When It Comes to Selling Expensive Homes in Essex County, All Towns are Not Created Equal

If you are thinking about selling your home in Essex Fells…or you know someone who is…this post contains some surprising information you should know. For example: The vast majority of million-dollar home sales in Essex County take place in just three towns: Montclair, Livingston and Millburn. Here are the actual numbers for the past 12 months:

  • Sales including homes under contract in Montclair, Livingston and Millburn:              248  (84%)
  • Sales in all other Essex County towns:                                                                                      49   (16%)

All things being equal, a sales concentration like this shouldn’t matter much. But things aren’t equal because the real estate market in Montclair, Livingston and Millburn actually behaves far more favorably for high-end home sellers than it does elsewhere in Essex County, including Essex Fells.

Houses Sell Faster (percentage of $1 million-plus sales that went under contract in 60 or fewer days)

  • Montclair, Livingston and Millburn:         65%
  • All other Essex County Towns:                    52%
  • Essex Fells:                                                       33%

Houses Sell Closer to their Original List Prices (average discounts from original list prices that were required to make a sale)

  • Montclair, Livingston and Millburn:         -$31,968
  • All other Essex County Towns :                   -$58,658
  • Essex Fells:                                                       -$117,667

Is this just a coincidence or is something else going on? Is it because Essex Fells isn’t a great place to live? Or, maybe Essex Fells homes don’t measure up to those in Montclair, Livingston and Millburn. Or, perhaps asking prices are too high. While there can always be specific reasons why some listings sell and others don’t, when markets consistently behave a certain way it suggests a more general cause. I think it’s because buyers in Montclair, Livingston and Millburn believe there is competition for desirable properties. (Go to an open house for an up-market property in Montclair and you’ll see what I mean. It’s tough to find parking.)

When buyers believe they are in competition, a sense of urgency sets in that not only gets deals done faster, it also drives higher prices. That’s precisely what the numbers suggest.

So, here’s how to level the playing field:

Make very sure that your home’s marketing plan is aggressive and creative enough for any reasonable buyer to assume that other buyers are in competition for your home. That’s where I come in.

Before I became a full time REALTOR, I owned an advertising and sales promotion agency in NJ. Much of the company’s work involved the development of marketing strategies for our clients’ products and services. There was never a one-size-fits-all strategy, because each product or service had its own set of challenges. I mention this because if you hire me to market your home, I will take the same approach with your marketing plan. But don’t take my word for it. Read a recent testimonial from an Essex Fells resident who entrusted the sale of his home to me.

Categories: All Posts, Buying a Home, Essex Fells, Selling a Home

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