Litchfield County real estate information, local events and more.


Greeting the real estate bear

Or should I follow local real estate customs in Litchfield County CT?

New Milford CT real estateI once had a listing with a tenant in place, the tenant was a bit of a different sort. He made friends with a local bear.... fed it regularly. He actually fed the bear right out of his hand, but as I said, he was a bit of a different sort. I had visions of agents calling me from the car with the bear hot on their heels.... so I called the State of CT Department of Environmental Protection to see if they would perhaps relocate the bear. The shuffled me from person to person and place to place, the last person told me to "greet the bear" (actual quote) and call them back to let them know if the bear had a tag.

But this story is really not about bears, it is about local real estate customs. When you list with an agent you want to make sure they are "greeting the local real estate bears". Your house should be introduced to the local real estate agents through whatever local customs apply. For instance, most Thursdays in New Milford, CT we had what is called Realtor Caravan. We sign our listings up and they are scheduled for Thursday Caravan. We all meet on Thursday morning and drive around as a group to the homes on the list.  Other towns around prefer what we call Broker Open Houses. On Thursday's (some towns do a different day) agents hold their listings open for other agents during a specified time period. And if they are really smart, the entice other agents with food. Both of these methods are an excellent way to greet the local real estate bears, to have your home introduced to those who may have the buyer for it!

Sadly, time and time again we see homes come on the market with out of area agents who are not familiar with local customs. They don't introduce your home to the local real estate bears (agents). You are missing a huge opportunity when you discount local agents. These out of town agents are often times not familiar with the local real estate market. When asked for my opinion of price by someone recently I had to refrain from telling them the truth, which was.... you are more than $100,000 overpriced and you didn't greet the local bears!

Real estate is local, think local when selling or buying a home. Local agents know the local customs, know the local prices, understand things that affect price. And local agents will make sure your home is greeted by as many local bears as possible!

Thinking of listing in the Greater New Milford CT area? Give us a call at 860.946.0686. We are local, we know local markets and customs. We will certainly make sure your home is greeting as many local bears as possible! You can check out our real estate marketing program for Southern Litchfield County here.

Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate

2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors

2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor


 Search homes for sale in Litchfield County, CT.


Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776


© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017

 Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

Comment balloon 21 commentsAndrea Swiedler • March 28 2013 12:15PM


Great Blog, and great Analogies! Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Tamra Lee Ulmer, FORCE~NRBA ~ Over 1000 REO Assets SOLD! (Arizona Resource Realty) over 5 years ago

Andrea - $100K over priced? That's downright unbearable! BTW, did you ever "greet" that bear? :O

Posted by Judy Jennings, Broker - The Lanterns at Warren Woods - Ashland MA (The Green Company) over 5 years ago

Good thing Gentle Ben didn't get in the house or the cupboard wouild've know. ;-)

Great post, Andrea!

Posted by Brian Morgenweck, Broker/Owner, GRI, CRS, ABR, SRS (Power Realty Group, LLC Bergen County, NJ ) over 5 years ago

Andrea, there is a lot to say for selling within the community and making sure that the listing isn't shunned by the local bears, not that there would be any jealousy

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 5 years ago

Andrea, you do make a valid point.  But I go back to the bear, that had to be an interesting property to sell and or to show!

Posted by Kathy Stoltman, Ventura County Real Estate Consultant 805-746-1793 (Rockwood Realty) over 5 years ago

Andrea, a really cute story.  And, you got a Gold Star!   Congratulations.

So, in honor of that... here is an actual song by Edward (Teddy) Bear - The Last Song - (with video)

Have a Great Weekend!

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 5 years ago

No one here does agent caravans. I, for one, am disappointed. I regularly preview but think it would be much more fun to do it with other agents.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) over 5 years ago

We don't do caravans in Charlotte any more... city is too spread out and with so much info on-line it seems like a waste of time to go in person. We can individually preview any home we want without a caravan.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | Charlotte, NC) over 5 years ago

Yes and no....I think that most agents can handle a listing that isn't in their specific neighborhood or town.  I cover several cities/towns in lower Westchester. There are agents out there who try to claim that since I live 5 miles away, I can't possibly know their area like they do...REALLY??? REALLY??? If that's all you've got to differentiate yourself with, you are skating on very thin ice.  Now, should someone take a listing thats 100 miles away from home base, 50? 30?  I pretty much call it a day at 15 miles and then ONLY if I happen to know the area.  Of course a lot depends on the area that you live in.  Very dense areas like NYC you might only do something like the upper west side.   Rural areas, you might need to have a large footprint to stay alive.  However, in general, there should be some pattern to what you are willing to take on.


Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) over 5 years ago

Great post, Andrea! This is something that most home sellers do not understand. Never had to deal with a pet bear. lol

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Chartwell Kansas City Realty) over 5 years ago

Andrea: I'm sorry. I cannot resist making a Yogi Bear joke, and saying that you are "smarter than the average bear" because you recognize the value of networking and knowing local customs.

Posted by Melissa Zavala, Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County (Broadpoint Properties) over 5 years ago

Now here is the question of the day.  What is a bear doing in a real estate "bull" market.  I heard the Case-Shiller stats on housing today, and they are definitely bullish:-)

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 5 years ago

Ruthmarie:  As far as areas, and straying "too far" from your office area... I think the main determiner is simply if you really, really know the area, and convey enough confidence in it to help your seller.  To me, it sounds like you definitely DO.

So, the answer that I often give is true here as well.  It depends.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 5 years ago

Good to know where the local bears are.  They seem to always appear whenever there is food LOL.  A very nice post and you make a lot of good points.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 5 years ago

That is so funny.  Thanks for bringing a smile to me today..

Posted by Ginger Harper, Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County! (Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage) over 5 years ago

Andrea- the bear story alone would have made for a great post but weaving it into the importance of local knowledge was priceless.  You are so right... some call it Broker's Open, others go on Tour or in your case Thursday Caravans.. find out how a home makes its debut in your local area!

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) over 5 years ago

Andrea, I have not been with an office that did a tour or a caravan for many years.  Funny thing about them... while actually being ON tour... I found it such a pain going (or trudging) through what may have been ten to fifteen homes on tour, but once I was finished, I was always glad I went. 

Forget the Internet.  There really is nothing quite like actually being inside the New Listings... rather than just seeing them on the Web.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 5 years ago

Yes, who feeds the local bears, the odd sort indeed.  But you're point is valid, it depends on the local standards and who things are done.  And WOW $100K overpriced . . .

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) over 5 years ago


It is a never ending discussion. I understand the point Ruthmarie is making, but what really differentiates the agent is LIVING RIGHT THERE. Is it enough differentiator? No alone, but it is the basic and the biggest one. And if you are not indifferent to things around you, you would have a better feel of the area where you live, where you walk your dog, where you actually know people.

Often times small things are important, and it is what agent out of the area do not is important. Actually this is what we mean saying that real estate is local.

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) over 5 years ago

Thank you for all the comments! I will be back, off and running right now. No rest for the wicked weary.

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) over 5 years ago

I have come to the conclusion that sellers in my area list with out of county agents because they think they will get a better price on their home. The surrounding counties sell home at higher prices because their market is different. When buyers are shopping online for a home and there are several available within certain parameters, ie. sq ft, amenities/upgrades, neighborhoods etc. they get an idea of what price is reasonable. We see the out of county listings sit on the market until the price finally drops. After all the house has to appraise.

Posted by Kathy Fuhriman (Bear River Valley Realty) over 5 years ago