Union County, NJ Real Estate News

By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Last week, I talked about common contingencies to ask for when buying a home. I recommend including these in your typical sales contract. However, there are times when it is OK to waive contingencies. This works in a buyer's favor when they wish to stand out among other buyers. And even though the Westfield area real estate market appears to be starting to level out a bit, it still favors the seller. So, keep these situations in mind when crafting your offer.When Is It OK to Waive Contingencies?Finance ContingencyIf you need to borrow money to finance your new Westfield area home, you might want to include a finance contingency (aka "mortgage contingency"). This allows you a specified amount of time to complete the loan process. But, if you pay for your home in cash, this is one conting...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Just like much of the rest of the country, the Westfield real estate market appears to be transitioning from a hot seller's market to a more balanced one. We see fewer and fewer bidding wars nowadays. In turn, buyers now seem more comfortable asking for certain conditions (aka contingencies) than they have in a while. Even so, buyers need to temper just how many of these conditions they include in their offer. Otherwise, the seller may decide to refuse it. However, there are a few common contingencies that buyers can feel comfortable including as part of the sale.Common Contingencies to Ask for When Buying a HomeHome Inspection ContingencyWhile not legally required for most New Jersey home sales, I always suggest that buyers put this contingency in the sales contract...even with new con...
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By Jane Nicastro-Disch Warren NJ, NJ Estates Real Estate Group of Weichert Realtors
(Weichert Realtors)
Union County NJ Real Estate Listing (Updated Daily)  https://bit.ly/3u0brfS Union County Real Estate Group.  https://bit.ly/3se3HnY   Berkeley Hts NJ Town Listings (Updated Daily) https://bit.ly/3HNCmRW Clark NJ Real Estate Listing. https://myre.io/0USqZySm2PV5l Cranford NJ Town Listings (Updated Daily)  https://bit.ly/3S88pQX Fanwood NJ Town Listings (Updated Daily) https://bit.ly/3DItKMf Garwood NJ Town Listings (Updated Daily) https://bit.ly/3qTAzDg Kenilworth NJ Town Listings (Updated Daily) https://bit.ly/3UJ0TOf Mountainside NJ Town Listings (Updated Daily)  https://bit.ly/3xPIfJD New Providence NJ Town Listings (Updated Daily) https://bit.ly/3bjsEug Plainfield NJ Town Listings (Updated Daily) https://bit.ly/3Nt3lmS Scotch Plains NJ Town Listings (Updated Daily) https://bit.ly/3n...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
You sold your Westfield area home this year. You also earned a nice profit from your sale. Congratulations! But, come April 15th, you may end up owing some money because of what you made from your home sale. That is called the Capital Gains Tax. However, there are a few ways you can reduce and sometimes even eliminate this tax. How the Capital Gains Tax Affects Home SellersWhat are Capital Gains?First of all, it helps to know what capital gains means. In real estate, the difference between what you paid for your luxury NJ home when you initially bought it and what you received when you sold it is called "capital gains". For example, you paid $300,000 for your property a few years ago. You sold it for $850,000 this year. you received $550,000 in capital gains. Uncle Sam considers this in...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
You found your dream Westfield area home. Now it is time to cross all your "T's" and dot all your "I's" before it becomes all your own. And one of the first items on your closing checklist is the home appraisal. So, what exactly is that?Your Guide to a Home AppraisalThe home appraisal is essentially a value assessment of a home and property. It is conducted by a certified third party and is used to determine whether the home is priced appropriately. It is also one of the "hidden fees" every buyer needs to be aware of when purchasing their home. According to Manta.com, Westfield area home buyers should expect to pay $363 on average for their appraisal.During a home appraisal, the appraiser conducts a complete visual inspection of both the interior and exterior of the home. He or she fact...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Purchasing a home is arguably one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. As you start your hunt, do not forget there will be costs associated with your purchase in addition to  price of your luxury NJ home. Here are five "hidden fees" to keep in mind as you begin to budget.Hidden Fees to Be Aware of When Purchasing a HomeHome InspectionThis is a crucial step in the home buying process. The findings that come from the inspection can help you negotiate the price and repairs. According to HomeYou, Westfield area home buyers can expect to pay between $344 and $419 for a standard home inspection.Title ServicesTitle services encompass the transfer of the title from the seller and a thorough search of the property’s records to ensure to no one will pop up with a cla...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran, the negotiation part of a real estate transaction can be a little daunting and stressful. However, it is necessary to ensure you are getting the best possible deal for your money. So, what should you negotiate when buying a house?What to Negotiate When Buying a HouseClosing CostsYour closing costs are determined by a variety of factors. According to New Jersey Lenders Corp., you can expect them to be between 2% and 3% of the purchase price. Ask the seller to cover some or all of the closing costs upfront or request a closing credit that can be used to make specific updates and fixes to the home.Inspection and Closing TimingBuyer offers that include a quick inspection and close timeline are often more attractive to sellers who...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Westfield loves the arts in all of its forms. Visit any one of the dozens of galleries in the downtown area to see artwork of all kinds (paintings, pottery, photography, etc.). Sweet Sounds Downtown offers four different live concerts every Tuesday through the end of August. And right now, the Westfield Public Arts Commission is accepting submissions from local artists to create an Artist Alley right in the heart of downtown Westfield.New Westfield Artist AlleyThe WPAC wants to create a permanent public installation in downtown Westfield. But they need talented artists to submit their ideas. Westfield's brand new Artist Alley will be set up on the side of the old Rialto theatre connecting Broad St. to the parking lot. They wish to see both 2D and 3D works of art (mosaics and wall sculpt...
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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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