To say we’ve been busy lately would be an understatement. 

Despite the rumors of an impending market slide, our market remains active. With inventory levels even lower than last year, the strong sellers market continues even with interest rates that have and are expected to continue to increase. 

The number of units that closed in February, 2021 v. 2022 is shockingly lower across many towns. In South Orange, there were 38 units sold in February, 2021 versus only 20 last month. In Maplewood, the number of closed units went from 46 in February, 2021 to 26 a year later. In Montclair, the number went from 54 closed units in February, 2021 to only 29 in February of this year. In Short Hills, the number dropped from 30 to 21. 

Have a look at this comprehensive North & Central New Jersey market report for an in-depth look at the numbers, or contact me directly for any questions on how to interpret the data. Happy to help. 

It’s without doubt a great time to be a seller. For buyers who can move quickly and know what to expect, a new home is well within reach. 

Our entire team is encouraging clients to talk to a mortgage professional. Our recommendation is Kyla DeMarzio, currently ranked in the Top 1 percent of Loan Originators in America. She wouldn’t have that ranking if she couldn’t get things done for people. However, if you have someone you know in the mortgage space, a conversation with them will help you find out what it will  take for you to become a competitive, active buyer. 

Today, mortgage pre-approval is table-stakes, and having cash on hand will make a tremendous difference for your buying power because no sellers are entertaining offers contingent upon the sale of a current residence. 

If you do need to sell in order to buy, consider Compass’s Bridge Loan program. This unique and helpful offer provides aspiring buyers the opportunity to shop for homes without the pressure of having to sell, among other uses. Feel free to contact any member of our team for more information.

Because inventory remains thin, sellers, too, are having a harder time finding their next place. Thus, buyers need to be ready to grant extended occupancy after closing. If you can afford to wait before having to move-in, offer that up-front to the seller. It could make a big difference in how they view your offer.  

We’ve been happy to see the number of all-cash offers decline. This is good because, simply, it helps more people compete for properties. Traditionally financed offers, for the right price and overall quality of offer, are being accepted today and we encourage you to move forward with confidence.

We’re advising clients who are undecided on buying to make up their minds quickly. Mortgage rates are ticking up (although remain historically very attractive) and so are prices. Likely driving that is the number of homes sold, which is down 47 percent from this time last year. 

Thus, with that kind of inventory shortage, buyers have to move fast. If you’re ready to buy, do not hesitate.

All of the market dynamics and numbers can be confusing at times. That’s why we’re here, translating market data into buying and selling decisions is why we get hired. Don’t be afraid to ask us about timing, locations, price or property type. Everything works together, and we’ll help you assemble the puzzle. 

We’d be happy to consult with you confidentially. You can email Allison at [email protected] to arrange a time to talk.

The Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group is a top producing real estate team based at Compass in Short Hills, NJ. We are local market experts, specializing in real estate and homes in Maplewood, South Orange, Millburn/Short Hills, Montclair, West Orange, NJ and the surrounding towns. We are driven by earning great testimonials and referral business from happy clients. You can read our testimonials here.