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The Value of a REALTOR in Today’s Market

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RISMEDIA, June 4, 2014–Spring and summer are traditionally favorable seasons for home buyers; however, this year’s limited number of homes available for purchase is a factor affecting both buyers and sellers in Bergen County. According to local market reports for April 2014, inventory of single-family homes for sale has decreased 12.5 percent in a year-over-year comparison. In these conditions, it is beneficial to consult a REALTOR®, who can provide service to both buyers and sellers. Consumers should look for REALTORS® with professional designations that indicate expertise, such as the “Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource Certification (SFR), and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES). These designations and certifications are only available to members of the National Association of Realtors®. Not all real estate licensees are REALTOR®. REALTORS® subscribe to NAR’s strict Code of Ethics as a condition of membership and have access to advanced educational opportunities and training in real estate specialties. Approximately four out of five recent home buyers and sellers used a REALTOR® in their transactions.

“Whether you are buying or selling a home, using a REALTOR® is a smart move,” said 2014 President of the Eastern Bergen County Board of Realtors®, Bowen Pak.  “REALTORS®understand their local markets and can negotiate on your behalf. Buying and selling a home is one of life’s biggest decisions and a REALTOR®can guide you through the process.”

When inventory decreases, urgency increases and therefore homes in Bergen County are selling faster. County-wide, the typical single-family home sold in April was on the market for 2 weeks less than a year ago. The median time on market for all homes was 78 days, down from 90 days in 2013.

“Recent data shows there is more demand than supply in the current market, which means conditions broadly favor sellers,” said EBCBOR President Pak. “Meanwhile, buyers are out there looking to purchase homes. Overall, buyer traffic is 25 percent above a year ago and sellers are reportedly receiving multiple bids and historically low mortgage rates are keeping housing affordable.”

EBCBOR has identified several tips for buyers in today’s market. First, before you start looking at potential homes, know your budget. Next, lenders will evaluate your income, savings and credit history to pre-qualify you for a mortgage. After pre-qualification, beginidentifying neighborhoods of interest. Consider what you need and want most in a home, whether it’s a certain number of bedrooms, a small yard, or a garage. As a potential buyer, once you have a better concept of what you’re looking for, it’s easier to communicate those needs to your REALTOR®.

“When homes are selling quickly it’s important for buyers to visit newly listed homes as soon as possible,” said EBCBOR President Pak. “Open houses are additionally a great way to see many houses in a short amount of time. Buyers can get a good sense of what’s available in the area and what their budget can afford.”

Consumers who want accurate, up-to-date property listings in their area should visit realtor.com®, said EBCBOR President Pak. The accuracy of realtor.com® can give buyers and sellers the advantage they need in today’s market.  Whether you’re ready to buy or looking to sell, consumers can also find tips and advice for making their dream home happen, by visiting the “Consumer” tab at bergenboard.com.

The Eastern Bergen County Board of REALTORS® (EBCBOR), chartered in 1923, has been serving REALTORS and consumers in Bergen County for over 90 years. As a not-for-profit trade organization, it represents 3,000 REALTOR® members in Bergen County. EBCBOR are dedicated to enhancing the business opportunities of its membership by providing them with industry information, political advocacy and educational opportunities. For more information, please visit www.bergenboard.com.

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