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Hanover Talks with Martha Diebold

May 30, 2011 10:15PM ● By Erin Frisch

Martha Diebold

She Knows Real Estate

It may not be the best of times for a realtor in Hanover, but with over 30 years in the business, Martha Diebold has seen it all. While “the good old days are long gone,” the Upper Valley is “one of the best places to live and raise a family,” she says. And that’s a selling point in any economy.

A native of upstate New York, Martha taught in Springfield, Vermont, and Boston before she began her real estate career in 1979. She opened Martha E. Diebold Real Estate in Lyme in 1983 and established a second office in Hanover in 1995. Today Martha resides in Lyme with her husband Peter.

How can homeowners improve the “sale-ability” of their Hanover houses?

The simplest ways are to declutter, touch up the paint, fix what needs attention, and listen to your broker’s suggestions. Most importantly, price the home for today’s market conditions.

What is the key to being a successful realtor in Hanover?

The key in Hanover or any town is to enjoy what you do and help people find what is right for them. It’s all about the service and knowing your market.

What is the best aspect of your job?

The best part of being a realtor for me would be the people. Everyone has something of interest to share so you are constantly learning about people and life.

What is your most memorable celebrity encounter?

When I first opened my Lyme office, I showed Michael J. Fox and his wife Tracy properties. We drove through Lyme during the Pumpkin Festival. It was a brisk Saturday morning, and they were captivated by all the kids in their costumes. [Fox] wanted to take a picture but didn’t want anyone to recognize him. So we stopped at what was then Nichol’s Hardware and—wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap—he got his shot. They couldn’t have been nicer. Unfortunately they ultimately moved to Woodstock, Vermont.

How is the local housing market playing out?

People with cash who waited for prices to go down are getting great deals on the available inventory. People looking for financing need to be good credit risks, as the banks aren’t taking any chances. Rates remain favorable and banks have money to lend, so this should help the market.

I doubt we will return to the market of 2006–2007; it was totally unrealistic. A slow increase in sales is more likely. Sellers are finally recognizing that their homes won’t sell at inflated prices. Those who adjust their prices for this market will undoubtedly sell their homes.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I think every little girl wants to be some kind of mythical character. For me it was Tinker Bell. Sprinkling all that fairy dust around to make things better is a good thing!

What is your favorite guilty pleasure?

I don’t feel guilty about enjoying the things that give me pleasure. Each day is a gift.

Fill in the blank: The essence of summer time in Hanover is …

… to take advantage of the beautiful days, absorbing the air, the smells, the color, the sounds. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Written by Mark Dantos

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