All sales in December for single family homes in Norwalk.
Total units: 52
The addresses and closed prices are listed above, would you want to see any other information about the home?
Property Address: 279 Silvermine Road, New Canaan CT
Listing Price: $1,249,000
Status: Price Just Reduced
Bedrooms: 4-5 | Bathrooms: 3.5 | Square Feet: 4,276
Garage: 2 Car Attached | Central Air | Excellent Condition
Most of the major websites where we (Realtors) market our listings has one major flaw - the inability to hear the true story of a home, before a buyer enters the home. Here is that true story of 279 Silvermine Road, from my perspective.
Sometimes in this business, we find homes that are quirky and unique, that cannot possibly be described in the short space given under the 'Description' section of most websites. For this home, let me walk you through it in this story:
In the historic and beautiful Silvermine neighborhood, you enter a large driveway, with white gate and fence, and exceptional plantings and landscaping. Upon entering through the front door, you can immediately notice a small-home feel, in excellent condition. The original structure, a small cape, was expanded to appease the normal New Canaan buyer. At the front door, you can go straight up the stairs, left into the old dining room, now a mud-room/foyer, or right into the original living room. This room comes with a well-maintained fireplace and mantle, and an exit to a deck, for entertaining. With hardwood floors, and more built-ins than you can imagine, there is a feeling of old-school character that many new homes are missing.
The next room is a dining room that was added on to the original structure, that has access to two balconies, hardwood floors, and a small nook/reading window overlooking the private back yard. What is amazing about this room, is that the original stone foundation of the home is the backdrop, adding something that I have never seen in another home. Finally, you arrive in the kitchen, which has a circular flow from these other rooms (with a half bath in between, and access to the basement). This kitchen is updated as you would expect, with granite counters, stainless steel appliances, recessed lighting, and more natural light than you can imagine. Despite updated lighting throughout, the many large windows provide natural light no matter the weather!
Continuing on, you can enter the 2-car garage directly from the kitchen, or a side exit to the driveway, or enter a family room, with hardwood floors, and huge windows. It also has access to the grilling-balcony that also leads to the main dining room. This room is a great kid's room, TV room, or space to send guests so they don't hang out in your kitchen. Standing out in this room, is the spiral staircase, a second way to go up or down the stairs (to rooms/basement).
If we go back to the original stair case at the front door, we can go upstairs to three bedrooms. But walking up those stairs, gives you a take-your-breath-away feeling - directly ahead, there are french doors leading to a large bedroom suite, with a balcony directly in front of you, leading to a view of the back yard. This suite bedroom was the original master bedroom, and includes a sitting window, and an updated bathroom, that is private. The other two bedrooms in this part of the home have the visible roof angles and dormers that enhanced the character of the original structure. With hardwood in both of these bedrooms, and recessed lighting, a buyer would find little that needs to be done. These two share a bathroom in the hallway, also in newer condition.
Finally, on this level the hallway stairs lead to a master suite that is fit for the president - with oval office and all. First, there is a master bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, stand-up shower, double sink with gorgeous tile-work throughout. In addition to a set of closets, there is a walk-in closet - no lack of storage anywhere. Off the back of this bedroom, near the back spiral staircase is a large room with a front balcony, that can be used for so many purposes. It can function as another bedroom, or, as a grand office for someone who works at home. It can be a playroom, a gym, or anything your imagination might deem possible. Exiting the room, you can use the back spiral staircase, without disturbing any of the other rooms.
As we take the spiral staircase, down to the basement, you notice a tower-like feeling of this space, with abundant windows providing natural light. In the basement, there is an over-sized playroom, with a billiards table, and wet bar, the epitome of entertainment. The bar is something to behold - the contractors leveraged the natural stone foundation of the original structure to add a level of charm unmatched in any bar that I have seen. This bright basement has windows along the whole back of the structure, with multiple exits to the backyard. There are multiple bonus rooms down here as well, and a yoga room for the yogi in you.
Out in the back yard, below the dining room, there is an outdoor living space/patio. The back yard is exceptionally private, with woods around the perimeter, keeping your neighbors at bay. The 2.32 acres have a good portion that are woods, but this allows for privacy unmatched in most New Canaan homes.
The location is also great, with access to downtown in a minute, the East School seconds from the front door, and alternate access to Norwalk/Route 7 the opposite way. It is also situated in Silvermine, a few minutes from the old Silvermine Tavern.
For $1.25 million, this is the best price-per-square foot deal on the market in New Canaan. A buyer would have little to do for a few years, with everything taken care of in the past ten years. The updates are all exactly what most buyers are seeking, in this real estate climate. It has central air conditioning, new windows, a large attic, and the most storage possible. Come visit during the open house this weekend on January 31, 2016, OR on February 14, 2016. Hope to see you there!
What is the first thing a buyer will look at when seeking homes on the Internet? The pictures. High-quality photography is essential to gain more eyes on the home, translating into more visits to the home.
There are only two options to taking photographs of a home for the purpose of listing: 1) Professional photography; 2) Realtor's Photography. Sure, a seller can take pictures themselves, but that is like bringing your car to the mechanic and changing the oil yourself. The Realtor is there to provide value, and if they cannot take high-quality pictures themselves (as a minimum), what else will they neglect during the sales process?
Your first alternative is to request that a Realtor hire a professional. If they cannot prove the efficacy of their photographs, or show why their photos are better, then it is in your best interest to have them pay for someone to do it. This could run the Realtor $100-$500 depending on the home. Make sure to determine this BEFORE you sign a contract with the listing agent.
During my years in this business, I have won listings numerous times because of my photography. As a Realtor, it is essential to use a high-quality camera, preferably a mid-to-high end Canon or Nikon ($500-$2000). It is also a MUST to use a wide-angle lens (not to be mistaken for a fish-eye lens). Finally, if you want to spend further, some lighting equipment might be a nice touch, but is not essential. A good flash would be sufficient to replace the stock flash on these cameras.
Once you have the equipment, experience is the next step. If you get enough listings, and take enough pictures, eventually you get into a groove that provides the highest quality one can expect.
The process of taking the pictures is the easy part. This is something any Realtor can and should do. A professional takes this a step further, and I believe ALL Realtors should also go further. The final step to taking pictures, is the touch-up process that brings those pictures to the next level.
Using a program such as Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop allows a Realtor to adjust the important aspects of the photos, to make them Internet ready.
NOTE: Adobe has become the Creative Cloud, meaning that there is no longer a physical Suite to purchase, but a monthly subscription for these services. If you want to use it, you might have to pay the monthly payments.
Once you have chosen the 20-30 photos you want to use for the listing, put them all in Photoshop, and get started with the necessary editing and alterations to the pictures. This is no tutorial for Photoshop, but you should determine how best to change settings such as exposure, brightness, contrast, saturation, and vibrancy. Get familiar with these adjustments.
You might also need to reduce the size of the photos. With a high-quality camera, the raw photos tend to be too big to load in some places on the Internet. Using the Resize functionality in Photoshop, or paint.net, you can easily reduce it to 50% of its size, making it small enough for most of the Internet.
With these tools and tips, getting the best photography is within reach. If you have further questions about these processes, or want more in-depth details, just let me know!
Despite this being after the staging section of our Game Plan, the most essential aspect of ‘staging’ a home is the de-cluttering that is required to make a home show better. Clutter eats equity – this is the best way to think about clutter. Here are some rules of thumb that will help you as a Realtor or a seller:
The goal of de-cluttering is to remove the distractions that are common in every home. A buyer needs to have the best opportunity to look at the home, and not the stuff. Considering this is a zero-cost solution to help a home sell, every homeowner should do their utmost to take these tips to heart.
Hand-in-hand with de-cluttering is the last step before photography - cleaning. It is essential that for every showing, that the home is picked up in advance. You might make a habit of cleaning every morning before going to work, to avoid any issues here. But it is also a good idea to do a deep clean prior to listing, especially if it has never been done before. Hire a company, as it makes it so much easier for you. You can find someone for $30-$50 per hour, which is well-worth the money. You should also have all carpets cleaned – for a vacant home, I have a carpet cleaner that does one ‘zone’ for $50, basically any room is considered a zone. Make sure to clean inside and outside of windows as well.
For a seller, the de-cluttering and cleaning processes are infinitely low cost solutions to making the home smell and feel livable for a new buyer.
We (Joe and Chris Balestriere) are Realtors in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Our blog is meant to educate buyers and sellers and equip them with tools to get the most out of their Realtor, whether it is us or someone else. We focus on technology and how it enhances the work we do for our clients--we are not top CT Realtors by accident.