Verona Real Estate

4 things homebuyers should never say

You don’t need to be a world-class negotiator to nab a great deal on your dream home.

More often, it’s a matter of knowing what not to say. One errant comment or paperwork misstep can compromise your negotiating position. Playing it close to the vest around home sellers and listing agents is critical.

So is flexibility. Homebuyers who conflate wants and needs can cost themselves big time.

Here’s a look at four messages and mindsets buyers should avoid broadcasting.

1. “I’m Not Pre-Approved”

Prospective homebuyers who shop for homes before getting pre-approved can put themselves at a disadvantage from the outset.

Real estate agents and home sellers prefer strong buying candidates who are likely to make good on their purchase offer. Agents and sellers will often want to see a copy of your pre-approval letter alongside your offer. Pre-approval letter signals that a potential buyer has the credit, income and assets necessary to stir confidence in a mortgage lender.

A homebuyer without that confidence is a total wildcard. There are no guarantees when it comes to pre-approval and purchase offers, but the buyer who looks like a better bet will often reap the rewards, especially if there are competing offers.

2. “I’m Pre-Approved for This Exact Amount”

That pre-approval letter is a critical document. But what exactly it details is also incredibly important.

Homebuyers can shop with more certainty when they know how much a lender is willing to extend. But that ceiling isn’t a figure that sellers need to know. In fact, you can squander goodwill and compromise your negotiating position by including a pre-approval letter for more than your offer.

Market and specific property notwithstanding, buyers will often make a first offer below the list price. Put yourself in the seller’s shoes: Imagine getting an offer at or below your $150,000 list price from a buyer who’s been pre-approved for $250,000. You’re practically begging the seller to push back hard.

Instead, submit a pre-approval letter that matches the amount of your offer, or refrain entirely from using a dollar amount. Lenders can tailor these for specific properties and amounts up to your max. There’s little benefit to telling sellers you can pay more than you’re offering.

3. “I Can’t Live Without This Home”

Falling in love is easy when you’re shopping for homes. But fixating on one and only one property is likely to hurt your chances of landing a good deal. It’s not even so much a concern about sellers or their agents catching wind (although that’s certainly a reason to stay silent if you’re touring homes when a seller or listing agent is present).

It’s more that being inflexible is bad for business. Buyers who say they “must” have a certain home can have a tougher time being objective. That can lead to big-time imbalance at the negotiating table.

4. “This Is My Forever Home”

This is a sweet sentiment, and you very well may intend to spend the rest of your life in your new home. But lives, circumstances and finances all change. People get divorced or lose their jobs.

Only about a quarter of homebuyers in 2013 planned to stay in their home for at least 16 years, according to the National Association of Realtors. More than four in 10 said they didn’t know their expected tenure.

Resale should always be a consideration regardless of your best intentions. A day may come when you have to put your forever home back on the market.

Keep this in mind with unique properties or homes with uncommon features, which could become hurdles down the road.


Another happy client courtesy of Habitat Real Estate!

Congratulations to Jason Cohen who just purchased this gorgeous unit at The Mill in Little Falls!

How come you’re not using Habitat Real Estate?

Call us today and find out about the Habitat Difference!




Do you agree with Christie that NJ should abolish realty transfer fees?

Should New Jersey eliminate the realty transfer fees that residents have to pay when selling a house here?

Gov. Chris Christie thinks so.  At a town hall meeting in Somerset on Tuesday, a retired state trooper told Christie that he recently sold his home because taxes in New Jersey were “out of control.” Then, he said, he was hit with a $5,435 realty transfer fee.

The Republican governor responded by saying he would abolish the fees if the state Legislature sent him such a bill.

“A realty transfer fee? From my perspective, it makes no sense,” the Republican governor said at a town hall meeting in the Somerset section of Franklin Township. “It’s awful. It should be done away with.”

On Tuesday, state Sen. Diane Allen (R-Burlington) said she will soon introduce a bill that would end the fees.

Of course, the fees are the seventh-largest source of tax revenue for the state. Officials have projected that they will produce $287 million in the current state budget and $325 million in next year’s spending plan.

Source: The Star-Ledger, April 17, 2014

Just Listed by Habitat Real Estate: 70 Hudson Street, Little Falls. Asking $440,000

Buy this house through Habitat Real Estate and you could receive over $5,000 cash back at closing!

Great opportunity to own a custom home and choose your own finishes! Located at the end of a quiet street, and built with the finest materials, this home offers over 4000 sq. ft.  Brand new addition to the back, 2nd fl. & attic. New plumbing/electric throughout. This energy-efficient home features huge rooms, open floor plan, 4 oversized bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, dual zone HVAC, prewired for “smart home” capability, security & internet. New kitchen w/Kraftmaid cabinets. Laundry on 2nd Fl. Full walk-out basement with high ceilings offers additional living space.

Perfect for a contractor or those who want a project. Bring offers!

Click here for full listing.

Habitat’s Listing Sold For $56,000 Over Asking!

This gorgeous Upper Montclair Victorian recently listed by Habitat Real Estate went under contract in just 17 days and sold for $56,000 over asking!

Call us today to find out about the Habitat difference and how we can successfully market your home.

Another happy client courtesy of Habitat Real Estate!

I was looking for something a little different in a condo; something unique with the conveniences of an easy commute to NYC.   The team at Habitat understood my needs and found the perfect place for me to call home; spacious, high ceilings, sun drenched, huge closet space and in walking distance to both the train and the bus to NYC.  It wasn’t active for more than a day before I put in the offer and snatched it up.

I keep a very busy schedule  at work and the dynamic duo at Habitat made the not so fun part easy for me and managed a lot of the details so that I didn’t feel overwhelmed.  Tony L. Glen Ridge, NJ

$27,622 Cash Back from Habitat!

Congratulations to the Levy’s who just purchased this magnificent English Brick Manor home in Essex Fells and received a $27,622 rebate at closing from Habitat Real Estate!

How come you’re not using Habitat so you can get cash back?

Call Habitat today!

Just listed by Habitat: Gorgeous Townhome for rent in prestigious community of Cambridge Heights in Nutley!

Renovated end unit townhome located in the prestigious gated community of Cambridge Heights. Largest model in community offering over 2300 sq. ft of living. This contemporary light-filled home features hardwood floors on all 3 levels. Living/dining room with vaulted ceilings. modern kitchen w/SS appliances, granite counters & cherry cabinets. 2 bedrooms + loft, 3 Full Bathrooms. Large family room with gas fireplace & french doors leading to private patio. 2 car garage, central AC. Complex offers pool, tennis, clubhouse with gym. Commuters dream with quick access to NYC transportation. Will consider pets. Available February 1.

Rent: $3300 – Full Listing Here

Just Listed by Habitat: 293 N Mountain Ave, Upper Montclair. Walk to everything. Asking $769,000

Buy this house through Habitat Real Estate and you could receive over $8,000 cash back at closing!

Beautiful Upper Montclair Victorian! Sun filled rooms with high ceilings and hardwood floors throughout. Loads of charm and character. This home was recently featured in Montclair Magazine! You won’t need to do a thing as the exterior was repainted in 2012, new Pella wood windows throughout, new water heater, newer furnace and c/a unit, and new wood fence. This gorgeous home also features a newer kitchen with breakfast bar and powder room. Enjoy your screened-in 3 season deck right off the kitchen. The large master bedroom features a walk-in closet and new master bath. The third floor is currently being used by au pair. Steps to mid-town direct train, NYC bus, stores, theatre, restaurants and beautiful Anderson Park.

Click here for full listing. 


Check out these open houses in Habitat’s area.  And remember, you can get a cash-back rebate if you buy through Habitat!

481 Fairview Ave., Cedar Grove

List Price: $449,000

Taxes: $8,215


Move right into this charming 3 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath Colonial located in quiet neighborhood. Set on a 50×120 lot, perfect for entertainment or play. Totally renovated! New kitchen, new baths, new hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and central air – just move in and unpack your boxes! The first floor has a large remodeled kitchen, dining room, living room and family room that opens to the deck. Three bedrooms on the second floor and a wonderful walk-out basement perfect for recreation and entertainment.

Open 2 to 4pm

Listing courtesy of Coldwell Banker Realtors

49 Arden Lane, Essex Fells

List Price: $1,669,000

Taxes: $26,107


French Provincial and Normandy style home. Meticulously renovated. This gracious home offers the romantic charm & pride of craftsmanship of a bygone era with all the amenities of today’s modern life. Parklike property, heated in-ground pool. Archways open to the dining room. Gourmet kitchen, stainless steel appliances and large center island. Library, family room to pool outside. Favorite gathering spot is the tiered family room. There is also a guest/au pair suite. The master bedroom has vaulted ceiling, exposed beams and two walk-in closets.

Open 2 to 4pm

Listing courtesy of Prominent Properties

60 Highland Avenue, Glen Ridge 

List Price: $800,000

Taxes: $25,475


A wonderful example of the Classic Revival period, this 7Br, 3 1/2 Ba located on a tree lined street in historic Glen Ridge it is teeming with great architectural details.  The period details include a lemonade wrap around porch, a grand Entrance foyer with beautiful curved staircase, floor to ceiling French doors in formal Living room, stained glass window & skylight, fully functioning pocket doors, , large landings on both 2nd and 3rd floors, hard wood floors through out & period lighting fixtures. The stately butler pantry and dumb waiter retains the original charm of this home while the central air on 2nd and 3rd floors adds 21st century convenience. Close to NY train & Bus.

Open 1 to 4pm

Listing courtesy of Keller Williams – NJ Metro Group

10 Prospect Avenue, Montclair

List Price: $699,000

Taxes: $24,690


Graceful Victorian designed by architect, Effingham North. Large rooms, sweeping staircase, 2 fireplaces.  Many other classic details: arched windows, bays & gables. Open front porch w/seasonal NYC views.

Open 2 to 4pm

Listing courtesy of Prominent Properties

121 Cambridge Drive, Nutley

List Price: $349,000

Taxes: $8,332


Beautiful townhouse in gated community with pool, clubhouse, exercise facility and tennis courts. Surround sound hook-up in living room, 1 car attached garage,hardwood floors, private area with patio.

Open 1 to 3pm

Listing courtesy of Realty Network

2 Dodd Terrace, Verona

List Price: $599,999

Taxes: $11,148


Immaculate-Move In Condition.

Open 1 to 5pm

Listing courtesy of Prominent NJ Properties


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