How to Make the Buying Process Less Stressful

Don’t get overwhelmed by the home buying process. There are seven simple things you can do to make buying a home less stressful.

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Buying a home can be a very stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be. Today, I have seven simple tips to help you manage your stress during this time. Most of these are very easy to do, but many people forget to do them. 

1. Take time for yourself. Make sure that you take some time to meditate, relax, or even do some yoga. If you hire a great real estate agent, they can relieve a lot of stress for you right off the bat. 

2. Limit alcohol and caffeine. A lot of people turn towards alcohol and caffeine when they are stressed. Avoiding them will actually make you feel better at the end of the day. 

3. Make sure you get some exercise. Moving around and exercising are great ways to relieve stress. A 30-minute walk each day can make a world of difference for your stress levels and overall health. Walking from house to house doesn’t count. 

4. Get enough sleep. Six to eight hours of sleep is ideal, so try to get as close to that range as you can. 

Make sure that you get enough exercise and rest.

5. Sit and count backward from 20. This stress relief tactic will relax your mind and help you focus on your end goal instead of whatever obstacles are in your way. 

6. Stop aiming for perfection. Things are never perfect and never will be. Don’t live your life under a microscope. Allow your agent to find you a great home that you will be happy in. Even if there are a few minor issues, don’t worry. You can always make some changes if you want. 

7. Remember that no one person can control everything in a real estate transaction. Once you accept that there are a lot of different moving parts that need to align, you can trust the people you’ve hired to do what they do best. 

If you have any other questions about relieving stress during the home buying process or about real estate in general, give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!

Debunking 4 Common Home Inspection Myths

There are a lot of myths surrounding home inspections. I wanted to address the top four myths so you can avoid making costly mistakes as a result.

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When it comes to home inspections, there are a lot of myths out there that people believe. Today I wanted to debunk the top four myths for you.
  1. New construction homes don't need an inspection. We're seeing a lot of buyers asking to skip out on their inspections for their new builds, perhaps to save time or money. This is a mistake; if nothing else, the inspection can give you peace of mind and a degree of protection by letting you know exactly what you have. Compared to the cost of unexpected repairs, an inspection is absolutely worth it.
  2. You don't need to check radon gas levels. Some people incorrectly assume that walkout basements and crawl space foundations naturally prevent homes from having high radon levels. However, radon is produced naturally by uranium in the soil, meaning it can enter your home through any cracks or openings, so homes with walkout basements or crawl space foundations can have just as high a radon level as those with enclosed basements. We recommend that every one of our buyers who is purchasing a home with any type of basement tests for radon no matter what; it's better to be safe than sorry.

  3. Just because a home is brand new doesn't mean it's flawlessly built.

  4. Concrete slab movement means there are foundational issues. Since the earth is always moving, slab movement is unavoidable. However, this doesn't indicate foundational issues because the slab itself is separated from the foundation. A thorough home inspection can provide details on the integrity of the foundation.
  5. Moisture in the glass means you need new windows. Windows that have a broken seal can sometimes attract moisture that turns into incessant fog. If this happens, it doesn't mean you have to replace the entire window, but rather just the glass. This will save you a lot of money.
If you have any questions about these inspection myths or you need a referral for an awesome home inspector, don't hesitate to reach out to us. Likewise, if you have any questions about real estate in Northern New Jersey, give me a call or send me an email. I'd be happy to help!

Why You Can't Trust Zillow's Zestimate

Zillow has become one of the most popular online real estate information resources, but you have to be careful with the Zestimate feature. This valuation is almost always inaccurate.

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As you may know, Zillow is one of the most popular online home valuation tools. Their Zestimate is the site's online evaluation of your home's value. How do you know if the Zestimate is correct?

Unfortunately, it probably isn't.

I wanted to give you a heads-up against relying on Zillow to make any sort of real estate decision, whether you're buying or selling a home. Buyers and sellers rely more and more on these online evaluations, and yet, these estimates are just that–estimates. The best illustration of this comes from the CEO of Zillow himself, whose home sold for 40% less than the Zestimate! 

I won't deny that Zillow is a great real estate resource, but there are certainly a few caveats. First, remember that there are certain factors that Zillow can't take into account, like an irregular lot size, buyer demand patterns, the local market, home improvements that affect a home's value, or unique circumstances surrounding past home sales.

Zillow's own CEO sold his home for 40% less than its Zestimate!

Zillow doesn't get data from the MLS like professional agents do. The MLS is the most complete and accurate source for listings. Professional agents, on the other hand, study the market, live in the market, research relevant sales, and have often personally been inside many homes that are for sale or have recently sold. This is the kind of knowledge that you need to truly determine the value of a home.

In fact, Zillow even states that their median nationwide error is 7.9%, and half of their Zestimates are off by even more than that. You deserve better! This is even more true for luxury homes because of their unique features.

If you have questions about your home's actual value or you have any questions about the Northern New Jersey real estate market, give me a call or send me an email. I'd love to help you out in any way I can!

Why You Shouldn't Overprice Your Home

When you're selling your house, the price you choose is the most important aspect. There are three reasons why overpricing your home will cause major problems in your home sale.

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When you're selling your home, deciding on a price is the most crucial aspect of the real estate process. Overpricing your home can cause a lot of problems.

Sometimes we have sellers wanting to list their home at a price higher than the home's market value hoping that a buyer will make an offer that they can negotiate on, or they can simply reduce the price later.

There are three major reasons why you should avoid overpricing your home when selling, though:

  1. Overpriced listings can scare off buyers and agents. Most buyers believe that if sellers were willing to take a lower price, they would have simply priced their home for less in the first place, and they don't see the home at all. If they do see the home, they'll still be hesitant to write an offer.
  2. Homes that are overpriced spend significantly more time on the market, and statistics show this. The most impact your home will have is in those first few weeks as a fresh listing on the market. That's the time when your house will receive the most attention from buyers and agents. If your house spends those first few weeks at the wrong price, it may mean missing out on serious buyers who have been waiting for a home just like yours.
  3. If you overprice your home, it will be dropped from many online searches. Since buyers have to search within a budget, they cap online searches at a certain price range. According to the National Association of Realtors, 80% of home buyers in 2015 found the home they bought online.

Overpricing your home can scare off buyers and agents alike.

Pricing your home at market value rather than above it will expose your home to the maximum number of buyers out there.

If you have questions about pricing your home properly or you're thinking about getting into the Northern New Jersey real estate market, give me a call. I always look forward to hearing from you.

The 3 Traits to Look for in a Home Inspector

Once your offer has been accepted on a home, the next step is getting a home inspection done. When you’re deciding who you want to do your home inspection, it’s a good idea to interview a few different companies.

You want a home inspector who can give you a full rundown of everything wrong with the home, everything that needs to be fixed, and everything that can wait. There are three different things to think about when hiring a home inspector:

1. Credentials. Make sure the inspector is licensed in New Jersey and is both professional and responsible.

It’s a good idea to interview a few different inspectors.

2. Experience. Everybody has to start out somewhere, but you’re better off picking a more experienced inspector. You want someone who is familiar with the builders and structures within the area.

3. Communication. Written reports are required in New Jersey, so you want to hire someone who can communicate well both in writing and in person. There are many things you should discuss with the inspector to determine if a house is desirable or not.

We have a 22-year history and relationships with many inspectors in the area. If you need a recommendation, we’d be happy to provide you with a list of our recommended inspectors that our past clients have enjoyed working with. If you have any other questions, please feel free to give us a call or send us an email at any time. We would be happy to help you!

6 Ways to Improve Your Home Before Selling

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These days, you can do almost anything online. Shopping, dating, socializing, and more can be done from anywhere you have an internet connection. Home buyers have started beginning their searches online as well.

Because of this, home sellers need to make sure they have a strong web appeal. We take special care to make sure our homes are picture perfect when they are viewed online. Here are our top six tips for improving your Bergen County home’s web appeal.

  1. Ensure there is plenty of light. The more light you have in a room, the bigger it looks. Light helps to sell a home.
  2. Declutter the home. You want the focus to be on your home itself, not on the fridge magnets or other knickknacks you have strewn about. It’s important for buyers to be able to visualize themselves living in your home. Most things should be boxed up and packed away.
  3. Stage your home. Organize your home in the right way, which will make it appealing to the most number of buyers possible. A professional stager can surely help with this.
  4. Clean up the backyard. A dirty backyard is a deal killer. Put away any tools or yard equipment that are lying around and emphasize your green and open spaces.
  5. Improve the rooms. If a room isn’t up to par, we won’t include it on the online listing. From that point, it’s your job to make sure it looks its best when people come to visit the home. Walls and floors need to be spotless.
  6. Tend to your garage and basement. If you have time to get them sorted out, we urge you to do so. Buyers will like to see how much space they really have to work with. It’s hard to picture that with a full room.

You want the focus to be on your home itself.

If you have any questions for us about improving your home’s web appeal, don’t hesitate to ask. Give us a call or send us an email any time!

How Pets Impact Your Home Sale

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Pet owners are confident that having a dog, cat, or other animal improves their life. Anybody with a pet knows it can be difficult to live without them, but did you know that owning a pet has been proven to do much more? 

Pet ownership directly benefits a person’s physical and mental well-being. Dogs, in particular, can diminish depression, calm you down, ease loneliness, encourage exercise, and boost your overall vitality. Caring for a dog has been shown to improve the self esteem of children as well. 

Where can you find the perfect pet? If you’ve decided on a specific breed, we recommend looking for a rescue group that caters to that specific breed. They will cost considerably less here than from a breeder.

Rescue groups and shelters are great places to find a pet.

Animal shelters have a wide selection of not only cats and dogs, but birds, horses, and other animals. You can usually find anything in a shelter that you could in your local pet store. Here is a list of some shelters here in New Jersey to help you get your search started to find some forever pets. Some great websites are,,, and

Now when it comes to having pets and trying to sell your home, it can make life more difficult. Pet odor and dog toys lying around are just a few issues you’ll face. To ensure you get the most money possible on your sale, you’ll need to stage your home so that it appears as if you’re not a pet owner. The last thing you want to do is scare off the perfect buyer who’s in love with your home but fearful of pets. It’s an easily avoidable deal-breaker.

If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We’re happy to help you any time.

Big Remodels Don’t Make Big Money in Bergen County

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Not all home improvements create an equivalent return on your investment, but there are certain types that can add value to your property in Bergen County.

Now is a great time to sell in Bergen County, but before you put your home on the market, it’s important to have it looking great, and in the best condition possible. Making a lot of inexpensive repairs can actually save you more money. We’re in a shifting market, so even small improvements like replacing carpet, painting, some landscape work, and even just cleaning can net you more money when you sell.

In the Bergen County real estate market, buyers are looking for homes in good condition that are also priced well. There’s no need to do a massive remodel because it won’t really net you a lot of extra money when you go to sell.

Buyers are looking for homes in good condition that are also priced well.

If you’re unsure about what to do with your home before you sell, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We don’t want you to put lots of money into a renovation and not see a return. Sometimes what you like in a renovation might not be what buyers like.

As always, we’re here for your questions and grateful to be your community real estate resource. Please reach out to us at any time over the phone or by email.

How to Help Your New Jersey Home Stand Out When Selling

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Today we are going to talk about the secret to a successful home sale in New Jersey. Investing in property is a good way to produce a nice return on investment. To ensure your home sells for its market value, there are a few things to consider to make sure the house appeals to buyers. Honest selling is always a recipe for success in any business relationship.

If you’re planning on selling in the near future, you’re in luck. We have five tips for you to make sure your sale is a success. Here they are:

1. Declutter
First impressions last and the way buyers see your house for the first time will determine their overall opinion of it.

2. Clean
The best way to give your home a good look is by cleaning it. Do a deep clean, getting every nook and cranny both inside and outside of your home. Doing this will highlight the most important features of your home.

3. Lighting
Poor lighting will make your house look small, dark, and unappealing. Make sure each room is illuminated, either with interior lights or sunlight from the outside.

4. New paint
A fresh coat of paint will make the home look brand new. Neutral colors work best.

5. Stage your home
As we’ve already mentioned, it’s the little things that make all the difference. By staging your home, you’re making sure every room looks attractive to buyers. We can give you advice on how to set up your existing furniture, or help you get new furniture in there temporarily.

By following these 5 tips, you will give your New Jersey home a much better shot at selling this spring. If you have any questions for us, feel free to give us a call or shoot us an email. We look forward to hearing from you!

How Practicing Yoga and Meditation Can Improve Your Life

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Studies have shown yoga and meditation help the entire body physically, mentally, and spiritually. Both can increase your overall health, fitness, and well-being. When practiced together, they strengthen the mind-body connection, bringing you a sense of inner peace and preserving an emotional balance.

One of the benefits of meditation is stress-relief. If stress causes you anxiety and muscle tension, a few minutes of meditation a day can be a great way to help remedy negative energy. Meditation gives you a sense of calm, peace, and balance to carry you through the day.

Another benefit is inner peace. Meditating is like taking a short vacation to find the peace right within us. Inner peace involves dedicating time to yourself to regain control over your life and reflect on what’s going on with you.

Yoga is also one of the best ways to calm a busy mind. Yoga gives you improved self-awareness. The mind is constantly swinging from the past to the future, and never staying in the present. Yoga can help us acquire a balanced state of awareness that will give us a sharp mind, peacefulness, and joy. Yoga brings the mind to the present moment.

Yoga and meditation also increase energy. Do you feel completely drained by the end of the day? You aren’t alone. A few minutes of meditation every day is a highly effective solution, leaving you refreshed and recharged after a hectic day.

Not only that, meditation brings harmony to your home. You will become calm and joyful, and emit that energy into your home environment.

There are quite a few yoga studies in our area, all of which aim to connect the mind and body through careful breathing and movement. Go to,, or to learn more.

As you can see, yoga and meditation have several benefits that can extend to your work and home environment. If you have a dog, consider looking into the new movement, Doga, which is yoga you can do with your dog. Doga combines meditation, gentle stretching, and massage for you and your dog to strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend.

If you have any questions about today’s video, or about real estate, just give us a call or send us an email. We would be happy to help you!