Short Sale and Foreclosure Report for South Jersey – October 2013

This October 2013, many South Jersey homes saw a flurry of activity with many buyers putting in final offers just before the holiday season rolls in. Historically, real estate is busy in the spring and summer months, but most recently, we have seen a ton of activity in October! So, what was it about October that converted all of these active listings into pending contracts?

Additionally, we have seen more short sales and foreclosures moving through the system faster than ever before. Of course, as we come to the close of a year, we typically do see a faster pace as banks do not want to carry these assets over into the following year.

Personally speaking, this may be the first time that I have EVERY one of my listings under contract about to be under contract (offers are in and finalizing negotiations). In months past, we never saw this much activity. Right now, I am on a rampage trying to find new listings to replace the under contract ones! It appears that we are starting to move into a more stable market. Of course, South Jersey, like many towns in New Jersey is not there yet, but we are getting there.

From just 2012 until 2013 there has been an increase in sales by 7% in Burlington and Camden Counties, according to MLS Trend. There are more homes that are getting offers in 90 days or less than ever before, a true indication of a more stable market. With lowered inventory levels than years past, we may be close to coming out of the slower, buyers market we have had over the last 5-7 years.

South Jersey Real Estate is just about to get busy. Buckle Up!

Posted in Buying

Buying Short Sales in South Jersey

What is a short sale?

A short sale by definition is anytime when a homeowner owes more on their home than what it is currently worth, and has also experienced a financial hardship.  In South Jersey, there are many properties where a homeowner needs to sell the home via short sale in order to avoid foreclosure.  By owning more on the home that what it is worth, they have little options, and a short sale is one of them.

Why would I buy a short sale?

Short sale homes often can be offered below market value.  For this reason alone, you are getting quite a savings on a home.  By looking at short sale listings, you may be able to find a good home or even a home that you might not have considered.  However, also understand that short sales in South Jersey can have some unique issues to deal with such as: purchasing in “as is” condition,  potentially being involved in a bidding war, and having an unknown settlement time frame as the closing time varies.  If you are ok with these potential issues, then a short sale might be right for you.

Where do I find short sale listings?

There are many websites that provide information on short sale properties. Below are the current short sale listings available in South Jersey (List is updated daily in real time)

Short Sale Listings in Cherry Hill, NJ

Short Sale Listings in Mount Laurel, NJ

Short Sale Listings in Medford, NJ

Short Sale Listings in Marlton, NJ

Short Sale Listings in Moorestown, NJ

Short Sale Listings in Haddonfield, NJ

All other Short Sale Listings in South Jersey

What is a short sale realtor?








A short sale realtor is also known as a CDPE or a Certified Distressed Property Expert.  These realtors have been extensively trained in understanding all the dynamics and processes of working with a short sale.  While homeowners are already working directly with these types of realtors, someone who is considering purchasing a short sale in South Jersey should also want to work with this type of realtor.  This way, you know that the realtor you have chosen has the extra training provided. For a full list of CDPE agents in your area, click here and search by zip code.



Posted in Avoid Foreclosure, Buying, Purchasing Short Sales and Foreclosures

The benefits in working with a young realtor in South Jersey for distressed homes

When your family decides it is time to buy or sell a home in South Jersey, the decision of which type of realtor becomes an important one.  There are many benefits from choosing to work with a young realtor.  What many people don’t consider is the way people buy and sell real estate today is very different from years ago.  By choosing to work with a young realtor, you get all the benefits of having someone who is up to date with current market trends and the successful way of helping a client buy or sell a South Jersey home in today’s market.  So, why is it important to work with a young realtor?

1. Advertising has changed

It wasn’t long ago when people would put a sign in their yard or advertise in the newspaper and that was all it took to attract a buyer.  In today’s market, over 80% of buyers begin their search online.  For agents that have been in the business for 20+ years, they might not be as up to date on advertising online, SEO, building websites, blogging, and working with social media.  These are all the new ways that today’s buyers and sellers in South Jersey are finding homes to buy and sell.

2. Networking has changed

Years ago, real estate agents would promote their listings to other realtors in sales meetings or other networking events.  Today, it takes an out of the box realtor to accomplish this successfully.  One of the benefits of working with a young realtor in South Jersey is that they still do all of these things, but they also are able to network in other ways such as investment club meetings, through social media, school events, volunteer events, and other unlikely places.

3. Schedules have changed

Many realtors who have been in the business for a long time work the traditional hours of 9-5.  There have been lots of times where I contacted a real estate agency only to have to leave a voicemail Friday night and wait for a callback days later.  One of the benefits of working with a young realtor in South Jersey, is they are most likely to be working late hours, returning emails from their smart phone, or updating their website later into the day or night.  Not every agent has a smart phone where they can respond right away from an email, and not every agent has a website.  This could be the difference between getting an offer for your seller or that same buyer calling another agent to see a different home.

4. Negotiations have changed

What worked in the past does not necessarily work today.  In today’s market clients expect you to really go to bat for them and quickly.  This includes responding right away to an offer that was emailed or scanning a client a survey or copy of  an appraisal.    Imagine if you were in an open house and wanted to put in an offer right away before a second potential buyer would be able to. Working with a tech savvy agent would allows you to electronically from a smart device.

5. What clients want has changed

Today’s buyers want different things in a home versus years ago.  Many clients are looking for tech savvy upgrades, solar technology and creative financing.  For example, many buyers are interested in distressed listings that need different types of financing such as 203K mortgages.  By working with a young realtor, they might have more knowledge or connections to mortgage professionals that do these types of loans.  The difference between knowing traditional financing (conventional, FHA, etc) and creative financing could be the difference of being able to buy (or sell) that house for your client.

As you can see, there are many benefits of working with a young realtor in South Jersey.  Buying or selling a home is a important decision, and one that takes a lot of thought.  By choosing an agent you trust, you are more likely to have a fast and smooth transaction.


Posted in Buying, Purchasing Short Sales and Foreclosures, Real Estate Agent

2012 South Jersey Real Estate Guide to Investing

As 2012 comes to an end, many people are considering if they should jump into the market and get involved (or more involved) with real estate.  In 2010, Warren Buffet stated in an interview that 2012 would be the year the “market really comes back” So, with just a few months left to purchase real estate in South Jersey, what are the best bets?

1. Condos and Townhomes

Condos and Townhomes make great purchases, especially for a first time buyer or an investor looking to get started in the real estate market.  Because condos and townhomes have HOAs (Home Owners Associations) they are most likely easier to maintain as the association typically takes care of lawn/landscaping, trash removal and snow removal.  This makes it great if you are renting the condo to an tenant, as you know the exterior will be maintained.  Also, for a first time home buyer in South Jersey, it also is great since there is less to take care of as a new homeowner!

2. Single Family Homes








If you have spoken with any seasoned investor or top realtor, they will tell you one of the best and safest investments is the single family home.  In South Jersey, as well as any market, single family homes are a great purchase because they can accommodate a growing family, are very desirable and easy to sell.  The the average person is looking for a single family home which makes for a great investment as well as opens up your pool of potential renters if you decide to rent.  The most popular single family home is one that has at least 3 bedrooms and at least 2 bathrooms.

In South Jersey, there is a group of seasoned investors and first time investors that meet throughout the month in order to share ideas and potential properties.  This group, South Jersey Investors, is a great way to learn the business and help answer your questions.

3. Bank Owned, Short Sale and HUD Homes

We can call all of these types of real estate purchases “distressed properties.”  Any time you have a homeowner who is behind on a mortgage or a property where the bank has taken ownership, you are dealing with one of these types of properties.  These can particularly be great buys for anyone who is looking for fixer up property and get a significant discount.  There are specific realtors that take care of these types of transactions, and it is imperative to work directly with someone who knows the ins and outs of these types of transactions.  For a full list of the South Jersey Realtors who support these transactions, click here.

Overall, there can be many great purchases out there, regardless of the type of property.  Every property offers something unique.  It is most important to figure out what you want going in, and what your goals are with the property first.  As you may have heard before, location is the most important aspect when dealing with South Jersey Real Estate.  No matter what improvements you make or updates, at the end of the day, location still trumps everything.

Whether you are a seasoned investor or a first time buyer, it is important to work with a realtor that you like and trust.  It also helps to do as much homework on your own such as driving around different neighborhoods to see what you like or calling a mortgage company to understand rates, down payments or how a monthly payment is calculated.  When you have decided you want to make a purchase, the educated buyer is the one of finds the deal and profits in the long run.

Posted in Buying

3 Questions to Ask Your Realtor Before Listing Your Home Short Sale in South Jersey

For many South Jersey homeowners, having to sell their home via short sale is the only option.  Before just listing your home for sale with any South Jersey Realtor, here are some tips to keep in mind, and questions to ask if you are planning to sell your home as a short sale:

1. What is their background with short sale?

Since there are many homes that are listed, but do not sell, you want to make sure that you are careful in the realtor you select to represent you for a short sale listing (or any listing for that matter!).  Not only do you need a realtor who is familiar with your local market, but you will also need someone who specializes in short sales in South Jersey.  The first question you should ask is about the experience they have had with short sales.  Do they have special training, designations or certifications to be taking care of short sales? One of the most respected certifications to many lenders is the “CDPE Designation.” This designation is a training and certification that is on-going that enables realtors to have a better understanding of short sales and how to list and sell them.  Working with a CDPE realtor, you can feel confident that they have undergone extensive training and are prepared to represent you in the sale of your home.

2. How will they communicate with you and represent you?

As with any listing, communication is vital.  Selling your home via short sale in South Jersey can be scary, frustrating, and stressful.  You want to make sure that the realtor you have selected is able to communicate with you and help with the questions you have.   If you call them, are they able to return the call in the same day?  Since you will be experiencing many emotions, often more than a traditional sale of a home, you want to make sure that you have a realtor who can call or email you back as questions or issues arise.  Typically, you will be able to tell how the realtor will be based on how quickly they respond to you when you first reach out to them.  You can also get recommendations from them, or even ask them directly how they communicate with their clients.

3.  What is the process that is in place for your Short Sale Realtor?

Selling your home via short sale in South Jersey is a rather different process than a traditional real estate listing.  Of course, you will still have appointments and offers like a normal listing, however, there is a little bit more paperwork involved.   You will want to make sure that you have selected the right South Jersey realtor to represent you by seeing what systems they have in place.  For example, a successful short sale realtor will want you to have the documents that they will need up front and ready to go for when the property is listed.  A list of these documents can be found here.

Many CDPE realtors have set up a systematic process of procedures when it comes to the paperwork to make sure everything is done is the most efficient manner.  Some, will even have a short sale attorney that you will be able to communicate with as any problems or questions arise.  An experienced short sale realtor will have a very systematic approach for collecting your documents and getting the file over to your lender to start the process right away.  Knowing you are working with a proactive realtor for your short sale could be the difference of an approval vs a denial when it comes time for your lender to approve the short sale.


Posted in Avoid Foreclosure, Real Estate Agent