BUYING A HOME IN THE WESTFIELD NJ AREA

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty Premier Properties

Is NOW The Time to Buy a Home in the Westfield NJ Area?

July 17th, 2009

So, you've found the home you want to buy ... and you're waiting for the price to come down.  But is that really a smart strategy?  Consider that if you wait

·         Interest rates may rise, reducing your buying power

·         Someone else may buy the house while you're waiting

·         You may miss the Fed's $8,000 tax credit.  

So, should you wait?  If you DON'T wait, how can you get the best value? 

Answer:   Buying a home isn't about waiting for the best price; it's about negotiating the best price

The Westfield NJ Area real estate market has been really hot lately - so much so, that in Westfield NJ and a lot of the surrounding towns, the inventory is shrinking.    We're even seeing multiple bids on properties that are updated and priced right.   [Incidentally, the only people who like a bidding war are sellers.]

So, how do you get a great home at a great price?

First, don't wait!  If you see a home that has everything you want - or even most of what you want - make an offer.  Don't wait for a price reduction.  Make the price reduction yourself!

HUH? 

Ignore the list price and offer what you think the home is worth.  I don't mean you should be foolish about this, just reasonable.  And your Realtor is your best friend here.

For instance, suppose there's a Westfield NJ home for sale that you want to buy.  First, have your Realtor run a list of all the Westfield NJ sold homes that are similar to the one you want to buy and that sold in the last 3 months.  Ask me to do an accurate comparison - amenity for amenity - and adjust for the "trend."  This will give you a fairly good idea of what the home is worth, as well as whether prices are trending up or down.

This gives you a benchmark.  Then, you start with a relatively low bid - say 5% below what you are willing to pay for the house - and let your Realtor (me, I hope) do their magic, negotiating the best price and terms.  

 What if the Westfield NJ Area home you want is really overpriced? (This should be rare since Realtors want to SELL homes, not just list them!)

First, take a look at my Westfield Homes Sold, or Scotch Plains Homes Sold, or Mountainside Homes Sold pages.  These pages list all the homes sold over the last 6 months or so, by address - and indicate what others have paid for similar homes in those areas. 

Another way you can spot an over-priced home is the length of time the house has been on the market - shown as DAYS ON MARKET.  When the DOM is significantly greater than normal ("normal" changes with the market), chances are everybody who's seen it thinks it's overpriced.

Maybe the seller is just hoping for "someone to make some kind of offer" and your low offer may come at a time when the seller is ready to move on.  

So ... take a look at those overpriced homes.  If you see one you like and think it's overpriced, don't be afraid to offer what you (and your Realtor) think it's worth.  (If you look at my "solds" page for any town on www.Westfield-Area-Homes.com , you'll see a lot of properties that sold for a lot less than List Price - and generally were on the market for quite some time.)

So, don't wait for the price to come down.  Decide the price you want to pay and have your Realtor excite the seller with YOUR offer.

For more information, visit www.Westfield-Area-Homes.com or email Teri at tmalone@weichert.com.

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