March 2023 Newsletter

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March is Women’s History Month – a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture, and society. This made me wonder, who were the first female attorneys in the U.S. and Connecticut. Drum roll please...

Arabella Mansfield became the first female lawyer in the United States in 1869 when she was admitted to the Iowa bar. She never practiced law, but instead was a college educator and administrator.

Mary Hall became the first female attorney in Connecticut in 1882, and she practiced for 40 years in wills and property rights. Interestingly when she first started women did not yet have the right to vote – that came in 1920! 

Today, women dominate the U.S. residential real estate industry, with 65 percent of all realtors being female, according to the National Association of Realtors. But this wasn't always the case. When the NAR was formed in 1908, its membership was entirely male, despite 3,000 women working as brokers nationally. You can read more about the interesting history of how women pushed for equality in the industry here.

Despite all the progress that's been made in the fight for equality, there is still some work to be done. According to the NAR, despite making up the majority of the workforce, women are still less represented in leadership and executive roles.

So let this year's Women's History Month be an opportunity to celebrate the progress and pioneers of the past and also look forward to further progress.

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”  Amy Rees Anderson

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Solar panels can add a wrinkle to residential real estate closings

Installing solar panels has become an attractive way for homeowners to increase the value of their homes and trim their electrical bills. In Connecticut, more than 19,000 households currently use solar power, according to the Department of Consumer Protection.

Recently, the state passed a new law stipulating that HOAs cannot block members from installing solar panels, which will pave the way for more households to add solar systems in the coming years.

But when it comes to buying or selling a home, solar panels definitely add a wrinkle to the closing process that will require extra care and attention.

Read our latest blog post outlining what to expect with a transaction involving solar panels.

Latest Blog Posts

What is the difference between a deed and a title?

Explaining the two terms, which some people mistakenly use interchangeably.

Should I allow a seller to stay in the home after closing?

How allowing a seller to stay after closing can open the door to issues.

News Round-Up

CT saw a record-high in housing permits issued in January

CT Post · Feb. 28

Last month,128 communities around CT approved 682 units, the most units approved in the month of January since 2001.

Column: January 2023 Greenwich Real Estate Market Crashes

Greenwich Sentinel · Feb. 3

Local realtor Mark Pruner takes a look at the decline in home sales seen in Greenwich in January.

Why CT's real estate market is still hot

CT Insider · Jan. 20

Zillow data shows that 48.6 percent of homes sold in Connecticut between December 2021 and December 2022 went for over asking price.

Housing market on the rise? Why pending contracts for home sales have the industry buzzing

USA Today · Feb. 28

Data released by the National Association of Realtors show that a slight decline in mortgage rates in December and January contributed to an improvement in pending home sales for a second consecutive month.

Bridgeport, Conn.: 'A Diamond in the Rough' reinventing itself

The New York Times · Feb. 1

The New York Times recently wrote about how Bridgeport's efforts to shed its ‘rundown’ image.


Local Nonprofit Spotlight: Junior League of Greenwich

Promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community

In recognition of Women's History Month, we are pleased to spotlight a local organization that has been inspiring women to advance the quality of life in Greenwich for more than 60 years.

The Junior League of Greenwich is a nonprofit organization of women with a mission of "promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers."

Over the years, JLG has constructed and funded a number of community services and youth programs, including programs aimed at empowering young girls with confidence and valuable skills. These include PositivelyMe!, designed to teach 3rd-grade girls the skills to be confident, make good decisions, be assertive, and express themselves, and the Girls with Impact Workshop, which introduces girls ages 11-14 to the concept of entrepreneurship.

You can support the JLG's work by making a donation through their website. The organization says all funds raised go directly to support its mission.

Every month, Pederson Real Estate Law highlights a nonprofit organization in the lower Fairfield County area. To request a nonprofit be featured, email

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