The key to navigating the NJ real estate market during COVID times

As we look to 2022, it is widely accepted that the real estate market will remain aggressive. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Anyone who navigated the New Jersey real estate market in 2021 has navigated previously unknown waters. New migration patterns, low inventory, work-from-home opportunities and other COVID-related factors have made this year a stormy buy and sell market.

As New York city dwellers and overcrowded northern New Jersey communities moved to the suburbs, homes began to sell out almost as quickly as they were listed. Many homeowners have been elated to see the bidding wars driving up the prices of their properties, while buyers have struggled to answer the question “How much is this house really worth?” “

According to real estate agent Frank D. Isoldi of the Coldwell Banker Realty Westfield East office, seeking advice from a knowledgeable real estate professional is a must in today’s environment.

“Whether it’s buying or selling, the first and most important step is finding the right real estate agent,” Isoldi said. “With such a competitive market, the person you hire can make or break your efforts to get a house on the buy side and sell it for the best price on the sell side. “

Real estate experts suggest hiring an agent with a solid background in listing homes in your market. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Isoldi suggested hiring an agent with a solid background in listing homes in your market. The agent you choose for your buy or sell should be able to provide information on recent sales, current inventory, pricing, and group of buyers.

“Make sure your agent provides top quality photos, floor plans and videos,” he added. “With stocks so low, some buyers are reluctant to travel to see a house…

Robert White, president-elect of New Jersey Realtors®, noted that buyers and sellers can find reliable real estate professionals at immobilier.

“Real estate agents represent some of the most knowledgeable, successful and trusted professionals in their industry, ”commented White. ” The real estate agent the difference is that they subscribe to a strictly enforced code of ethics, which promotes fair, ethical and honest treatment of all parties in a real estate transaction.

A good real estate agent can research the markets that interest you and suggest other areas that you may not have considered. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

White explained that thinking about buying your home can go a long way in calming the choppy seas of today’s volatile market.

“Your The real estate agent can help you rResearch the markets that interest you and suggest other areas that you may not have considered, ”he said. “Make a list of your wants and needs. Know which features of your new home are essential and which are negotiable. Be prepared to attend a last minute date for a new announcement and know what you can afford.

Michael Borodinsky, vice president and branch manager for Caliber Home Loans Inc. in Edison, said it is extremely important to be pre-qualified and pre-approved for a mortgage in today’s market.

“We are in a very competitive market where cash buyers are at an all time high,” Borodinsky said. “Cash buyers always have an advantage, so potential buyers are smart to start the mortgage process early. Get pre-qualified to find out how much you can afford, then get pre-approved so the only step left is to find the property.

Borodinsky explained that pre-approved buyers who have completed their credit checks, income validation, and determined how much money they can deposit receive an approval letter that depends on the assessment.

“We encourage everyone at the research stage to get pre-approved,” he added. “At Caliber Home Loans, it’s a no-fee, no-obligation process that gives buyers a head start over those who wait until they find a property to apply for financing.”

Toll Bros. ‘ “Quick-move” homes were popular during the pandemic and are still available at The Grove in Upper Saddle River, among other properties. Photo courtesy of Toll Bros.

Low inventory and high prices make the resale market favorable for buyers considering new construction. According to Jennifer Olsen, Toll Bros. ‘ National Vice President of Sales, buying a new build relieves the stress and fatigue of finding, bidding, buying, and then renovating a resale home.

“If our buyers have a home to sell, now is the best time to do so. There is little that can be done for a current home to sell it for the best price. In many cases the house will sell for more than the asking price and it will sell very quickly, ”she said.

Olsen said quick-move homes are a good option for buyers who want new construction but need a shorter time frame to move in.

She added, “Quick-move homes can be ‘“Move-in ready” with all finishes in place, or buyers can choose from “ready-to-design” homes that have been started but are still early enough in the construction phase to be customized with a variety of accessories and of finishes. “

As we look to 2022, it is widely accepted that the real estate market will remain aggressive. Savvy buyers and sellers can make their transaction’s journey easier by seeking solid, professional advice.

Stan Lemond is an award-winning marketing consultant and writer with over 40 years of experience. His work has appeared in The Star-Ledger, Staten Island Advance, Trenton Times and South Jersey Times as well as Jersey’s Best.

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2021 issue of Jersey’s Best. Subscribe here for detailed access to everything that makes Garden State great.

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