Sugarbush and Mad River Valley Real Estate
8 Most Asked Questions
Does the State of Vermont charge a tax to purchase or sell a property?
Vermont charges buyers a Property Transfer Tax on all purchases of real estate. If you are going to reside in the home or build on the land within two years and be a Vermont resident for tax purposes, the first $100,000.00 is charged at .5% ($500.00). Everything over $100,000.00 is charged at the rate of 1.25% and if you are not a Vermont resident, the total price is charged at 1.25%. You have two years to permanently move to Vermont. If the seller is not a Vermont resident, the State of Vermont claims 2.5% of the sale price at closing until you file a Vermont tax return showing the actual gain on the real estate unless you can prove you are taking a loss prior to the closing and receive a letter from the Secretary of State for an exemption.
There is so much land that is not built on in The Valley. Why can’t I find a piece of land?
It is getting harder each year to find a plot of land that is buildable, unrestricted and one that a septic system can be put on. The Mad River Valley has very little flat land, most of which lies along the Mad River and is either in the Flood Plain or is in Agricultural Use. Further, many large tracts throughout the Valley have been placed in the Land Trust which prohibits building on the land, some land has zoning restrictions placed by the Town Zoning Laws or there just is not septic capacity which would meet State and Local approval.
What is a Perc Test?
As there is no community septic systems in The Valley (except in Sugarbush Village), land must be able to support a septic system for the number of bedrooms you plan to build and have a location for a well that meets State setback requirements. To determine if the land is suitable for your needs, an engineer performs a perc test. This requires a backhoe to dig test pits on the land, usually 7 feet deep to see what type of soils are there. If the soils do show a possible system could be built, the engineer then digs a hole where the test pits were dug and fills the hole with water until it will not absorb any more. Then the engineer times how long the hole takes to drain which will then determine the rate of absorption for a leach field.
Can I rent for a year while I find the perfect place for myself?
Housing is becoming harder to find in The Valley as many of our rental houses and condominiums are being sold. With the price of land escalating and no new condominiums being built, each sale of a rental property means one less place to rent. When Sugarbush was sold in the Fall of 2001, many felt they would wait to see what would happen to the real estate market and therefore created a sellers market as many properties have been sold and new listings are slower coming on the market than in past years.
How does a property get listed at the price offered?
At Vermont Country Properties, Sotheby's International Realty our philosophy is to list a property to sell it, not to just list it. If an owner is ready to sell and puts the effort into getting their property ready for marketing, we want to be realistic for that seller as to what they can expect. We do a Comparative Market Analysis using sales from our Multiple Listing Service and look at the Town’s appraisal of the property. We look to see if the market is accelerating or declining. We also take into consideration the current value of land and building costs when pricing a home. In addition, unique features to a property or a location may make a house more or less valuable and we take this all into account. Ultimately, the seller makes the final decision and we either agree or not to list at that price.
As a buyer, how do I know if the price is fair?
You have many options available to you. You can look at public records of recent sales, see what else is on the market in the same size, condition, and location of the property you want and check what value the Town has placed on the property. You can hire an agent to represent you as well. You can find an agent by asking a friend who has just purchased in the area, you can check to see if the agent has continued to educate themselves and if they are an active Realtor®. You can ask an attorney for a referral of agents they do business with. Certainly make sure you feel comfortable with the agent you have chosen before signing a buyers broker agreement. Your broker is not going to "get a cheaper price for you" but will advise you on the current market. Just like a seller, you make the final decision on what you are willing to pay for a property.
Who pays the Commission on a sale?
If you asked a seller, he would feel he paid the fee because the price was deducted from the agreed upon sales price and if you asked the buyer, he would feel he paid as he was willing to pay a certain price for the property. In reality, the commission fee comes from the transaction. Often a fee is offered through the Multiple Listing Service that most brokers use to locate properties for their customer or client. It is up to each client and agent to determine how much the fee will be for the hiring of services (selling or buying a property). There is no predetermined commission set among brokers. There is an agreement of how much will be paid to the other side of the transaction most often through the MLS that is a vehicle for sellers to offer their properties to the market place.
What is the difference between a Customer and a Client?
The Vermont Real Estate Commission requires that a licensed agent in the State of Vermont disclose whom he works for (how that agent is paid). A client is a person either selling their property who has hired a broker to sell that property or a buyer who has hired their own agent to find a property for them to buy. If a buyer wants to look at real estate but does not agree to hire the agent showing them around, they are considered a customer and their interests are not represented. (Anything they say would be reported back to the seller.)
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Sotheby's International Realty
173 Slow Road, Waitsfield, VT 05673
|Last Update 9/27/05 Information contained herein is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.|