September/october 2017: VOLUME 3 ISSUE 4
5 YEARS LATER SUPERSTORM SANDY
YOU HELP THEM FIND A HOME, WE’LL HELP MAKE IT THEIRS. AS LITTLE AS 3% DOWN • UP TO $2,000 BACK You care about your clients’ homebuying journey and so do we. That’s why you can count on us to help put homeownership within reach through low down payment options and up to $2,000 in grants and discounts. Contact me today about working together to help your clients: Darcie Gore Senior Lending Manager 1-201-273-5063 email@example.com NMLS ID: 536274 For real estate and lending professionals only and not for distribution to consumers. This document is not an advertisement for consumer credit as defined in 12 CFR 1026.2(a)(2). All home lending products are subject to credit and property approval. Rates, program terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Not all products are available in all states or for all amounts. Other restrictions and limitations apply. Home lending and deposit products offered by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC ©2017 JPMorgan Chase & Co. 36472-0517
President's View: Invest in Yourself
CEO's Desk: We Believe in Charlie
Events and Deadlines
Dressed for Tech Success
Legislative Update: A Clarification on
Where's the Real Value?
Town Spotlight: It's All About Asbury
Real Estate Market Report
A State Restored
Centennial Timeline: 1990-2009
Charlie Oppler for NAR First VP 2019
Cyber Security Tips
Style Guide: Energized Efficiency
For What It's Worth
Real Talk: Your Favorite Place in NJ
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PRESIDENT'S VIEW New Jersey REALTOR® ®
A publication of New Jersey Realtors
10 Hamilton Avenue Trenton, NJ 08611 609-341-7100 njrealtor.com
BY BOB OPPENHEIMER
Jarrod C. Grasso, RCE Chief Executive Officer COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT Allison Rosen Director of Communications Colleen King Oliver
Deputy Director of Communications
2017 OFFICERS Robert Oppenheimer President Christian Schlueter
Invest in Yourself
First Vice President
ADVERTISING SALES Scott Vail | 973-538-3588 email@example.com Laura Lemos | 973-822-9274 firstname.lastname@example.org New Jersey Realtors® provides legal and legislative updates as well as information on a variety of real estate related topics solely for the use of its members. Due to the wide range of issues affecting its members, NJ Realtors® publishes information concerning those issues that NJ Realtors®, in its sole discretion, deems the most important for its members. The content and accuracy of all articles and/or advertisements by persons not employed by or agents of NJ Realtor® are the sole responsibility of their author. NJ Realtors® disclaims any liability or responsibility for their content or accuracy. Where such articles and/or advertisements contain legal advice or standards, NJ Realtors® recommends that NJ Realtors® seek legal counsel with regard to any specific situation to which they may seek to apply the article. New Jersey Realtor ®, publication number 13260. Published bi-monthly each year. Member subscriptions allocated annually from annual dues: $3. Non-member annual subscription: $10. Known office of publication: 10 Hamilton Avenue, Trenton, NJ 08611. Periodicals postage paid at Trenton, NJ 08611 and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address change to Editor, 10 Hamilton Avenue, Trenton, NJ 08611.
2 | NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | September/October 2017
t’s difficult to imagine how any of us could find ourselves in an unsafe situation. It’s easy to see how it could happen to someone else, but we’re all guilty of the it could never happen to me line of thinking. On one hand, it’s good to stay positive and not allow negative thoughts to intrude and override your day. On the other hand, ignorance is not always bliss. We are networkers, greeters, conversationalists, schmoozers, listeners, talkers, and so much more to our clients. While our business is predicated on friendliness and personality, we must remind ourselves that it also operates on professionalism and protection. And that protection extends to every detail of your real estate life. Consider your car: You use it to put out open house signs, attend closings, and go on showing after showing. I’m sure you have auto insurance, but do you know if that insurance would adequately cover you if you were to get in an accident with a client in the car? Does your broker require additional coverage if you’re using it for business? Maybe it makes sense for you to add a personal umbrella policy as extra protection for your assets. If you’re thinking “What assets?” maybe it’s time for you to pay more
attention to keeping your finances safe and secure as well. I’ve talked about the importance of knowing, understanding, and implementing a strategic financial plan before, but it’s worth mentioning again. For so many of us, the road through taxes, retirement, and longterm growth is bumpy. Our income is not always steady, and planning and preparing real estate finances is unlike any other industry. It is your responsibility to learn how to protect any assets you do accumulate. It's worth investing in yourself and your business up front to enjoy the long-term benefits. Whether that's increased insurance for peace of mind or a course teaching you how to keep your finances safe, your business, career, and future successes are undoubtedly worth it.
FROM THE CEO'S DESK
We Believe in Charlie To date, New Jersey has witnessed only two Realtors® assume the role of National Association President. They were Alexander Summer in 1951 and C. Armel Nutter in 1960. It’s been a long time since New Jersey was fortunate enough to endorse a candidate for a senior leadership office of the National Association of REALTORS®. But, this year, we are so proud to announce our endorsed candidate for the First Vice President of the National Association of Realtors® in 2019 is Charlie Oppler. Charlie, a Realtor® from Franklin Lakes, is a CEO of Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in Tenafly, where he specializes in residential brokerage. Charlie is a 2004 NJ Realtors® Past President and we have total faith he is the best choice to lead the National Association. I can tell you that Charlie is, above all else, for the member. He believes the membership should always come first. He is a Realtor® who has held all levels of positions in this business and with over 20 years of leadership experience at the local, state, and national level, he understands what is needed to lead and has the ability to deliver it. He began his career, like so many of you, as a salesperson. In 1984, he became an office manager, then a small broker, and then teamed up with his partner, Randy Lyn Ketive, to start their company in 1992 with just 12 agents. Together, they have continued to grow, and in December of 2008, they acquired Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty and now have
12 offices with 625 agents. His participation as a Federal Political Coordinator and a $50,000 RPAC Hall of Fame investor demonstrates his commitment to efforts on Capitol Hill and every Main Street in America. Charlie is a proven leader who will put in the work each and every day to help the association grow. He believes in the value and voice of every single member and will equally represent them as part of the national leadership team. New Jersey Realtors® stands firmly behind Charlie Oppler for NAR First Vice President in 2019 and we hope you will join us. I encourage you to please take some time to review Charlie’s full credentials, which can be found on page 20. You will see why Charlie Oppler is the first New Jersey Realtors® endorsed candidate to run for National Leadership in more then five decades.
Jarrod C. Grasso
NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | september/October 2017 | 3
EVENTS AND DEADLINES >> SEPTEMBER
4 NJ Realtors® office closed
1 2017 Realtors® Conference & Expo
Labor Day observed
12 NJ Realtors® Board of Directors meeting
23, 24 NJ Realtors® office closed
Pines Manor | Edison
19 RPR webinar
Three Ways to Build Listing Inventory
22 NJ Realtors® Good Neighbor Award deadline
4 Triple Play Realtor® Convention & Trade Expo
26 NJ Realtors® YPN hosts Realtor® Family Feud
8 RPAC 2017 end of year deadline
29 Deadline to invest $100 in RPAC for 2017 COE unit
25 NJ Realtors® office closed
Christmas Day observed
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Dressed for tech success BY ALEXANDRA PUCCIARELLI
onnectivity is key in real estate. While you may be relying on your Apple Watch to keep you updated or a Fitbit to keep you active, here are some other ways different industries are making the most of wearable tech. Wearable technology is having a major moment, and while the consumer side gets most of the press, it’s becoming more and more of a force in the workplace safety sector. According to John Sadler of Sadler Insurance, “wearable tech is impacting businesses of all sizes because employees are bringing their own tech to work in the form of smartphones, Google Glasses, fitness watches, etc.” So it makes sense for companies to begin using wearable technology to help improve their businesses and employees’ working conditions.
and utilizes a portable variable damper to hold the body weight and lessen the stress put on the wearer’s joints. Chairs are not typically used on assembly lines because they take up too much room, so a chair attached to the user is a rather elegant and simplistic solution. The creators of the Chairless Chair also envision it being used in the future by commuters, retail workers, and surgeons.
Long haul trucking companies have begun outfitting their drivers with Google Glasses to cut down on accidents. The glasses are equipped with an app to alert tired drivers when their eyes begin to close.
As interesting as all of these innovations sound, the issue of employer and employee privacy comes into play. Employers have their own set of anxieties with a risk to employees bringing their personal wearable technology (i.e. Google Glasses and fitness trackers) into the workplace. According to Sadler, these issues can be “addressed with employee handbook rules on wearable tech, employee contracts with anti-piracy provisions, and of course insurance.” For example, the InZoneAlert Vest combats these issues by giving each user a temporary identification number that only marks where they are in space with no clear identifiers to show who the user is.
Google Glass apps are also being used by firefighters and first responders to provide instant access to building floor plans, fire hydrant locations, and manufacturer vehicle extraction instructions. Firefighters are also beginning to be outfitted with fire resistant clothing that has embedded sensors to transmit respiration rate and other vitals to crews stationed on the outside.
The use of wearable technology in the workplace has the ability to not only change the way people work, but also how employers keep their employees safe. This type of technology could become more ubiquitous as these devices and programs are invented, but it's important to keep in mind collateral effects it will have on workers, who likely won't have a choice in the matter.
The Switzerland–based startup Noonee has created a wearable mechatronic system referred to as the Chairless Chair to help ease knee and back issues for people who work on assembly lines. The Chairless Chair is an exoskeleton that allows people to sit almost anywhere NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | September/October 2017 | 5
L E G I S L AT I V E U P D AT E
A Clarification on Adult Communities BY DOUGLAS M. TOMSON
or nearly 10 years, New Jersey Realtors® has worked in conjunction with the Ocean County Board of Realtors® to address issues concerning ownership and occupancy age restrictions in adult communities. New Jersey Realtors® worked diligently on this issue after receiving multiple complaints over the years from Realtors® and their clients who were limited from buying or selling properties in agerestricted communities. New Jersey Realtors® and the Ocean County Board of Realtors® met with representatives from agerestricted communities, attorneys, and town councils to address the shared belief that state and federal law only allow age-restricted communities to restrict occupancy, not the ownership, of homes in their communities. In recent correspondence to Department of Community Affairs Commissioner, Charles A. Richman, NJ Realtors® cited the Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995 at the federal level and Pamphlet Law 2008 at the state level. Neither federal or state laws limit ownership of homes in age-restricted communities; only occupancy.
6 | NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | September/October 2017
Realtors® have noticed many agerestricted communities preventing the sale of a home to anyone below the acceptable age, even if the buyer indicates he or she will not live in the home being purchased. For example, the bylaws of an agerestricted community may prohibit the sale of a home to a child buying a home for their parents, which is contradictory to state and federal laws.
...age-restricted communities cannot prohibit the sale of a home based on the owner’s age. New Jersey Realtors® sought clarification from the DCA as to whether age-restricted communities, through their bylaws, can prohibit the sale of a home based on age, even when it is certified that someone over the applicable age will reside in the unit, or if by prohibiting such a sale, an age-restricted community is violating federal and/or state law. The DCA’s response yielded the results we expected.
In a formal letter, the DCA commissioner stated “both federal and state laws limit the age of the occupants of the home in age-restricted communities, not the age of the owner of the home. Therefore, age-restricted communities cannot prohibit the sale of a home based on the owner’s age. However, they may require an owner or purchaser to certify that the units will be occupied by a person that meets the age restriction.” As the leading advocate for homeowners and private property rights in the state, New Jersey Realtors® is pleased to have received clarification that agerestricted communities cannot limit the ownership of homes to those over the applicable age. For additional resources and to learn more about New Jersey Realtors® Government Affairs issues, visit: njrealtor.com/government-affairs.
N E W J E R S E Y L E G I S L AT I V E B I L L S A4288 - Muoio (D15), Gusciora (D15)/ S2758 - Turner (D15)
A4304 - Conaway (D7), Wimberly (D35)/ S2957 - Cruz-Perez (D5)
A4459 – Bucco (R25)/ S2891 – Bucco (R25)
Criminalizes certain actions of individuals who offer rental of residential property they do not own or legally possess.
Requires compilation of, and public access to, tests of soil lead levels.
Requires Attorney General to provide active supervision of certain occupational and professional licensing boards.
NJ Realtors Position: SUPPORT We support this bill with an amendment clarifying that real estate licensees cannot be held liable under the provisions of this legislation so that only those who own a property can advertise a unit in it for rent. ®
Bill History: 10/27/2016 – Introduced in Assembly and referred to Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee 11/10/2016 – Introduced in Senate and referred to Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee
RPAC of New Jersey
NJ Realtors® Position: OPPOSE We oppose this bill as it could stigmatize properties and entire neighborhoods to the point where homes could not be sold. This bill would also not have any impact on actual lead remediation. Bill History: 10/27/2016 – Introduced in Assembly and referred to Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee 1/12/2017 – Reported out of committee and referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee 1/30/2017 – Introduced in Senate and referred to Senate Environment and Energy Committee
NJ Realtors® Position: SUPPORT We support this bill so all boards within state agencies are overseen by the Attorney General’s office to avoid conflicts of interest as the Real Estate Commission is. Bill History: 1/9/2017 – Introduced in Senate and referred to Senate Commerce Committee 1/10/2017 – Introduced in Assembly and referred to Assembly Regulated Professions Committee
REAL ESTATE PROS DO IT
raised as of August 15.
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Real Value? BY REGGIE NICOLAY
THE PROBLEM WITH AVMS Although most Automated Value Models are readily and publicly available to consumers, real estate agents, appraisers, and lenders, they carry distinct disadvantages. First, without a physical inspection, AVMs do not factor in a property’s condition and thereby rely on “average condition” scenarios when determining value. Second, AVMs draw from public records sources, which can be inaccurate and incomplete. “Public records are known for being incomplete and slow to react to changing market trends,” says Karen France, senior vice president of Association and MLS Services at Realtors Property Resource®. “There can be a delay for transactions to be recorded at the local courthouse and then even longer to be published electronically.” In some cases, AVMs include listing information licensed from a MLS that, in turn, can provide a more accurate representation of comparable onmarket properties and information acquired from a prior inspection. 8 | NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | september/october 2017
Yet, according to France, if MLSs are only sharing on-market listings rather than both on-and-off-market information, the AVMs generated are only painting part of the picture when it comes to the estimated value. “Many things can distort the estimated value of a property, including situations where a property is unusual compared to its neighborhood counterparts, access to off-market data is limited or missing, or you’re working in an area with a lot of new construction,” says France.
Imagine the advantages of being the agent who tells a seller that his house is actually worth more than the AVM estimate? Perhaps the greatest concern rising from the public dissemination of AVMs is the prevalence of misinformation delivered by
consumer-facing real estate websites. Lower values may prompt low-ball offers used by buyers as a negotiating point; whereas overinflated values create unrealistic expectations among sellers who want every dollar squeezed out of their properties. Low inventory levels in a market can also affect the quality of the AVM. Fast-moving markets with low inventories cause prices to rise dramatically and quickly, so it’s important to know when the AVM was last updated. An agent’s expertise in determining market value is critical in fast-moving markets, especially when a home’s list price is dramatically higher than the AVM. THE ROLE OF THE REALTOR® WITH REGARD TO AVMS The open-market availability of AVMs, especially to consumers, has become a double-edged sword for Realtors®. It can be a challenge to counter a seller’s expectations when there’s a 5 percent price variance on the estimate found online. On a $300,000 home, that margin of error can amount to $15,000.
Of course, there are times when the reported AVM is good news for both Realtor® and seller, says France. “Imagine the advantages of being the agent who tells a seller that his house is actually worth more than the AVM estimate?” she says. “But only a qualified Realtor®, armed with complete market information, will know how to reach the true market value of the property.” Michelle Gordon, Realtor® and founder of Michiganbased The Gordon Group, JH Realty Partners advocates strongly for getting deep into the weeds when it comes to verifying the AVM. Following the economic crash of 2008, several homeowners in her western Michigan territory, apprehensive about their ability to pay real estate commissions and still stay afloat, opted to go FSBO to prevent ending up in a short sale or selling the property for less than it was worth. According to Gordon, that trend has continued. “The over abundance of FSBOs in our area, coupled with the lack of off-market property data in the AVM equation, caused a lot of hardship for agents seeking a solid CMA,” says Gordon. “In these cases, I have personally gone to the tax sites and spent hours looking up parcels to determine a property’s value. Thankfully, I don’t have to do that anymore.” Gordon is referring to her “go to tool” — RPR’s exclusive valuation model, the Realtors® Valuation Model.
“RPR’s data includes off-market properties, which is a huge help,” she says. “And the RVM gives me a price range for the property based on its own algorithms that also has a confidence score.”
are of a higher quality than those found on public-facing sites. And because RPR has a direct feed from the MLS, the data is updated on a daily basis, much more quickly than public records.”
One of the RVM’s most unique attributes is its exclusivity. Available only through a Realtor® via RPR’s web or mobile applications, the RVM allows agents to deliver this key market information via an array of reports, establishing them as a professional who guides clients using best-in-class tools and market expertise.
France cautions Realtors® to consistently remind clients that AVMs and the RVM are not meant to serve as an appraisal.
THE RVM’S “SECRET SAUCE” RPR’s RVM, which incorporates listing and sales data from the MLS into its algorithm, takes property valuation to a whole new level, says France.
“There’s an important distinction that the consumer should know about.” France continues, “Realtors® determine market value that must be validated by an appraiser. Lenders only rely on an appraisal.”
“MLS data is the ‘secret sauce’ that fills in the blanks found in public records. RPR is partnered with 95 percent of MLSs across the nation. By having that licensed data, including MLS listings, sales and off-market properties, RPR valuations NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | september/october 2017 | 9
It's All About
Asbury It’s no wonder that Asbury Park is racking up accolades like being named the “coolest small town in America.” BY JAMIE BIESIADA
rom its beautiful stretch of beach along the Atlantic Ocean and accompanying boardwalk, teeming with restaurants, shops, and bars, to its vibrant downtown radiating out from Cookman Avenue to streets north, west, and south, the city offers—simply put, a lot. Directly north of the charming beachfront community of Ocean Grove, Asbury Park was founded in the late 1800s after a New York City broom manufacturer, James A. Bradley, visited the area and purchased around 500 acres of land for $90,000, according to the Asbury Park Historical Society. It was named after Methodist bishop Francis Asbury. The city would become a thriving summer resort town. Convention Hall and the Casino building, today's 10 | NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | september/october 2017
mainstays on the boardwalk, were built in 1929, cementing Asbury Park's status as a go-to destination for shopping, concerts, movies, and more.
Today, more than 16,000 residents call Asbury Park home, and it welcomes many times that number in visitors each year. And people are starting to notice.
Asbury would fall on hard times around 1970, which the historical society attributes to other attractions (like Six Flags Great Adventure) and better infrastructure (the Garden State Parkway) leading visitors away from the city.
Budget Travel magazine was the one to name Asbury the “coolest small town in America” for 2017, saying, “There’s a lot to love about this vibrant burgh on the Jersey Shore, offering amazing cultural events, community spirit, and the beauty of the Atlantic coastline.”
But in recent years, the city has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts, thanks to a swath of residents, artists, and business owners rejuvenating its historic and iconic locations, and creating new spaces to house everything from shops and restaurants, to craft breweries and distilleries.
Bella Magazine named the Asbury Park boardwalk the best in 2017, and the Beach Bar made the Daily Meal’s list of the 25 best beach bars in America. National publications like the New York Times regularly highlight the city and its many restaurants.
It’s also home to the Asbury Hotel, named the best new hotel in the country this year by USA Today; it also earned a similar accolade from Travel + Leisure, which says, “This colorful property is Jersey’s hot new gathering spot.” Asbury Park is undoubtedly a hot summer destination. It draws locals and out-of-towners alike, thanks to its easy access via public transportation (a NJ Transit stop drops passengers right across Main Street from Cookman Avenue, replete with restaurants, bars, shopping and entertainment venues). A beach and splash park on the boardwalk provide a family friendly destination for all — Asbury is also both a home and destination to a large LGBTQ population — and the iconic Stone Pony, where Bruce Springsteen famously got his start, constructs a Summer Stage each year to
host major headliners. But summer isn’t the city’s only time to shine. Activities keep the town bustling throughout the year, like Oysterfest, a seafood event held the first week in September; the New Jersey Zombie Walk on the first Saturday in October; and a tree lighting on the first Saturday in December (several pop-up Christmas markets help add to the city’s holiday charm).
number of openings, like Reyla, a restaurant that bills itself as “a new Eastern Mediterranean experience,” on Mattison Avenue, and the Asbury Park Distilling Co. on Lake Avenue, the city’s first modern distillery currently featuring vodka and gin.
Asbury Park continues to play host to new slates of bars, restaurants, and attractions that will keep any local or visitor busy. This summer saw a
The city is home to a vast array of offerings all served up in a decidedly hip package that’s easy to like, with good reason.
NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | september/october 2017 | 11
Market Report NEW JERSEY'S FORECLOSURE RATES, SALES, AND PRICES RISE, WHILE INVENTORY AROUND THE STATE CONTINUES TO DIP LOWER
espite New Jersey continuing to lead the way with foreclosures, sales throughout the state are up almost 8 percent, creating and sustaining a confident market through the summer season. Bucking the downward national trend, New Jersey foreclosures ticked up 2 percent in the first half of 2017, says RealtyTrac, just behind Connecticut and Louisiana. Atlantic City, Trenton, and Philadelphia, Pa. held the top spots for metro foreclosure rates. Atlantic City had 1.71 percent of housing units with foreclosure filings; Trenton had 1.02 percent and Philadelphia had 0.79 percent. Inventory remains significantly low, with a 20.5 percent one-year change in homes for sale on all properties, according to data from New Jersey Realtors, the largest trade association in the state. In June, there were 39,150 singlefamily homes for sale in the state, 10,184 townhouse/condo units for sale, and 2,382 adult community units for sale. “Despite the housing shortage we have been seeing in many areas around the state, and despite the continuation of the foreclosure crisis, market confidence and the pull to homeownership is still thriving,” said Jarrod C. Grasso, CEO of New Jersey Realtors.
12 | NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | September/october 2017
The median sales price for the total market remained strong at $275,000 for the first two quarters of 2017, an increase of 1.9 percent over the same period last year. Pending sales climbed 12.4 percent in the first half of the year to 63,204. For the full reports, visit njrealtor.com/data.
15.1% 64 Days Pending sales in NJ increased from 7,575 at the end of Q2 in 2016, to 8,721 in 2017.
Homes are selling faster in 2017. The average days on market has dropped from 73 days in June 2016 to 64 days.
-19.8% Inventory levels in NJ have dropped nearly 20 percent statewide when compared to June 2016.
In yearover-year comparisons, the median sales price in NJ increased 0.9 percent in June 2017.
Oilheat. Know more, sell more. Tips, Tools, Rebates and More to Help You Sell This Fall At the Partnership for Realty and Oilheat Success, we pride ourselves on being the difference between closing the sale and losing the deal for New Jersey Realtors. And now that the fall season is here, you will have lots of opportunities to close more sales of oil-heated homes. But it’s important to strike while the iron is hot. Here are three tips to help you support your clients this season. Happy selling!
1. Your listings don’t heat with oil anymore… it’s Bioheat®! – Did you know that heating oil is becoming renewable? Heating oil in New Jersey is now Bioheat, which is a blend of regular heating oil and biofuels. Bioheat is even cleaner than regular heating oil, it reduces system maintenance issues and it leads to higher efficiency. Market your listings differently by focusing on Bioheat. For more information, visit myBioheatonline.com.
PRO$ Corner Local Energy Experts Can Make All the Difference
ave you gotten stuck in a deal with seemingly no pathway forward or backward? If you’ve been in this business long enough, we’re sure it’s happened to you. When it comes to listing and selling oil-heated homes, you should never feel this way.
2. Open House? Give buyers a Welcome Pack – Many buyers just aren’t familiar with heating oil. The Homebuyer’s Welcome Pack is a free tool that PRO$ makes available to you, so that you can help your clients get more comfortable with heating oil, especially when they’re looking at a home that could be perfect for them. Just visit OilheatPROS.com/NJ and we’ll send you as many pieces as you need.
3. Old heating system? Rebates available to help your clients upgrade! – Whether you’re working with a seller who is concerned about the old system in the basement or a buyer who is thinking they’ll need to upgrade the heating system after they move in, let them know about available rebates. Your clients can get up to $700 when they install a new, high-efficiency heating oil system in their home. Visit UpgradeAndSaveNJ.com for more information!
Local heating oil providers are energy experts in your market area and are happy to support your business. Because you work with their existing customers and their potential new customers, you can count on them to help you navigate tough situations. So the next time you’re dealing with a tough underground tank situation, or are trying to figure out the best solution to upgrading an old heating system in the home, give your local oil dealer a call. They’ll be there for you.
15 Minutes Can Make All the Difference Realtors know better than anyone that time is money. And PRO$ is here to help you make more money while spending just a few minutes of time. When you or your broker schedule a brief, 15-minute presentation with PRO$, you’ll learn everything you need to secure more listings and close more sales. Our local experts will meet with you in your office, bring our FREE materials and get you answers to the tough questions that can jeopardize a sale. Visit OilheatPROS.com/NJ or contact our Program Director, Susan Janett at email@example.com to schedule your presentation today! Paid for by the Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey and the National Oilheat Research Alliance
A State Restored WHEN IT WAS TIME TO TALLY THE LOSSES, OFFICIALS ESTIMATED THAT SOME 346,000 HOMES IN THE STATE HAD BEEN DAMAGED OR DESTROYED. GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE ESTIMATED THE ECONOMIC COST OF THE STORM AT $36 BILLION. FOR THOUSANDS OF NEW JERSEYANS, THE DISASTER WAS PERSONAL. WRITTEN BY EILEEN MOON PHOTOGRAPHY BY COLLEEN KING OLIVER
here’s little doubt that the state of New Jersey has come a long way since Superstorm Sandy slammed ashore five years ago. When the storm hit on October 29, 2012, whole communities along New Jersey’s 130 miles of coastline were swallowed up and spit out into the ocean. Flood waters inundated basements, halted public transit, and scattered yachts and cabin cruisers around shore towns like plastic tub toys. “People were unprepared financially to take the hit that Sandy leveled,” says Peter S. Reinhart, director of Kislak Real Estate Institute at Monmouth University. Of the nine counties declared eligible for federal disaster aid, Monmouth and Ocean counties were the hardest-hit. “The impact of the storm on the real estate market was hyper-local,” says Tom Wissel, of the Ocean County Board of Realtors®. “Right after the storm, we saw an upsurge in the markets, especially in the adult communities. People were making what I call “lifeboat” purchases – choosing to buy a home in a retirement community rather than hunt for a long-term rental while they waited for their home to be habitable again. The inventory of homes in the retirement communities just disappeared.” Owners who chose not to rebuild — or couldn’t afford to — put their properties on the market. And buyers took advantage of the opportunity to rebuild bigger and better. If the property was selling in the $300,000 range prior to Sandy – lagoon property on the mainland of
Barnegat Bay, for example, Wissel said – the next people to buy it would rebuild on pilings, with home values jumping to the $500,000 range. “There’s a lot of real estate on the Jersey Shore that has never looked better,” says Jeffrey Macpherson, a Broker Associate with Heritage House Sotheby’s International Realty in Shrewsbury. “Sandy kissed several towns that have never looked as good as they look now.”
It’s not one hundred percent, but overall, the area has recovered from the storm. also received a loan from Investors Bank and some help from their builder, Martin Company, which deferred payment on the remainder of their invoice to help the McLoones get the restaurant up and running.
Re-opened in 2016, the new Rum Runner stands some 15 feet above the river. The elevation was designed to protect the restaurant from a future “Everything that Sandy did to us is a storm of Sandy’s caliber, but it is an concern for the resale value of that additional benefit, McLoone says. “It building,” says Macpherson. “The water that came in with Sandy and the provided us with incredible vistas and evil moisture it left behind has been our tremendous views that we never had biggest problem. It’s certainly a topic in before.” every shore town. ” In Highlands, a $2 million Streetscape project is dressing up a downtown Business owners were also dealing ravaged by Sandy five years ago. with the wrath of Sandy. But some buyers worry about living in towns hit hard by Sandy.
Tim McLoone, owner of 10 restaurants throughout New Jersey, had three restaurants knocked out of business by Sandy. McLoone’s Rum Runner in Sea Bright was the most heavily damaged.
“That has made a unique impact,’’ says Carla Cefalo Braswell, president of the Highlands Business Partnership.
“It was a total loss,” McLoone says.
There has also been a surge in new businesses, including a waterside restaurant, the Baypointe Inn, just next door to the newly reconstructed Sandy Hook Bay Marina. In the downtown area, an Italian restaurant, Il Lago, and several small businesses have reenergized the community.
After the shock wore off, he and his wife Beth decided to muster the resources they'd need to rebuild.
“They’re actually purchasing the properties,” Braswell says. “So they’re in it for the long haul.”
He credited Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno with connecting them with the Economic Development Authority to obtain funding for rebuilding. They
In Long Branch, beach replenishment is helping to spur development, notes Reinhart. Two high-end condominium projects—the Lofts at Pier Village, with
Rising waters from the Shrewsbury River inundated the downstairs bar and dining room to a depth of five feet.
NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | September/october 2017 | 15
unit costs ranging from $500,000 to $2 million and South Beach, with units ranging from $1 to $5 million are in progress. “The people are coming back to the beach,” says Wissel. “I grew up a block from the ocean and I would be hard-pressed to get that ocean out of my blood. There’s an appeal to living in a resort community.” “There’s still work to be done," says Wissel. "It’s not one hundred percent, but overall, the area has recovered from the storm.” Macpherson agreed that people are often able to overlook the damage Superstorm Sandy left behind. "When I stood in a destroyed Sea Bright – you turn your back on the destroyed buildings and look at the ocean. The water still has an allure. People will still come down here on a sunny, summer day.” “Overall, Sandy-affected areas have largely come back,” Reinhart says. “Summer rentals are good. The fabric has changed, but it’s still the Jersey Shore.”
All photos courtesy of Colleen King Oliver
16 | NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | September/october 2017
December 4-7, 2017
Atlantic City Convention Center
Photography by Joan Heffler
WHY ATTEND? •
Celebrate 50 years of Fair Housing!
Get personalized guidance at welcome booth.
Special sessions to help newer agents flourish.
70 CE sessions to choose from.
Build your own schedule.
Free morning coffee with exhibitors.
Business planning sessions provide a ‘blueprint’ for your success!
Search “Triple Play” in the app store.
Register early to pay just $89*!
Play Along! #TP17
*When you register online by October 13, 2017.
Hosted by the New Jersey, New York State and Pennsylvania associations of REALTORS®
Looking Ahead The 90s and early 2000s could be best described as a roller coaster of events for the real estate industry, the state of New Jersey, and the nation as a whole. While the mid-90s brought with it rising inventory and sales prices, the state’s first female Governor, Christie Todd Whitman, and a push towards technology, the turn of the century also brought with it Hurricane Floyd, fears of Y2K, and the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Though the lows were particularly low, there was also a surge of people coming together to help their neighbor, coworker, friend. Revisit this year's earlier issues of New Jersey REALTOR® for a closer look at previous decades, and head to 100.njrealtor.com to learn even more about the association's history and to purchase your commemorative book.
Diamond Jubilee The association celebrates its 75th annual convention in Atlantic City.
Household Income New Jersey Realtors® launched the first issue of its membership magazine, New Jersey REALTOR® which had previously been distributed as a newspaper.
Robert Ferguson After 40 years in the position, the association's Executive Vice President Robert Ferguson retires.
THANKS TO OUR 2017 CENTENNIAL SPONSORS
18 | NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017
Share your memories!
September 11 Following the events of September 11, 2001, NAR creates the Realtors® Housing Relief Fund.
Joyce Andreoli Joyce Andreoli retires and current CEO Jarrod C. Grasso is promoted to the position.
Housing Foundation New Jersey Realtors® Housing Opportunity Foundation is created with a mission to increase opportunities for safe, affordable housing in New Jersey.
NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 | 19
for NAR First Vice President 2019
National Association of REALTORS® 2016-2017 • REALTOR® Party Director • Federal Political Coordinator, Cory Booker • Executive Committee
2003-2005, 2007-2013, 2015, 2017 • Member, Board of Directors 2016
• REALTOR® Party Involvement Committee • REALTOR® Party of the Future Strategic Planning Work Group • RPAC State Fundraising Partnership Goal PAG • Vice President, Board of Directors • Distinguished Services Award Council • Institute Advisory Committee • Expanding Opportunities to Encourage Younger Membership • Leadership Academy Advisory Group • Vice President, Public Advocacy Advisory Group • REALTOR® Evaluation Work Group • Executive Committee
• Member, Defining 'REALTOR® for the Future' PAG • Incoming VP, Public Advocacy Advisory Group • Regional Rep., REALTOR® Party Trustee for State and Local Campaign Services • Executive Committee • Federal IE Advisory Board • RPAC Trustees Federal Disbursement Committee • State and Local Issues Mobilization Support Committee • RPAC Issues Work Conference Group • REALTOR® Party Trustee for State and Local Campaign Services • Reserve Fund Work Group • REALTOR® Party Trustee for State and Local Campaign Services • RPAC Fundraising Forum
2007 2006 2005
• Corporate Investor PAG • Membership Structures Review PAG • RPAC Trustees’ Work Group • Real Estate Services Forum • Committee Liaison, REALTOR® Party Coordinating Committee • Executive Committee • Real Estate Services Advisory Board • Real Estate Services Forum • Chair, REALTOR® Party Coordinating Committee • RPAC Trustees Committee, Immediate Past Chair • Hall of Fame Workshop • PAG on Political Survival • Chair, RPAC Trustees Committee • Public Advocacy Advisory Group • Nominating Committee • REALTOR® Party Political Coordinating Committee • RPAC Major Donor Strategy Work Group • Vice Chair, REALTORS® Political Action Committee • Fundraising Opinion Leaders Work Group • Public Advocacy Advisory Group • RPAC Trustees Committee • RPAC Trustees Committee • RPAC Trustees Committee • Region 2 Vice President • RPAC Trustees Committee • Communications Committee
For full credentials, please visit charlieoppler2019.com/experience
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20 | NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | September/october 2017
Real Estate Agents are Top Targets for Cyber Criminals Financial loss from cyber attacks continues to increase at alarming rates, and small businesses are quickly becoming the preferred targets. BY WENDY BIRCHER
BM, which tracks cyber statistics around the world, reported that small and medium sized businesses were the targets of 62 percent of all cyber attacks in 2016. That’s roughly 4,000 attacks per day.
discrepancy. The hacker poses as the agent and asks for a down payment, closing costs, or some other expense to be wired to a provided link, which is a fraudulent account in the hacker’s control.
work purposes, you are extremely exposed. Look for email providers or hosting firms that provide encrypted email, both in transit and at rest. Be specific. Many companies that say they are “encrypted” only encrypt stored emails, but it’s when emails are in transit that they tend to be most at risk.
Three particular characteristics Reports of this kind of attack have of the real estate industry make been popping up across the country. it a target for hackers and cyber And the losses have surpassed six Being mobile is part of a Realtors® criminals: large sums of money pass through transactions; Realtors® have figures. job and is strong reason why all a significant amount of sensitive agents must be knowledgeable information in their control; about cyber risks and know and Realtors® are mobile, how to protect themselves Members have access to a Cyber Security Training Program that provides crucial often accessing information and their clients. Technological information on online scams you are vulnerable on mobile devices or laptops, solutions are one way to to, the benefits and risks of the Cloud, social and often on public, unsecured minimize the risks of hacking media, and much more. networks. and cybercrime. But even the This program is available through ProLearning most sophisticated firewalls at a 50% discount to members. Cybercrime can take many aren’t foolproof —dangerous forms, but one of the most emails still can, and often do, njrealtor.com/member-perks successful attacks affecting get through. ® Realtors involves wire fraud The situation is so serious that achieved through impersonation. That is why training is widely in March, the Federal Trade recognized by security experts as A hacker will gain access to an email Commission and National Association critical to keeping information safe. of Realtors® issued a joint warning to In addition to enhancing knowledge account of a buyer and idly watch communications. As the buyer gets consumers to be especially cautious and helping to maintain ongoing closer to closing, the hacker will in financial transaction instructions mindfulness, there is an added hugely impersonate the email address of sent via email. important benefit to consider. If a ® Realtor® inadvertently falls for a scam the Realtor , through spoofing or the creation of what is known as a Many of the successful instances of and is sued, being able to show they “lookalike” domain that is just one this cyber attack involve companies took every precaution to help ensure character different from the Realtors®’ or individuals that are using insecure the privacy and safety of their clients email address. The average reader email. If you are using a commercial can have a major impact of the is not likely to catch such a small email system like Yahoo or AOL for outcome of litigation.
NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | september/october 2017 | 21
Energized Efficiency BY GLYNIS RATCLIFFE
Energy efficiency has become a major selling point for homes — and it’s easy to see why. The potential to save money on monthly energy bills and reduce reliance on fossil fuels can increase a property’s market value by thousands of dollars.
but do not need to be replaced as frequently and use fewer watts. In addition, LED lighting can be controlled remotely from a smartphone and has dimmers, sensors, However, not every homeowner has made the leap into energy efficient living. If you have potential clients looking and timers to help maximize energy efficiency. Many to maximize the value of their home before they list, there LED lighting systems are able to shift colors to adapt to personal preference, and stylistically the options continue are several upgrades they can make, including these common household items that can be replaced by energy to improve. efficient alternatives.
LIGHTS These days, it’s not enough to replace the incandescent bulbs in a home with compact fluorescent bulbs. The next generation of energy efficient lighting is made with LEDs, which may cost more upfront than CFLs, 22 | NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | september/october 2017
SMART THERMOSTAT While smart thermostats have been around for years, the latest versions are able to learn from the behavior of a home’s occupants and adjust temperature programming accordingly. With a smart thermostat like Nest, there’s the option to choose a more energy efficient temperature
setting to maximize savings, and an app for tracking energy usage and savings. The smart home, in which all manner of energy usage can be tracked and optimized, is now a reality, and thermostats are an integral part of that.
INSULATION Most homeowners are shocked to find out just how much air loss the average home suffers from, with typical fiberglass insulation. Up to 40 percent of heating or cooling bills can be traced back to air loss.
Upgrading to an insulation that not only has a high R-value, but is able to create an effective air seal in a home can really pay off when the property is finally listed. Spray foam insulation has the ability to do all of these things, making it a worthwhile investment, and one that is frequently recommended by the celebrity remodelers on HGTV.
WINDOW FILM For homeowners who don’t have the resources to replace a property’s windows, a window film may be a great alternative. Homeowners from warmer and cooler parts of the country can all benefit from window film, which protects a home's furnishings and occupants from damaging UV rays. In fact, there are many window films that increase the energy efficiency of a home by retaining the heat in the winter and reflecting more of the sun’s rays in the summer.
Photo courtesy of Lutron LED
SOLAR PANELS Photovoltaic solar panels, which can be placed on a house roof and convert sunlight directly into electricity, are out of reach for many homeowners. But there’s a new product available that may change that. A recent Kickstarter campaign successfully raised the capital to launch SolarGaps, which has created window blinds that have small photovoltaic panels on them. Not only are they more reasonably priced, but they serve several purposes acting as shades during the day and storing solar energy that can power appliances and devices, thus reducing monthly electricity bills.
Photo courtesy of Nest
NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | september/october 2017 | 23
For What It's
Worth BY ALEX TAGLIERI
Understanding which home improvements lead to the largest value increase or provide the strongest ROI can help sellers — and your potential clients — make wise investments before they head in to the real estate market. Smaller renovations are bringing in a bigger return than large projects, like a remodel or room addition, according to Remodeling’s 2017 Cost vs. Value report. The only project with a higher return than its cost? Insulating an attic with fiberglass, the report says, which has a 121 percent return on investment in the Middle Atlantic area. The combination of the low cost for materials and high demand leads to the biggest return. On average, the project only costs about $1200, and can generate over $1600 in resale value. As usual, projects that add curb appeal led to a higher return than those done inside the home. Replacing front doors and windows had some of the highest ROI in the report, while bathroom and master bedroom remodels were among the lowest. Replacing front doors and windows had some of the highest ROI in the 24 | NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | september/october 2017
report, while bathroom and master bedroom remodels were among the lowest.
attic, these projects are some of the cheapest on the list, contributing to their significant increase in value.
However, minor remodels to these rooms could still have a positive impact on a home’s value. Small kitchen renovations, such as replacing cabinet fronts and adding energy-efficient appliances, brought a larger return than a complete kitchen overhaul did. Still, no room renovation added to a home’s value as much as external upgrades.
In terms of upscale renovations, a garage door replacement had an 88 percent return in the Middle Atlantic — much higher than its midrange counterpart. An insulated door with handles, windows, and a lifetime
Other projects that can provide a high return include replacing vinyl home exteriors with stone and replacing entry doors, which both bring in over 90 percent in return. Like adding insulation to an
warranty leads to 11 percent more ROI than a midrange garage door replacement, which lacks those extra features. Another upscale renovation with a high payback is replacing an old front door with a grand entrance, which can be completed in one day and generates nearly 69 percent in return. These larger entryways feature decorative fiberglass and stained hardwood, and are sure to leave an impression on potential buyers.
Sandy increases. Down four percent nationwide from last year, backup generators are only bringing in a 45 percent return in the Middle Atlantic, just above a 50-percent return nationally.
Although this report has been a reliable benchmark for the past 30 years, it is important to note that the value of project depends on a myriad of external factors. Adding a deck in a neighborhood full of them will raise a home’s value up to buyer’s expectations, increasing its return on Adding a backup generator continues investment. However, the national report says that deck additions do to produce a lower payback each not have a high payback. Value is year, as the time since Superstorm
highly subjective, and the Cost vs. Value report only provides one piece of the puzzle. While the Middle Atlantic region tended to have lower numbers overall than the national averages, the Cost vs. Value report predicts all regions to trend up going forward.
siding replacement Cost: $15,200 Value: $11,395 Recouped: 75%
Cost: $1,380 Value: $1,671 Recouped: 121.1%
Cost: $21,732 Value: $14,964 Recouped: 68.9%
Cost: $1,818 Value: $1,401 Recouped: 70%
Cost: $1,467 Value: $1,166 Recouped: 79.5%
Figures based on Middle Atlantic region of Remodeling's 2017 Cost vs. Value Report NEW JERSEY REALTOR® | september/october 2017 | 25
Circle of Excellence Sales AwardÂŽ
What Do You Need as Proof? Is it a sale?
Is it a listing?
Is it in the MLS? Yes
Full Mls Printout
Is it in the MLS?
Proof Of Compensation
Is it a rental?
Is it in the MLS?
Yes Full Mls Printout
Completed applications are due to your local board by close of business on January 5, 2018. Absolutely no handwritten applications will be accepted.
Listing Agreement & Proof of Compensation
Full Mls Printout & Proof of Compensation
Did you represent the landlord? Yes
Listing Agreement & Proof of Compensation
Manage your application at coe.njrealtor.com
Proof Of Compensation
R E A L TA L K
My family's favorite place to visit is Cape May. Karen Mohamad, Edison
I love Roosevelt Park in Edison. It has a nice lake with fountains that I often walk around. There is a trail, a meditation area, natural spring water, open air theater, ice skating rink, tennis courts, basketball court, a lot of nature to enjoy. Definitely worth a visit. Sanjeev Aneja, Edison
My favorite place to visit in NJ is Princeton. Both the township and Princeton University have impressive histories, and the extraordinary presence of the historic campus set around Palmer Square makes this town a truly special place. My wife and I walk around Palmer Square as often as we can and take advantage of the many acclaimed restaurants, theaters, coffee shops, and seasonal events. Nick Manis, Dayton
WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE IN NEW JERSEY? Long Beach Island! The tranquility of the water and perfect sand is amazing! As soon as I pass the causeway I relax and unwind. It is my happy place! Arlene Bianco, Closter
There are several places that I am fond of since I basically grew up in Philadelphia and Atlantic City. Atlantic City was a treasure in the 50s and 60s, then it had a falling until casinos were granted licenses. Although it has had many ups and downs, there is nothing that can compare with Atlantic City and its history. Yvonne C. Burns, Malvern
Tell us where your favorite place in NJ is by using #NJRealtors100 /NJRealtors
NEW JERSEY REALTORÂŽ | september/october 2017 | 27
INDUSTRY NEWS Bob Goldberg Assumes Role as CEO The National Association of Realtors® officially has a new chief executive. On Aug. 1, Bob Goldberg took the helm. He succeeds Dale Stinton, who retired after 36 years at NAR and 12 as CEO. Goldberg has been with NAR since 1995 and will be NAR’s 12th CEO since the association was founded in 1908. “This is a dynamic time for the association and the industry, and I am looking forward to my new role and working with Realtor® leaders and staff to advance the association and our members towards long-term success,” says Goldberg.
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Find out how New Jersey bounced back five years after Superstorm Sandy's destruction.