Monday, August 6, 2007
Gaining an edge during this busy season The kids are on Summer break, moderately priced homes are abundant and the weather is just right for cruising through those weekend open houses. If you're in the market for a new home, the Summer months are traditionally the best time to dive into real estate. But this perfect storm of home buying brings more buyers and competition to the table. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to gain an advantage. "No matter what time of year it is, if you're shopping f or a new home, you have to follow a few very basic steps," noted J.R. Sangiuliano, a real estate agent with Century 21 JRS Realty, which has locations in Clark and Rahway. "You need to get pre-approved for a mortgage immediately, you need to work hand-in-hand with a full-time Realtor, and you need to go and actually see houses, not just drive by." According to Sangiuliano, viewing homes in person is one of the most important moves that a buyer can make-e specially during the Summer season. "It's a very busy time and many agents and buyers are on vacation during the months of July and August," the agent noted. Many prospective buyers are merely picking up faxes detailing a property or taking virtual tours instead of physically visiting houses of interest. And, while that research may be beneficial to some extent, agents say that's not always the right way to find your dream home. "It's often a waste of time," Sangiuliano said. "A lot of clients don't have the time right now or they want that anonymity, so they just request a price and an address and do the drive-by. You need to go in and see 100 percent of the house." And despite July and August vacation trends, Sangiuliano and his crew of Realtors take full advantage of the season, offering Summer-themed company open houses. A barbecue-style bash encouraging pre-approval is slated at the agency's Clark office tomorrow. "We'll be serving hot dogs and hamburgers in the parking lot from noon to 2 p.m.," Sangiuliano said. "We're inviting people to eat and drink and take a look at the homes we have to offer. We'll have a mortgage company on the phone waiting to do pre-approvals and we'll be available to show properties to prospective buyers from 2 to 4 p.m."
Jacqueline Roudez, a sales associate with The Real Estate Group, LLC, in Maplewood, agrees. "The school season has a lot to do with the Summer rush," she noted. The children are out of school and a lot of parents have a small window of only a few months to find a new home." And when children are involved in a move, Roudez says buyers need to ask all of the right questions. "Take the time now to do the research about schools and recreational activities," she said.