Union County, NJ Real Estate News

By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Many buyers wonder if they should wait a little bit before actively searching for their next property. Price reductions all over the country leave buyers wondering if the market already reached its peak. If prices are on the decline, it may seem logical to wait. But in hot areas like Westfield, Scotch Plains, Cranford, and many of the surrounding areas, sellers still rule the market. So, you may find yourself in a bidding war with other buyers for a property. That means that you need to make your offer stand out. How? An escalation clause could be just the ticket to capturing a seller's attention.How an Escalation Clause Can Help a Buyer Make Their Offer StickWhat is an Escalation Clause?In a regular offer, the buyer agrees to pay X dollars for the home in question. When they include an...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Whenever a buyer finances their purchase with a mortgage loan, the lender requires a home appraisal. If the property's appraised value falls below the agreed-upon price, your sale may fall through. So, as the seller, you want to make sure your property is in tip-top shape before the appraiser comes through. Once you get into the escrow phase of the sale, you need to go through your home once again to ensure it looks great for the appraiser. That includes cleaning it until everything sparkles. Home Appraisal: Does Extra Clean Add Extra Value?Bottom line? No, cleanliness technically does not affect your appraised value. However, a spotless home creates a mindset with the appraiser similar to the one it creates with a buyer. Starting off with a positive impression never hurts. Plus, it mak...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Today's home buyers must navigate a crazy market. In the Westfield area (including Scotch Plains, Mountainside, Cranford, and the surrounding area), the marketplace strongly favors the seller. Low inventory and rising interest rates made many buyers re-evaluate their home buying budgets. If you want to finalize a sale before interest rates go up again, you may want to consider implementing these home buying tips right away.Home Buying Tips to Finalize a Sale NowHire a Great REALTOR®How do you know your REALTOR® is great? Find one with plenty of experience in the local market you want to make your home. There is No Such Thing as a Stupid QuestionAlso, there is no such thing as asking too many questions. Whether your REALTOR® or your lender, anytime a question pops in your head about the ...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Every summer, downtown Westfield fills up with the sweet, sweet sounds of live music. This summer proves no exception. Last week, the Sweet Sounds Downtown Westfield Music Festival 2022 kicked off with some classic Jazz, Big Band music, and a rock cover band called the Drop the Needle Trio. But that was only the beginning of a whole summer of fantastic concerts to scintillate your eardrums and bring a smile to your lips. What: Sweet Sounds Downtown Westfield Music Festival 2022Where: Four locations around Downtown WestfieldWhen: Every Tuesday from 7 am to 9 pm throughout July & AugustCost: FreeContact: Westfield Town Hall (908) 789-4040 or via emailSweet Sounds Downtown Westfield Music Festival 2022The Sweet Sounds Downtown Westfield Music Festival takes place around the downtown area e...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Most homebuyers look at the size of a property, its location, and the price right away. But, some buyers (as well as their REALTORS®) also look at how long the property has been on the market. Why? Newer listings get the most traffic. When it sits on the market for a while, buyers begin wondering what is wrong with it. Also, they believe the seller might be more willing to entertain a lower offer. Find out how the days on market can affect your home sale and what you can do to change it.How "Days on Market" May Affect Your Home SaleWhat are "Days on Market"?"Days on market" (or DOM) are the number of days from when a property gets listed to when it enters a "pending" status. The average DOM varies from city to city. According to Redfin, Madison homes saw an average of 26 DOM in April 20...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Real estate shows like "Flip or Flop", "Good Bones", and "Unsellable Homes" make it appear easy to sell your home. All you need is a little paint and polish and buyers practically beat down your door, right? Not so fast. It takes a little more finesse and a lot more experience for the typical homeowner to sell their home. And that is where hiring a real estate agent comes into place.The Real Estate Agent's Role in a Home SaleSetting the List PriceFirst of all, a good REALTOR® knows how to determine a proper list price. Why is this important? Because if you price it too high, it may turn buyers off. Even in a seller's market, homes still need to be priced appropriately for the market. If you cannot get buyers through the door, your home will simply just sit there. Then, you will need to ...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Oftentimes, we hear fantastical stories about recently sold homes. Maybe your neighbor fielded several offers after only one day on the market. Or you heard about a friend of a friend who sold their rundown property for tens of thousands over their asking price without putting any effort into fixing it up. Unfortunately, these tend to be the exception rather than the rule. Yes, the Westfield area real estate market still favors the seller, according to Realtor.com. However, a home seller needs to keep an eye out for "fake news" when they put their property on the market. Otherwise, they might end up very disappointed.Misleading "Facts" for the Home Seller in Today's MarketYou Don't Need to Fix It UpYou may have heard that buyers will purchase a Westfield area home no matter what shape i...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
One of the top priorities when getting your Westfield area property ready to sell is to get rid of the clutter. This helps prepare your home for staging. Remember, staged homes sell faster and for more money than unstaged ones. However, clearing your space with intention performs double duty. How? Organizing your "stuff" not only clears the clutter, but it also helps you when it comes time to move. Use these decluttering tips when preparing to list your home for sale.Decluttering TipsStart Right AwayFirst, start the declutter process right away. It might surprise you how long it takes to go through personal items, memorabilia, etc. The sooner you begin, the less stressed you will feel about meeting your home listing deadline. Also, simply start in one room and work your way throughout t...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Ever get the itch to do a DIY project? Whenever we do, our favorites involve getting outdoors and mixing up our landscaping features. Whether it's as simple as installing some lighting or a little more time-consuming like re-plotting plants, a fresh look for the lawn always gives your Westfield area home a fresh look as well. Plus, this offers the best first impression for home buyers. Since we are entering the busy home buying period right now, you need to put your best foot forward when selling your home. Landscaping always needs to be included in your staging strategies, too. Here are our top five easy landscaping DIY projects!Easy Landscaping DIY Projects for the Home SellerCreate a PathwayTo guide you and visitors throughout your yard and link different areas together, install a pa...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
You listed your Westfield area home for sale and received multiple offers for it. Congratulations! Many sellers dream of being in your position. Now, the hard part. You must decide which home offer to accept. (An embarrassment of riches, right?) Sometimes, however, the highest price is not the best offer. Consider these other important factors before making a final decision.What to Focus On When Considering a Home OfferContingenciesMost of the time, buyers include contingencies with their offer. These are conditions that must be satisfied before closing in order to complete the sale. Common ones include an appraisal, home inspection, loan approval, and sale of the buyer's current home. If a contingency is not met by closing, the buyer can walk away with their Earnest Money Deposit in ha...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Being named one of the best places to live in New Jersey is not enough. When you’re getting ready to list your Westfield area home, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that you are showing it in its best light. Taking time to highlight its strengths and fix up some of its possible weaknesses can make a big difference in how fast it sells. Here are the top four recommended repairs to make before you list your home.What to Repair Before You List Your Westfield Area HomeRepaint WallsGiving your home a fresh coat of paint before you list is one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce it up. Generally, it can also be a do-it-yourself project. Make sure to cover any walls with scratches and chips. Then consider updating any accent walls with a more neutral coat.Repair FloorsHardwood fl...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Do you always find yourself scrambling at the last minute to file your taxes? You only have 17 days until this year's April 18th filing deadline. But do not worry. This year, you might feel fortunate to have procrastinated. Why? Well, if you sold a Westfield area home last year, you still have time to claim these home seller tax deductions.Home Seller Tax DeductionsCosts Associated With the Actual Home SaleStaging fees, escrow fees, agent commissions, etc. You paid somebody to spruce up your curb appeal. Maybe you performed a home inspection before you listed to avoid any unpleasant surprises during escrow. Any money you spent on these and anything else associated with the actual sale of your Westfield area home may be tax-deductible.Improvements/RepairsPerhaps your property needed some...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Staging your Westfield area home is all about putting the best foot forward for potential buyers. By highlighting its most desirable features, you can draw more interest to your home and leave a lasting impression that is sure to help you sell it more quickly. Here’s what you should keep in mind as you prepare for your next open house or viewing!Staging Strategies for Your Westfield Area HomeHelp Them Visualize Your Home as Their OwnMake it easier for buyers to imagine themselves making your Westfield area house their home by removing personal memorabilia, knick-knacks, and photos. Instead, replace them with simple décor, such as paintings, nature images, and plants.Think Sleek Instead of ComfyModern-day buyers are leaning toward modern, crisp, clean interiors over comfy, homey looks. W...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
What do Short Hills, Westfield, Summit, and Chatham Township all have in common? Great schools. Great homes. Awesome people. Oh, and they all made Niche.com's 2022 Top 20 Best Places to Live in New Jersey List. How did Niche.com determine their rankings and what made these Westfield area cities so special? I'm glad you asked.Westfield Area Cities Named Among Top 20 Best Places to Live in NJHow Niche.com Determined RankingsNiche.com gathers data from various sources, such as the US Census, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the Tax Foundation, the FBI Uniform Crime Report, local surveys, and more. Then, they sort this information into 15 separate categories. Cost of living and higher education rate receive the most weight (12.5% each) while the shortest commute makes up 2% of each city'...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
COVID-19. An aging population. Fewer donors. Fewer donation sites. All of these things contributed to our current nationwide blood shortage. But you can help change things. Over the next couple of weeks, make an appointment to donate blood at one of two Westfield area blood drives.Westfield Area Blood Drives - March 2022Westfield Blood DriveThe Westfield blood drive takes place from 2 pm to 8 pm on Wednesday, March 16th at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church on Gallows Hill Rd. You may schedule a donation time by visiting the New York Blood Center's website here. As of the writing of this post, several appointment times remain available.Cranford Blood DriveThe Cranford Blood Drive takes place from 1 pm to 7 pm on Sunday, March 20th at the Cranford VFW on South Ave East. While walk-ins ar...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
We live in a seller's market here in the Westfield area. Even so, you still need to prep your home to show off its best features. Most buyers look for a "move-in ready" home rather than a fixer-upper. In fact, sellers benefit from a pre-list inspection. So, you might want to consider hiring an inspector to come to your home before you put it on the market. But even if you decide not to do that, keep these home sale "don'ts" in mind to capture the attention of as many potential buyers as possible. Plus, you'll get your home sold in a shorter time frame for more money.How to Hurt Your Home SaleTake Your Own PhotosNo matter how great of a camera your cell phone provides, leave the photo-taking to the professionals. Most real estate agents work with a professional photographer. They may eve...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
We have definitely experienced a lot of "ice" lately. But, if you want to shake off the winter chill with a little heat, come to the Cranford Fire and Ice event this weekend. It's free. It's fun. And it's something the entire family can enjoy.What: Cranford Fire and Ice 2022Where: Downtown Cranford When: Saturday, February 26th, 12 pm to 4 pm (rain date: February 27th)Cranford Fire and Ice 2022Our winter chill definitely helps the ice carvers create amazing sculptures. Watch them in action at the Cranford Hotel, the Cranford gazebo, and the River & Rail Cantina. Warm up by watching live fire-breathers perform at the Eastman Clock Plaza. Then, go get your face painted for free at the Thirsty Turtle. While traveling around to see these fabulous sights, make sure to stop at any (or all) of...
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By Tony Busanich, 1-4 FAMILY HOME LOAN SPECIALIST
(TD Bank)
Is there an alternative to FHA loan in Elizabeth New Jersey?Is there a better option for a low-down payment then an FHA loan? The answer maybe yes! First-time homebuyers as well as repeat buyers longed-for a home mortgage with a low-down payment of 3.5%. FHA loan remains the best choice not for long. Lenders are moving to CRA Community Reinvestment Act loans. This option may be better for some homebuyers and people looking to refinance a traditional FHA loan. One Out of every five buyers, chooses a FHA loan, with more options being availability this may shortly change. FHA loan are popular because it requires just 3.5 % down payment. Moreover, FHA mortgage rates are lower as compared with others. It also has flexible underwriting standards. This is really attractive especially when you ...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Many companies experienced significant hardships over the past two years due to the pandemic. Local businesses found it particularly rough to weather the storm. The rallying cry "shop local" has never been as crucial as it is right now. To support local Cranford shopping, everyone is encouraged to visit downtown Cranford businesses on February 22nd. It could nab you a prize at one of them.What: $22 on the 22ndWhere: Downtown CranfordWhen: Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022Cranford Shopping: $22 on the 22ndAll that Downtown Cranford asks is that you go out on Tuesday, February 22nd. Get your nails done. Pick up a gift for someone special (including one for yourself). Drop off your dry cleaning. Meet someone for lunch. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure you keep your receipts. Then, visi...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
We support our own whenever we can, however we can. For the Cranford High School swim team, that means raising money for themselves and helping out the community at the same time. To that effect, they ask the public to help them by coming to their Cranford High Clothing Drive 2022 next weekend.What: Cranford High Clothing Drive 2022Where: Cranford Community Center (220 Walnut Ave)When: Saturday, February 19th from 9 am to 12:30 pmContact: Friends of Cranford Swimming (908) 347-0827Cranford High Clothing Drive 2022Please bring your gently used items to the parking lot between the Cranford Community Center and the library on Walnut Ave between 9 am and 12:30 pm on Saturday, February 19th. Members of the CHS swim team will be on hand to collect clothing, shoes, bedding, bath towels, beddin...
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