Selling A Home

Should I do a Radon Test?

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Before you make a decision it helps to know a little bit about it:

  • What is radon?

Radon is a gas produced by the naturally occurring breakdown of uranium in rocks.  It is not something that you can see, smell or taste.  According to the Vermont Department of Health it is a class A carcinogen and a leading cause of lung cancer.

  • How does radon get into a home?

Radon comes up from the ground.  Houses act as a partial vacuum pulling gas from the soil.  It can get into a home through dirt floors, cracks in a finished floor, gaps around service pipes, cracks in foundation walls.

  • Are some Central Vermont homes more likely than others to have radon?

According to the Vermont Department of Health, a "radon problem cannot be predicted by a home's style, age, or location".

  • How much radon is okay?

In Vermont it is recommended that radon be mitigated when levels in the air are equal to or greater than 4.0 pCi/L (picoCuries/Liter).

  • How do you test for radon?

There are free kits available from the Vermont Department of Health that takes as little as 91 days and as long as one year to produce results.  Visit their website to order one-   The state will also provide a 2-7 day test for $25.00, which can be ordered from their website.

Most Central Vermont Home inspectors offer radon tests as part of their service.  Prices vary.  Give us a call if you would like a resources list of home inspectors.

  • How do you mitigate elevated levels of radon?

Typically there is a pvc pipe installed from the basement through the roof with a fan to expel the gas.  Whoever installs the system should be able to hide the pipe wherever possible through closets or on the outside of the house.  The Vermont Department of Health has a list of contractors approved for radon mitigation on their website.


Is Radon common in Vermont?

What is Radon and should I be worried about the levels in my house?


If you have questions about radon in homes, buying or selling a Central Vermont home.  Give us a call!

What typically conveys in a Central Vermont Real Estate Deal?

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what conveys with vt real estate?

Does the seller typically shoulder the fridge on the way out the door?


A question that often comes up in a Vermont home sale is, "what's staying and what's going?".

One answer is that everything is negotiable.  Sometimes the seller will throw in the pool table, put a price on the jungle gym, include the John Deer.  Other times the seller is so attached to that front loading Whirlpool that they leave an empty closet with hookups dangling from where the washer and dryer used to be.

Another answer is that there is an industry standard of things that are typically included in the sale, or "convey".  This is one area where working with a Realtor comes in handy.  When you're negotiating it's useful to know how things typically play out.  As a seller you don't want the deal to fall through over an $800 refrigerator (it happens) only to learn afterwards that it's normal to leave the fridge behind.

No matter what conveys with the house and what doesn't, you want to make sure that it's all in the contract before closing!

Items that most commonly convey with a Central Vermont Real Estate sale:

  1. Stove
  2. Refrigerator
  3. Dishwasher
  4. Washing Machine
  5. Dryer
  6. Built in microwave

How do I prepare my Central Vermont Home for a sale?

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When someone contacts Heney Realtors to sell their Central Vermont Home there is a question that typically comes up.  "What can I do to prepare my home for sale?"  The answer varies depending on the seller's budget and time frame.

No matter what, when selling a house, you want to keep everything, clean, neat and organized.  Minimize clutter to make the rooms look bigger and brighter.


Gorgeous Colonial Barre Home This kitchen has been completely redone with new appliances, tile splash guard and refinished floors.

This kitchen has been completely redone with new appliances, tile splash guard and refinished floors.


Keep the lawn mowed, hedges trimmed and power wash the siding.  Of course, if you're putting your Central Vermont home on the market in February or March in anticipation of the market heating up with Spring, the lawn mower won't do you much good.  In that case keep the entrances to the house shoveled and sanded so buyers can get in and out safely.

If you are able to put some money into the house to prepare for a sale you have to decide where to start and how far to go. One thought is that you get the most bang for your buck from updating kitchens and bathrooms.  If that's the route you want to go, be careful not to over improve.  Your house should sell faster and hopefully for more money with updated kitchen and bath, but you may not get out what you put in if you're covering all the surfaces in marble and installing copper sinks with brass hardware.


Gorgeous Colonial Barre Home These sellers have done everything to prepare their Central Vermont Home for a sale. The fresh paint and redone floors make the house "pop"in the buyer's eyes.

These sellers have done everything to prepare their Central Vermont Home for a sale. The fresh paint and redone floors make the house "pop" in the buyer's eyes.


A fresh paint job does wonders to give everything a nice, clean look.  If you are going to paint, pick neutral colors.  The idea here is that mild colors please the largest number of people.  You may have let your teenager paint the room black, or toddler sponge paint any color they wanted, but you never know who will end up buying your home.

Another thing that really makes a room "pop" in the eyes of a buyer is refinished floors.  Today, hardwood floors are in.  Old carpet? Tear it up, sand and finish. If your floors are in pretty good shape mopping and waxing can go a long way to make them sparkle.  For a lot of sellers these updates aren't an option financially.  Don't worry, that's where your buyers will see potential.

Wondering what your house is worth?  Want to know how to get the most out of a sale?  Give us a call and we'll come take a look!

Top 3 Picks from Montpelier Caravan

Top 3 Picks from Montpelier Caravan

By: Ray Mikus

Today's Montpelier Brokers caravan was a little shorter (fewer properties on it) than I thought it would be. But still, it was a good mix. This time, we saw homes for sale in East Montpelier and Berlin as well as in Montpelier.

Our office takes pride in strong participation in the local caravans. Six Realtors from Heney Realtors came along today as a way of gaining broader exposure to the housing market. We're still trying to figure out how some folks work out pricing using comparable sales if they haven't been inside the comparable sales.

But I suppose that's another blog post. Another perhaps more cynical blog post.

Here are my picks of the favorites from the Montpelier Caravan:

9 North College Street Montpelier Vermont  9 North College Street, Montpelier--It's hard to find a hidden neighborhood in a state capital, but that's what North College Street in Montpelier is. This house is next to the end, with large maples in the front yard, and a nice level backyard. Totally renovated mid-century split entry with great floors, lots of natural lighting, and great fixtures. This one was a crowd pleaser. Want more information?



6 Greenfield Terrace Montpelier--This one surprised me. I've been in lots of houses on Greenfield and Deerfield in the past four 6 Greenfield Terrace Montpelier Vermontyears (wow, has it been four years already!). This one has had some "work" done to it. Somewhere along the way someone opened up the kitchen into a VERY large one with an island larger than most kitchen tables. The master bedroom had been bumped out to enlarge it as well. Top to bottom renovation, and listed at $267,000. Email for information or to schedule a showing.




Condos at Mansfield Lane in Berlin, VT63 Mansfield Lane, Berlin Condo--My third pick was a gorgeous (and affordable) condo at Mansfield Lane in Berlin. This three bedroom townhouse has a finished walkout basement suite (perfect for a teenager or houseguests), an open first floor with cathedral ceilings, and a three-season room featuring a bank of windows and fir floors. Attached one car garage, and incredibly energy efficient. Send an email for more information.




All the brokers and agents who came today got a good look at some great Montpelier homes for sale. Remember that you can look at a property with any Realtor you want, so make sure you want to work with someone who wants to see all the comps.  Come on, I couldn't resist.


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      Seller Tip--Be Accommodating for Showings

      Seller Tip--Be Accommodating For Showings

      When I was a kid, my parents planned the whole week's worth of menus and activities in advance, and then put it up on the refrigerator. I know other people whose schedules make it hard for them to even talk to each other before weekends.

      Selling a house in Montpelier Area

      Short Notice? Make It Work!

      Different folks plan differently. As someone selling a house in Central Vermont, it can be to your advantage to be accommodating to as many showings as possible. Even with short notice. Usually buyers will be able to give a day's notice...but not always.

      And sometimes, even while buyers are out with their Realtors looking at other houses, the conversation will turn to your house, and they'll want to schedule a showing. Do you have to accept the showing? No, but if it's at all possible, you should.

      You just never know when that buyer is going to make their decision, and you want to be in the mix.

      True confessions: If your house is anything like mine, it's not exactly "stage-ready" most of the time. Buyers understand that too. So run around really quickly, put the clothes and dishes away, make the beds, clear the table. Maybe run a vacuum.

      Buyers will appreciate that you've done everything you could to make the house ready for a showing. When they come back for the second showing (optimism!), you'll get more notice and you can really dazzle them.

      Selling a House in Montpelier or Barre? Tip--Seller Contributions

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      It's not uncommon at all for buyers to make offers that include some sort of seller contribution at closing.


      Reaching Agreement

      Seller Contribution Can Keep a Deal Together


      This is done for a number of reasons. Sometimes buyers just need a little extra cash to help cover the closing costs or part of the down payment. Sometimes they have some improvements in mind and want to preserve their capital to pay for those projects.

      Whatever the reason, as someone selling a house, what really matters is the net sale price.

      As an example, if an offer is made for $205,000 with $5000 contribution to the buyers' closing costs, the way to think about the offer is that it's for $200,000. The property will have to appraise for at least $205,000 because the loan is going to be made based on a percentage of the purchase price. But the net sale price is $200,000.

      During any negotiations, just keep that net sale price in mind.  $202,000 with $2000 back to purchasers at closing is the same thing.  So is $204,500 with $4500 back at closing. You can see where this is going.

      Again, it's fairly common. Especially in times of low interest rates. Adding a little extra to the principal of a loan may seem worth it to protect a little additional cash for closing costs or improvements. It's essentially the same thing as borrowing some of the closing costs.

      Talking this through with an experienced, professional local Realtor can be very helpful. Just call or email.

      --Ray Mikus

      Closing Costs? The Bottom Line

      Buying a house in Central Vermont isn't free. But there shouldn't be too many surprises either.  One question that people often have is "What are the closing costs?"

      Think of it in two parts:  Process costs and the closing costs.


      Process costs include home inspections, water tests, loan application fees, and appraisals. $400-$1000 is a reasonable range depending on the complexity of the property.

      Closing costs typically include the Vermont Transfer Tax, loan origination fees, attorney fees (title search and title insurance policy), tax and fuel perorations, and recording fees.  The transfer tax depends on the value of the property. Tax prorations depend on when in the town's tax year cycle the purchase takes place. Fuel perorations depend on how much oil or propane is left in the tank at the time of the purchase.

      Very roughly, figuring 3%-5% of the purchase price for total closing and process costs is a good place to start.   Again, that's a ballpark number.

      Give a call or an email for more detail.

      By Ray Mikus