Category Archives: Home Selling

23 Herning Ave in Cranford Just Sold With Multiple Offers!

Your Home Could Be Next!

Your Home Could Be Next! Fill Out The Form Below For Your Free, No Obligation Home Valuation!


23 Herning Ave Cranford, NJ sold on 12/19/2016!

This 3-bedroom, 1 1/2 bath classic Cranford tudor colonial with curb appeal in spades just sold quickly and with multiple offers for $468,500. Want to know what YOUR home is worth? Fill out the form  below to find out!



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Coming Soon In Cranford NJ!!

Every once in a while a truly special home becomes available in Cranford…. here is a sneak peek of one coming soon! Don’t you LOVE the wrap around porch and white picket fence?

319 high st


This home features FIVE bedrooms and THREE full baths! Tons of charm and potential!

Address: 319 High St, Cranford

Price: $525,000

Available for showings beginning  Friday, June 24…. Contact us for more details and to schedule an appointment!  


Broker of Record: Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage (Harold Maxwell) 908-233-0065
Privacy Policy & Terms Of Service – Copyright 2014, Sharon Steele, All Rights Reserved
Sharon Steele – Licensed Realtor® #0789515 – 600 North Ave. West, Westfield NJ, 07090

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GORGEOUS Scotch Plains Home For Sale!


Click HERE to Contact us now for a private showing, or come to the Public Open House at this amazing home on Sunday, May 15 from 1-4pm! Priced to sell at $600,000

We're sorry, but we couldn't find MLS # 3305726 in our database. This property may be a new listing or possibly taken off the market. Please check back again.


Broker of Record: Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage (Harold Maxwell) 908-233-0065
Privacy Policy & Terms Of Service – Copyright 2014, Sharon Steele, All Rights Reserved
Sharon Steele – Licensed Realtor® #0789515 – 600 North Ave. West, Westfield NJ, 07090

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Open House 4/24/16 1-4pmCharming Cranford Cape Cod Close to Nomahegan Park!

Open House Sunday April, 24, 2016  1-4pm

I Romore Pl, Cranford

Priced $475,000


We're sorry, but we couldn't find MLS # 3299680 in our database. This property may be a new listing or possibly taken off the market. Please check back again.

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You Will LOVE This Cranford Home! Open House Sunday 4/10 1-4pm

16 wadsworth terr


PRICED AT $500,000












16 Wadsworth TerrWell maintained Home located on beautiful tree lined dead end street * Spacious Rooms, hardwood floors, gas heat, central air, on gorgeous serene lot with patio *Ideally located to Bloomingdale and  Orange Avenue Schools, Cranford Outdoor Pool, Parks and Playgrounds, Downtown Shops & Restaurants, NY Bus & Train Commuter Transportation * Bring your personal touches and make this home your own * Not A Flood Zone* New roof 2013, new steps retaining wall 2012, New Sump Pump and drainage system 2012, New furnace 2013, New Water Heater 2015, Basement renovation 2012, renovated family and powder room 2013, landscaping 2013, new propane generator.

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What is the “Rate of Absorption” in Real Estate??

There are many factors to consider when trying to determine the strength of the market. One of the indicators we use in determining the health of any real estate market is the rate of absorption (ROA). Simply stated, the rate of absorption calculates how fast homes are selling based on recent sales and homes that are currently available. The ROA indicates how long it would take for the entire current inventory to be sold based on the number of homes sold in a measured period, usually 3 or 6 months. Conventional wisdom dictates that a ROA of greater than six months indicates a market that is “buyer advantaged” with enough inventory to give a buyer choices and perhaps less of an urgency to buy. When the ROA is less than six months, it indicates a market that is seller advantaged. Also, once the ROA drops below 3 months, there is the chance that a marketplace can experience price appreciation due to the current lack of inventory. When compared to the prior 3 or 6 month period, you can determine if a trend towards either type of market is occurring. For instance, the chart below compares the six month period ending June 30, 2013 with the six month period ending June 30, 2012 in Union County.

Rate Of Absorption 6/30/13 6 Months Document

I hope you find this information useful. Please call me at 908-447-3579(cell) with any questions you might have, or if you would like a No Obligation Market Analysis of your current home. I  am always happy to help!

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How To Deal With Termites In Your New Jersey Home

Termite DamageWe’ve all seen them in the old cartoons.  Cute little animated creatures with smiling faces and swirly antennae, that with a whirring sound and a cloud of speedy dust,  eat an entire home from basement to attic, leaving nothing but the bricks from the chimney.  But the real ones are far less cute, and, honestly, who cares if they’re smiling?  They are resilient, can survive in basically any environment, are blind, and actually eat . . . . yes,  EAT . . . consume . . . the wood your home is made of.  There may be no cartoon whirring noise, and the roof might not fall down around you with seconds of their arrival, but the damage can be very palpable.

Termite infestations cause more than a billion dollars worth of damage every year in the United States.  Since termites eat wood from the inside out, you can’t always tell just by looking at beams or floor joists whether or not you’ve got them in your home.  But there are a number of ways to determine if they are there, eating your home silently from the inside out.  And searching for them is a routine part of any home inspection.

Sometimes pencil-thin hollow mud tubes can be seen snaking up foundation walls .  These tubes usually act as pathways from their nest to their feeding area, and as protection from the elements. Poking at suspected termite feeding grounds with a screwdriver can also bring you answers, but be sure you are prepared to face those answers when you are standing there with the screwdriver still in your hand.  (Ick!). Believe it or not, some experts actually listen to beams and joists with a stethoscope to listen for the sounds of chewing termites.  (Again, ick!)   Of course, there is the less-recommended method of simply waiting for the wood damage to become evident and perhaps irreversible in your home.

Once you now you’ve got them, there are several ways to eliminate termites.  By far, the most common method is injecting a termiticide, a slow-acting poison, into the ground around the house at intervals, to form a sort of barrier.  The unsuspecting and unseeing termites walk through it, getting it on their bodies in the process. Then, when they go back to the nest and come into contact with other termites, the poison is passed around to unsuspecting family members, eventually wiping out the entire colony. Exterminators may also bury bait stations in holes dug around the house, with believe it or not, bits of wood as bait, to help in their monitoring of exactly where the feeding and nesting stations are.  They can then inject the termiticide into bored holes more directly connected with feeding stations.

Unfortunately, termite exterminations are not exactly cheap.  Depending on the type of treatment and the size of the property being treated, the cost can run from $1,000 to $2,000. Of course, it would probably cost even more than that to pay Grandma’s medical bills when she falls through the hole in the floor that the termites have eaten.  So it’s all relative.  Not to mention the fact that you are also buying peace of mind, and preventing feeling the heebie-jeebies every time you walk into your basement to do laundry, knowing you are not alone and are greatly outnumbered.  It’s definitely NOT a problem to be ignored, but it’s also not insurmountable.  Just remember – it’s YOUR house, and you are mightier than the termite!

Flickr Image Credit

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Preparing Your New Jersey Lawn for Spring

New Jersey Real EstateThe trees are bare and gray.  The lawn is brown and . . . . well, dead.  No flowers.  No foliage.  Just . . . . bleh.  It can be a little depressing, and certainly doesn’t make you feel like you’re  putting your home’s best foot forward.

Take  heart. Over the next several weeks, temperatures will gradually warm, and life WILL again appear outdoors.   It’s still very early to actually do anything in terms of lawn care, but planning ahead can certainly be done now.   Spring lawn care is important, as early season care has a big impact on lawns for the rest of the year.

One of the first and most obvious things that should be done to the lawn in early spring is removal of debris that has accumulated over the winter. Even if you painstakingly cleaned up all of those leaves and branches at the end of Fall, they have a tricky way of sending their friends to nest during the winter months.  Wait until the soil has dried out somewhat, however, as working on a soggy turf can be quite detrimental to your grass. Raking the turf will remove matted accumulations of dead grass, but will do little for thatch problems.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not helpful to apply large amounts of nitrogen fertilizer first thing in the spring. While fertilizing turfgrasses in spring IS beneficial, it needs to be done in moderation. Heavy applications of nitrogen fertilizer in the spring can actually burn the grass, and cause serious lawn problems. And don’t be that neighbor that has to be “first.” March is not the time for fertilizing.  Wait until the lawn has been mowed a few times before fertilizing, typically very late April or early May.  Choose a quality lawn fertilizer that contains controlled release, slow-release, or water insoluble nitrogen. All of these terms refer to nitrogen sources that will release small amounts of nitrogen to the turf over an extended period of time, which leads to more uniform and healthy lawn growth, and less “burning.”   These materials are especially important to use in spring.

Many homeowners question when to apply crabgrass herbicides to the lawn. Crabgrass generally begins germinating around the middle of May, so a target of early May, or even late April, is usually accurate. Pregrowth crabgrass herbicides need to be put down prior to crabgrass germination in order to work, so it’s better to apply slightly early rather than too late . . . .  but, again,  not in March. Many preemergence crabgrass herbicides come mixed WITH fertilizer, so you can actually do both steps in one.

Spring also is a popular time for seeding new lawns, although it is actually not the most favorable time. If it can be delayed, early fall is actually the optimum time because fall weather conditions are more favorable for the new turf, and weed growth pressure is much lower. That being said, Spring seeding can certainly work out very well, as long as hot weather doesn’t set in before the new lawn is well established. If starting a new lawn in spring, be sure to seed it by mid-April to avoid that problem.  And NOT immediately after using herbicides.

If you’re still feeling a little uncertain about when to seed, use weed killer, or fertilize, you can always ask your friendly neighborhood nursery worker or hardware store employee.  And today’s products usually have a pretty clear set of “when to do what” instructions right on the back of the packaging.  Looking ahead and doing a little planning now can make your job of bringing and keeping your lawn to life a whole lot easier.  Especially since we are all looking forward to bringing some color back to our outdoors . . . . even if we’re not necessarily looking forward to mowing the lawn again.

Looking for a new home? Click here to search the entire Garden State MLS.

Flickr Photo Credit By like totally

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Upgrading A Kitchen In Preparation For Selling A House

ideas for new jersey real estate

Kitchen Ideas From Zillow Digs

Perhaps you’ve gotten used to opening the refrigerator door with the towel you have looped through the hole where the handle used to be.  And maybe you don’t even think twice any more about the fact that the linoleum floor is an exact match for the pattern on the polyester pants you wore in 1975.  But if you are thinking of putting your house on the market, it is worth mentioning that potential buyers will NOT overlook those things.  The kitchen is probably the first thing a potential buyer will look at, it is worth more per square foot than any other room in your house, and it can absolutely make or break a sale.  It is most definitely to your benefit to invest a little time and money into this room in order to get the most come back your way.  Here are some things to look at and consider improving in order to make your kitchen attractive for sale . . . .

  • Plumbing fixtures – If your plumbing fixtures are more than 10 years old, consider upgrading them. If you have standard grade fixtures, such as chrome finish, opt for higher end finishes and materials. Brushed nickel, antique copper and brass fixtures are relatively inexpensive to replace.  When it comes to the sink, choose plumbing fixture collections that offer matching faucet, control, and sink sprayer.
  •  Kitchen appliances – If your appliances are more than 5 years old, consider updating them.  Newer models, a more designer finish, or more features will help home buyers take a second glance at your kitchen.  For top of the line appliances consider stainless steel and professional series lines.  If that’s not in your budget, at least give the appliances you have a thorough cleaning with professional cleaning products to improve their eye appeal.
  • Kitchen cabinets – The cabinets undoubtedly make the look. When entering a kitchen, the first thing to hot the eye is the cabinets.  Cabinetry can be at the highest end of kitchen costs, but also show the most return.  Choose wood over laminate surfaces and add custom features like crown molding, wine racks, glazing, and custom woodworking, to set your kitchen apart and make it memorable. Again, if this is not in your budget, then look at refacing cabinets and add door and drawer hardware, for a new look without the cost of new cabinetry.
  • Countertops –  You can add great value to your kitchen simply by upgrading your countertops.  Obviously, the better the countertop that you can afford, the better the potential return.  Plastic laminate countertops are considered the lower end grade, solid surfacing, concrete and granite is considered to be the higher end grade. Consider overlay countertops that are made from composite granite/resin combination for the look of granite at a fraction of the cost.
  • Flooring – Flooring is often the forgotten upgrade. The general rule for flooring is that the more resilient and longer lasting, the higher the cost of the upgrade is, but the higher return is on investment, as well.  Vinyl flooring and low end carpet is at the bottom of the upgrade spectrum.  Consider wood, tile, and natural stone for flooring options to add value and appeal to your home.
  • Color – Even if you are a big fan of a current, loud color, avoid those trend-setting colors that can make a home look dated later.  Those avocado appliances and pale turquoise countertops that were so popular in the 1970’s will make today’s buyer turn on their heels and run for the hills!   Nature-inspired colors such as terra cotta and granite can add some nice flair while maintaining a classic elegance that isn’t particularly personal and off-setting to others. Softer tones in lighter colors create a more open, roomy feel, and allow you to make a grand color statement with accessories.

 Taking a quick look around your kitchen through the eyes of others can be a wise thing in preparation for selling your home.  Think of how much living is done in a kitchen.  It’s the epicenter of the home.  Most buyers won’t want missing rangetop covers and avocado colored dishwashers in their “epicenter.”  Wisely spent time and money in this room of the house can make the sale for you, and be a very wise investment.  And be sure the refrigerator in your NEW home has a handle!

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Selling Your House During a NJ Winter Is SMART!

selling a home in a New Jersey Winter Few would argue that selling your home is a stressful endeavor under the BEST of circumstances.  Now, couple that with the need to sell in the dead of winter, and you could have a full-on coronary on your hands.  The lawn is no longer green or even brown…. it’s frozen!!  The foliage is dead.  It’s cold, and it seems to get dark right after lunchtime. But, believe it or not, there ARE ways that you CAN and SHOULDuse this off-peak real estate season to your advantage.

For one thing, while it is true that there are probably fewer buyers in winter, there are also fewer SELLERS, which can most definitely work to your advantage.  And remember, often those Buyers who are out searching in the Winter are also the most serious and ready Buyers! And now you’re a bigger fish in a smaller pond. Currently there is an extremely low inventory level and you could greatly benefit from the lack of competition. Most people view the “Spring “ as the optimum time to bring their house on the market not realizing that they are unconsciously giving buyers more choices and a lesser degree of urgency to make a decision to act. Couple that with the idea that the buyers that come out in Winter are definitely serious purchasers, you would do well to expose your home to these potential buyers looking to secure the benefits of the current interest rates while there is less direct competition for a home like yours. If you work to make your house stand out a little, this could be just the advantage needed.

Here are a few tips to make your home more attractive to buyers in the winter:

  •  Perhaps most importantly, look at things from the buyers’ perspective.  They’re cold, too.  They are looking for what we are ALL looking for in the winter time . . . . warm and cozy.  Warm and cozy is probably the greatest selling point of a house at this time of year.  When you know buyers will be coming through, adjust the thermostat to make it comfortable in the house.  If the lookers aren’t comfortable, they won’t stay very long.  You can turn it down to save money later.  Throw some pretty throws or covers around to make it a snuggly-looking place.  Turn down a cozy comforter or quilt on the bed.  Heck, build a fire in the fireplace.  No greater draw than that!  When you take down the Christmas or Hannukah decorations, leave a few carefully placed “winter” decorations up.  If it warms your heart, it will warm the buyers’ heart, too.  That’s exactly what people are looking for in a home.
  • Aside from making the house LOOK cozy and FEEL cozy, you can also make it SMELL cozy.  No, you don’t have to be on hand baking cookies during all showings.  But you certainly can place air fresheners throughout your home.  For winter, stick with the heartwarming scents – warm-baked cookies, vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, apple cider . . . . . let’s face it, we like to eat and smell baked sugary food in the cold months!
  • If the buyers can’t get to the house, they won’t buy the house.  If they fall on their buttocks in front of the house, they probably won’t buy it, either.  So be super-vigilant about keeping snow and ice at bay.  Shovel, salt, and clean up walkways and driveways.  And do NOT forget to clean up the stairs, as well.
  • Winter is a time when many suffer, sometimes unknowingly, from light deprivation.  Many may not even be aware of how much they crave light at this time of year.  So play up all of the natural light in your home that you possibly can.  Pull back curtains and shades.  Wash and clean all windows, inside and out.  They tend to get super-dirty during winter storms, and we often don’t realize just how much that filters light until AFTER we clean them.  Because it gets dark, or darker, so early in the winter, it may be a good idea to put on inside AND outside lights, even before it is dark out.  The dark can creep up on you before you realize it and get to the light switch.
  • Play up the winter positives.  Buyers are afraid of getting into the unknown.  It’s smart to buy an umbrella while it is raining, because you can see any leaks.  This same theory can apply to house buying in the winter.  Let them know that they can weather winter comfortably in this house.  If your street is one that is plowed and de-iced regularly, be sure to bring that up.  Point out the heightened view through the windows while the leaves are off of the trees.  Do what you can to make it a happy place to be when it is cold and depressing outside.

As always, you can contact me for year-round tips on making your house more attractive to perspective buyers . But don’t panic about being a winter seller.  Some of these tips may be just the hook that you need for a buyer.  Oh, did I menti0n that moving companies have a more free schedule at this time of year, too?  BONUS!!! So call me…. and remember that SELLING YOUR HOUSE IN WINTER IS SMART!

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