Tag Archives: litchfield county real estate

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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Newspaper Articles about Goldspiel/Real Estate

Litchfield County Publications

Ira Goldspiel, owner of the Inn at Kent Falls and the guiding light behind the Kent Chamber of Commerce’s Shorter Days Brighter Lights Christmas Tree Lighting & Community Pot Luck Dinner, has another full time job as a realtor. Mr. Goldspiel has been working for David Bain Realty for the past five years and this week announced that he is joining the sales team at Sotheby’s International Realty.

Sotheby’s recently purchased Todd Cole Realty and took over its office in the Kent Town Center.

We caught up with Mr. Goldspiel on Wednesday, his first day at his new job. Mr. Goldspiel said he is “very excited to be part of Sotheby’s,” adding, “I wasn’t unhappy working for David. There are a lot of wonderful people working there. I will miss them, especially all the girls. It is hard to leave after five years. I expect to remain good friends with everyone there and hope that we will be doing deals together.”

Mr. Goldspiel said he made the move to Sotheby’s because, “This is a chance to grow my business. Real estate is my full-time job. Sotheby’s has three offices in the area and has an amazing marketing presence on the East Coast as well as an international reach. The business has the small-town feel with an international presence. I feel I can use that to better serve both the seller and the buyer.”

Sotheby’s is known for marketing to the luxury home and resort market but Mr. Goldspiel said, “I haven’t abandoned the middle-income properties, those in the $200,000 to $300,000 range.” A quick check of the Sotheby’s Web site confirmed this. There were several properties listed at the Kent office that fit in this category along with those in the $1 million to $4 million range. There was even a one-bedroom cottage in Kent that is for rent for under $900 a month.

Sotheby’s Kent office has 12 agents. In addition to Mr. Goldspiel, Mr. Cole and Dottie MacRitchie stayed on when Mr. Cole sold his business to the international realty giant. They have been joined by agents Elizabeth DeVos, Judy Perkins, Michael Deveau, Sean Aikman, Mary Ann Miller, Fred Perotti, Gabriel Pinter, Karen Quinn, and Mary Anne Tappan. For more information call 860-927-1141. Sotheby’s office is located at 27 North Main Street, Suite 3 in the Kent Town Center. — Karen A. Chase

The New York Times
The gateway from New York into the town of Kent, on the western edge of Litchfield County, is Bulls Bridge, a one-lane covered bridge that insists those who cross it slow down. It’s an appropriate welcome to a town incorporated in 1739 and known for its state parks, outdoor activities and blend of culture and country life.

All of which appealed to Toby and Lisa King, who live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, when they bought a weekend home. They paid less than $500,000 in January for a former deer-hunting cabin.

“Toby is a fly fisher, and I love to hike, swim and snowshoe,” said Ms. King, 33, a television producer at Grey Advertising. “We were looking for a place that had all this and that we could travel to comfortably most weekends.” And, said Mr. King, 34, an investment banker, “there are lots of interesting people around.”

Those people include a mix of artists, writers, and actors — plus Henry Kissinger — along with local families. First Selectwoman Dolores Schiesel estimated that nearly half of Kent’s residents are part-timers. “It’s hard to call them weekenders,” she said. “They might start off with weekends, but before you know it, they’re here three or four days a week.” Before the railroad tracks cut through in the early 19th century, the land that is now downtown Kent was a farm area called the Plains. Businesses flourished with the arrival of the railroad, giving Kent a Main Street commercial district several blocks long. Among the low-rise wooden buildings is the Kent Town Center, a cluster of shops and offices completed in the late 1980’s. There are numerous antiques dealers, as well as a supermarket, a hardware store, a liquor store and an ice cream parlor.

The Scene
Kent’s bustling downtown sets it apart from many Litchfield County towns, which often lack any commercial development. The downtown impressed Simi Fazeli, 53, of Hartsdale, N.Y., who is a skin-care specialist in Manhattan. She recently bought a weekend home in Kent with her husband, Moe Alafchi, 43, an electrical engineer. “We walked around town, then stopped at Stroble Bakery for coffee and a bagel and watched the people who came in,” she said. “We really liked the feel of the place.”

For a town of just 2,800 people, Kent has a surprising concentration of galleries — ten in all, including one of the largest in the County: The Morrison Gallery

In addition to the Stroble Baking Company, the downtown includes Kent Coffee & Chocolate, an espresso bar known for hand-dipped truffles, and the House of Books. The town also has its share of restaurants, patronized by full-timers and weekenders alike. One of the oldest is the Fife ‘n Drum, which has French, Italian and American cuisine and where the owner, Dolph Traymon, plays piano nightly.

Celebrity weekenders, in addition to Mr. Kissinger, include Oscar de la Renta and Patti LuPone. Ira Goldspiel, owner of the Inn at Kent Falls and now an Associate at Sotheby’s International Realty, described the town as being more low-key than the Hamptons and more upscale than the Catskills. “It’s sophisticated,” he said, “without being pretentious.”

Kent is less than two hours by car from New York City.
For those who love the outdoors, Kent has plenty to offer. Part of the Appalachian Trail runs along the banks of the Housatonic River in town. At Kent Falls State Park, a 200-foot waterfall rushes over white marble ledges; 2,300-acre Macedonia Brook State Park has hiking, camping and fishing. Ms. Bevans said that the Spectacle Ponds are among the cleanest in Connecticut; North Spectacle is only accessible to lakeside property owners, but South Spectacle has public access for fishing, kayaking and canoeing (motorboats are prohibited). The town has swimming in Emery Park and at Lake Waramaug in nearby Warren. Fly-fishing enthusiasts can take their pick of the Housatonic (catch and release), Hatch Pond or Waramaug. And there are 23 ski trails on Mohawk Mountain, 15 minutes north in Cornwall.

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Ira’s Real Estate Market Perspective

The times are definitely changing and no matter which way you lean politically it seems we all want and need strong change.  It is also during these times we need to allow ourselves space to break from the implosion of negative news so we can better decide how to move forward and in fact create change. 
A weekend home tends to be the perfect haven for getting away from it all.  For those who do not own, I also find renting a home or staying at a small Inn /hotel offer a similar respite. The key is to get out of one’s daily surroundings/habits and truly to give oneself permission to rest. 
I am continually asked the question “How is the Litchfield County real estate market?”  Whether I am at the Inn or the office, this is the question.  The numbers constantly contradict themselves but below is my perspective on the market: 
Year to date through the end of September, unit sales in the key weekender towns are down over 20%, however some towns such as Cornwall, Kent, Lakeville/Salisbury are up. 
State of Connecticut sales as reported by The Warren Group show home sales fell 32.4 percent to 2,489 from 3,683 in August 2007, representing the slowest sales pace for the month of August since 1992. Year-to-date sales are off 26.4 percent, dropping to a total of 17,211 from 23,397 recorded during the first eight months of 2007. 
Median prices are down but only by single digits 
Inventories are relatively flat and as I have always said, it comes down to quality versus quantity. When you connect with a property you like do not think that another one will be around the corner, as most likely it will not. 
– Should you or shouldn’t you buy?  This is a personal question.  If your financial world is stable, now is a good time to buy. Serious sellers know they should entertain offers. Interest rates are still low and yes, mortgages are available. If you are uncertain it is probably better to rent, as this is not a good time for quick turnarounds. 
The only thing I can say we must all do is to take a break from the media, enjoy the bounty and beauty of autumn and when the time comes vote for what you believe in.  As always, I hope this newsletter finds you well.  If I can be of any assistance in helping you find a home or listing and selling your home please let me know. Sotheby’s International Realty has over 200 listings in the county as well as a stronghold in Fairfield County, Westchester County and Manhattan with an international network of buyers and sellers. 
Best Ira,
Sotheby’s International Realty 
Phone 860 927-7724
Cell 917 626-3481 

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Litchfield County Exploring

The Inn at Kent Falls – a bed & breakfast in Kent, Connecticut | a handsome colonial with guest books dating back to the early 1900’s. Though rich in history, the Inn has been carefully updated to satisfy discriminating travelers of the twenty-first century. Travel and Leisure Magazine said, “It’s like visiting your stylish country friends.” This serene setting is convenient to all of Litchfield county’s attractions including the Housatonic River, Lake Waramaug, Lime Rock, Appalachian Trail, Mohawk Mountain for skiing, plus wonderful restaurants, antiquing, the arts. The Inn has been featured in Travel & Leisure, Conde Naste Traveler, Country Home and The Best of Connecticut Magazine.

Canoe, Kayak, & Raft the Housatonic River in Connecticut with Clarke Outdoors | www.clarkeoutdoors.com
Sunday Breakfast: my partner and I decided to take a break and paddle down the river. Clarke Outdoors is great…they drop you off on one side and pick you up on the other. The trip is lovely, easy and does not require much experience. Definitely bring sunscreen, H2o and leave valuables in the car or at the Inn.  When the leaves start to turn, we’re doing it again.

Happy paddling! —Ira

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