— May 11, 2020
Although real estate across the country, like many industries, has taken a hit during the COVID-19 crisis, certain recent changes in the local real estate market have become especially advantageous for people who want to sell their homes.
THERE MAY BE NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW
TO SELL YOUR HOME.
IF YOU’RE CONSIDERING LISTING,
I URGE YOU TO REACH OUT TO YOUR LOCAL REAL ESTATE EXPERT
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HIGH DEMAND FOR HOMES IN OUR AREA.
HOME BUYERS WANT SAFE, OPEN SUBURBAN SPACES
An exodus of residents from New York City, Jersey City, Hoboken, and crowded suburban areas such as Bergen County, for example, has generated a flurry of new buyers in local New Jersey real estate. In addition, stable home values, reasonable employment rates, low mortgage rates, and effective health-safety precautions make selling a home in our area favorable right now. In the last month alone, there has been an uptick in demand for single-family homes followed by multiple offers on individual properties and quick home sales.
Local real estate markets, namely in Chatham, Madison, Summit, Morristown,
and Millburn / Short Hills are experiencing a burst of buyers.
Check out this great home for sale at 109 Fairmount in Chatham.
More than ever, urban buyers want homes like this, with spacious interiors,
a beautiful yard, and nearby parks that help restore well-being.
SUBURBAN LIFE OFFERS SAFETY AND PEACE OF MIND
If you’re wondering how the local real estate market could flourish given COVID-19, consider how the virus has changed life for residents in many urban areas. People who live in close quarters in and around New York City, have lost the ability to move about freely and partake of many assets of city life, including concerts, museums, restaurants, and bars.
Socializing in New York, and other urban areas is no longer what it has been; and it’s unlikely to change until vaccinations for COVID-19 are offered worldwide. In a recent New York Times article, journalist CJ Hughes interviewed New Yorkers who suggested, “It’s not the same feeling being in New York anymore,” and “…it is just unmanageable to live in the city right now; [furthermore, no one] knows how long this will go on.” Some New Yorkers added that they fear using elevators, dread the cramped aisles of grocery stores, and that they have grown tired of the confines of their small apartment
Desolate New York City streets emphasize a recent unfortunate change in the city’s culture.
Demand for homes in Chatham and surrounding suburban areas has increased
despite previous predictions to the contrary.
LOCAL REAL ESTATE IS IN GREAT DEMAND
Here in Chatham, I receive many calls each day with requests for single-family homes. Home buyers want to live in towns with outstanding schools, secure neighborhoods, a small-town community vibe, direct train service to New York City, and access to safe, open spaces.
The good news is that Chatham, Madison, Summit, Morristown, Millburn / Short Hills, and surrounding communities offer everything the buyers want and need. In addition to our excellent schools, easy New York City commutes, beautiful homes and storybook neighborhoods, we have extraordinary county and national parks nearby with groomed trails that wind through picturesque hardwood forests.
Our area offers buyers a safe haven,
including fresh beautiful outdoor spaces in which to roam safely.
In March and April, 41 homes were listed in Chatham, and 23 went under contract.
These figures are positive in any spring market.
CURRENT LIMITED HOUSING INVENTORY MEANS A HOT SELLER’S MARKET
The only obstacle preventing more buyers from purchasing homes right now is limited inventory. Understandably, home sellers withdrew and postponed listings early in the COVID-19 shelter-at-home lockdown. But much has changed since the virus arrived in our communities. Most importantly, health authorities have shared effective information on safe-distancing and hygiene to help prevent spread of the virus. With a continued decline in local COVID-related hospitalizations, health statistics suggest the protective strategies are working.
THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY STRICTLY ADHERES TO HEALTH SAFETY PRACTICES
On the real estate front, realtors and their agencies have quickly adapted to ensure the safety and health of their clients and staff. Realtors also have pulled out all the stops for marketing in the digital space. For example, virtual tours that allow buyers to see homes and narrow choices for in-person showings have become ubiquitous. When in-person showings occur, realtors ensure that buyers need not touch doorknobs, light switches, and other common-touch surfaces. After showings, many realtors are careful to wipe down common-touch surfaces as an added protection to sellers.
Lending institutions, home inspectors, appraisers, and attorneys also have made safe, efficient arrangements for securing and transferring funds, signing contracts, and closing on home sales. In many cases, routine requirements for selling and buying a home have become completely digital, completely safe. When buyers, inspectors, or appraisers must be on site, safe-distancing and hygiene practices are well understood and strictly employed.
If you’re still not convinced the time is right for selling your home,
consider that homes in our area averaged $352 per square foot in October 2019,
whereas they are now an average $405 per square foot.
POSITIVE LOCAL EMPLOYMENT RATES ARE SUPPORTING BUYERS
In addition to high demand for local housing, local unemployment rates, which are high in many parts of the United States, also are still relatively low, with 90 in 100 area buyers still employed. The reason for this positive figure is that many people living and working in the New York metro area have been able to continue working their jobs remotely.
As New York-based companies partially or fully reopen their offices, many buyers suggest they will continue working at their current positions and still will need an easy commute to the city. Towns like Chatham, Madison, Summit, Morristown, and Millburn / Short Hills offer home buyers proximity to New York, with safety and peace of mind in the coming months and thereafter.
The key to capturing the interest of buyers now
starts with the skills of a realtor whose expertise and flexibility
ensure success despite both perceived and practical obstacles.
If you would like to sell your home this spring or summer, I can chat with you in person or by phone, Zoom, or FaceTime to:
- Discuss all aspects of listing your home, including measures to keep you safe
- Guide you about the value of your home
- Recommend repairs, updates, and staging to ensure your home sells quickly and gets the best possible price
- Create a virtual tour of your home to share on multiple listing sites, social media, and other effective marketing platforms
- Create short, friendly videos to keep your home at the edge of the marketing wave and top of buyers’ minds
- Arrange virtual and safe in-person meetings with lenders, appraisers, inspectors, repair people, and buyers
As a realtor who ranks among the top half of 1 percent of realtors in the state of New Jersey, and as the top individual agent in Chatham in 2018, I am well equipped to sell your home quickly, efficiently, and at a price you want.*
WE CAN MAXIMIZE OUR EFFORTS IN A POSITIVE REAL ESTATE MARKET
There is no denying the complex, tragic outcomes of COVID-19. It has permanently altered our lives and behaviors. We cannot / will not, of course, turn a blind eye to safe-distancing and hygiene practices that can prevent spread of the virus and keep us safe. But as we consider opening our economy, businesses, education, and continue staying socially connected, we are applying thoughtful, responsible ways to effectively sell homes without risking the health of anyone around us.
Low mortgage rates, reasonable local employment rates,
stable local housing prices, effective health-safety precautions,
and a flood of new buyers in our area make now a great time to sell your home .
Want to learn more? Give me a call at 201-532-0788.
We can create an effective plan that meets your real estate goals.
*Real Trends Real Estate Rankings.