Making Your Real Estate Dreams Come True

Archive for December, 2013

SOLD! 65 South Union in Cranford is no longer available!

A 2 family home on a historical site, 65 South Union Avenue in Cranford found new owners today!


How did Team Zuhl get this done?

  1. We held a broker’s open house which was very well attended by agents from our office and from other offices in the area.
  2. We held one public open house which saw better than average traffic.
  3. We wrote public blog postsFacebook statuses, and Twitter feeds marketing the property for 3 months.
  4. We marketed the home verbally with other agents, pointing out the good bones and great location of the home so that agents could bring their buyers to see it.
  5. We published a virtual tour of the property on YouTube to maximize exposure.
  6. We used enhanced listings on, and Trulia to increase appeal, attention, and visibility.

You home can be sold quickly, too, with proper marketing. Call Team Zuhl at 908-917-4189 for more information!


New Year’s Traditions

The Kiss

“Happy New Year!” everyone shouts and then kisses their significant other. Why?Image

Not kissing someone – anyone – at midnight is a surefire way to guarantee yourself a year of loneliness, according to tradition. Kissing someone may even ward off evil spirits.

No significant other? Anyone will do. But I know who I’m kissing.

Auld Lang Syne

This old Scottish song, which translates to “Old Long Ago,” is sung at midnight to ensure that we stay rooted in the past and remember our histories.

Black Eyed Peas and other foods

This traditional New Year’s Day food is eaten for good luck, especially financial good luck. Lentils can also be substituted, as well as other beans. Other New Year’s traditional foods include eating 12 grapes at midnight – one at each gong of the clock for each month of good luck – and buttered bread – placed outside your door to indicate that no one in your home will go hungry in the year to come. Parsley wards off evil spirits and pork is said to help each person embrace the challenges of the year ahead. If you can eat at least one Chinese long noodle without breaking it on New Year’s Day, then you’re sure to have a long life. Cornbread, which is the color of gold, guarantees financial success, as do any round breads.


The color of the underwear you wear on New Year’s Eve will dictate the type of year you’re going to have. Yellow underwear means you’ll have a year full of prosperity (color of gold, you see). Red underwear means you’ll have a year full of love, romance, and passion. White guarantees peace, harmony, and happiness. Blue is for good health and tranquility. Green is for life, well-being, and nature. Pink is for luck in love.

New Year’s Day Activities

Whatever you do on New Year’s will set the tone for the year. If you engage in healthy activities, you’ll have a healthy year, and the opposite is also true.

Burn your Christmas Tree

The Dutch burn their Christmas trees and set off fireworks at midnight. This is to help get rid of the old and make room for the new.


What are you doing for New Years?

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 58 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Why You Want to Pay Commission

When you’re trying to sell your home, it’s important to interview many Realtors so that you can find the right one. You might be faced with three or four agents, all who want to sell your home and all who have different marketing plans and personalities. 

Anti-trust laws prevent Realtors from fixing commissions – therefore, in NJ, all real estate commissions are negotiable. Choose your Realtor with the same care that you would choose any professional that you hire. When you choose a Realtor, make sure that a lower commission isn’t the only thing they have to sell. 

5 Reasons Why Real Estate Agents Reduce Commission

1. They need the business. Agents who don’t have a lot of clients may offer to work for less commission because they haven’t built up a clientele yet. Which could mean they aren’t experienced.

2. They don’t have a marketing system that works. If they had a marketing system that worked, they wouldn’t be working for less, would they? There is a difference between listing a property and selling a property – do they know the difference?

3. They’re willing to cut services. If an agent isn’t going to make a lot of money on the sale of your property, then they’re not going to spend a lot of money marketing it. It’s an old cliche, but it really does take money to make money.

4. They’re not offering the cooperating brokers a competitive commission. When an agent sells a property that they hadn’t listed, they earn one half of the commission, usually. In most sales, this means that 3% of the sale price goes to the buying broker who splits with the agent according to their contract. Sometimes, agents will list a home and offer less than half of the commission to the buying agent – perhaps only 2% or less. If you were a buyers agent, would you be excited to show a house that’s offering 33% less of a paycheck for you?

5. They’re not good negotiators. Good negotiators not only get the most money they can for you, but they also get the most money they can for themselves. If they weren’t able to negotiate commission successfully with you, how will they negotiate with a buyer?


Before you choose that agent who offered you a reduced rate listing, be sure that you know what you’re getting in to.


More info on selling your home:

How Much is Your Home Worth?


Dozens of home listings in Union County expire every week. If a home doesn’t sell, the three biggest reasons are:



1. Price – If you’re asking $350,000 for your home, then it had better be at least as good as the other homes in the area being offered for $350,000. If not, it won’t sell. In fact, it won’t even be seen by buyers. The factors that determine the value of a home are:


1. Location


2. Size


3. Amenities/Upgrades


2. Condition – Rundown homes and homes that aren’t updated don’t sell unless they are priced lower than the competition. Buyers aren’t interested in putting another $50,000 into a home they’ve just paid full price for.


3. Marketing – Your home has to be listed on the local MLS with a listing that accurately and enthusiastically sells your home. You have to have signage. We use open houses, virtual tours, enhanced listings on the major real estate websites, individual property websites, and personalized domain names. Without proper marketing, your home won’t get seen.




The best way to ensure that your home gets visited by many potential buyers is to price it right! The easiest way to determine the appropriate price is to compare your home to recent sales that are similar in neighbhorhood and in size. Real Estate Professionals call this a CMA, or Comparative Market Analysis. If you call us today, we’ll provide you with your CMA free of charge and free of obligation. For a fee, a professional appraiser can provide you with a much more accurate estimate of market value called an appraisal. 


For more information:


The Top 10 Reasons Why Union County Home Sellers Choose Team Zuhl


Jersey Drivers

We hear about Jersey drivers from out of State folks all the time.

“Jersey drivers are the worst!”

“You guys make your own lanes!”

“What’s a rotary?” 

“Don’t speed limits mean anything to you people?”



Finally, there’s evidence that NJ drivers aren’t the worst. In fact, according to the survey by, NJ drivers are the 32nd worst in the Country, or, as we prefer, the 18th best! used criteria like fatalities per 100 million miles traveled, driver obedience to signals and seat belts, and the incidence of drunk driving, tickets, and careless driving.  

What’s the worst State? Louisiana.

What’s the best State? Vermont.


Tips for the Newly Engaged

Did you get engaged this Holiday Season? Congratulations!

If you recently got engaged, it’s time to start thinking about your financial future.

For starters, where do you want to live? Have you chosen a neighborhood? Will you rent or buy? How do you even start to figure these things out?

Contact us for a free first time home buyers consultation. We’ll walk you through the steps of saving for a downpayment, applying for a mortgage, and choosing a new home!

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