The National Association of Realtors surveys buyers across the country annually. They discovered that over 95% of buyers in their 2011 survey results wanted to see multiple pictures of a house online, a virtual tour of the home (collection of pictures in a slide show) and detailed property information (text descriptions).
Yet in West Hartford, there are many properties on the market with less than the 25 pictures that a realtor can place in the Multiple Listing Service, at least 10% of the houses on the market do not list which Elementary School serves the property and less than 20% of the properties have virtual tours included in the Multiple Listing Service. This disconnect is typical of properties in many towns across the state. So a buyer needs a strong buyers agent who will help interpret the missing or bad data!
The first step in representing a home buyer well is a buyer interview. I like to invest 30-90 minutes actively listening to what a prospective buyer wants to find in terms of community, neighborhood, house size & style, amenities, proximity to recreation, transportation, job and services as well as tolerance for less-than-optimal condition of kitchen, baths, wall colors and landscaping... As part of this process, I will make suggestions to a buyer in terms of where they are most likely to find the type of property they desire and what they might expect to pay in order to purchase that property.
After this conversation, I can recommend properties that seem to meet the needs and wants of the prospective buyer. If the buyer is being unrealistic in terms of what they expect at a certain price point, I will share that up front! Good luck in your homesearch!
Here's some current market data to help address your first question about where it is easier to sell. These figures are as of September 30, 2010 and cover all single-family homes in the town:
Median Days on Market: 83
Monthly of Inventory: 7.6
Median Days on Market: 27
Monthly of Inventory: 5.1
Median Days on Market: 46
Months of Inventory: 4.6
At this moment, sellers are in a better position in Newington and West Hartford than Berlin. You note that you are considering a purchase. Since this data is for right now, it's possible that things could change by the time you are ready to sell.
You're definitely doing the right thing by trying to gather as much information as you can. Good luck with your search!