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Home buyers eye fall market

Real estate heats up as weather cools

Created date

August 3rd, 2015

Real estate professionals throughout New Jersey report a strong real market, and they don’t expect it to ebb soon. According to Jeffrey Otteau, a Central Jersey-based appraiser, home sales were up 19% in April 2015 over April 2014. What’s more, sale prices are up over last year. 

Several factors contribute to the positive market. Pent-up demand, rising rental rates, declining interest rates, consumer optimism, and a stronger economy all play a role. 

While the multiple offers and bidding wars tapered off in May, sellers can expect the market to begin heating up this month and stay strong through November. This is good news for anyone trying to move before winter weather sets in.

Fall market projections

“August is when homeowners start planning for fall. Agents are being interviewed, and houses are being prepared for market. September 1 is the beginning of the fall market, the second strong market of the year,” says Seabr... Personal Moving Consultant Laurie Williamson.

Williamson predicts a healthy fall market. 

While some experts project interest rates to rise, they most likely won’t spike just yet. The rumors may, in fact, cause buyers to flood the fall market in hopes of securing a lower rate. Due to a gentle loosening of mortgage underwriting standards, a slight rise in interest rates should not deter homebuyers.

“Rents have become so high, which is pushing buyers into the market,” Williamson says. “Mortgage money is easier to get, and buyers can often purchase a home with 10% down or less. This is good news for sellers.”

Even areas with a traditionally low volume of home sales and lower home prices are experiencing a stronger market than they have in years. 

Monmouth and Ocean counties report homes staying on the market for an average of eight months. Middlesex reports just under five months of supply. As of March, 76% of New Jersey’s 21 counties had less than eight months of supply—a balance point for home prices, Otteau says.

Take the fall market by storm

Consultant Laurie Williamson on tackling clutter, curb appeal, and facing hurdles

Q: A lot of people want to sell their house and move before winter settles in. What are three ways people can make their house stand out this time of year?

Williamson: First, set the stage with landscape appeal. Manicure your lawn, apply fresh mulch, and add color with fall flowers like mums. Second, welcome buyers at the door. Place a new, welcoming doormat and add a seasonal wreath. Third, declutter inside. Throw or stow away personal items and paperwork.

Q: If someone feels too overwhelmed to start downsizing, what are one or two tips you can give to help them get started?

Williamson: The best place to start is decluttering the house. It makes you feel good to see things thinning out and motivates you to continue the process. I help people develop a customized decluttering plan to make it easier. 

Q: What is the biggest hurdle you see people face when it comes to downsizing and moving, and how do you help them overcome it?

Williamson: The biggest hurdle I see people face is the thought of getting started. People think it is hard, but it just comes down to getting organized and implementing a plan—that’s what I do for our priority list members at Seabrook.