Experienced real estate agents support their clients in an unprecedented market
The New Jersey real estate market has entered uncharted territory. Driven from Manhattan and other urban areas by COVID-19, homebuyers have swarmed suburbs across the state in search of more room to breathe.
The confluence of closures, remote working and low interest rates has pushed buyers out of cities, creating a shortage of suburban homes for sale. According to Rob Norman, president of Coldwell Banker in New Jersey, buyers and sellers in this unprecedented real estate market need agents who are both knowledgeable and experienced.
âThe low supply has driven prices up dramatically,â Norman said. âThere just isn’t enough housing on the market to meet demand. As a result, we are seeing many homes selling above listing prices. Agents face bidding wars. Buyers and sellers need to trust their agent to know the market and master the negotiation process.
Norman stressed that years of experience are not the only criterion for evaluating an officer. He explained that Coldwell Banker puts new agents through a comprehensive training program to prepare them for a myriad of market challenges.
According to New Jersey Real Estate Agents President Jeff Jones, finding the perfect real estate agent for their transaction is important to a consumer.
âChoose a professional who knows the market you are interested in, who specializes in your needs, and who listens to and respects you,â he said. “Ask questions and interview real estate agents until you find the one that’s right for you.”
Jones pointed out that not all real estate agents are real estate agents. Real estate agents are members of the National Association of Real Estate Agents, who ââ¦ follow a strict code of ethics and maintain a high level of knowledge and professionalismâ.
âNew Jersey realtors have access to the most comprehensive and up-to-date housing statistics available, which can help buyers and sellers navigate the market and determine a course of action,â Jones added. . âYour real estate agent can walk you through the process of negotiations, lengthy documents, and accepting or rejecting offers. New Jersey real estate agents are also up to date with all updates to laws, contracts and practices related to real estate.
All New Jersey real estate agents and brokers continue their education as a requirement of their real estate license. Those who are members of the National Association of Realtors have the option of adding specialty designations that indicate that the agent has taken a course in that specialty and has above average knowledge. Specialties include: SRS (Seller Representative Specialist), ABRÂ® (Accredited Buyer’s Representative), CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist), CRS (Certified Residential Specialist), GRI (Graduate, Realtor Institute), RENE (Real Estate Negotiation Expert) and many others.
Debbie woerner, a 20-year real estate sales veteran and relocation specialist who works out of Coldwell Banker’s Chatham office, said today’s clients are well-educated people who do their research on Zillow and read the agent reviews.
âCustomers are doing their research. They need to have complete confidence in you, especially when they move to New Jersey from other markets, âshe said. âRight now there is a lot of pressure to make sure customers aren’t paying too much. We want to negotiate a bargain price while helping clients get the homes they want. We have to do a good job. We not only want to match the client with the right home, but also find a neighborhood where they can access the great schools, recreation programs, business and social opportunities they are looking for.
Banker Agent Coldwell Ellen gonik, based in Livingston, further emphasized the importance of market knowledge.
âUnderstanding where the streets are most desirable is essential in such a hot market,â said Gonik. âPrices have increased dramatically due to low inventory, and many people buy without considering their purchase. An experienced agent who knows the market can direct a client to ads that will hold up well when the market eventually cools down. Homes in less popular locations can quickly increase in price when inventory is low, but they will be the first to lose value when the market resets. “
Gonik explained that people sometimes fall in love with a house regardless of the value of the land.
âThe goal is to find the right house in the best location,â she noted. âWe want to find a home that fits the customer perfectly, while minimizing the downside risk. “
Best Producer Colleen Dingley from Diane Turton Realtors at Wall Township makes sure she gives her client the best advice by staying on top of the areas in which she sells.
âI only sell in areas where I really know the market,â Dingley said. âI have to know the school system, parks, recreation facilities and other nuances of a place before I can properly educate a client. “
Dingley noted that it is more important than ever to provide customers with comprehensive market information in this rapidly growing market. She explained that before COVID-19, much of her business came from local residents who moved from one part of the region to another. Buyers from outside the market in Monmouth and Ocean counties were often vacation home buyers.
âLately we are working with more buyers in New York, Bergen County, Hoboken, Jersey City and other places in northern New Jersey who want to live near the coast full time. Part of it is because they can work remotely, âshe said. âA lot of these buyers don’t know our area and they need an experienced agent to help them understand the intricacies of each listing. When we deal with sellers, we make sure they have a place to move after their home is sold. The low inventory in the state has made homes for sale and rent difficult to find.
Dingley also described the importance of working with agents who have strong associations with other real estate professionals in the area. She commented that knowing local attorneys, mortgage representatives, home inspectors and other real estate agents can help facilitate a transaction.
Today’s market is changing rapidly and experience is a major asset for real estate agents. Experienced agents recognize the risks and rewards of these unprecedented market conditions and work hard to help their buyers and sellers get the best possible results from their real estate transactions.
Stan Lemond is an award-winning marketing consultant and writer with over 40 years of experience. His work has appeared in The Star-Ledger, Staten Island Advance, Trenton Times and South Jersey Times as well as Jersey’s Best.