North New Jersey Real Estate Guide

North New Jersey Real Estate Guide

The real estate market in North New Jersey is just like the summer weather: Hot, hot, hot, and it’s still favoring sellers.

If you’re looking to sell a home in suburbs like Montclair, Warren, or Watchung, the market factors are on your side. The inventory of available homes remains tight, mortgage interest rates remain low, and buyers are competing like crazy to land a home.

If you’re looking to buy, focus on a preferred neighborhood and strategize with a real estate professional on how you can shoot to the front of the line and get your offer accepted.

Whichever side you’re on, the key to a successful transaction for Montclair real estate is having your finger on the pulse of the market, which is where an experienced real estate professional comes in. Agents know when new properties come on the market and will always have your best interest in mind, whether it’s getting you top dollar as a seller or getting your offer accepted if you’re a buyer.

The Pandemic Effect

As it did in many suburban markets, the COVID-19 pandemic helped drive home sales in North New Jersey. City dwellers were eager to get out of small apartments and into more spacious suburban homes with room for a home office and outdoor space.

Even as the economy reopens, many people have found they enjoy the North New Jersey lifestyle and are in no rush to return to the hectic pace of pre-pandemic life.

Low mortgage interest rates helped fuel the boom, as did the fact that more buyers were competing for fewer homes on the market.

Many agents believe more Montclair real estate could be coming on the market soon as more segments of the economy reopen. Many workers will be returning to jobs in the city, and more people are getting vaccinated. But there is such a built-up demand for housing that experts believe the competition for homes will continue among buyers, which will help keep prices high.

Median Prices

Montclair is a perfect example of the escalating home prices in the upscale suburbs in North New Jersey. According to various real estate groups as reported by, the median home value in Montclair rose from $739,776 in May 2020 to $905,923 in May 2021. That’s an increase of 22%.

By comparison, the typical home value of homes in the entire state of New Jersey is $408,517, an increase of 16.7% in the last year, according to

Seller’s Market

Real estate agents report receiving multiple offers on homes that spur bidding wars, which are good for sellers because they drive up the price. Some buyers can pay cash, which eliminates any possible hang-ups with lender financing.

Steps Buyers Should Take

1. Be Ready For Action

Once you’ve hired an experienced real estate agent, staying in constant communication with them is the key to landing highly desirable Montclair real estate. Buyers who rely solely on checking the various real estate websites can be left in the dust if they don’t work closely with an agent.

Agents know immediately when a new property is listed and can contact you right away if it fits in with the kind of home for which you’re searching. Try to set up an appointment for any showings right away. Don’t delay, or you may lose out on that particular house before you even get started.

2. Line Up Financing

Another task to complete before beginning your search for Montclair real estate is to visit a mortgage lender and get pre-approved for a loan. The lender will check your income and other financial assets, as well as the amount of money you have set aside for a down payment, and determine how big of a loan you will qualify for. 

Unless you are trying to secure a government-backed mortgage, you’ll need at least 20% of the selling price for a down payment. Once you have a pre-approval letter in hand, a seller will know that you are serious about buying their property and that there’s little chance the financing will fall through.

3. Submit an Offer

As you shop for homes, you should be strategizing on how you will be structuring your offer. That way, when you find that special piece of Montclair real estate, you’ll have a game plan in place. In a superheated market, you’ll stand a better chance of getting your offer accepted if you have few (if any) contingencies in your offer. For instance, don’t ask for any allowances for things like replacing carpeting, appliances, or painting. You might even consider accepting the seller’s inspection report, as long as a legitimate company performed it.

Your agent will have a list of “comps,” or comparable sales, of homes similar to the one you are bidding on. This will allow them to help you set the amount of your offer. It might be a smart move for your agent to contact the buyer’s agent and find out if there are any exceptional circumstances to the sale or if anything will help move your offer to the front of the line.

Steps Sellers Should Take

1. Stage Your House

If you are selling Montclair real estate, you still need to make your house presentable even though homes are spending less time on the market than before. The big step is staging your house, which is when you or a professional arrange the furniture and décor to show off each room’s intended purpose and open up the floor plan. You should also remove all personal touches and declutter each room.

2. Get Everything in Order

Your home might sell quickly, so you’ll also need to be looking for your next place to live, whether you intend to buy or rent. As part of accepting an offer, you might be able to rent the home for a few months from the buyer while you complete a purchase.

Preparation is key whether you’re buying or selling Montclair real estate. If you plan to look at Montclair real estate for sale or want to sell what you currently own in 2021, contact the McGurl Team for comprehensive assistance. 

Work With Us

The McGurl Team at Prominent Properties Sotheby's International Realty provides the advantage buyers and sellers need in a competitive market. Contact us today to start your property journey.

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