to potential purchasers. Not only are homes selling quickly, but the multiple-offer situations referenced above can drive the sale price up.

 

August 2016 vs. August 2017 Chittenden County Statistics

As pictured in the graphs below, the number of available listings this August is down 15.6% from last year at month's end. Most notably however, is the substantial jump (over 12%!) in sales price from this time last year, netting sellers nearly $37,000 extra! These statistics are based on homes sold with the assistance of a trained professional; according to a recent study, homes sold without the help of a realtor net substantially less, and spend more time on the market. 

 

Sale Price vs. List Price Comparison

Below you'll find two charts comparing the average sales price versus list price of properties sold so far in 2017. As you'll see, month over month, Signature Properties of Vermont realtors are able to achieve or exceed our sellers' expectations. Signature Properties of Vermont boasts slightly higher  results than competing firms with our sellers receiving 100% of their asking price, on average. 

 

 

August Firm Rankings

We're proud to once again be in the top 10 performing brokerages this month, and year to date! It is important to us as a company that we maintain a small, productive team which allows us to handle each transaction with the personal attention and care it deserves. At Signature Properties, our clients, and their properties, are treated with the utmost respect. We'd like to think that our consistently high ranking reflects the time and attention we work to provide. 

 

As always, if you have any questions about your home, or the market in general, please give us a call! We are thankful to be your real estate resource. 

Brrrr! It's time to get your fireplace serviced!

With temperatures and snow falling fast, there's no better place to be than nestled in front of a cozy fireplace. Before settling in, there are a few safety measures to take to ensure you can relax and enjoy the comfort of a crackling fire all winter long. 

According to Susan McKelvey, a spokesperson for the National Fire Protection Association, half of all US home heating fires take place between December and February. Follow the tips below to put your mind at ease and start enjoying your fireplace right away!

1. Regularly clean the interior

Burning wood in fireplaces can release pollutants in the air and leave a buildup of dust, ash, and creosote, which can cause fires. Also watch for any accumulation of soot, which is softer than creosote, is flammable, and must be regularly cleaned from the chimney.

The NFPA recommends chimneys be cleaned at least once a year, at the beginning of winter, to remove soot and debris. For homes who use their fireplace regularly a more regular cleaning schedule may be better. Contact a local chimney cleaner to get a professional opinion.

2. Cap it

Use a wire mesh cap to cover the top of the chimney to keep birds, squirrels, rain, and other debris from entering. Some critters can mistake chimneys for trees and build nests inside them to escape the cold. This is not only a danger to the animals, but a potential fire hazard. Capping your chimney is an inexpensive fix, usually running around $75-$80.

3. Check the damper

The damper is a movable plate meant to seal the fireplace when not in use. Be sure your damper is working properly and free of debris that would keep it from opening and closing properly.

While you're checking the damper, also take a look at other components such as door latches, handles and grates. Over time these items can break or warp and should be repaired/replaced.

4. Monitor for smoke

Excess smoke can be caused by animal nests (see Tip 2), an unclean chimney that has creosote, soot buildup, a closed or partly open damper, or wood that is not burning completely.

Check that your chimney is properly vented to the outside to minimize the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Be sure your smoke and CO alarms are functioning properly. 

5. Choose the right wood to burn

Hardwoods such as maple, oak, ash, and birch burn longer and hotter, have less pitch and sap, and will contribute less creosote buildup.

You can burn any type of untreated wood but to make sure it is properly seasoned. You'll know your wood is well-seasoned when it fades in color, is hard, sounds hollow when you knock on it, and has loose bark.The most effective way to dry out wood is to cut it, split it, and stack it.

6. Use heat-proof glass doors

Glass doors help protect against heat loss and keep embers, cinders, or logs from rolling out of the fireplace and causing damage. You can have doors installed on the frame of your fireplace or pick up a tempered glass screen. Of course, be sure to keep anything flammable well out of the way of the doors or grate.