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Posts tagged ‘price’

Making an Offer

Finding the right house is a pretty exciting experience. The house feels like a home when you walk in – the rooms are the right size, the floor plan suits you, the location is exactly where you want to be, and you can’t wait to move in!



So you tell your real estate professional, “Wayne and Jean, this is the one! We want to make an offer!”

You want to ensure that your offer appeals to the sellers:

1. Price. Your REALTORS will help you determine the appropriate sale price for the home. You might be offering close to the list price or you might be a little below. If you’re below list, you’re going to want to provide the comps that you used to determine that the price you’re offering is fair.

2. Terms. Factors in your offer other than the price can impact how it is received by the seller. For example, a close date that is soon or far in the distance might appeal more.

3. Financing. The type of mortgage that you’re securing will also make a difference – some mortgages are quicker to approve and are more likely to approve. You want to provide your pre-approval letter and all documentation to help the sellers view you as a serious buyer.

4. Earnest money. The amount of downpayment that you’re providing might also help the sellers make a decision. If you’re putting down a lot of money, they’ll know that you really are ready, willing, and able to buy the house.

5. Conditions. If you have any contingencies – you need to sell your current home, for example – that may impact the seller’s decision to accept your offer. Some buyers request that the seller pay some or all of the closing costs – that might only appeal to the seller if your offer is strong.  You will want to make your offer contingent upon an inspection and the seller may specify limits to this.

Once you’ve written the offer, your REALTORS may do two more things to strengthen your position, particularly in a home that may have multiple offers.

6. Write a personal letter. When you make an offer to buy a home, you’re essentially entering into a financial agreement with another person. But buying and selling a home is an emotional process as well, and there are times when we’ve asked our buyers to write a personal letter to the seller. This letter can be as short as one or two pages and usually appeals to the seller’s sense of pride in the home. The buyers will describe their family and what their plans are for the home once they move in. Point out the things in the home that you lvoe.

7. Present the offer in person. Some sellers will allow the REALTOR to present an offer in person. This gives us the opportunity to share some personal information about you with the sellers and hopefully persuade them that your offer is not only legitimate but that you will care for the home with the same love that they did. Your agent can also begin negotiations at this point and you might have a signed contract!



When you find the right home, entrust your offer in the hands of a REALTOR who understands that buying a home is both a financial decision as well as an emotional decision!


Clark Real Estate Market Update – July 2014

Before you buy or sell a home in Clark, you need to understand the market conditions. Here’s what you need to know this month:

Inventory: There are currently 88 homes on the market in Clark ranging in price from $187,000 to $1,100,000 – definitely something for everyone in this market! Nine homes were sold in June which is very low for June.

Prices: The average and mean sales in June were 38% higher than the 12 month sales average and 30% higher than May. One or two high end sales can create this anomaly so it probably doesn’t have any significance in terms of the summer real estate market. While summer prices typically increase due to supply and demand, July’s numbers should give us a better indication of where the market is heading.

Days on Market: The average sold home in Clark in June was sold after 48 days on the market – a bit slower than the previous several months, but certainly not a slow market!

What this means to you?

Since only 9 homes were sold in June, the inventory will continue to increase. Buyers will find that they have a great selection of homes to choose from and sellers will find that their homes need to be in tip-top showing condition in order to sell.


For more information on selling a home:

For more information on Clark and Clark Real Estate:

Clark Real Estate Market Update

clark inventory

Prices: The average sale price of a home in Clark in March, 2014, was $399,600 which is about 14% higher than March of 2012.

clark prices

Inventory: There are currently 58 single family homes offered for sale in Clark at an average list price of $452,728.  Five homes were sold in March of 2014, only half of that sold in March of 2013.

If you’re thinking about selling your Clark home, get a free Comparative Market Analysis here.

For more information on selling a home:

For more information on Clark and Clark Real Estate:

Linden and Rahway Real Estate Market Update



Time on market: For homeowners in Rahway and Linden, the expected spring quickening in the real estate market has yet to arrive. While prices are up, the length of time it’s taking to sell the average home has actually increased. 






Prices: The average sale price in Rahway and Linden is higher than it’s been in more than 2 years. The average sale price in Rahway and Linden in March of 2014 was $228,493.






Inventory: The inventory in Rahway and Linden was lower this winter than it’s been in over 2 years, but is now beginning to recover. To search Rahway listings, click here. To search Linden listings, click here.

For more information on selling a home:

For more information on the Real Estate in Rahway and Linden:

What’s my Union County home worth now?

Dear Team Zuhl,

I’m thinking about selling my home, but I’m not sure what it’s worth.  How can I find out?

Pondering Pat


Dear Pat,

The easiest way of finding out what your home is worth, is to contact your REALTOR and ask for a Comparative Market Analyis (CMA).  Many agents, including Team Zuhl, will not charge ANY fee to do a Market Analysis.   An appraiser will charge a fee, usually several hundred dollars, but in many cases the appraiser will provide a more accurate number.

A CMA is only an estimate of the value of the property based on similar properties that have sold within the last 12 months in your town. A CMA is an educated estimate of what the home should sell for on the date the analysis was prepared.

When Team Zuhl does a CMA for a homeowner, the CMA is comprised of 3 different analyses: Tax Analysis, the RPR Sellers Report generated by the National Association of REALTORs and a Comp Analysis. 

The Tax Analysis looks at the assessed value of the subject and comparable properties.  A ratio of assessed value to sale price is generated and averaged for all the properties.  That average is then multiplied by the assessed value of the subject home giving an estimate of the current value of the subject property.


The RPR Sellers Report is generated using data gathered by the National Association of REALTORs, by accessing MLS and other data sources.  It uses historical, market and geographical data and will pull information based on properties sold within a certain radius of the home regardless of town or zip code.  It is similar to the ZEstimate found on, but your REALTOR can adjust several variables to compensate for market activity and condition of the home.

The Comp Analysis is similar to what an appraiser would do, however we only using the data retrieved from the the local MLS and we don’t have access to square footage and other measures. This is a direct comparison between the subject property and sold comps.  Feature differences, lot size and condition are the most important factors taken into account.    

An appraisal will give you a more accurate evaluation of the current market value, as an appraiser will take attributes of different homes and add or subtract value based upon those attributes.  They will also incorporate square footage and price per square foot.  Those values are generally not available to REALTORs.  

While an appraisal is more accurate, we usually arrive at a value within 2% of the appraised value on properties that we list and sell, using the methods described above.  When there are few (2 or less) comparable properties an appraisal will always be the most accurate method of determining value.

So Pat, we hope that helps you with your question.

 – TZ

Westfield Prices down

The town of Westfield in Union County is home to more than 30,000 people and is well-loved for its downtown shops and easy access to NYC. Students in Westfield attend the Westfield Public School system.



There are currently 56 homes offered for sale in Westfield.  This is the lowest inventory Westfield has seen in years. As inventory drops, prices often rise, so buyers need to act fast if they want in! 


Prices have held stead in Westfield with a few bumps this fall. As prices recover, the average sale price in January was $634,893 which is 21% lower than in December of 2013 and about 10% lower than January 2013.




To find out how much your home in Westfield is worth, please click here. To search for a home in Westfield, please click here.

For more information on Westfield Real Estate:

Inventory is down in Rahway and Linden!

 Rahway  has had several revitalization projects in recent years. Its population is just over 27,000. Students in Rahway are served by Grover Cleveland School,  Franklin School, Madison School, and Roosevelt School, Rahway 7th & 8th Grade Academy for grades 7-8 and Rahway High School for grades 9-12.

The city of Linden, NJ is “Big enough to lead, small enough to care,” and about 41,000 people call it home. Public school students in Linden are served by the Linden Public School system with eight elementary schools, McManus and Joseph E. Soehl Middle Schools, and Linden High School. Linden homeowners enjoy one of the lowest tax rates in Union County.

There are currently 274 homes offered for sale in Rahway and Linden.  While this might seem like plenty of homes, it’s actually the lowest inventory Rahway and Linden have seen in more than 2 years. Low inventory nearly always results in an increase in prices as supply is lower than demand.



And that is exactly what we’re seeing with the sale prices of homes sold in January in Rahway and Linden. The average sale price was $230,274, nearly 19% higher than January of 2012.


The average sold home in Rahway and Linden in January was sold after 111 days on the market. Still higher than most of Union County, this is still significantly faster than we’ve seen historically in Linden and Rahway. Especially considering that January is typically a slow month in real estate in New Jersey, it’s good news that homes are still selling and selling faster.


If you’re interested in buying a home in Linden or Rahway,  click here to see all of the homes currently on the market. If you’re interested in finding out what your Linden or Rahway home is worth, find out here. If we can help you along the way, email us at or call us at 908-917-4189!

For more information on selling a home:

For more information on the Real Estate in Rahway and Linden:

2013 End of Year Real Estate Market Report for Union County

Union County home buyers and sellers – here is the 2013 year end real estate market report! 

Let’s begin by comparing the average sale price in the various towns of Union County through 2012 and 2013. 


It’s obvious that Westfield has the highest sale price of the county – and has for many years – and Rahway and Linden make up the homes with the lowest sale price. It’s also obvious that there are a wide variety of homes in Union County and there is something for nearly every budget! The middle towns – Springfield, Clark, Cranford, Kenilworth, and Fanwood – have homes that fall in the middle of the pack with average prices in the $330-$430,000 range.


When we combine these two graphs together, however, a new picture emerges.

Here we see 2012 average sale prices in the blue and 2013 sale prices in the orange. Homes on the more expensive end of the spectrum seem to have increased the most and homes on the lower end of the spectrum seem to have increased the least.





Less obvious, however, are the two towns that actually lost market value in 2013 – Kenilworth and Springfield each showed a decrease in average home sale from 2012 to 2013. Are they the best kept secret bargains of Union County? Also less obvious is Scotch Plains – while prices are among the highest in Union County, they increased only a little from 2012 to 2013. Will 2014 be the year that Scotch Plains home values catch up with the other similar towns, or will Scotch Plains remain a more affordable option?

For more information on an individual town, please read the most recent market reports below:

How Much Is My 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

The Kenilworth Real Estate Market Report

The borough of Kenilworth has its roots as a pre-Revolutionary farming town and is currently home to almost 8000 people.

Rahway Valley Railroad Station, once situated at North 31st Street, served at the turn of the century as the hub of activity in the community and as a backdrop for numerous movies — particularly, Westerns.

There are currently 29 homes offered for sale in Kenilworth, reflecting a sharpe decline in inventory since the summer where there was an average of 40 homes on the market at a time. To view all of the Kenilworth listings, please click here. Seven homes were sold in Kenilworth in November, slightly lower than the average of 7.75 homes sold per month over the summer.

Homes that sold in Kenilworth in November were on the market for an average of 69 days, slightly faster than the 72 average days on market over the summer and much faster than the average of 81 days in 2012.


The average sale price in Kenilworth in November was $298,814. The average sale price of a home in Kenilworth so far in 2013 has been $335,472, compared to an average sale price of  $353,528.


If you’re interested in purchasing a home in Kenilworth or the surrounding area, please see a complete list of homes at If you’re planning to sell your Kenilworth home, please call us at 908-917-4189 for a free comparative market analysis of your home.

For more information on Kenilworth Real Estate:

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