Let’s See About Sea Bright Real Estate

The closest beaches to Rumson and Fair Haven are in Sea Bright, just across the bridge from Rumson. Many peninsula residents enjoy going either to the Sea Bright public beach or to one of several swim clubs. In terms  of real estate, Sea Bright has many fewer homes than the nearby “mainland” communities. In the first 9 months of 2011, only six (6) single family homes were sold in Sea Bright (median price = $657,083). However, there are quite a few condominiums, used both as primary residences and as second homes. Sea Bright condominiums are often used as investment properties, available for off-season rental  or summer season rental. Here are the median prices for Sea Bright condominiums sold by the end of the 3rd quarter for the past seven (7) years:

Year     Median Selling Price   # of Sales (9 Mos YTD)

2005                $506,000                           22
2006                $360,000                           24
2007                $452,000                           18
2008                $365,250                           16
2009                $307,500                           16
2010                $439,500                           16
2011                $329,000                           15

First, I’d like to caution you about the numbers. The “rule of thumb” when you’re doing a statistical analysis is to use at least 20 data points (in our case, 20 condos sold). At that number, each individual sale represents 5.0% of the total number of sales. With only 15 sales this year, each sale represents 6.7% of the total number of sales. Even though we’re using the median rather than the average, we don’t have as many data points as we’d normally like to see. It would be silly to look at one month’s sales in Sea Bright compared to the same month a year ago; you just can’t draw any conclusions.

Let’s add some more information to the picture. Let’s look at the number of Sea Bright condominiums that were listed for sale (but whose listings expired unsold) for the same 9 month period (January through September):

Year     Expired Listings

2005                113
2006                143
2007                164
2008                188
2009                197
2010                197
2011                217

Not very encouraging, is it? Since 2005, every following year had more condos listed but not sold. Why don’t condos (or houses) sell? The main reason is that they’re not priced correctly to reflect the market. It you’re trying to sell your condo, it doesn’t matter what you paid for it, or what you hope to get for it after closing costs are paid. What matters is the current market and what people are willing to pay for a unit such as yours. With internet sites like Trulia and Zillow, buyers are familiar with the market and with asking prices for condominiums similar to yours. They’re not going to pay more than they have to, and they’ll know a competitive price when they find it.

If I’m to be your trusted real estate advisor, it’s my responsibility to give you the bad news as well as the good. I won’t take a listing if the seller insists on pricing it way over the current market in the hope that someone will make an attractive offer. My old CEO used to say, “hope is not a strategy”, and he’s absolutely right. I’m not going to spend my time trying to sell something that I know will never sell, and I won’t waste your time leading you down the primrose path to an unrealistic expectation.

I’d rather have you list with some other realtor and then come back to me after your listing expires unsold. During those 3 months or 6 months, he/she is going to keep telling you what he/she should have told you from the start: you’re going to have to lower your asking price. In the mean time, you’re house is going to be on the market for a long time. Realtors track the cumulative number of days (CDOM) your house has been on the market (not just the number of days for a current listing). When buyers see a high DOM (Days on Market) or a high CDOM it sends up a red flag and they begin to wonder what’s wrong with the house. It’s not a position of strength, and you don’t want to be there when you go to sell your own house or condo.

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Leonard “Len” Dunikoski, SRES
Seniors Real Estate Specialist
Realtor Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760
(732) 530-6686 (office)
(732) 239-0739 (cell)


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