STAGING YOUR HOME FOR SALE: WHY IT'S CRUCIAL

Why staging your home for sale is crucial

If you are selling your home, hiring a real estate agent with an eye for design who offers staging your property is crucial for many reasons. You'll get the most eyes on your property but also you get the most offers on your property!

Have you ever seen photos of a home with cluttered cabinets, dingy floors and unmade beds? Do you wonder why those folks have bothered to sell their property at all? Well, you may not be seeing the full picture. Let’s be real, most real estate agents are part-timers, cold callers with no people skills or sales savvy with no eye for style or passion for design.

 

The first impression of a property is the thought that will linger in the minds of a potential buyer. As a seller you need to work with real estate agents that are experts at telling you how to make your home leave a positive and lasting impression in a buyers mind. Our experience when first walking into a seller home or finished development is getting asked “Tell us what we need to do, to make it look it’s very best.”  Artists have a natural ability to take a challenging problem and turn it into an attractive solution. Michelle Mumoli’s artist background has helped her work on design strategies with both sellers and buyers. From envisioning a space to creating creative solutions to staging with The Mumoli Group’s staging company.

 

Most buyers DO NOT WANT see a seller’s family on the walls, personal trinkets or care to know who a seller’s favorite sports teams are. Buyers like to look at spaces that display furniture as they would display their own furniture. They want to envision a space in a way that they would use it themselves and with clear, minimal photos that showcase the space itself. 

 

Staging increases the resale value of your home. Did you know that staged homes sell for an average 17% more than non-staged homes, and 95% of staged homes sell with less days on market (industry average 11 days). 

 

We run our own staging company at The Mumoli Group and offer a variety of staging options for your home. Call us today for a thorough market valuation and staging consultation.


What you think your home's value is VS what the market is willing to pay...

When you think about the value of your home, are you considering what the market conditions are? A great tip to consider is how many homes are for sale in your market that are similar to yours, REALLY SIMILAR, what have those homes sold for in the past 6 months.

The housing market behaves very similar to the consumer goods market. What is the thing that is most in demand at the current time and how much supply of it there is readily available.

It’s important to remember that the public creates the market (along with mortgage interest rates and many other political/social factors). In some areas right now, they are experiencing very high demand which has created a sellers market. In a sellers market, there is short supply of homes and a high demand of buyers, giving sellers leverage and this is where we see sales prices increase greatly from asking prices.

Other areas are going through a buyers market right now. Homes in buyers markets are in high supply, therefore giving buyers more leverage. Days on market for properties in these ares are also higher than those in sellers markets. Prices come down to meet the excess of supply.

Think about it like a specific popular commodity that everyone wants to buy, when in low supply, the market dictates the price and that price increases. When in high supply, the market value is lower.

 

Do you want to know your  home’s market value? Call me to get a comprehensive market valuation so you can rest easy. Michelle Mumoli, 917.268.8916


5 Reasons Selling Your Home on Your Own is a Mistake

5 Reasons Selling Your Home on Your Own is a Mistake

When you think about professionals and the services you pay those professionals to do, such as hair stylists/colorists, personal trainers, estate planners, financial planners, doctors etc. All professionals are professionals for a reason. 

 

 

Accredited professionals work countless hours on their state required learning to obtain licensing in their course of study, they gain knowledge from continuing education as is required and all that work helps them hone their craft. You’ve probably heard of the “10,000 hour rule”. Well it does indeed take about 10,000 hours of practicing something to truly understand all of its nuances.

1- SAFETY & Multiple Listing Services – As real estate agents we pay into devices & applications provided by our MLS to access to bluetooth lockboxes where your home keys are placed for accessing a property safely (only paying real estate agents have access to these) and third party showing systems. Both of these systems log in who has accessed the keys to your home. I once went to a property where the keys were not in that box and through the log I quickly called the last agent who showed it, of course they have forgotten to place the keys back, keys were back in a matter of moments! 

 

2- CIS & LEGAL DISCLOSURE FORMS – Do you know what you and your buyers should be signing to understand all legalities of showing your property? There need to be specific forms signed in order to have no legal implications on selling your home. An experienced real estate agent has these at the ready, for easy digital signature  because it’s standard.

 

3- MLS ACCESSIBILITY-  Are you a member of the MLS? Multiple Listing Services offer the most exposure to buying brokers. Let me be honest here, I’m honest with all of my clients and if you are reading this, I hope you are already one or become one shortly. Although our pre-market platform may have me bringing you a direct buyer, I actually want all of our cooperating buyer brokers in our MLS’s (I’m a member of 3 in Northern NJ) to be able to see and show your property to their pool of pre-approved and qualified buyers.  Of course there are flat fee and discount brokerages out there that can post your home on the market and let you do all the work, but imagine walking out of the doctors office with half your stitches? Not a comfortable spot to be in.

 

4- NEGOTIATIONS – Negotiating contract offers is akin to nothing else in the entire world. International business MBA’s  have told me personally, when I’m selling their homes, that they cannot negotiate how I negotiate, they could not even imagine it. That’s what a professional real estate agent with experience does. We get down to the core of what is most important for the seller and work tirelessly to make that happen. We know what questions to ask potential buyers and their agents, know what pre-approvals vs pre-qualifications look like and have a rapport with agents in the business. That’s what makes our negotiation skills completely different than in any other field of work. WE WORK FOR YOU! SO YOU CAN FOCUS ON YOUR OWN LINE OF WORK.  

 

5- SELLERS NET MORE WITH A REAL ESTATE AGENT – Yes, we get paid on commission and that commission comes from selling property. There has been a bizarre stigma placed on real estate agents, one which I choose not to discuss here. My reasons for getting into this career as a real estate agent were because of that stigma, I wanted to change the perception of a real estate agent. Over 10 years ago my parents were desperately trying to sell their home and their real estate agent would never answer calls, took terrible  photos and really made them feel like they were not a priority. A TRUE, PROFESSIONAL REAL ESTATE AGENT, I thought should never make anyone feel that way, after all, my parents were investors as well, they should be treated as if they were the only clients this particular agent had. I decided I would take this career on and do things differently. That I did, I answer all my clients questions, take every call, am transparent about the process, take professional quality photos/videos, use the best furniture to stage the homes I sell and take my clients through the journey of selling their home with excitement and joy.

 

Using a professional will net a seller more money from selling your home through them and that is an ecstatic feeling! 

 

Michelle Mumoli has the experience and knowledge needed to get home sold right. Let us help you.  Our testimonials and results speak for themselves.

 

Find out how we sell homes and how we can help you get the best price for your home today 917.268.8916.


Fall 2020 Housing Trends: What will we see in the housing market?

Fall 2020 Housing Trends: What will we see in the housing market?

2020 has been a crazy year for real estate and it’s not over yet! If you’re wondering about what we are expecting in housing trends for the second half of the year, check this out.

Since the global pandemic swept through the United States, consumer needs changed.

Fortunately, the housing market is doing better this year than it did last year, as of June 24, 2020 (when the survey had concluded), 49% of agents surveyed stated business has been growing despite it all. 

So, what can we expect in the upcoming months? What are the key features that buyers will be looking for in their next abode? Let’s take a look!

1. Diverse options for living spaces

People have spent months cooped up in their homes. Their travels have been limited, adhering to the stay-at-home and social distancing orders. Those who are looking for a new house now require spaces dedicated solely for home offices and home schooling, so they can continue to work (or learn) from home. Folks are going to look for dedicated home offices or even look for alternate options like converting a shed into a private workspace, for example.

2. Comfortable outdoor living spaces

Like with the previous feature, people want plenty of outdoor living spaces so they can enjoy some fresh air and get some exercise, since gyms are still closed in many areas. These outdoor spaces can include patios, decks and swimming pools. Some people are even willing to go the extra mile and install hot tubs, outdoor kitchen spaces, and install outdoor heaters for when the nights get colder. 

3. Mortgage rates are going to stay low – for now

Mortgage rates have been the lowest they’ve ever been, and it’s very likely that they’ll continue to stay this low (or drop even further) for the next foreseeable future.  Mortgage rates are predicted to stay low through the end of the year. So, if you’re considering buying a house in the near future, now is yout time to start looking!

4. Shopping for homes go virtual

Anything you want, you can find it and buy it online, whether it’s the latest fashion trends, a new appliance or even a new car. You can even buy houses online now! With home browsing websites a plenty such as Zillow, it’s expected that more buyers are going to use these websites to find their new home, with virtual tour options a plenty to view before walking through.

5. Suburban or rural neighborhoods

When you think of a city, you probably envision crowded sidewalks, packed subway cars, busy offices and germs. Lots and lots of germs. That’s one of the reasons why people are ditching the big city and are heading out to the suburbs – especially if they have the option to work from home permanently. Why subject yourself to such chaos when you can work from home on the patio and enjoy the fresh air? We would do it too!

The future of real estate and what homebuyers want is always changing. COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our lives, but one thing remains, life will go on and we will persevere. Our wants and needs may change in the process, but isn’t that the exciting part of looking toward the future? 

Looking to make your next move? Call us, we know real estate in New Jersey 917.268.8916


Buyers & Sellers: PART 2- What an experienced Realtor© wants you to know. Offer terms and negotiations to consider.

Buyers & Sellers: PART 2- What an experienced Realtor© wants you to know. Offer terms and negotiations to consider.

We start part 2 of the series with the psychology behind negotiations on homes going to highest and best. Low interest rates, the demand for better, bigger housing in the outer-lying areas of New York City has created a very strong sellers market. You need a strong Realtor© with negotiation knowledge and whom you trust, to get you the home you want, over all other buyers.

Buyers look at homes in terms of what they can afford, wanting the best deal. Sellers are really looking at their net at the close of the sale, that’s going to be the highest number they can get. These two worlds have to meet in the middle and your best bet as buyer and seller is to have your own experienced Realtor© be able to do this for you, because that’s what they do for a living. Both sides have the vested 200% fiduciary responsibility to their client, the buyer on one side and the seller on the other. Here’s what I take into consideration when starting the negotiation:

 

  1. Asking Price

As a professional Realtor© I know sales prices in areas all over Northern New Jersey, because I live here and it’s my job to know. I know when something is priced at market, under market and over market value. Asking price is very rarely the ultimate sales price. It will either go above, if priced at or under market value, or go below, if priced above market value. The bottom line is Zillow, Realtor.com, Trulia, DO NOT HAVE ACTUAL AND ACCURATE MARKET DATA, the Multiple Listing Service we, as members of the specific Boards of Realtors© in those areas HAVE THE ACTUAL AND ACCURATE MARKET DATA. We can go back and see what has sold in the past year, 6 months and even 3 months for the most up to date stats. LISTEN TO YOUR REALTOR© they do this for a living and can guide you as to what the trend is in that neighborhood in terms of pricing. When I get asked “It’s listed at $799,000, should we would go in at $650,000”, and I, as a professional, know that it’s worth the value, my question back to my buyers is, “How much do you really want this house?”. Coming in lower than asking for a home that is most likely worth $850,000 but is obviously priced to sell quickly, will NOT get you that home, it will make your offer to the selling agent seem like you are not serious and that I, as your representative, did not do my job to educate you on this specific market. Be realistic and don’t try to negotiate things by what you’ve seen on Zillow. If you truly cannot afford to buy a home for more than your preapproved $800,000 then we should not be looking in that price point. I always ask what your minimum and maximum budget is according to your lender because we need to take things into consideration like taxes, which can vary greatly throughout New Jersey, Bergen and Essex Counties can sometimes have homes with taxes over $20,000 per year and considering only $10,000 of that can be currently tax deductible, it can change your financials greatly if your home budget, like Linda’s was $1,200,000.00 You are basically adding that tax as additional fees a buyer incurs quarterly to their mortgage.

 

  1. Closing costs

As a buyer, aside from your down payment, there are closing costs, like attorney fees, title insurance etc that are basically added to your down payment, which you bring with you to closing. I always give a rough estimate to buyers of 2-3% of purchase price. With the first deposit of your down payment due shortly after attorney review concludes. In over bidding situations, a sellers concession, which can sometimes help with closing costs, is out the window. The reason being, there will be stronger offers on the table that will not be needing the seller to help with anything, so be prepared. There are options for buyers on homes that need work, like 203K home reno loans. I work with many lenders that help buyers obtain these and in those instances for lower down payment buyers, in homes that need the work, we can see these being accepted. A seller may not be interested in doing any repairs or renovations and therefore don’t mind paying into the buyers closing costs to make the deal happen.

 

  1. Closing date

This is something I discuss before submitting an offer on any property with the sellers agent. Does the seller need to move to another home, what’s their timeline, is this sale contingent on them being able to purchase something else? Do they prefer a higher down payment and lower upfront offer or do they want to know a buyer has enough liquidity on the back end to take on any repairs that may come up in an inspection? All of these questions are important to me because it can make the difference in getting an offer accepted.

Buyers competing with all cash offers need to figure out if they can waive the appraisal contingency as well as the inspection contingency.  This (and the legality of the New Jersey Statute of Frauds) is the reason we ask all of our buyers to get preapproved and present their offer in contract form to the seller side with that preapproval, along with Lead Paint Disclosures, COVID disclosures and Sellers Property Disclosures. This lets the seller know, the buyer is ready, willing and able to purchase this property.

 

  1. Home warranty

On new construction homes, there will most likely always be a home warranty added to the sale for a specific time period by the builder. On older homes, I always let buyers know about the PSEG Worry Free Plans (https://nj.pseg.com/worryfree/worryfreeprotectionplans)They cover a host of mechanicals and will keep them maintained as well.

 

  1. Sale-Leaseback

Sometimes the seller has not yet found a new home to purchase or place to live. They may rely on the proceeds from the closing of this home sale to purchase something else. In that case, we work some initial wording into the additional provisions of the offer saying something in reference to buyers flexible on closing or amenable to sale-leaseback. Attorneys can hone this verbiage in for both parties but essentially the seller would turn into the tenant and lease the premises for a specified period of time after the closing occurs at a rate the attorneys would work out. It’s important to note that a sale –leaseback can only occur for 3 months otherwise the lending terms change which looks like mortgage fraud.

 

  1. Home repairs

In the era of seller’s obtaining multiple bids on their homes. Buyers need to understand the true definition of “waiving a home inspection”. I often ask they speak with their attorney for full legal explanation but also because the words sound scary to a buyer relocating from a city coop or condo to a single or multiple family home. I explain it as simple as this: as a buyer you still need to do your due diligence and obtain a home inspection because a sellers disclosure may not always tell the full story of the home or may not be accessible. That report produced from the home inspection will let you know what the interior workings of the home really are from top to bottom. If you are up against many other buyers, some deciding to do away with anything that report details and buy the home in “as-is” condition, you have to be ready to make the offer competitive by doing the same, if that makes you feel comfortable after your conversation with your attorney.

 

  1. Appraisal contingency

Like the inspection contingency stated above, waiving the appraisal is another option that can help a buyer win their offer in the purchase of a home. An example I make is a home is asking $900,000. Multiple offers from buyers have the final sale number at $1,000,000. Comparable sales in the neighborhood from the past 6 months do not have any sales over $900,000. When it comes time for your appraisal from your lender, an appraisal which is an independent opinion of the property value, may not come in at $1,000,000. The buyer needs to understand that when they waive that appraisal, they will need to come up with the money at closing to make up for the difference.

 

 

Home purchases and sales are easy with Michelle Mumoli at The Mumoli Group, we do all things real estate. Call us to talk about how we can you help you 917.268.8916


Buyers & Sellers: PART 1- What an experienced Realtor© wants you to know. Offer terms and negotiations to consider.

Buyers & Sellers: PART 1- What an experienced Realtor© wants you to know. Offer terms and negotiations to consider.

We begin this two-part series with the psychology behind the demand for homes. COVID definitely accelerated the already trending sector of multigenerational home purchases and the urban to suburban move for buyers.  In this series, we'll take a look at the inception of the idea to purchase a home outside the city.

April 2020, NYC renters and condo/coop owners in large cities at the epicenter of COVID have some life changing realizations A) their office and workplace, the reason they live in the city, will not be reopening on a large scale. Their work from home options may have them traveling into said office once per week but the downsizing of the space will have them working from home indefinitely. B) Their children’s school has opted to stay virtual for the remainder of 2020 and potentially 2021. Leaving 2 working adults and a child in an 800 square foot apartment, in the middle of NYC, during a time of stay at home orders, with no outdoor space, no availability to spend time in other people’s homes, or visit nearby grandparents due to the risks. C) What if instead of staying in their now shrinking condo/coop or rented apartment for $5,000 per month, they decided to move? They can obviously sell this home or use their savings to put a down payment on a home that has all their needs met; large yard, 2 baths, 3 bedrooms. They even start to wonder, if it would be best to bring their family together into one home, filling the void for childcare and future eldercare all in one. In their minds, this home would be near a train station so they can still get into the city when they needed for work, but since it would not be a daily commute, one day of commuting an hour to and fro would not hurt. Their main motive for even thinking about this move: SPACE. For the monthly rent or current mortgage they have, they could own a large home with enough space to make everyone happy and create a sense a broader sense of home, maybe something they had only considered many years into the future.

I get the call. “Hi, My name is Lisa and we are looking at homes in New Jersey, we currently live in NYC and although we don’t know much about New Jersey, we would still need to stay close to train line to NYC, for the occasional commute in but not the daily.” I ask them about their needs: “Thanks for reaching out to me Lisa, I’m going to ask you a few questions to get a better sense as to how I can help you and educate you about the process.” Lisa divulges: “We have a child and are considering having another child, we realized we miss our family and would like to have my in-laws, move in with us, we also need 5 bedrooms, 3-4 bathrooms and a large yard for everyone to be able to go out and possibly even a pool for the summer. It should be relatively move-in ready, we don’t have the time to get into a construction project.” I ask about their timeline as well as their lease if there is any or current equity on their home now and I explain the buyers process in the state of New Jersey. After our conversation I immediately refer a few mortgage lenders I’ve build a rapport with throughout my years in the real estate business. A few hours later or the next day I check in with Linda: “We’re preapproved for $1.5 million but would like to keep it at the $1.2-1.3 million mark.” Me: “Okay have you looked into what towns you want to move to? Linda: “I do not know New Jersey very well, but I from looking online, it seems we can afford more home there than in say, Brooklyn or Long Island.” Me: “Let’s start with all towns along the NJ Transit Train line direct to Penn Station NY and then we’ll refine as we go.” Linda: “GREAT! EXCITED!”

I do what I do every time I’m looking for homes for my buyers, I do research, what is their budget truly getting them in one town vs another? Why are there no listings in a specific town at all in the past 3 weeks? What is the actual absorption rate in one town or the neighboring town?

These details are important because as I start to call seller agents, I experience the realization that the suburban markets are having their moment. “That home is available but we have 3 offers and are going to highest and best after this weekend’s open houses, where we expect more offers.” My favorites were coming soon listings where the seller agents would say to me “No, it’s not yet on the market, but we priced it to receive several offers, so we will be listing it on Thursday and the highest and best deadline is Monday at 12pm.” Seller’s markets are not my first rodeo.

In my second year as a licensed real estate agent, it was 2014/2015, Jersey City and Hoboken were starting to see an increase in new home constructions and renovations. Investors were buying land up throughout the city and every single home that hit the market throughout that time, went to highest and best. It really did not matter what condition it was in, or even if it had been gutted to the studs, the place I called home since 2003, was considered hot and I decided to get into home investment at the time as well.

My experience with my buyers during those years, helped me learn how to position them to win bids and how to negotiate terms with a seller’s agent before I even show the property.

My first sale, after all, was a multi-million dollar mixed-use building in the middle of Downtown Jersey City at the crest of a time where any investor who wanted one, could not get one. I negotiated terms for that sale for what seemed like a lifetime, with little guidance, lots of calls to attorneys for information on terminology I did not fully understand, a lot of reading contractual revisions and when it closed, 6 months later, I learned some of the most important lessons a real estate agent can pick up. The business of negotiations. It’s something that can be taught but in real life real estate transactions (NOT REALITY TV), negotiations do not take a split second.

Fast forward to Spring 2020, Linda, her family and I saw roughly 15 homes over 2 months, basically all new home listings in the areas they preferred were seen immediately when they came on the market. Linda would rent a car and drive in from the city while I met them at every property and took careful intake of what we were looking at, to help them in their decision. Twelve offers were lost to other buyers. 12! Why were 12 of those offers lost? I’ll explain in part 2. Stay tuned.

 

If you are thinking of buying real estate and already own a home, let’s chat about your options. Michelle Mumoli, 917.268.8916


Buyers and Sellers: What is the mansion tax? How does it work?

Buyers purchasing homes over one million dollars should know about the mansion tax. Sellers should understand what the tax means for potential buyers and price homes accordingly if the comps are right on par with pricing. Price right, sell quickly and attract buyers.

What home buyers and sellers need to know about the mansion tax in New Jersey.

Home buyers and sellers should know about the Mansion Tax here in New Jersey. This tax was imposed 2004 and states that any residential property sold over $1 million dollars is subject to a 1% tax paid by a buyer. While it only applies to residential sales above $1 million, it is levied on the full purchase price, meaning a buyer who pays $999,999 for a house, condo or coop would owe NO mansion tax, while someone who buys the same property for $1,000,000 would have to pay 1% equaling $10,000.

What does that mean for sellers? For most sellers I represent, who have sale comps that are hovering the line of $900,000 – $1,000,000 million dollars, we run the numbers for potential buyers and get very precise on how much the seller can expect to see at closing after my commission, marketing and staging fees. That may make the difference for a seller to price a property just under the $1,000,000 vs over.

Also a great note to remember, showing up in home searches across the internet. For homes that fluctuate in this price point (this post obviously excludes multimillion dollar homes because in that case it’s a given the homes value is what it is). Buyers may be preapproved for $100,000 more than what they comfortably willing to spend and will set their searches to their “comfort” price. As Realtors ©, we understand that and will sometimes show them homes that are slightly above a buyers “comfort” price point, but usually will tailor our searches to their preferred budget.

Downtown Jersey City saw a reduction in $1 million dollar plus sales of condos after the tax reassessment of 2019 as the new taxes did create some issues for potential buyers, but it goes without saying that single family homes and large 3+ bedroom condominiums in Downtown Jersey City have kept their values, especially with upgrades and renovations. There is a steady stream of demand for those homes and very little supply. After all, there are no new brownstones or row homes, so the historic aspect of them combined with renovations to fit modern lifestyles are still, highly sought after.

The last handful of years, I have focused on selling homes in Jersey City and Hoboken, while moving those sellers into buying homes in Montclair, Glen Ridge, Essex Fells, Closter, Maplewood, South Orange, Chatham & Madison NJ. They equity built up in the Jersey City & Hoboken areas has created situations for sellers where they can afford a larger home on a larger lot in suburban areas of the state. We also help buyers use their equity to help them purchase built to suit homes now, to meet all their multi-generational needs as growing families.

If you would like to learn more about buying, selling or our built-to-suit programs. Call Michelle Mumoli 917.268.8916.


Buying a Home During Covid-19

If 2020 is your year to buy a home, you belong to one of two camps: full-speed ahead or cautiously waiting. The reality is that now is as good as any time to buy; the process is just a little different with social distancing measures in place. Let’s take a look at what Jersey City home buyers can expect post-COVID-19.

Health of the Market


2020 was expected to be a strong year, and COVID-19 understandably put a damper on what was starting to be a great year. However, the real estate market hasn’t ground to a complete halt. Instead, there was a short lull while Jersey City real estate agents, and other industry professionals, figured out how to conduct business with social distancing measures in place. So, it’s still game on for potential buyers; the way the game is played is just a little different. Since late April, the market has strengthened to levels prior to COVID-19, in North-Eastern NJ we are seeing a V level recovery right now.

Pre-approval by a Preferred Lender


You want to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start house-hunting in earnest. This is especially applicable to young or less established buyers, as well as buyers needing to sell their current property in order to purchase. While now is a great time to buy, some bigger banks have tightened the qualifications for borrowers. Most notably, those lenders now require higher credit scores, so those younger buyers without established credit may need to hunt for a lender to get a mortgage. NOT TO WORRY, your real estate agent will have lenders who are ready and willing and able to help you on all facets of the lending process. Trust your real estate agent, they have a fiduciary responsibility to you.

Spend a Lot of Time Online


Social distancing means sellers and agents have increased their virtual photo and video offerings online. When perusing listings, make sure you take advantage of all of the virtual offerings to help narrow down your choices. Not only will you have a better idea going in, but you’ll save yourself time and exposure by physically touring fewer homes.

Begin your research by exploring different areas and neighborhoods. Most local governments and communities offer websites with information about the area. You can also use this information to hone in on those details that are must-haves in both a home and the area you’re considering. Once you’ve narrowed down your search area, plug-in those deal-breaking details, and start clicking on potential homes. Don’t be afraid to ask for a live virtual tour.

No Open Houses


Once you’re pre-approved, NOT pre-qualified, for a mortgage and narrowed down your list of homes, you’ll be able to tour houses as a serious buyer. Frankly, anyone in the market right now with everything going on is a serious buyer, as they’ve not let COVID-19 deter them from their house hunt. So, this part of the stage is the same, with your agent conducting one-on-one showings of those homes that pique your interest.

Because of social distancing, many agents are still hosting open houses, but they’re doing it virtually. Because of the format, virtual open houses are more like scheduled multi-buyer/agent tours, rather than an open house where people can come and go between set hours. Here, you’ll want to log in at the start time to get the tour, and then jump in to ask any questions you may have throughout.

While this is the current market situation, you can expect a lot of these safeguards to remain in place for the foreseeable future. Virtual showings may be here to stay, as they are time savers for everyone involved. While staggered paperwork signing at title agencies may go back to the regular roundtable, more states and agencies may adopt digital closings as an acceptable practice, pandemic or not. And lastly, sellers will likely  want the comfort of masks, gloves, booties, and an abundance of sanitizer available for showings.

The housing market in NJ is booming right now, if you are looking to sell or buy residential or commercial investments. Reach out to The Mumoli Group. Your trusted real estate experts.


Meeting the Needs of Millennial Home Buyers

Every generation has its own specific set of characteristics that make it unique. As time passes, people working in the real estate industry have to start catering to different needs. Now that millennials (people born between 1981 and 1996) are old enough to make the majority of the home-buying population, it is important for anyone who is in the real estate business to be aware of what millennial home buyers are looking for in a home.

Eco-friendly home design


There are several things that make millennials unique when it comes to choosing homes. The first one is a preference for environmentally-conscious design. Millennial home buyers like their homes energy-efficient and made out of eco-friendly materials. Homes designed in a more traditional way, that are not sustainable, have a negative influence on planet Earth, contributing to the greenhouse effect that is a serious threat to Mother Nature. Millennial home buyers know this and they don’t want to be a part of the problem. They would rather be a part of the solution, and one way to achieve that is to buy a green home.

The process of offering such a home to your millennial customers begins early in the building planning phase when the right materials will have to be used so that the house isn’t too expensive to build, while still being eco-friendly. This is important as millennials don’t want to pay more for such a home. A lot of them have sizable student loans to pay off, and housing costs are far from being low. While they can save money by hiring cheap moving services after choosing a home, understandably, they still want their home to be affordable.

Energy-efficient homes are not only great for the environment, but they are also more affordable in the long run. Appliances that are energy-efficient are a must if you want to entice millennial homebuyers, as such features are not something that millennials see as an extra convenience, but rather as a requirement.

Resistant, Durable Homes


Apart from being built with eco-friendly materials, homes that would suit the needs of millennial home buyers will also have to be built with materials that will make the house more resistant. This is important, as millennials largely aren’t interested in maintenance and having to do repairs.

In fact, the National Realtors Association claims that one of the main reasons why millennials have a tendency to buy homes that are newly built is precisely because they’d rather avoid maintenance obligations. Almost 50 percent of all such homes that were bought by millennials were bought with this in mind.

Similarly, if they’re buying in an area with a high potential for natural disasters, it is important to millennials that their home is protected against such hazards. Again, this is important to have in mind as the house is designed and constructed because durable materials will need to be used in order to act as a shield against the raging elements.

Multi-generational Homes


Homes housing several generations of the same family are also popular with millennials. As many of them are now old enough to have at least one child, but they still have to work, they are increasingly more appreciative of the help they can get from their parents in terms of childcare. And again, multi-generational homes are also more affordable, as several members of the family are contributing to the family’s budget.

What makes for a high-quality multi-generational home?

Some of the key features include:

  • Having an accessible space. Open concept house arrangement makes traversal much easier when several people are living together. It is especially useful to seniors (and even more so if they are in a wheelchair). You can also suggest to millennial buyers that they convert one of the rooms on the main floor into a bedroom for their seniors so that they can reach it more easily. This will also increase the privacy levels and provide family members with some time off.
  • And while we’re talking about privacy, a good multi-generational home should have enough rooms ready to be converted to a living room for each of the generations that are sharing the home. Having a playroom, a room for your millennial buyers and their significant other, and a living room for seniors will go a long way toward giving everyone some room to breathe.
  • The same goes for bathrooms and entrances. Ideally, millennials who are living in a multi-generational home will want to have three bathrooms, and at least two entrances. This would provide them with practical benefits, but it would also be good because of the privacy-related reasons. Of course, it is sometimes impossible to have this many rooms, however, you should be ready to instruct the millennial home buyers on all the things they can do in order to have a highly-functional multi-generational home.

Millennials Tend to Prefer More Quiet Areas


While a lot of millennials will want to live in the heart of a city (usually primarily because of practical reasons), research shows that almost 60 percent of all millennial homebuyers have bought a property in the suburbs. More often than not, millennials seem to like their peace and quiet, as well as having a backyard that they can take care of and easy access to beautiful green spaces.

As we’ve mentioned, a lot of them have children now. If you want to meet the needs of millennials in terms of real estate, you’ll need to offer them a home in a great neighborhood, that will be great for their children’s upbringing. Millennials will almost certainly research the neighborhood on their own, being computer and internet savvy. They’ll determine if a neighborhood suits their needs, which will have a tremendous influence on their “to buy or not to buy” final decision.

Of course, tastes and needs vary even among the people belonging to the same generation. However, you should be prepared to offer a home in a quiet neighborhood when you’re dealing with millennial homebuyers. On the other hand, more urban areas can provide them with essential day to day services, so being ready to adapt to their needs is key.


Science Swirls About Jersey City Property

Discover the incredible world of science on Jersey City property. At the Liberty Science Center minds expand and eyes are opened wide. The institute sets the bar high with a mission to “inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers and excite learners of all ages about the power, promise, and pure fun of science and technology.”

Permanent exhibits are designed to stir up interest especially the youngest visitors. Living creatures are center stage in the Eat or Be Eaten and Our Hudson Home exhibits. In Eat or Be Eaten survival techniques are brilliantly illustrated as is the importance of conservation of the wild. Our Hudson Home delves into the impact of the Hudson River and environmental efforts necessary to maintain it.

Light Is at the End of the Tunnel Near Jersey City Homes


Sensory displays illustrate the significance of the senses. Emotions evolve through separate stations which create combinations of sounds, scents and colors in the Dream Machine. Light is truly at the end of the Touch Tunnel. This deeply darkened path encourages participants to use their sense of touch in order to meander through. Featured exhibits on the Jersey City property come and go. Featuring an array of intriguing topics guests can engage in an anthropology dig, explore lands unknown or view amazing feats of art and engineering.

Another favorite place to pass the time is the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium. Larger than life, the auditorium proudly holds the title of the “biggest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere.” State of the art technology brings science to life on the big screen in a way that makes audience members feel as if they are one with the action. Spectacular movies highlight wildlife, space travel, weather patterns and musical tributes. Many include impressive 3D effects as well.

Doors are open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and guests are ready to go and get to it. The world is at visitor’s fingertips with museum halls, an aquarium, live animals, weather simulators and more. Residents living in Jersey City homes often become members of the venue in order to really explore it from one end to the other.