Market Conditions in Hoboken>Question Details

AC, Other/Just Looking in Whippany, NJ

Is recent sales data available on the web? I'm interested in seeing the list price, sales price, and square footage of recently sold properties.

Asked by AC, Whippany, NJ Thu Oct 8, 2009

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While I think I already addressed your direct question I wanted to follow-up to address some of the issues that were brought up.

If you are looking in Hoboken you will get the square footage on nearly every MLS listing. Since Hoboken is an all condo market, 99% of listings are going to have the square footage of the home in them. Kimberly is correct though, I wouldn't take that number to be totally accurate. The square footage is going to have either come from the master deed, or tax records. Either way that number is likely what the architect determined when the building was built. Unfortunately, how measurements are made varies greatly. Some homes are measured at the"studded in" point, meaning they measure everything inside the 2x4 that make up the exterior walls of your home. Some measure using the "center line", which means they start the measurement at the center of the 2x4. Some measure the actual interior dimensions of each room. Then there is the obvious fact that the initial developer is going to push to make the homes square footage seem as large as possible.

Even if the square footage is accurate, which is my opinion should be the total of the actual interior dimensions of all the living space, a square footage comparison isn't always advisable. A box layout is going to sell at a higher price per square foot then a rowhouse. While both may be 800 sq ft. a box layout wastes very space. A rowhouse home will likely have a long hallway wasting 100-150 sq ft. Take into account the layout, finishes, neighborhoods, amenities, parking and a price per square foot analysis is typically not the way to go.

The Market Snapshot will give you a good starting point to see the overall market. It will show you what areas of town are the most expensive, how long things are out there, what things are selling for, how many homes are listed, etc. . . It's a good overview to start with. The data is a little raw, which makes it difficult to read at time but that is also what makes it great, it's unbiased. It is not a report prepared by someone with an agenda. It's just information straight from the MLS presented to you for you to get from what you need.

Once you have an idea of the market, what you are looking for and how much you can afford an agent can give you a summary of homes that match what you are looking for. Only once you found something you like would I worry about having your agent perform a Comparative Market Analysis to see if the home is priced properly. If you have a good agent to begin with though they won't even waste your time showing you overpriced homes.

I hope this helps and again, please do not hesitate to contact me with any additional questions.

Andres Garcia
Sales Associate, CDPE
RE/MAX Gold Coast Realty
56 Newark Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Direct: 201 795-5200 x340
3 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 9, 2009
Hi AC,

The sources for property data can be divided into 4 basic categories.

1) Tax Records - Tax records and deed recordings are public record, which mean this info is available free, as long as you are willing to put forth the energy to gather the relevant data. You will not obtain information about a property prior to a sale. You will not get information about an asking price, how long a property was on a market, or interim price adjustments. You will obtain sale dates, amounts, tax rates, and ownership changes.

2) MLS Data - You can get MLS data through a Realtor, without the input and advice from a Realtor. Many Realtors will provide you lists or data upon request. The MLS systems do not track all properties that are bought and sold, only those that are sold through the cooperative efforts of Realtor members of the MLS. (I , as well as any number of other Realtors, can provide you data for the Hoboken area. Our company is a member of the Hudson County MLS.)

3) Third Parties - Trulia and Market Snapshot are mentioned in this thread. There are other companies, which also collect data from public sources and/or contract with MLSs to work with Realtors. You can also get AVMs - Automated Valuations. Some of these services are free; some not. Some are available to the public, others are only available to Realtors, title companies, or mortgage companies.

4) Realtor as Consultant/Advisor and Trusted Agent. A knowledgeable Realtor who is representing you will interpret data, find flaws and errors in the data, eliminate extraneous data from the mix, and provide market information based upon studied data and having their finger on the pulse of the market.

Comments and Advice: I strongly support buyers/sellers who wish to collect and analyze data in preparation of a real estate purchase/sale. Therefore, I do not approach real estate with a "gate-keeper" mentality, and am very free flowing with data.

I recommend identifying a trusted advisor (Realtor) with whom you can discuss the data before entering a real estate transaction. The right time to bring on that trusted advisor will vary from client to client. There are so many nuances and so much imperfect data that having someone who can eliminate the extraneous data, and chisel down to the relevant facts can save you frustration, time and money. As you gather data from multiple sources, you will find discrepancies. Ditto on AVMs. A knowledgeable Realtor can help you make sense of the inconsistencies.

As a self-proclaimed data-hound, and spreadsheet nut, I understand buyers and sellers who like to have their hands on facts and figures. Good luck with your research. If you need more specifics, let me know.

Deborah Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group
732 530-6350 Direct
732 530-7755 Main
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 10, 2009
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
The reason Realtors do not put square footage on some listings is, that unless you know the actual square footage of the property and put an assumed number, you can be liable for the difference.

Say you list a house at $700,000 and state that it is a 3000 square foot home, (because the owner told you it was 3000 square foot). Which after the sale, someone figures out this is actually a 2700 square foot house.

Guess who is liable for the missing 300 square feet? Do the math, at $233 a square foot, this is a big deal.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 9, 2009

Be advised that list price/sales price are more often than not accurate.

Be advised that while sites like Trulia offer price per square footage, NJ is NOT a square footage state, therefore, this data is irrelevant. (however, based on my training from Southern Methodist University it often boggles my mind as to why this is not so in NJ - a point of contention for me since I entered the world of RE in NJ v. Texas).

Love and Peace,
Francesca, ePro, SRES
732.606.2931 (Direct 24/7)
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 9, 2009
AC, I just realized that you are looking in the Hoboken area, not Whippany. Sorry about that!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 9, 2009
@John Sacktig,

Most MLSs will have a disclaimer: "Info deemed RELIABLE but not GAURANTEED-ALL Room Sizes are Approx."

So, that clause would not protect realtors? That's good to know.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 9, 2009
Hi AC,

Even though I don't like how zillow averages real estate sales to get a zestimate, I do like their maps and you can get a aerial view of what homes have sold for and what is currently for sale right down to a specific street.

I agree with Andres is that the best person to contact would be a local Realtor in the market that you are looking buy or sell. Second, I noticed that you are looking for square footage of sold properties. I would say less than 50% of listings in the multiple listing service actually have sq. footage available. Some realtors leave it out of the listings, which I am not sure why that is. I find that condo owners know their sq. footage because it is a measurement builders used to market properties, which is a number that has been transfer down from one owner to the next. Just giving you the heads up.

Would you like a referral for a Realtor in the Whippany area?

Angie Perez
Weichert, Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 9, 2009
Hi Kimberly, I was just playing around.. I am the king of the typo.

I agree with you that the only real place to get accurate numbers is through a local Realtor and the Multiple listing Service. A lot of the data that is available on the web is unreliable. I have seen some Zillow information that actually averages out an area with pricing, which makes no sense at all.

Your best source for information is a local realtor and the MLS.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 9, 2009
John Thank you for pointing out my typo, AC the Realtor data base is the Multiple Listing Service - not Multiply.
I have to commend Andres for using Truilia to try and get his 'market snapshot' widget to pay off. I've subscribed to Market Snapshot in the past and where the graphs are impressive the data is not. It is just a method to capture internet leads.
Your public records should give you the date and closed price of the last sale of any property. But not much else, It may have what they believe to be the square footage. But let's be honest. You know your home is 2000 sq ft -. the Tax Assessor has it at 1500. Are you going to run down and have them change it so you can pay more property taxes?
MLS data can tell how many times a property has been listed, for how long each time, at what price was it listed originally - how many tmes did the property take a price reductions and at what time points, and when did it finally sell, at what price and terms.
Square footage I take with a grain of salt from all sources.
Call a Realtor - if they tell you they cannot provide that data it is only because they don't know how to pull it. Call another realtor until you find one who knows and understands the MLS and how to pull data and stats from it.
I hope this helps... and if the editor finds any more typos....oh well....Kimberly
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 9, 2009

There are two ways to get sales information, the MLS and Tax records. The MLS is a subscription service only available to the real estate industry so you would have to contact a licensee to get information from that source. Tax records are public record so you can to access them at the county records office or through various online sites. The problem with tax records is that the information is delayed by about 3 months while the county processes the paperwork. With the market moving as much as it is information that is 3 months old isn't really relevant.

If you are trying to get comparable sales information for a home you are interested in, or if you are trying to get an idea of the price of your home I would ask your agent to prepare a CMA. If you are just starting your search and want to get a general idea of the market I would recommend Market Snapshot or a similar service offered by some agents. Market Snapshot is a service that shows statistical information on homes that are currently on the market and recently sold. The report narrows down the properties to home fitting your guidelines so the information is more relevant to your specific search. If you would like to sign up you can do so at:

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any additional questions.

Andres Garcia
Sales Associate, CDPE
RE/MAX Gold Coast Realty
56 Newark Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Direct: 201 795-5200 x340
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 9, 2009
Mulitply Listing Service?

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 9, 2009
For that information you will have to contact a REALTOR - only the REALTOR Multiply Listing Service tracks that type of data.
Hope this helps...Kimberly
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 8, 2009
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