Finding the Right Real Estate Agent: An Interview with Ira Goldspiel of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

The Sotheby’s Brand is renowned world wide and represents trust and luxury. William Pittt Sotheby’s International Realty is the largest Sotheby’s affiliate in the world with offices throughout the state of Ct, the Berkshires and Westchester. William Pitt brings all of the technology to the table to get listings into the right buyers hands.

What are some of the services your company provides?

We represent buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. We guide both from the beginning to the closing of a sale and often beyond. We do comprehensive market analysis for sellers and keep them informed about market conditions. We Reach out to our private brokerage and client groups to match sellers with buyers.

Why is it so important to find someone with relevant experience?

As with anything experience, passion, team work and the right tools make for a successful business. Real estate is one of the biggest investments someone can make and you need to be with someone that has the experience and passion to do this. The joy of working for William Pitt Sotheby’s is the amazing brand, network and tools we are supported with so we can concentrate on servicing our clients.

Where should I start in my search for a real estate agent?

Look for which agency has dominant share in the market. Look for an agent who is full time and has a history of selling properties. With all the tools out there it is still key to have a selling agent push your property and keep it in the front of other agents as well as buyers minds.

What are the advantages of working with a full-time agent, rather than an agent who has another job?

Without a question a full time agent is the only way to go. This is a business and we must be on call answering the phone and be available at a moments notice. A full time agent has the pulse of the market and knows how to price and market a property.

Should I go through family and friends to find reliable agents?

If they know the area not a bad place to start. The base of my business is referrals from past clients who are bringing there family and or friends into the area.

What are some questions I should be sure to ask when I interview potential real estate agents?

What is the market share of your company?
What have you sold in the area?
What is the state of the general market?
How do you see my property comparing to others?
Can you show me what has sold that would compare to mine and what is on the market?
What can I do to get my property ready for sale?
How do you market my property?
What is your web presence?

Should I trust print advertisements for real estate agents?

I think as with anything you need to look for factual data and ask for proof of someones sales record before engaging in the choosing of an agent.

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you or your company?

E mail: igoldspiel@williampitt.com

See more at: http://www.connecticutforsale.com/articles/finding-the-right-real-estate-agent-william-pitt-sothebys-realty#sthash.P2FhzvcZ.dpuf

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Year-To-Date Sales Analysis – 17 Towns

Monthly Sales

  • 2013 had a strong ending with 87 single family unit sales in December
  • The year outpaced 2012 with 21% more unit sales (907 vs. 750)

single_family_units2013

Unit sales by town

  • In absolute numbers the increases are largest in New Milford (+39), Goshen (+24), Litchfield (+23).
  • As a percent the greatest increases are in Goshen (+80%) and Warren (+58%). In total 6 towns had increases of more than 33%.
  • Only four towns, Bridgewater, Cornwall, Morris and Woodbury recorded fewer sales in ’13 vs. ’12, but the shortfall was 10% or less.

unit_sales_by_town2013

Average Sale Price

  • The average sale price is slightly higher in 2013 than 2012.  Up 2%.
  • Total Dollar Volume is over $78 million  — +23% year-to-year

average_sale_price2013

High End Sales

  • December had 6 sales over $1 million
  • There have been 63 sales over $1 million.  In 2012, there had been 54. A 16% increase in units.
  • Bethlehem, Norfolk and Woodbury are the only towns that did not have at least one sale over $1 million.
high_end_sales2013

Click to view larger

High End Sales by Month

  • 2013 started off very slowly for the high end market but has been very strong since May.
  • In 2012 the high end sales were much more evenly distributed throughout the year

units_sold_yoy2013

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Country Chic at The Inn at Kent Falls

Published in HappeningintheHills.com

With owner Ira Goldspiel’s attention to detail and stylish good taste, it’s no surprise The Inn at Kent Falls was voted Best B&B in Connecticut, again.

Kent-Falls-1_03

RANDY O’ROURKE

Every year Connecticut magazine puts out a special issue devoted to the best places in the state. This year, and for the last few years, the award for Best B&B has been awarded to The Inn at Kent Falls. It’s no surprise considering what the Inn has to offer. With its chic country interior, private updated baths, lovely pool and gardens, it is the perfect setting for a weekend—or week—away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The historic property was built in the early 1900s, and at one time was known as the Flanders Arms. Located in the charming town of Kent, in the heart of the Northwest Corner, it is close to all of the best dining spots, cafés, outdoor attractions, galleries, and shops. There is a bounty of natural beauty, as well as enough art and culture to satisfy all tastes and interests.

Owner Ira Goldspiel, a former New York fashion executive, has done a beautiful job updating the interior of the Inn without losing its character. It still has the original old, wide plank flooring, as well as fireplaces in some bedrooms and bathrooms. There are six rooms, all of which are beautifully appointed with comfy beds,  luxurious linens, simply and elegantly decorated. Each room has its own look, and they all are stylishly put together. The other part of the “bed & breakfast, is the delicious breakfast included in the room rates. From frittatas to quiches, fresh-baked banana nut bread to strawberries and currants, homemade granola to brioche French Toast— breakfast at the Inn is always sumptuous.

Throughout the Inn are numerous spots to feel at home in. In the fall and winter, you can sit by the crackling Colonial-size fireplace in the living room. In spring and summer there is a screened-in porch to cool off, overlooking two and a half lush acres surrounded by gardens, a brook, and a pool. You can read by the pool or meet other guests in the den.

Ira is one of those people who knows everything about anything. He can recommend a good restaurant, arrange to have a massage therapist come to the pool house for you, tell you where to go kayaking, and fill you in on what’s happening that week in the area. He’s a gracious host and a genuinely nice guy who is involved in the community. He aims to provide his guests with a spectacular experience while staying at his B&B. And if you are looking to buy a house in the area, well, he happens to be one of the top realtors in Litchfield County.

If you are looking to customize your weekend, perhaps a yoga retreat, or a romantic getaway, or an outdoors ski package, a hike through the Appalachian Trail, or a quiet, relaxing weekend, Ira provides concierge service for his guests. Or perhaps you’d like a combination of both indoor and outdoor pleasures and pursuits. Tell him what you are looking for and he’ll take care of arranging it all. You can take over the whole Inn with a family reunion or a wedding, both of which are very popular at the Inn. Ira has relationships with many different venues and local experts throughout the region to help make it happen, from the wedding ceremony officiator to the local event planner and the wedding photographer.

The drive from New York City is an hour and forty-five minutes and Boston is two and a half hours away. As you get closer to Kent, the scenic drive with covered bridges, farmstands, antiques shops, and glorious vistas will please your senses. With first class service and modern luxury, the Inn at Kent Falls is the perfect place for those seeking the comforts and ammenities of the city in a tranquil countryside setting.

VIEW THE ARTICLE ON HAPPENINGINTHEHILLS.COM

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The Inn at Kent Falls in Kent, Connecticut

2011 Press & Reviews

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The Inn at Kent Falls in Object Magazine 2011

The Inn at Kent Falls in Object Magazine 2011

WE ARE A DESTINATION | The Inn at Kent Falls is a luxury Bed and Breakfast convenient to nature trails, horseback riding, cycling routes, Kent Falls State Park and much more. Please think of us for fall season lodging as we are right in the heart of Litchfield County’s most beautiful fall foliage. After the fall leaves have gone, Kent, Connecticut is home to superb skiing, hiking, bicycling, antiquing or just enjoying a day walk.

INN AWARDS & REVIEWS | Recognized in Travel and Leisure Magazine’s, “Best Hotel Book,” this past year has become a year of recognition and accolades. The Inn at Kent Falls has won the “Best Bed & Breakfast” in the September 2011 issue of Connecticut Magazine (for more than two consecutive years), and for the first time, the September 2011 issue of New England Travel Magazine and Boston Magazine. The Inn is also currently featured in a beautiful double-page spread in Australia’s premier design Magazine, Object Magazine.

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GO TO OUR WEBSITE TO VIEW PRESS PAGE

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Weddings

EXCEPTIONAL ROMANTIC EXPERIENCE | The Inn at Kent Falls has partnered with key event planners and restaurants in the area to offer distinctive choices for intimate weddings and events.

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DEE LISH! From the heart of Sicily….that delectable chef, Roberto Pizzo, has opened Kents’ most charming and romantic Italian restaurant – Doc’s Trattoria – in a newly renovated antique village building just minutes from the inn. Imagine dinner al fresco on a blue stone terrace or, on a cooler night, your party of 12 in the softly-lit and beautifully appointed private dining room. www.docstrattoria.com

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The much anticipated opening of The Millstone Café, co-owned by John Cummins and Carol Hawran, arrived recently with several unique elements to meet the ever-evolving needs of Litchfield County residents: A warm atmosphere, casual elegance, delicious, healthy foods created in part from the region’s locally-grown produce, meat, dairy and grains, and served in a family-friendly environment. It’s all about “celebrating honest food, mindfully prepared, locally sourced.”

A dinner for 12 at the communal table or a festive atmosphere on the porch – happiness for the health-conscious & vegetarians alike! The Millstone team produces any size event or wedding including site scouting. The restaurant is available to rent for private events.  The dining room comfortably seats 50 guests and there is outdoor seasonal seating for approximately 30-40 additional guests. www.themillstonecafe.com

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Inn at Kent Falls celebrations
Rustic Magic by Party Resources

Dixie Todd is a renowned event planner who has been creating unique parties for more than twenty-five years. She and her team at Party Resources combine flawless style and attention to detail which result in a memorable event. Dixie works with a variety of clientele – private, corporate, non-profit – to make each celebration unique.
www.party-resources.com

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FOR INN AT KENT FALLS CONTACTigoldspiel@aol.com
(office) 860.927.3197 | (cell) 917.626.3481
 

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About this Blog & The Inn at Kent Falls in Connecticut

THE INN AT KENT FALLS

as Featured in Country Home, Traveler & The Best of Connecticut Magazines | The Northwest Hills of Connecticut are brimming with opportunities to enjoy both natural and cultural events. This Kent Falls Blog will not only function as your Area Guide, it will also feature up-to-date articles on Litchfield Real Estate, providing information that will help you make more informed decisions, particularly now, in these challenging times.

Classic new England bathroom at The Inn at Kent Falls

Classic New England bathroom at The Inn at Kent Falls

ABOUT US | As a merchandising guru in New York City’s fast-paced fashion industry, Ira Goldspiel - owner of The Inn at Kent Falls – looked forward to weekend escapes in the tranquil Connecticut countryside. A few years ago he escaped for good by trading in his city flat for a colonial-style Bed & Breakfast in Kent, located within the Litchfield Hills region in the northwest corner of the state.

Ira restored and updated the 1741 structure. Six spacious guest rooms, decorated in a simple yet elegant country modern style, feature spa-like baths. Guests start their day with fresh fruit and Ira’s homemade granola on the screened porch. They go antiquing or explore nature trails by foot, bike, or horseback and are always welcome to read by the pool or mingle with other guests in the den. Rates start at $195. There are many marvelous Winter Specials that include Ski Packages, Romantic Getaway’s, Christmas & New Years Stays.

Oh, yes. If you’re looking for Litchfield County properties,  Ira Goldspiel is an Associate of Sotheby’s International Realty and is known for his dedicated & courteous professionalism.

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Ira’s Real Estate Links

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER | Informative Links

Everything Real Estate, ahead of the curve. I’ll be adding even more Links but for now, check this one out, news for brokers, agents & investors: http://www.inman.com/

Here’s another. This is a charming but informative story about a house & the owners in Sherman, Connecticut: www.nytimes.com

–Ira

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Kent Falls NewsLetter

Kent Falls NewsLetter  | 

The start of this New Year has been quite eventful both locally and globally. We’ve all experienced and/or witnessed distress and personal difficulties but we’ve also been given many reasons to be optimistic.  For me, this is the YEAR OF HOPE, a year to be resourceful, creative and to think outside the box.  Where there are problems, there are also solutions hence, the inspiration to create the Kent Falls NewsLetter, which will offer you the opportunity to join or contribute to a positive dialog about subjects that concern all of us. I look forward to hearing what you have to say, meanwhile, here’s some good NEWS…

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N E W S

This past week in Kent we had tremendously exciting news when we learned that the Litchfield County Jazz Fest will be relocating to Kent this summer. 
KENT — Town officials gave the Litchfield Performing Arts and Kent School the green light on Monday to bring the 2009 Litchfield Jazz Festival to the school’s campus this summer. The nationally-acclaimed three-day festival, launched in 1996 at Litchfield’s White Memorial, has been based since 1998 at the Goshen Fairgrounds, where Muir said attendance has averaged between 4,000 and 6,000 over its three-day span the first weekend each August. The festival, which brings high-level jazz musicians to perform under several tents, comes at the end of the four-week Jazz Camp. That program, held until now at the Forman School in Litchfield, enrolls several hundred students from many states who practice and perform under the direction of professional jazz musicians and recording artists.
Note from Ira: I’m very pleased to also announce that Sotheby’s International Realty, where I’m an Associate, is a Sponsor of this event.

N E W S

You don’t have to wait for summer as The Kent Film Festival kicks off in March, and The Inn at Kent Falls is proud to continue it’s support of this ever-growing event. See their website for schedules and updates.

N E W S

ONE BODY FITNESS: by Howard Schissler                  
Pilates Teacher | Howard Schissler

Pilates Teacher | Howard Schissler

 

Look forward to monthly contributions on Pilates, Fitness and Health from renowned Fitness expert and pilates instructor,  Howard Schissler,  who teaches in his studio in New York City but weekends in Kent.  Here’s a slice of Howard’s uplifting philosophy: “I truly believe that Pilates can change the way you move and even how you feel. Besides the obvious benefits of a stronger and more flexible body, I’ve seen the impact of Pilates on people’s lives. It has the power to change the way you relate to your body, which infiltrates the way you do everything else, even something as simple as walking. But this is only one aspect of Pilates, which is really a journey with endless benefits.”

Howie’s Entry: VISUALIZATION

I do believe in visualization.  I know it might sound hokey to many people, but I remember when I was a young dancer and I was having trouble with a difficult piece of choreography; I would envision my body performing the sequence of steps that were giving me trouble.  In my mind’s eye I would see myself performing the steps, easily and effortlessly with grace and beauty. It wasn’t always instantaneous, but if I were patient, eventually the choreography would slowly but surely come to me. 

2009 |  What’s in your Future?  See it. See what you want for yourself and see yourself doing it. So just like what I used to do when I was having trouble learning choreography, I’d like you to figure out exactly what your desires for the upcoming year might be.  A new job, a healthier body, or even a new lover, whatever it might be, then I want you to take time to see yourself in your mind’s eye, with whatever it is that you’re longing & hoping for in your future.  Be specific, be clear — see if you can visualize every detail. If you can see it, it can happen. 

Howie’s Entry: ABOUT PARTIES

You’re Out ‘n About with Everything Screaming, “Eat Me, Eat Me.” What to do:

1) Eat a healthy meal or healthy snack BEFORE you go to any parties because you know there’ll always be an excess of high caloric food. Remember….it’s easier to show restraint when you’re not ravenous.

2) Set some time aside for your workouts and schedule them in your appointments book.  Put a Post-It on your fridge, your front door, in your car. Don’t break those appointments with yourself because this should be the year you take care of yourself. There’s always a reason NOT to…always so much to do. Think of it this way. All we really have is our health. Do your Workout then you have a Treat.

3) Treats. You already know in advance there’ll be lots of temptation at parties, so allow yourself only one indulgence, but remember only one.  This way you won’t feel deprived. And since you remembered not to forget to do your Workout, you can enjoy that one Treat without guilt. You’ll be amazed at how good you’ll feel practicing restraint. The results will be self-evident and, while we cannot control world events, we can control what we do to ourselves. 

4) Drinking. Alcohol has way too many calories without any nutritional value. A glass of red wine is one thing, 4 cocktails are another. And after that first drink or four it will make you less inhibited, and with your guard down, you won’t remember what you ate (or what you did). Take it easy. Change happens moment by moment, decision by decision.  Repeat after me:  If You can See it, it Can Happen. 

O P I N I O N | Ira Goldspiel

As an Associate at Sotheby’s International Realty, many of my clients are asking me about the Real Estate Market and I’m cautiously realistic. We’re still protected in Litchfield county but we did see less sales last year, which will continue into 2009.
    • We’re still performing better than much of the the country and in most weekend markets.
    • Inventories are relatively flat. For sellers it is more important than ever to be represented by a firm with reach and to work with a realtor who can advise you not only on pricing but on home preparation and staging for the market.
    • For buyers they are in the best position in years in terms of mortgage rates being at an all time low, and the fact that, with many less buyers, sellers will have to be more negotiable if they want to sell. This truly is the time to buy as I think by 2010, prices will start to come back up. You should read this: NY Times: For the Brave, the Time is NOW
Morris Lake View

Morris Lake View

Read the article then look at some of the latest listings we’re offering from the the 28 acre Laurel Hill Farm in South Kent to Sharons’ world-class riverfront property to the newly reduced Macedonia Brook Dram Cottage. Remember…whether your budget is $200,000 or 2 million dollars, I can always help you find the right property. I also have a strong stable of Rental Inventory both on a seasonal and an annual basis.
THE INN AT KENT FALLS | For those of you who have stayed at the Inn at Kent Falls, we’d love to read about your experience on this Blog. Visiting The KENT SCHOOL? Ask about Special Rates. Throughout the winter season we will be offering packages and special upgrade rates on suites for repeat guests so please ask about these when you call or e-mail.
Until the next Time—–Ira

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