Buying or Selling? -- Here's What You Need to Know

Kristen Pierotti, Jill Bray and Suzanne Lear of The Lear Bray Team.

With 2016 in our rear view mirror, we can now see that the fall market leading up to the 2016 presidential election was a relatively quiet time for Summit real estate. Buyers were out kicking the tires but they were cautious to proceed with purchases.

In 2016, Summit had 311 residential sales as compared to 282 for 2015. The average days on market for listings that sold for 2016 was 45, essentially unchanged from 46 for 2015. The average sale price dropped by 6.2% to $957,949 indicating the strongest demand for lower priced homes. Activity varied by price point with most properties valued above the $2,500,000 experiencing continued downward pressure on pricing. Activity also varied by season, and the bustling spring market slowed by summer and into the fall.

What can we expect in 2017?

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So far, we have witnessed numerous bidding wars due to low inventory levels and a surge in the pool of buyers motivated by looming interest rate hikes. Summit remains a top choice for “city dwellers” looking to move to the suburbs and take advantage of inviting neighborhoods, reasonable commutes and highly rated schools.

We see opportunities for high-end buyers as empty nesters and baby boomers, no longer in need of their large homes, are downsizing or leaving the state in search of warmer weather.

List in Spring or Fall 2017

The question we hear most often is: When will I get a better price for my home – now or in the fall? Our answer is simple. Well presented and well-priced homes sell quickly at any time of year. 

Listing in the spring means that you will have a larger pool of buyers looking at your home, but it also means that there will be more competition from other sellers. A fall listing means less competition from other sellers, but it also means fewer buyers. Arguably, the biggest advantage with a fall listing is that fall buyers tend to be more serious buyers and motivated to move quickly. 

We have some tested and true recommendations for a fall listing:

  • Summer photos of your yard and can make a lasting impression with city buyers who dreaming of grilling outside in the summer. Plan ahead and have summer exterior photos taken.
  • Well lit homes are more inviting and memorable. As the number of hours of daylight recedes, make sure that you have ample interior lighting to brightly showcase your home. 
  • Highlight features that summer buyers are not likely to think about. This would include radiant heat on floors or fireplaces.
  • Go light with the seasonal décor. Too many pumpkins and gourds can clutter a home being shown during the holiday season. Also, all buyers may not celebrate the same holidays that you do.

There are two factors even more critical than the timing of a listing: how a property is presented and the listing price.  Consult a real estate professional for suggestions and recommendations on improvements, repairs, staging tips, a marketing plan and pricing.  

For more information, call Suzanne Lear 908-868-5245 or Jill Bray 908-391-1479 of the Lear Bray Team or visit

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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