2016 Apr 1st

Is it a Bad Thing to Try to Sell Your Hoboken Condo when it’s Vacant?

Not every Hoboken seller is selling their occupied primary residence.  Many people moved away from Hoboken when the sales market was not as robust as it is now and rented their condo rather than sell during a down market.  Other investors purchased when prices were low and are selling now to earn a profit.  There are also sellers who, for a variety of reasons (i.e. new job etc.) need to move into a new home before selling their old one.  In all of these cases, they will have to show an empty apartment to potential buyers and they often ask me if that will affect the chances of the property getting sold or reduce the amount they can expect to receive.  Should the seller keep the home furnished (or pay to have it staged) during the listing period?  If the home remains empty, will it be possible to get a good or as good a price?

If you are the proud owner of an empty home, you may have many more questions.  While these are all legitimate doubts, I believe that selling an empty property isn’t difficult.  However, you should do a few things to make your home ready for showings.  Selling a vacant property will not be detrimental if you take the right steps.

First of all, when buyers take a look at your home, they must not get the impression that it has been neglected.  This is very important.  Here are a few tips to improve the appearance of your empty condo:

Living RoomGive your walls a makeover

A fresh coat of paint will greatly improve the appearance of your home.  It will remove dirt and stains from the walls and correct minor cosmetic flaws.  It will also make the home look well-maintained.  That is exactly what buyers want.

While painting your walls, forget about your personal preferences.  You might like vivid colors, but the buyer may not have the same taste.  Choose neutral colors in light shades.  They are a safe bet and likely to appeal to the greatest audience.  Another advantage of choosing lighter shades is that they will make the rooms look larger.

The Turoff Team at KW City Life have relationships with skilled painters and contractors that do excellent work at a fair price.  We can introduce you, and can help to arrange for and supervise the work if you are not available to do that yourself.

Enhance the curb appeal

If you are lucky enough to own a home with some sort of outdoor space (a terrace, balcony or garden) keeping that area well-maintained will easily add to the amount you receive and may be the difference between one and multiple offers.  Buy plants and don’t let them die in your absence.  If you don’t have the time to tend to them, you should get someone to do it.  Also remove all those unsightly structures (like beat up picnic tables or rusty BBQs).  Make sure the grass is mowed and pick up after the tenants dog if they left you “presents.”  This may all seem obvious to you, but trust me, I’ve seen it all.

Keep your fixtures in working condition

It boggles my mind how many properties I go to show to potential buyers where the lights don’t work.  Your light fixtures must be in working condition.  If the lights don’t work or there are burned out bulbs, replace them promptly.  Even minor fixes can increase the curb appeal of your home.

Keep it dust-free

If the home is empty, dust will easily accumulate on the floor.  Don’t forget to sweep the floors before buyers walk in.  Also dust the counters and surfaces.  The insides of the cabinets, too, need to be cleaned.  Potential buyers will likely look at them.  Hire a professional cleaning company to give the place a once-over before you list and make sure they windex the windows.  Nothing makes a place look more inviting than sunlight streaming through crystal clear windows.  The Turoff Team knows of reliable cleaning services too!

Have your floor plan close at hand

Empty homes look larger than they are.  So buyers may have difficulty figuring out the actual size of the rooms.  If visitors request a floor map, you should be able to give it.  You must at least know the dimensions of the rooms.  FYI – The Turoff Team at KW City Life is the only Realtor team in Hoboken that I know of that has a licensed architect on staff.

Get the price right

Your home is as valuable as comparable homes in the neighborhood.  Just because it has been lying empty, it is not worth any less.  You must have decided on a competitive selling price before listing the home.  The Turoff Team at KW City Life knows the sales price of comparable homes in Hoboken and Jersey City and we are here to help you.

Stage it

Finally, you should be aware that a staged apartment will help buyers visualize how their furniture may look in the unit.  Many first-time buyers lack the ability to conceptualize how a vacant apartment will look with furniture.  Fully staging an apartment with rented furniture is expensive and time consuming.  I am a certified staging professional and can share with you many tricks to make a vacant unit appear warm and inviting with minimal staging and at very little cost.  Call me to schedule a consultation.  The Turoff Team at KW City Life is ready to help you sell your apartment quickly and for the most money possible.


Posted by Lori Turoff | Currently No Comments »

2016 Mar 30th

The Weekly Wednesday Wrap-Up – Hoboken Residential Sales and Activity for the Week of  March 30th, 2016

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As of March 30, 2016:

  • 147 active Hoboken listings
  • 129 Condo & Co-op listings, compared to 134 last week
  • 10 Single-family listings, compared to 10 last week
  • 8 Multi-family listings, compared to 6 last week


This Week’s Residential Property Sales & Activity:

  • 20 DABOs (Deposit Accepted By Owner and Under Contract) vs 14 last week
  • 13 Sold vs 15 last week
  • 25 New listings vs. 46 last week
  • 11 Price changes vs. 10 last week
  • 0 expired listings vs. 0 last week


Studio & 1-Bedroom Properties

37 Active listings

9 New listings

3 Price changes


  • 519 Adams St., 3 listed Mar 12 for $375K; increased Mar 15 to $389K;
  • 232 Monroe St., F2FS listed Mar 18 for $449K;
  • 79 Monroe St., 1N listed Mar 17 for $459K;
  • 659 1st St., 203 listed Mar 14 for $469K;
  • 650 2nd St., 3G listed Mar 16 for $475K;
  • 100 Garden St., 3B listed Mar 11 for $485K;
  • 700 1st St., 3B listed Mar 17 for $489K;

3 Sold

  • 224 Jefferson St., 2R listed Dec 14 for $375K; sold for $370K;
  • 412 Washington St., 3E listed Jan 15 for $495K; sold for $515K;
  • 1108 Hudson St., 1B listed Jan 18 for $589K; sold for $$620K;


2-Bedroom Properties

68 Active listings

11 New listings

4 Price changes

11 DABOs

  • 304 Hudson St., 3 listed Mar 17 for $575K;
  • 253 10th St., 4R listed Feb 22 for $605K;
  • 901 Madison St., 4G listed Mar 21 for $700K;
  • 838 Park Ave., 3 listed Mar 15 for $725K;
  • 600 Clinton St., 3 listed Mar 16 for $759K;
  • 1100 Adams St., 317 listed Mar 1 for $825K; reduced Mar 9 to $800K; reduced Mar 23 to $780K;
  • 533 Adams St., 3 listed Mar 17 for $790K;
  • 2 Constitution Ct, 812 listed Mar 18 for $850K;
  • 812 Grand St., 224 listed Mar 4 for $975K;
  • 98 Park Ave., C2 listed Jan 7 for $1.299M; reduced Jan 20 to $1.150M; reduced Feb 5 to $1.090M; reduced Mar 22 to $999K;
  • 1125 Maxwell Ln., 801 listed Nov 19 for $2.635M;
6 Sold
  • 817 Park Ave., 1L listed Feb 20 for $425K; sold for $477K;
  • 908 Garden St., 2 listed Jan 21 for $580K; sold for $600K;
  • 159 Newark St., 4A listed Nov 27 for $629K; sold for $615K;
  • 108 Monroe St., 5C listed Jan 26 for $725K; sold for $720K;
  • 95 Garden St., 2A listed Jan 5 for $699K; sold for $725K;
  • 1450 Washington St., 216 listed Jan 19 for $1.025M; sold for $1.0M;


3-Bedroom & Larger Properties

24 Active listings

5 New listings

4 Price changes

8 Multi-Family Active listings

10 Single-Family Active listings


  • 77 Monroe St., 1 listed Mar 3 for $599K;
  • 504 Hudson St., listed Mar 16 for $6.50M;

4 Sold

Posted by Nathan Turoff | Currently No Comments »

2016 Mar 29th

The Secrets to Knowing What to Spend on Your Hoboken Home

You’ve made the decision to shop for a new home or condo in Hoboken. Planning is a very important part of the process. The first thing you need to do is know what you can afford. If you don’t, and you start by looking at properties that are significantly beyond your means, it’s going to be really hard to like what you can get for less. While it may seem obvious, you’d be amazed how many buyers start the search process without going through the preliminary steps. Here is what you need to do:

1. Check your credit report.

Under New Jersey state law, you are entitled to a free credit report every year from each of the three major credit reporting companies – Equifax, TransUnion and Experion. It’s easy to obtain you need to check it for errors. A bad credit score will hinder your ability to get a mortgage.

2. Count your cash.

This is something you may wish to discuss with your financial advisor, banker and significant other. Be sure the funds are readily accessible and not tied up on illiquid assets. If you are lucky enough to be able to buy a condo for all cash, you can stop reading here. Otherwise, the cash will be your down payment and you’ll arrange for financing for the rest.

3. Get a prequal.

Whether you meet with a mortgage lender in person or do it on-line, you need a prequalification letter. Website like lendingtree.com or bankrate.com have calculators that let you try out different scenarios and even shop for mortgages. All these sites have 800 numbers if you prefer to speak to a person. Going to your local bank is another good idea. They already have access to your financial information and you may have a relationship with them. Whether on-line or in person, you supply basic information about your debt, income and assets. From this, the lender provides you with a letter that states a mortgage amount for which you (probably) qualify. A prequal letter does not bind the lender – they are not obligated to give you a mortgage – and you are not obligated to use that particular lender. But it gives you an important number you need to begin your search. Normally, a prequal is free.

4. Optional – get preapproved.

To get preapproved, you must complete a lengthy mortgage application, supply supporting documentation (tax returns, W-2s) and pay an application fee. Assuming you are really committed to buying, the advantage of getting pre-approved is twofold. You will know exactly what you can borrow so you won’t waste time looking at properties beyond your means.

Getting pre-approved also enables you to move make a very strong offer that is not contingent upon obtaining financing. It lets a seller know your offer is serious. Most sales contracts contain a mortgage contingency and sellers fear a buyer may use it to back out of a deal. With a preapproval you are able to waive that contingency should you need to in a competitive bid situation. It may very well give you the edge over another buyer who is not preapproved, even if their offer is a little higher.

Now you know what you can afford. Next – the search begins.

Posted by Lori Turoff | Currently No Comments »

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