A year or so ago there was a ramshackle ranch house for sale in Princeton Township for $600,000. No only was it being sold “as is,” but there was a prominent note from the listing agent on the MLS sheet warning that potential buyers could not look inside the house — or even set foot on the property. Despite these conditions, the house sold for close to asking price.

No one appears to feel free to place such conditions on the sale of their homes this year. On the contrary, listing after listing speaks of the efforts sellers are putting into making thier homes as attractive as possible as they go on the market. There are comments aplenty about new carpeting, new appliances, new air conditioners, new roofs, upgraded kitchens, remodeled baths, and fresh paint — inside and out.

Some homeowners have dropped their asking prices, but, that said, good looking houses on attractive streets are selling — and some are selling fast. This is true in Princeton, a fact we stumbled upon when we chose three houses to photograph completely at random. We were looking for homes with large trees in their yards, and took pictures of the first three we saw. We then called the agents who had listed them and found that two of the three were already under contract, and that at least one had sold almost immediately.

The good news is not confined to Princeton. Just last week we ran into a couple who had recently listed their home for sale in the Island section of Trenton for a price that some neighbors characterized as wildly optimistic. The couple reported that their house, a two-bedroom cottage, sold in three weeks for nearly full price.

Perhaps these are early signs that the market is turning, or perhaps it means that the effort sellers are putting into fixing up their homes and pricing them well — as real estate agents are strongly suggesting — is paying off.

It Pays to Check

For many years in the past the Rotary Club has held a car show at the Carnegie Center on the third Sunday in May. Many Rotarians pitched in to work at the popular event, which raised money for charity. Last winter, when we were preparing our annual calendar, we wrote in the date for Sunday, May 18, and put it into our events database, which is now live on our recently revamped website, www.princetoninfo.com.

Unfortunately, we put too much faith in the past. The Rotary had decided not to hold the car show, as website readers noted in the comments section of our website. We apologize to the people who showed up for the event based on our listing. We urge readers to call ahead to confirm time and location of any event we list, as last-minute changes are not uncommon.

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