Westfield, NJ Real Estate News

By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Many buyers wonder if they should wait a little bit before actively searching for their next property. Price reductions all over the country leave buyers wondering if the market already reached its peak. If prices are on the decline, it may seem logical to wait. But in hot areas like Westfield, Scotch Plains, Cranford, and many of the surrounding areas, sellers still rule the market. So, you may find yourself in a bidding war with other buyers for a property. That means that you need to make your offer stand out. How? An escalation clause could be just the ticket to capturing a seller's attention.How an Escalation Clause Can Help a Buyer Make Their Offer StickWhat is an Escalation Clause?In a regular offer, the buyer agrees to pay X dollars for the home in question. When they include an...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Whenever a buyer finances their purchase with a mortgage loan, the lender requires a home appraisal. If the property's appraised value falls below the agreed-upon price, your sale may fall through. So, as the seller, you want to make sure your property is in tip-top shape before the appraiser comes through. Once you get into the escrow phase of the sale, you need to go through your home once again to ensure it looks great for the appraiser. That includes cleaning it until everything sparkles. Home Appraisal: Does Extra Clean Add Extra Value?Bottom line? No, cleanliness technically does not affect your appraised value. However, a spotless home creates a mindset with the appraiser similar to the one it creates with a buyer. Starting off with a positive impression never hurts. Plus, it mak...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Today's home buyers must navigate a crazy market. In the Westfield area (including Scotch Plains, Mountainside, Cranford, and the surrounding area), the marketplace strongly favors the seller. Low inventory and rising interest rates made many buyers re-evaluate their home buying budgets. If you want to finalize a sale before interest rates go up again, you may want to consider implementing these home buying tips right away.Home Buying Tips to Finalize a Sale NowHire a Great REALTOR®How do you know your REALTOR® is great? Find one with plenty of experience in the local market you want to make your home. There is No Such Thing as a Stupid QuestionAlso, there is no such thing as asking too many questions. Whether your REALTOR® or your lender, anytime a question pops in your head about the ...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Every summer, downtown Westfield fills up with the sweet, sweet sounds of live music. This summer proves no exception. Last week, the Sweet Sounds Downtown Westfield Music Festival 2022 kicked off with some classic Jazz, Big Band music, and a rock cover band called the Drop the Needle Trio. But that was only the beginning of a whole summer of fantastic concerts to scintillate your eardrums and bring a smile to your lips. What: Sweet Sounds Downtown Westfield Music Festival 2022Where: Four locations around Downtown WestfieldWhen: Every Tuesday from 7 am to 9 pm throughout July & AugustCost: FreeContact: Westfield Town Hall (908) 789-4040 or via emailSweet Sounds Downtown Westfield Music Festival 2022The Sweet Sounds Downtown Westfield Music Festival takes place around the downtown area e...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Real estate shows like "Flip or Flop", "Good Bones", and "Unsellable Homes" make it appear easy to sell your home. All you need is a little paint and polish and buyers practically beat down your door, right? Not so fast. It takes a little more finesse and a lot more experience for the typical homeowner to sell their home. And that is where hiring a real estate agent comes into place.The Real Estate Agent's Role in a Home SaleSetting the List PriceFirst of all, a good REALTOR® knows how to determine a proper list price. Why is this important? Because if you price it too high, it may turn buyers off. Even in a seller's market, homes still need to be priced appropriately for the market. If you cannot get buyers through the door, your home will simply just sit there. Then, you will need to ...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Oftentimes, we hear fantastical stories about recently sold homes. Maybe your neighbor fielded several offers after only one day on the market. Or you heard about a friend of a friend who sold their rundown property for tens of thousands over their asking price without putting any effort into fixing it up. Unfortunately, these tend to be the exception rather than the rule. Yes, the Westfield area real estate market still favors the seller, according to Realtor.com. However, a home seller needs to keep an eye out for "fake news" when they put their property on the market. Otherwise, they might end up very disappointed.Misleading "Facts" for the Home Seller in Today's MarketYou Don't Need to Fix It UpYou may have heard that buyers will purchase a Westfield area home no matter what shape i...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
One of the top priorities when getting your Westfield area property ready to sell is to get rid of the clutter. This helps prepare your home for staging. Remember, staged homes sell faster and for more money than unstaged ones. However, clearing your space with intention performs double duty. How? Organizing your "stuff" not only clears the clutter, but it also helps you when it comes time to move. Use these decluttering tips when preparing to list your home for sale.Decluttering TipsStart Right AwayFirst, start the declutter process right away. It might surprise you how long it takes to go through personal items, memorabilia, etc. The sooner you begin, the less stressed you will feel about meeting your home listing deadline. Also, simply start in one room and work your way throughout t...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
You listed your Westfield area home for sale and received multiple offers for it. Congratulations! Many sellers dream of being in your position. Now, the hard part. You must decide which home offer to accept. (An embarrassment of riches, right?) Sometimes, however, the highest price is not the best offer. Consider these other important factors before making a final decision.What to Focus On When Considering a Home OfferContingenciesMost of the time, buyers include contingencies with their offer. These are conditions that must be satisfied before closing in order to complete the sale. Common ones include an appraisal, home inspection, loan approval, and sale of the buyer's current home. If a contingency is not met by closing, the buyer can walk away with their Earnest Money Deposit in ha...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Being named one of the best places to live in New Jersey is not enough. When you’re getting ready to list your Westfield area home, it is of the utmost importance to ensure that you are showing it in its best light. Taking time to highlight its strengths and fix up some of its possible weaknesses can make a big difference in how fast it sells. Here are the top four recommended repairs to make before you list your home.What to Repair Before You List Your Westfield Area HomeRepaint WallsGiving your home a fresh coat of paint before you list is one of the most cost-effective ways to spruce it up. Generally, it can also be a do-it-yourself project. Make sure to cover any walls with scratches and chips. Then consider updating any accent walls with a more neutral coat.Repair FloorsHardwood fl...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Do you always find yourself scrambling at the last minute to file your taxes? You only have 17 days until this year's April 18th filing deadline. But do not worry. This year, you might feel fortunate to have procrastinated. Why? Well, if you sold a Westfield area home last year, you still have time to claim these home seller tax deductions.Home Seller Tax DeductionsCosts Associated With the Actual Home SaleStaging fees, escrow fees, agent commissions, etc. You paid somebody to spruce up your curb appeal. Maybe you performed a home inspection before you listed to avoid any unpleasant surprises during escrow. Any money you spent on these and anything else associated with the actual sale of your Westfield area home may be tax-deductible.Improvements/RepairsPerhaps your property needed some...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Staging your Westfield area home is all about putting the best foot forward for potential buyers. By highlighting its most desirable features, you can draw more interest to your home and leave a lasting impression that is sure to help you sell it more quickly. Here’s what you should keep in mind as you prepare for your next open house or viewing!Staging Strategies for Your Westfield Area HomeHelp Them Visualize Your Home as Their OwnMake it easier for buyers to imagine themselves making your Westfield area house their home by removing personal memorabilia, knick-knacks, and photos. Instead, replace them with simple décor, such as paintings, nature images, and plants.Think Sleek Instead of ComfyModern-day buyers are leaning toward modern, crisp, clean interiors over comfy, homey looks. W...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
What do Short Hills, Westfield, Summit, and Chatham Township all have in common? Great schools. Great homes. Awesome people. Oh, and they all made Niche.com's 2022 Top 20 Best Places to Live in New Jersey List. How did Niche.com determine their rankings and what made these Westfield area cities so special? I'm glad you asked.Westfield Area Cities Named Among Top 20 Best Places to Live in NJHow Niche.com Determined RankingsNiche.com gathers data from various sources, such as the US Census, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the Tax Foundation, the FBI Uniform Crime Report, local surveys, and more. Then, they sort this information into 15 separate categories. Cost of living and higher education rate receive the most weight (12.5% each) while the shortest commute makes up 2% of each city'...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
COVID-19. An aging population. Fewer donors. Fewer donation sites. All of these things contributed to our current nationwide blood shortage. But you can help change things. Over the next couple of weeks, make an appointment to donate blood at one of two Westfield area blood drives.Westfield Area Blood Drives - March 2022Westfield Blood DriveThe Westfield blood drive takes place from 2 pm to 8 pm on Wednesday, March 16th at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church on Gallows Hill Rd. You may schedule a donation time by visiting the New York Blood Center's website here. As of the writing of this post, several appointment times remain available.Cranford Blood DriveThe Cranford Blood Drive takes place from 1 pm to 7 pm on Sunday, March 20th at the Cranford VFW on South Ave East. While walk-ins ar...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
We live in a seller's market here in the Westfield area. Even so, you still need to prep your home to show off its best features. Most buyers look for a "move-in ready" home rather than a fixer-upper. In fact, sellers benefit from a pre-list inspection. So, you might want to consider hiring an inspector to come to your home before you put it on the market. But even if you decide not to do that, keep these home sale "don'ts" in mind to capture the attention of as many potential buyers as possible. Plus, you'll get your home sold in a shorter time frame for more money.How to Hurt Your Home SaleTake Your Own PhotosNo matter how great of a camera your cell phone provides, leave the photo-taking to the professionals. Most real estate agents work with a professional photographer. They may eve...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Valentine's Day is just a couple of weeks away. Downtown Westfield wants to share the love with you and your sweetie. There are two separate Valentine's Day contests waiting for your entry. One provides gift cards to local restaurants and shops. The other helps you tackle your New Year's resolution of better health with a new Peloton bike. Both sound like great prizes to me.Valentine's Day Contests in WestfieldDowntown Westfield Gift CardsThis contest is so easy to enter. Simply visit Downtown Westfield's Facebook post about the contest here. Then, "like" the post. Finally, leave a comment where you tag your Valentine and tag the downtown Westfield restaurant or boutique you would like to take them to on Valentine's Day. Organizers plan on choosing two winners at random from all of the ...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
You’ve most likely heard the rule "save for a 20% down payment before you buy a home". The logic behind saving 20% is solid, as it shows that you have the financial discipline and stability to save for a long-term goal. It also helps you get favorable rates from lenders. But there can actually be financial benefits to putting down a small down payment—as low as 3%—rather than parting with so much cash upfront, even if you have the money available.Pros and Cons of a Small Down PaymentThe DownsideThe downsides of a small down payment are pretty well known. You’ll have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance for years, and the lower your down payment, the more you’ll pay. You’ll also be offered a lesser loan amount than borrowers who have a 20% down payment, which will eliminate some homes from ...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
This weekend's storm is just the latest of many that the Westfield area experiences this time of year. Most likely, it will not be the last. So, when the weather eases up, you might want to follow these winter storm safety tips for your home to survive during the next big weather event we see.Winter Storm Safety Tips for Your HomeCarbon Monoxide - The Silent KillerSome Union County homeowners keep a generator on hand for rough winter weather. That is smart. However, do not run these generators in your home. These generators emit carbon monoxide gases. Since they are both odorless and nearly invisible, they may easily fill up a room before anyone notices. Even generators placed directly outside of the home may allow dangerous gases to invade inside. Follow the directions from the manufac...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
New year. New home? If you plan on selling your Westfield area home in 2022, you should start focusing on the tasks required to make it happen. The sooner you create a plan of attack, the easier selling your home becomes in the new year.Selling Your Home in 2022Set a Target DateMarch through May tend to be the best times to list your home on the Westfield market. That is when more buyers go out looking for a new home. Why? Nice weather makes it easier to navigate their way to a showing. Plus, this allows families time to close and move during the summer, when school closes. Once you set your target listing date, create your list of tasks that must be completed beforehand. Then, set deadlines for which each task must be finished.Interview REALTORS®Next, you need to find a REALTOR®. You n...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Most people busy themselves with last-minute Christmas shopping and getting ready for New Year's Eve parties right now. However, some are thinking about buying a new Westfield area home. These homebuyers include Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964). Buying a home in your 60s or 70s may seem even more overwhelming than usual with retirement knocking on your door. If you are a senior home buyer, let me offer you a few tips to help make this transition a little easier.Tips for the Senior Home BuyerPut Future Needs at Top of ListRight now, navigating stairs and cleaning up a large home may still seem manageable. But down the road, you might find it much less so. The National Association of REALTORS® 2021 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report found that Boomer buyers planne...
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By Scott Gleason, CRS, Westfield NJ New Homes Specialist
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Christmas Eve takes place exactly one week from tonight. Meanwhile, the holiday spirit fills the air. For instance, Scotch Plains put their tree on display in Alan Augustine Village Green. Westfield and Fanwood's official trees are set up at their respective North Ave train stations. And you absolutely must see the Fanwood Christmas House. But after the celebration dies down and your guests go home, you are left with the clean-up. That includes your Christmas tree. Unfortunately, these trees cannot be disposed of with your weekly trash collection. What do you do? Contact our local high school band and schedule a Westfield Christmas tree pick-up after the holidays.What: Christmas Tree Pick-up in WestfieldWhere: Curbside Outside Your HomeWhen: Saturday, January 9thCost: $20 per treeDeadli...
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