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The Spring Market has arrived

By Coccia
At Mar 17, 2009

The middle of March has arrived and with that a resurgence of buying and selling has begun.

In the last two weeks Coccia Real Estate Group listed several homes. Some of them are well kept gems that are quite the bargain.

49 Dacotah Avenue, Parsippany – bedroom, 2 full bath colonial with partly finished basement. Home features modern kitchen and baths, family room with lots of windows and cathedral ceilings, formal dining room, deck and nice yard. Just move right in!

18 Herman Street, East Hanover – bedroom, 2 full bath bi level with updated kitchen and baths in 2007. Ground level contains in-law suite with second kitchen, full bath and bedroom. 1st floor kitchen has granite counter tops, new cabinets and hardwood floors in living room and dining room.

193 Morris Tpk, Randolph – Truly move in condition 3 bedroom , 2 full bath ranch w/ 2 car garage. All good sized rooms, beautiful ¾ acre, level property w/ pool, central air, updated in 2005. Updates include: windows, siding and doors. Above ground, newer oil tank.

9 Townsend Dr., Florham Park – This lovely 4 Bedroom Colonial with open floor plan will surely impress. A stunning home, only 12 yrs old (from ground up) features: large eat-in kitchen w/center island, family rm w/fireplace, sunroom w/cathedral ceilings & skylights and master bedroom w/full bath & walk-in closet. Enjoy the 56 X 20 deck, tiki bar and large backyard perfect for entertaining.

I am proud to say that we were able to get some of the homes listed above under contract all ready. That means that we are seeing signs of life out the Spring Real Estate market…and that’s great news for everyone!

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“Staging” may be the Answer!

By Coccia
At Mar 10, 2009

Skilled staging is essential in this unpredictable market with so much property for sale. A buyer needs to see and feel your property.

In my real estate and staging experience, I’ve discovered that it is always simpler to stage a unit when it’s bare, which allows the unit to become a clean canvas. When cleverly decorated, it can de-emphasize the lack of good space planning or it can highlight prime features in new or older construction.

MY STAGING CHALLENGE

Last year one of my clients tried to sell his house. It was on the market for nearly a year. First, he tried to sell it on his own. Next, he used a non-local REALTOR® that was not familiar with the area. He was beyond frustrated so he finally pulled the listing. He finally tried Coccia Real Estate Group, a local, aggressive Real Estate office. We recommended a local staging person that made some very basic suggestions.

Problem areas: The home was dated in style. It shrieked 1980’s with mirrored walls, grey marble floors, large wall vents, white Formica cabinets in the bathrooms, and old white appliances in the kitchen. A gaudy Lucite ceiling fan hung in the dining area with warm purple, puffy valences. In the living room was a wooden, sea captain spindled stair case rail with carpeted stairs leading to the bedrooms upstairs. The fireplace was back-splashed in cemetery green marble.

The best features: The home’s top assets were the living room’s floor-to-ceiling windows, and its balcony with panoramic views of New York City. The kitchen also had gorgeous custom cherry cabinetry.

What I did:

  • I removed the puffy valences to open the vista.
  • I had the place painted white to modernize walls and bring in the marina since the mirrored walls reflected the light.
  • The place was cleaned thoroughly.
  • I placed real plants inside and on the balcony.
  • I chose all modern furniture and artwork.
  • Splashes of color finished the look.

The result: The unit sold in four months.

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Should I Sell My Home Before Buying a New One?

By Coccia
At Feb 26, 2009

If you are thinking about selling your current home and purchasing a new one in today’s Real Estate market you may wish to play it safe and sell your current home first. Current market conditions should always play apart in this decision making process.

Years ago, when the market was hot and houses were selling quickly, finding a home to fit your family’s needs was challenging. Today, many homes are sitting on the market for a longer period of time giving you plenty of inventory to choose from. To purchase a new home before you sell your existing home could lead to financial hardship

You will have several advantages if your existing home is under contract or sold. I always explain to my clients that knowing your home is sold places you in control of your purchasing power, the seller from the home you attempt to buy will be more likely to accept your offer and it eliminates the possibility of paying two mortgages.

I recommend placing your home on the market with a local realtor and have it be exposed on the multiple listing service where over 20,000 realtors will essentially be working to find a buyer for your home. It is important to choose a realtor who knows the area well and will market your home effectively through print and internet advertising Once you have accepted an offer on your home, you can make the sale contingent upon finding the home you want to buy. This is a much safer scenario then buying your new home and finding out that you’re existing home is worth less than you planned.

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NEW OBAMA STIMULUS PLAN REVEALED

By Coccia
At Feb 19, 2009

Here is a simple explanation of the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit that is part of the just signed Stimulus Plan.

Essentially, first-time home buyers within certain income limits who purchase a home in 2009 before December 1, 2009 will receive a tax credit of up to $8,000.

· To qualify as a first-time home buyer as defined in the programs, the purchaser (and the purchaser’s spouse) may not have owned a home in the three years prior to the purchase date of the home. Single family homes qualify for the program. The home must be the primary residence.

· The tax credit is subject to adjusted gross income limitations as follows: full credit for AGI less than $75,000 if single or less than $150,000 if married filing jointly; phased out for AGI up to $95,000 single/ $170,000 joint.

· The amount for the credit is the lesser of 10% of the home purchase price or $8,000.

· The $8,000 credit will not need to be repaid.

· No portion of the $8,000 credit is due upon sale of the home, if the home is owned for more than three years. If the home is sold within the first three years, the full amount of the credit is due upon sale.

The program is similar to the $7,500 tax credit which applied to home purchases made in 2008 after April 9. Some differences are noted below:

· While a purchaser still owns the home, the $7,500 credit must be repaid in equal payments over a period of 15 years, starting with the 2010 tax filing.

· Upon sale of the home, any portion of the $7,500 credit not yet repaid is due in full.

· The $7,500 credit was not available to any purchaser utilizing state/local revenue bond money to help finance the home purchase. There is no such restriction on the $8,000 credit.

· Under both the $7,500 and the $8,000 programs, the credit will be claimed on the purchaser’s income taxes. Any amount in excess of taxes owed will be refunded to the purchaser.

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Coccia Real Estate Announces Online Transaction Management Program

By Coccia
At Feb 09, 2009

On February 1, 2009 Coccia Real Estate Group began using an online transaction management program. This web based system streamlines workflow and collaboration between Realtors, cooperating Real Estate offices, attorneys, and clients throughout a real estate transaction. This is just one of several value added services Coccia Real Estate Group added in the last year to better serve their clients.

Chris Coccia of Coccia Real Estate Group added, “We currently have several agents using the program along with their clients. Our agents are thrilled with the organizational benefits and clients love that they can actively stay current with their transaction with email notifications”.

Online transaction management is the ultimate way to keep clients up to date with what exactly is going on in a “Real-time” fashion. We now have the ability to track and manage transaction information and activities from listing through closing, including: listing and sale information, transaction contacts, documents, client satisfaction, and all communications throughout the transaction.

If you are a looking to sell or buy, or maybe you are a Real Estate agent and you were frustrated in the past by not feeling you were kept up to date with your last Real Estate transaction please give Coccia Real Estate Group a call for a “no obligation test drive” of our new system. It is the “ultimate” in follow up and efficiency.

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Coccia Real Estate Group Launches New Rental Department Website

By Coccia
At Feb 02, 2009

On January 31, 2009 Coccia Real Estate Group added a website and a rental department to their already busy, service oriented business.

www.MorrisCountyRentals.com was created to better serve people who are looking for “Real-time”, available apartments, condos, and houses to rent. The website will primarily deal with available rental units in East Hanover, Florham Park, Parsippany, Cedar Knolls or Whippany area. In addition to listings it will also supply tenants with some information on the different communities, complexes and developments the site gives them access to.

MorrisCountyRentals.com is also another value added service that Coccia Real Estate Group, LLC offers it’s landlords and property owners.

If you are looking for an apartment or a tenant call Coccia Real Estate Group today! 973-887-2500

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5 Top Blunders of Internet Home Buying

By Coccia
At Jan 26, 2009

How to avoid the common pitfalls of online real estate searching

While the painful real estate swoon appears likely to extend well into 2009—at least—the number of Americans using the Internet to find the home of their dreams is poised to keep on climbing. According to the 2008 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 87 percent of home buyers used the Internet to search for homes in the past year. That’s up steadily from 84 percent in 2007, 80 percent in 2006. But despite its mounting popularity, the Internet home-buying process can present a host of pitfalls. To help make your online real estate searching more effective, here’s a look at the top five Internet home-buying blunders and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Assuming you can do it all yourself. The Internet allows users to handle for themselves many of the tasks that could once only be performed by real estate agents. The NAR profile, for example, found that the number of home buyers who first learned of their homes on the Internet has been rising in recent years—to 32 percent in 2008, up from a tiny 2 percent in 1997. Accordingly, the number of home buyers who first learned of their homes through agents has been declining—it was at 34 percent in 2008, down from 50 percent in 1997. But although the Internet can provide heaps of helpful tips and research, it would be a mistake to assume that the Web is all you need to buy a house—unless you are an experienced real estate investor. The process of purchasing real estate can be extremely complicated from a legal standpoint, and it’s easy to make a mistake if you don’t have an expert advising you. And when it comes to something as expensive as real estate, those mistakes could cost you thousands of dollars. “Doing all the paperwork yourself is a huge mistake,” says Joshua Dorkin, CEO of BiggerPockets.com, a real estate networking and information site. “There are so many things you can miss on a contract.”

2. Looking too narrowly. The sheer amount of information about the real estate market online can be overwhelming. As a result, buyers can be tempted to stick to just one or two popular real estate search engines, like Realtor.com, for their research. The problem with doing that, however, is that you’re missing out on the biggest advantages that the Internet offers. First, you’re closing yourself off to a smaller cross section of the homes that are out there. “A lot of the sites aren’t comprehensive and don’t have all of the new listings,” says Pat Kitano, a cofounder of Domus Consulting Group, which works with real estate brokerage firms on technology marketing strategies. Don’t assume that because a house is on one real estate website that it is on them all, says Greg Healy, vice president of operations at ForSaleByOwner.com. “It’s still very fragmented,” he says. Healy recommends using several websites to get a more complete picture. Second, you miss all the breaking, up-to-the-minute information on the housing market that can make you a smarter consumer. Blogs have become a popular resource for real estate agents and others to post information as it happens. “If consumers are interested in a local area, they should find local real estate bloggers who know this breaking information,” says Kitano.[See Six Secrets of Internet Home Buying]

3. Ignoring the indies. One area that major real estate search engines often overlook is the market for homes sold by the owners. “A lot of people forget to think how many homes are sold without agents. The current estimate is that 20 to 25 percent of homes are” listed by owner, says Healy. Your dream house could easily fall into that 20 to 25 percent. So how do you bring homes sold independently into your online searches? “Craigslist is one of the best resources,” says Dorkin.

4. Falling for fake listings. Remember, the Internet is a giant playground for scammers, and unfortunately they have penetrated the world of online home buying as well. Combine big dollars for online advertising and a lot of people searching for homes, and the result is a proliferation of fake home listings. There are a number of red flags to look out for. “If there are no photos [of the house], that’s a big warning sign. That’s just people trying to collect page views,” says Healy. But even if there are photos, it’s not guaranteed to be legitimate. Legitimate websites will put watermarks on their home photos to brand those photos as their own. If a home’s photos have several different watermarks on it, then you can guess you are looking at the work of a scammer.

5. Putting too much stock in home valuation websites. Sites like Zillow.com and Cyberhomes.com have changed the way people buy homes by putting pricing information at buyers’ fingertips. But they’re not infallible. Don’t assume to know what the value of a home should be based on what these sites tell you about the neighborhood. There are many elements of a home’s value that home valuation sites cannot incorporate. “Take their values with a grain of salt,” says Dorkin. He recommends using this information merely as a range. Do other research to narrow that range. For example, walkscore.com can tell you the number of amenities within walking distance of a location—those are some of the tangibles that can raise or lower the value of a home

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10 Cities Boasting Mini Sales Booms

By Coccia
At Jan 16, 2009

Some cities that were hardest hit by the real downturn are experiencing mini sales booms.

Las Vegas real estate properties are down 28 percent in price, but sales of homes are up 15 percent.

Motivated buyers accounted for 64 percent of Las Vegas sales in October, says Radar Logic, a derivatives firm. That’s the highest rate in the country.

“There’s a pretty active housing market, it’s simply at a lower-priced inventory,” says Michael Feder, chief executive of Radar Logic. “And there are now bidding wars taking place over homes in foreclosure.”

Phoenix and San Diego are reporting similar experiences.

“We’re clearing out the bad news,” says Kiva Patten, a director at Merrill Lynch specializing in housing derivatives.

“By the end of 2010 – that’s where we’re calling the bottom in the forward market. You’re going to get a small price appreciation in 2011,” says Patten. “It’s not like the turn is 10 percent per year, it’ll be something like 3 percent or 4 percent.”

Source: Forbes, Matt Woolsey (01/12/09)

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20% of Homes Priced to Sell!

By Coccia
At Jan 12, 2009

In this Real Estate environment about 20% of the homes listed for sale in most towns are actually priced to sell, and 80% are priced to sit. That is why you still see homes here and there getting full list price offers, and sometimes even bidding wars. Just last month there was a home in Madison New Jersey which sold for $60,000 above asking price with just 7 days on the market.

Buyers are out there shopping for homes. Maybe even now more than a few months ago considering mortgage rates are at 5% for a 30 year fixed. The important ingredient that most homeowners are missing is to price your house according to the market. In just the last 2 weeks 3 homes closed in East Hanover ranging from $340,000 to $520,000. I am proud to say Coccia Real Estate Group sold each one of these homes. In Florham Park 5 homes closed and one of them sold for full price at $999,000. Finally, in Hanover township 3 homes closed in the past 2 weeks and again Coccia Real Estate Group sold 2 out of three for 95% of asking price or better!

When choosing to buy or sell Real Estate in a difficult market like we are in now. Every expert will tell you to use a local Real Estate Professional. Your local Real Estate Professional is Coccia Real Estate Group, LLC!

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10 Tips for Generating Buyer Interest

By Coccia
At Jan 08, 2009

Occasionally we get a house that we have a real tough time getting offers on from qualified buyers. Since I am in the business for a long time I know that it is possible to sell any house. Usually there is a reason buyers are over looking the home and it is not always price. Here is a great list that mentions issues that “put off” buyers.

FOR BUYERS: You may want to see past some of these issues because the house you pass on today may be tomorrow’s “Gem”.

10 Tips for Generating Buyer Interest

Distraught sellers who need to generate more interest in house that has been languishing on the market for months should consider 10 steps from MSNBC financial guru Laura T. Coffey

1. Can the clutter. Pack up knickknacks, pictures, piles of paper and furniture that makes the place look crowded.

2.  Let the light in. Take down any heavy drapes.
3.  Scrub-a-dub-dub. Shampoo soiled carpets, Scrub the front door. Repaint scuffed walls.

4. Tidy up the lawn and trim the shrubs.

5. Get moving on the “honey do” list. Fix everything that is in need of repair.

6.  Enhance the view. Erect a fence or plant shrubbery to improve or obscure the view of unattractive nearby properties or streets.

7.  Try weeknights. Holding an open house on Wednesday may attract a different crowd.

8.  Ask for criticism. Consult with buyers’ agents for their feedback.

9.  Send the owners away. Ask them to vacate when potential buyers come around so they can talk freely.

10.  Drop the asking price. And figure out the lowest amount you’re willing or able to accept.

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