It’s no secret that Connecticut's real estate market is insanely hot right now. It feels like everyone is either buying, selling or seriously thinking about listing their house TODAY. Since the market has exploded, we wanted to chat with the local Connecticut real-estate expert to get you guys the most up to date details on all things CT [real estate]! Over the past few months, we’ve been turning to Cindy Raney and her team to learn the ins-and-outs of the booming 2020 housing market and we are super psyched to share her tips on the best ways to get your home ready in this fast-moving market.

Meet Cindy.

 To be totally honest— we’ve been blown away by Cindy’s refreshing take on real estate and how easily she simplifies the sometimes-intimidating steps involved when buying or selling a house. We love that Cindy and her team [her husband included] focus on the human aspect of selling. They’re transforming the entire experience to make it all about the client rather than the end transaction. (It’s about time!) Cindy Raney & Co is a ‘concierge-style’ real estate group that provides their customers with what they call, an “exceptional experience”.  

We sat down with
Cindy to ask her a few questions that we thought would be most beneficial for all of you to read about. Here's what she had to say...  

I'm thinking about selling, but where do I even start?

Call us! We recognize that even thinking about selling your home can be overwhelming. Our job is to take the stress out of the process. We start by recommending steps that help get your house what we call - “market ready”. In other words, we want your home to look as new and fresh as possible. All without spending a needless amount of money. Typically, this involves minor touch-ups: painting, home staging and decluttering. Throughout the process, we provide you with current market trends to better help you understand market dynamics. This helps us agree upon the two most important factors when selling a home: how should I price my home and how long will it take to sell? The final piece of the puzzle is: now that I’ve sold my home, where will I go from here? Our job is to help you put these pieces together, simplifying a complicated process to make it as seamless and stress-free as possible. 

Any advice for those thinking about listing their home during the holidays?
This is such an unusual market. Had you asked us this question a year ago, we would have said that based on the last 10 years, the typical real estate market slows dramatically during the holidays. This year – all bets are off. While we don’t expect the same flurry of activity that we’ve seen since May of this year, the market in Fairfield County is still incredibly active. Given the limited inventory across the market, we anticipate that many homes will sell in bidding wars during the first few weeks of December. 
Has COVID changed the home selling proccess?

Yes! Without question, today’s selling process is extremely different. More so than ever, it starts with everyone’s adherence to safety guidelines and protocols: use of masks, hand sanitizer, booties, and gloves. In addition, we create customized individual property websites leveraging Matterport technology. This provides the prospective buyer with a “virtual tour” of the property prior to stepping foot inside the home. Why is this advantageous for our clients? Because a potential buyer who requests an in-person tour following a virtual tour is more likely a serious “buyer” and therefore more apt to make an offer. 

Do you have a quick TIP to help sellers stand out and get the best ROI for their home during COVID?

There are currently three unique aspects to a home that are making them more desirable than others of a similar price range. These are: a home office, a home gym, and a pool (or room for one). If you are able to carve out space in your home for an office or a home gym, now is the time to do it. If you don’t already have a pool, let us help you find out if there is room for one. That will instantly make your home more appealing to buyers in this market.  


Which home improvement projects have the best return on investment? 

The answer to this question is perhaps surprisingly, not so different than how we would have responded years ago. Updated Kitchens, Bathrooms and current lighting still rule the day. However, unlike in years past, we are not proposing that clients tackle a full remodeling. Again, it comes back to making your home look “fresh and new” but within a reasonable budget. Simple paint touch-ups to these rooms, favoring a neutral color, will definitely give you a positive return on your investment. We also recommend changing out the hardware on your kitchen cabinets and adding the most current lighting to give you the best ROI. 

“What differentiates brands like the Ritz-Carlton and Mitchell’s of Westport from their high-end competitors?  What separates these two great organizations is simple: memorable service. We aspire for our clients to feel the same way about us.” -Cindy

Have questions? Cindy would love to chat! 
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