Home Selling in Lavallette>Question Details

Rhys, Home Buyer in Florham Park, NJ

Why not list homes correctly as Toms River Township?

Asked by Rhys, Florham Park, NJ Wed Mar 25, 2009

Why do you Realtors always mislead potential buyers listing properties in Toms River Township as if they were located in the Borough of Lavallette, NJ? Is that even legal?

Help the community by answering this question:


Eric Birchler’s answer

first thanks for buying one of our listings.

the listings you reference are corrected stated on the web site as they have a lavallette zip. i understand this is confusing but the searching systems label the property as 08735 because that is the correct zip. Please also note the property is labeled as Municipality: TOMS RIVER TWP You need to read into the full details of the listing. i'm truly sorry for the confusion and it is not done intentionally. please understand those listing were not found under the Lavallette Search on my site. it was either the "featured homes" or "north lavallette Toms River Twp Beaches" search.

this is my entire point. the search is different than the labeling. if you are looking for property for sale in the borough of lavallette and only in lavallette; not in Toms River Twp with Lavallette Zip Code then see this search;


we try to simplify the searching for our customers and this search will only show properties that are located in the municipality: Lavallette Boro. we get this question alot which is why we spent significant resources to custom make our web site. my web design firm and i spent many man hours getting the popular sale search page to show only the properties for sale in the actual Borough or Municipality as opposed to zip searching. Link to those searches is below.


I wish you the best in your purchase and future searching. if you have any questions please feel free to call me.

Eric Birchler
Birchler Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 30, 2009
You have a great point about the Toms River Township properties listing under "Lavallette" on National Web sites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com etc.

I have no idea if it is illegal. The issue is a grey area. The reason is the properties are located in the "Lavallette Zip" with mail service from Lavallette Post Office. A previous poster discussed this point and they are 100% right. The MLS does differentiate the towns and human error is possible but not common.

The larger web sites base the search criteria off zip code. It is easily understood how this happens. The data feeds come from the local MLS. The feeds have the zip code and the ACTUAL TOWNSHIP/BOROUGH. The larger sites choose to ignore data field for ACTUAL TOWNSHIP for search criteria. This is a unique problem to the east coast. The reason is most of the country does not have this issue with different towns delivering other towns mail. The Realtors.com of the world choose to base their search on zip criteria. The actual township/borough is typically in the full listing detail but difficult to find. However, the listing does show the actual township but just isn't searched via that field.

I can say that it against NJ Real Estate Commission Rules to knowingly advertise the property in the wrong township. However, it is my opinion that is not the case since the realtor is not advertising the wrong township just the search engine searching the wrong data.

The answer is to consult your local real estate professional. They will be able to set you up with searches from the actual mls which will only send you True Lavallette Borough. If you are not ready to contact an agent check out my website which offers the search you desire. The link below will show all property for sale in the Borough of Lavallette and is not based on zip code like the national real estate search sites.


I can add that this issue is just as frustrating for us realtors. Ortley Beach has the same issue with 08751 Zip which is Seaside Heights and South Seaside Park (Berkeley Twp) has the same issue with 08752 Zip Borough of Seaside Park.

View these other searches for similar solutions


Respectfully submitted,

Eric Birchler
Birchler Realtors
732-793-3333 ext 18
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 25, 2009
Thanks for the thorough response. We're actually under contract already for a Borough property listed by your office.

This whole issue is more of a pet peeve but it sure made looking for a place more confusing. Fortunately, as former owners in town, we have a solid knowledge of which street addresses are actually in the Borough, and we also worked with an outstanding real estate agent in town. This mislabeling is rampant anywhere you look - newspaper ads, Craigslist, VRBO, and realtor web sites . It's rare to see an ad for a sale or rental on the Toms River Township beach communities listed as such, although your site does contain good examples of correct listings.

Unfortunately, the site also has two examples of Ocean Beach properties incorrectly identified as being in Lavallette. There is no Sailfish Way or Moonrise Lane in the Borough.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 26, 2009
I agree Rhys,
As a North Jersey Realtor and member of Garden State MLS/GSMLS, many of our towns share Zip Codes, such as the Caldwells. North Caldwell, West Caldwell, and Caldwell all share a Zip code and main post office. But on the GSMLS, they each have a separate town listing. I believe it is the way the MLS system is set up and not done intentionally by Realtors listing properties. Any good Realtor should know the area they sell in and should be able to tell you if the property is located in the Borough of Lavallette or in one of the other areas such as Ocean Beach, Chadwick, Ortley, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Apr 23, 2009

Not having inimate knowlege of Ortley v. Toms River township, I cannot comment, except to say that I do concur with Dani in that it is as frustarating to us Realtors as it is to potential homebuyers in that it can be deceiving, but not inententional.

Understand that most of these websites are driven by zip codes and that many zip codes are shared by mulitple municipalities. For example here in Monmouth County, Wall Township and Belmar although they have vastly different offerings fall into the same environment/zip code. In the same repect, certain parts of Manasquan are better known as Wall Township, but hold a Manaquan Zip Code. Confusing, ABSOLUTELY!

I've seen tech savvy Realtors appeal to certain websites, to change the zip code search reference, but unforuunately this is ot the norm and part and parcel of the growing pains of internet RE coverage.

In closing, all I can is (1) bear with as as we advocate for change and (2) continue to be the educated buyer that you appear to be in you search.

My sincere apologies for your frustration.

Francesca Patrzio, Realtor, ePro
Web Reference: http://www.PatrizioRE.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 27, 2009
Any good real estate agent with listing in this general area should know that Ortley Beach IS a section of Toms River Township, and is taxed accordingly. Try it yourself - go on Trulia or Zillow or Realtor.com and see what you find under Lavallette, NJ. Then find the listed streets on a map. Most of these "Lavallette" properties are actually in Ocean Beach or similar parts of Toms River Township.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 26, 2009
Alot of this has to do with how the MLS recognizes the property - usually via the tax records - so there are some towns that fall under Toms River's domain even though they are not actually in Toms River - like Ortley and Lavalette - trust me it is just as frustrating to us realtors when we are trying to find properties for our buyers. It is not somthing that we do on purpose
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 26, 2009
It's actually very clear. Do a search on any listing web site for homes in Lavallette. What comes up are some homes in the Borough of Lavallette, but also many homes NOT in Lavallette, actually located in neighboring sections of Toms River Township, formerly Dover Township. Those sections include Ortley Beach, Ocean Beach, Monterey Beach, Chadwick Beach, and Silver Beach. Although those areas are close by and may be serviced by the Lavallette Post Office, they are NOT in Lavallette, but only someone familar with the area and street names would know that. It's annoying at best, misleading at worst. I don't think this is being done by mistake.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 26, 2009

Your question is quite ambigious. More detail would be helpful in addressing your concern.

At times, websites can make mistakes and addressing your concerns can aide in getting any problems corrected.

I can assure you, it is rarely the intent of RE agents to be deceptive.

Francesca Patrizio
Web Reference: http://www.PatrizioRE.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 25, 2009
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