Home Selling in Vineland>Question Details

Victoria, Both Buyer and Seller in Vineland, NJ

I have a duplex that we'd like to put on the market this summer. It is located in Franklin Township

Asked by Victoria, Vineland, NJ Wed Jan 21, 2009

Gloucester County NJ but we have a Vineland, NJ address. It is hard to find comps as the comps we get are from Vineland which we are about 2 miles from. That area is different than ours and we're not getting comped fairly. How do we find comps for an area such as ours?

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Victoria,

Thanks for coming back online with additional information about your situation.

Some properties are very easy to comp...with very similar properties (condition, size, area) that have sold within the very recent time (under 3 months.) Other properties are more difficult to comp, because there simply aren't highly similar properties which have sold in the immediate neighborhood. Yours seems to fit the latter.

There are trade-offs with every situation. When comps are very clear to everyone, the price becomes clear. In a situation like yours, there may be a slightly wider range in the opinion of value, but there will still be a range. Overpricing never works for any property, but a unique property, like yours may require additional marketing to show the value and to reach potential buyers.

All sales rely upon a combination of price and exposure. This follows the basics of all marketing, which are the 3 P's...Price, Product and Promotion. The Product is your property. While subtle changes can be implemented to increase the speed and likelihood of an offer, many characteristics of the Product are not changeable, at least in the short term. In resale real estate, we make minimal changes to the Product, and limit these changes primarily to staging, cleaning, and de-cluttering. Since there is little we can do to completely repackage our Product in rea estate sales, our focus becomes setting the right Price and doing the right Promotion (giving your property the best exposure based upon a likely buyer.) Across many of my writings, readers will hear me refer to Price and Exposure. Selling your property comes down to setting the right price AND giving it the right exposure. You need both. Marketing cannot make up for overpricing. Great pricing without marketing limits your market exposure and buyers who may be interested in your property may not know it is there.

Since your home is unlike the majority of homes in your area, it presents both challenge and opportunity at the same time. Who will a likely buyer be? An extended family? An investor? A first time homebuyer who can qualify for the mortgage, but wants to limit their financial obligations with a rental offset? How will your agent reach the general real estate market? How will your agent target niche markets? (Note that niche markets never refers to any protected class that would violate any Fair Housing laws! Niche marketing may be investors, for example.)

For pricing, you do have a starting point from which to build. You had a pricing opinion last year. You may have past appraisals on hand. You have a recent pricing opinion. You may want to call in another Realtor for second or third opinion. The lack of similar recent comps does make your property different than a colonial surrounded by like colonials, but it really does sound like you have a good head start on the pricing issues. The fact that your most recent pricing opinion trended down is probably not a surprise.

In almost all instances, it is better to under price vs. overprice. If you under price and market aggressively, the market will produce interested parties. When multiple parties show interest, it gives you a measure of the best that the market can deliver for you. If you overprice, you will be rejected by the market and actually help sell your competition, by making them look better by comparison. Don’t be afraid of under pricing by 5-10%, Serious sellers will, and they are the ones finding buyers.

Hire a Realtor who will guide you based upon the principles of marketing, Product (your Property), Price and Promotion. Ask prospective Realtors to detail their marketing programs for you and explain how they intend to customize a plan for your specific needs. Rather than look at your uniqueness as an obstacle, I would make that the focal point of the marketing and approach the campaign with that premise; promoting the rare find.

Best wishes for a successful transaction and happy shopping in Cape May. I chat with a few Realtors down in the Cape May area, so let me know if you need any referrals there.

Deborah Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group
732 530-6350
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 23, 2009
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
Hello, I am the one who posted this question. I'm not sure how to reply individually but I'll generally answer in this post to some of the questions asked to me. My husband and I live on the first floor of this duplex. We purchased it in 2001 as we had my mother in law living with us (it is perfect for this situation!) with my mother-in-law in the apartment upstairs but she's in a nursing home now. We do not want to be a landlord and rent it out. Our plan is to move to Cape May County after we sell. The comps we received were through a real estate agent. We are located VERY close to the Vineland borderline and our home has a Vineland mailing address and zip code BUT we pay our taxes to Franklin Township, Gloucester County. I feel the need to explain this when someone asks, "where do you live?" Our property is unique to this area, meaning it's a true duplex in an area of Franklin Twp where there aren't many or in all actuality ANY that I know of. To look at our home, you wouldn't know it was a duplex other than it has 2 large driveways on either side of the house. There is a small entrance foyer/porch (enclosed) First floor has 3 bedrms, LR, Eat-in kitchen, full bath, laundry room, central air, large basement (partially finished). Upstairs is 2 bdrs, Eat-in kitchen, full bath, laundry room and window air units, storage attic. Both units have decks and both have seperate utilities, seperate oil tanks, hot water heaters, electric boxes, septic, etc... We are in the process of putting in a new bathroom upstairs, and have started painting throughout, decluttering and doing all the sprucing up one should do before putting a property on the market. Despite knowing the market isn't all that great right now, we've decided to still move forward with our improvements and once finished, hopefully this summer, we will contact a few more agents, interview them and have them give us an analysis. We've heard the selling housing percentage numbers have dropped 20% in the last year. When we were kicking the idea around of selling 1 year ago we had another agent come in and gave us a number of $289,000,,, the number we got the other day was around $235,000... We currently owe about 232,000 on our mortgage. When I say we're not getting comped fairly, I'm not insulting the agent, just the fact that our property type does not exist as I mentioned earlier in this post and the closest town to us is Vineland where there are many different type areas and the comps were not from the "type" areas our home is located in. Our street is residential where all the houses are VERY different than each other, tiny homes, HUGE ONES, teeny properties to homes with many acres.. Ours sits right in the middle of those type homes. We're one of those people who took the advantage or should I say dis-advantage of refinancing with the artificial inflation not once but twice! Dumb, dumb, dumb! We know this, we bought for $165,000... What we didn't take into consideration that my mother in law was up in years and that we'd want to leave this property once we didn't need this type home anymore.

Soooooooo, that's our story... Any and all advice is much appreciated...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 23, 2009
When you say that you are not getting comped fairly, who are you referring to as selecting the comps?

Did you meet with Realtors who service your market, and did they provide pricing opinions based upon comparables with which you disagree?

Or, are you trying to use an online automated valuation service and is it pulling data from a computer algorithm that is pulling comps from out of your area?

If you have met with a handful of Realtors and they are all using the same comps, there may be a reason, and those comps may have validity. If you met with one Realtor, and you lack confidence is that person's ability to evaluate the market, go for a second and third opinion.

And, finally, if you utilized an online automated valuation service, know that these are very flawed and should not be relied upon for pricing. Zillow.com for example has full disclosure on their site that there is a margin for error.

Good luck in marketing your property.this summer.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 23, 2009
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ

Make sure that you interview a couple of agents. Ask for the facts. I can provide you with a market analysis which shows you exactly what has sold recently that is comparable to your home. Make sure your agent is Full Time and has settled atleast 20 properties a year. Ask for proof. Hire an agent that has continued education in the Real Estate field as well. Don't just hire a Realtor that gives you the highest price and the lowest commission. That is generally the biggest mistake homeowners make. That is important so show that you have an agent that is experienced. Feel free to contact me for any additional questions.

Janet Larsen, Broker/Associate
Remax Connection
660 Woodbury-Glassboro Road
Sewell, NJ 08080
856-261-6910 cell
856-415-1210, ext 321 offc.
Web Reference: http://www.njrealtorjan.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 22, 2009
If you are really interested in learning the comparable values for your home, please contact me with your home's information. I actively market your area and have done a large number of comparables in the Franklin Township area. I wouldn't use any comps from Vineland, I'd use comps from Franklinville, Malaga, Newfield, and Clayton. And some areas of Monroe Township. If you are serious about putting your home on the market, you will need the aid of a professional that knows your area. I do comps for banks and mortgage companies all the time in your area.

Terry Iwaniw
ReSales & Investment Realty, LLC
Web Reference: http://www.terryi.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 22, 2009
Hi Victoria,
Do you live in this duplex? Or do you think the property will sell strictly to an investor? Are you a lone duplex in amongst many single family homes, or in an area that's mostly multi-family housing? If you think the most likely buyer is an investor, then the rents and condition will play the biggest role in what price that market will bear. I know what the GRM's are for Camden and Burlington counties, but not Gloucester. If you don't know what that number is, along with some others, then you should find a realtor that does.
If you think that your most likely buyer is an owner occupant, then you may want to approach the pricing a bit differently.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 22, 2009
Best to see a realtor We'll do it for free. No strings attahced. No obligations. It is very difficult to do online. You need real time info.

I'm in Turnersville, nj Call me,...

Larry Sarlo
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 21, 2009
I'm a licensed NJ realtor, If you give me your address I'll run comps for you.
Mike Rayno
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 21, 2009
Hello Victoria,

You can go to loopnet.com and you should be able to find some comps, you will have to pay for them... I can also get you in touch with a local agent in your area who can run some comps for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 21, 2009
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