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How to Sell a Home–A case study in a real-state listing

Listing and selling a home—particularly in these tough times for this market sector—is a skill. Telling a story, staging in a big or small way, and pricing are the key elements to get the right people into the home to look, to like, and to buy. We offer one example as a way to illustrate the process.
The house located at 196 Peaceable Ridge Road exemplifies the process. The 7,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bathroom house, with its Nantucket-inspired architecture, elegant craftsmanship, and close proximity to town, fit perfectly into a popular niche in the real-estate market. The owners of the property listed it with Karla Murtaugh of Neumann Real Estate, for $1,945,000.

When it comes to putting your house on the market, timing is everything, says Murtaugh. “For many homeowners, once they decide to sell, they expect it on the market as soon as possible,” she says. Sometimes though, it’s better to wait. At this price point, buyers are looking for properties that check off many must-have features. For 196 Peaceable Ridge Road, she took the time to make sure everything was in order before listing the house.

Although the owners had already done many renovations on their own, Murtaugh guided them to do a few more improvements to really set the house apart. “The owners really went the extra mile to make this property turn key and that’s what buyers want,” says Murtaugh.

It was a collaborative effort to enhance the open-concept flow and design to reflect up-to-date trends. The entire house was basically repainted and Murtaugh had many recommendations for furniture placement and staging. There also is an exquisite attention to detail of the fixtures and finishes, creating a thoughtful flow from room to room. For example, the beautifully designed windows in the kitchen are echoed in the adjacent family room and study area, allowing a seamless transition between the rooms.

Murtaugh suggested the owners renovate the basement, which previously was unused square footage. The result is a beautiful lower level with a dedicated workout space, a comfortable seating area, a full bath with steam shower, and a walkout to the landscaped backyard. Because the lower-level renovation is not sub terrain, it doesn’t have a basement feel. Says Murtaugh: “It really adds valuable living space.”

Another one of her strategies involves waiting until the landscape is in full bloom in order to photograph the house so that buyers would have a full appreciation of the impact of the garden on the home’s overall aesthetic. The mature plantings provide a sense of privacy and the outdoor patio offers another entertaining space.

“All real estate is local,” says Murtaugh who has lived in town 30 years, “so it’s important to be involved in the community you live in.” When buyers know that you love and are connected to the town, it gives them the assurance that you are up on the nuances of the real-estate market. Murtaugh, like other agents in town, supports many local organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club, the Prospector Theater, Ridgefield Visiting Nurse Association, and Run Like a Mother.

The market has been stronger than recent years and Karla Murtaugh Homes has been busy. “People are noticing Ridgefield and the wonderful sense of community we offer,” she says. “Why wouldn’t they want to live here?”

With proper planning, patience, and some sage investment, the owners’ stately home is on the market and ready for a sale.



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