Timothy Tyler
Coldwell Banker Realty 973.462.4079

Summer 2021 Market Update

For this summer market update I'm doing things a little differently, I reached out and asked you some questions about the market this summer, and now I'm answering those questions in this series of videos.

Do I have to stage my home to sell it?

In this installment I answer the question: Do I have to stage my home to sell it? The answer is: it depends. If you are selling a fixer-upper, your buyer is almost certainly going to be an investor, who is more interested in the bones of the house, the mechanicals, the walls and floors, etc..., your staging is just going to be in their way. If, on the other hand, you have a recently updated home, in excellent condition, staging can help you sell the home faster. Watch the video for a few tips on staging on a budget.

How fast are homes selling?

In this installment I answer the question: How fast are houses selling? I provide some statistics that show not all homes are selling in one or two weeks. And that means for those who are tired of endless bidding wars that there are opportunities to find a home, IF you are willing to compromise.

Do I have to offer above asking?

In this installment of my Summer Market Update, I answer the question "Do you have to offer way above asking price to get a house?" The answer, as with other questions in this series is: it depends. While there are some houses that are selling for well above asking, the AVERAGE sale price to list price for Maplewood, South Orange and West Orange is between 1% over and 1% under asking price. This means that there are also some homes selling well below asking price. How do you find those houses? Well, you need to look for homes that maybe need a little work, or in some other way require a little compromise on your part, but in the end, you will have a home. There are still many more people looking than there are homes available, so in this market, if you are serious, you need to consider what you can compromise on.

What terms are sellers demanding?

In this installment I list some of the terms and conditions sellers are requesting or requiring of buyers in contracts. These include early submission of earnest money deposit, waiving of appraisal contingency, waived or limited inspections, limits on the types of financing considered and favorable closing date (which may be as soon or late as possible, depending on the needs of the seller).

What does waiving appraisal mean?

In this installment I explain what is meant when sellers request that you waive appraisal and/or inspections. They are, of course, 2 different things. To waive the appraisal contingency, you must be able to cover the difference between your offer price and the appraised value sufficient to satisfy your lender's loan-to-value requirement? This may mean you need to put down a bigger down payment. With inspections, I don't advise waiving the inspection contingency, but you can (and really should) limit your inspection requests to items that address immediate concerns of a structural, environmental or health and safety nature. This means you can ask that the oil tank in the ground be removed, or a defective main beam in the house be remediated, but it does not mean you can request that the washer and dryer be moved to a different location or the tile in the foyer be replaced with something more to your liking. Watch the video for a more detailed explanation.

Should I submit multiple offers at once?

In this installment I discuss submitting multiple offers simultaneously, and why that is a bad idea. The problem arises when more that one offer is accepted, which is more likely than you would think. In addition to any legal problems that might ensue, you run the risk of developing a bad reputation with listing agents when you cancel a contract right away. And you need to be concerned because not every transaction goes through to close, and you never know if you will be back in the market in a few weeks. Watch the video for a strategy that could work if you find yourself wanting to hedge your bets with several properties without submitting simultaneous offers.

Impulse offers, what to consider?

In this last installment of my Summer Market Update I address the most unexpected question I received: What should I consider before making an impulse offer? Unless you are a billionaire who buys houses on weekends for fun, I don't think you should make impulsive offers on houses. But, with the market as competitive as it is, you may need to act very quickly when "the one" comes along. But that doesn't have to be an impulsive decision. If you have done your homework, know what your financial position will support, know your must haves, and the things your are comfortable compromising on, you will be able to make a decision quickly when the right opportunity comes along. That may feel like an impulsive step, but if your homework is done, it isn't really, it's just being decisive when the right opportunity arises.

Thank you for tuning in to this series and look for my next Market Update in the fall!