13 homes under contract in Tenafly – April 2012

In a follow up to one of my previous posts, where I presented some stats showing that home sale in Tenafly were down 75% 63% in April, I’m now posting the stats for the number of homes that went under contract in Tenafly for April 2012.

The way that Realtors present their numbers has always been confusing as well as misleading.  And they do that on purpose, so the numbers suit them to their benefit.  When the market is good the use the “homes sold” numbers and when it’s not, they immediately go to the “under contract” numbers, and when it’s soso they like to use national numbers (which have absolutely nothing to do with your local stats).

Since the numbers I posted for April were so out of whack with previous figures (-75%), i decided to dive into the homes that went under contract numbers, in order to make some sense of of the sudden drop.

Rest assured…Tenafly is still on fire, and is still the hottest market in the area and maybe in the region.

The under contract numbers will ultimately move into the “sold” column as these homes officially change ownership.

One of the interesting things to come from this exercise was the fact that __% of the homes that went under contract, these homes didn’t have any price reductions.  I don’t know what the actual sales prices were…but the fact that the listing prices weren’t reduced from their latest listing prices is a MAJOR big deal.

I’ve been saying for the last year+ that Realtors were wrongly reducing prices without reason.  And I’ll say it again…Tenafly is a hot market.  Demand is high.  And there is no reason for owners to reduce their prices.

It’s time for owners to start recouping some of their losses.

If I were selling my home, I’d raise the price 5-10% depending on the price point of the home.  The market in Tenafly can handle it, because the demand is strong, and people who want Tenafly won’t go to another town. They could easily do that right now…but they’re not.

For those who want to live in Tenafly, you have to pay the price…and the high taxes.


8 thoughts on “13 homes under contract in Tenafly – April 2012”

  1. Steve….I love your enthusiasm for homes, real estate and Tenafly…but let’s not get crazy. This one may not be on your list because it just closed last week, but 20% off original listing price (and the home needs at least $100K in updates, probably more) is not an indication of The Fly being a seller’s market yet:

    79 Woodland Park
    Orig LP: $799,000
    Sold: $633,000
    SD: 5/21/2012 UCD: 4/23/2012 DOM: 157

    Many more closing prices coming soon…and I am seeing plenty of price reductions ons the $1M+ homes as well.

    1. Sorry for taking so long to respond, but was in the Hampton’s for the holidays.

      Interesting that you honed in on this property.

      It’s a nice home on a great street…but who would know that from seeing the listing?

      Six horrible pictures, and a listing description that’s worse…it shows viewers that no one cares what they sell it for. So right from the start they’re trying to sell this for less…or for whatever price rolls along

      Is this any way to market a home?



      The home was listed for &699k not $799 as you point out.

      The property alone (15,000sf) on Woodland Park Dr is worth on the worst day $550-$600K…so the sale was worth pretty close to the value of the land alone.

      So now we have a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath structure for $50-80K.

      Tell me that’s not a fantastic deal!

      Taking your $100K renovation number…or even a $200k amount…where you get everything, and add a 4th bedroom and bathroom, above the garage or the “sitting room”…you now have an almost new home $833K ($633k purchase price + $200k renovation).

      This almost new home can be sold any day in Tenafly for $1.2M

      All you need to do is the math…this home was under-priced from the start by 20%.

      This is where sellers lose out big time when people don’t understand the market, marketing and pricing…and when no one is fighting to increase the value of the sellers home..

      You can’t list properties so they sell for less, otherwise that’s what will happen…and that’s exactly what happened here.

      The buyer got a great deal.

      The seller got a fast sale…but sold it for a lot less than it should have sold for. And that hurts everyone in the area, because this is what appraisers look at when people are purchasing a home, or re financing. This sale worked to bring down the value of other homes that are for sale.

      That’s unfortunate.

      1. The original listing price was $799K. It was reduced to $699K after sitting for a bit. 157 days is a “fast sale?”

        We will have to agree to disagree on some of the other things. There is no shot in he** that the house – even updated – and property there could command $1.2M…here is a listing that sold on Howard Park last year after a year on the market:

        31 Howard Park
        Orig LP: $1,065,000
        Sold: $855,000
        SD: 7/26/2011 UCD: 5/23/2011 DOM: 393

        This is a much bigger home and property, only in need of cosmetic touches (tear down the wallpaper, paint) inside and it sold for $855K after being listed over $1M. These prices are an adjustment to the new baseline prices in Tenafly. Over the next few weeks there are many more contracts set to close and you will see that the prices are a continuation of the downward trend to the new baseline.

        There is a brand new house being built on Magnolia that is asking $1.7M. It is a small piece of property, with neighbors breathing down your neck. I say anyone who will pay $1.7M to be squashed in there when they can find plenty else in The Fly if you have that money to spend, is crazy. Your thoughts?

    2. It’s weird that when I look up 29 Woodland on the broker side of the njmls, that it shows the home being listed on 5/1/12 and sold 5/14/12, for $699K. Regardless it doesn’t matter.

      Even if you disagree with my $1.2M sales price, the sales $633 price tag (and a $200K renovation that brings you to $833K) is still under priced. Let’s say that it can only sell renovated for $1.0M…that’s a $177K instant equity on the home. That’s why it’s under priced.

      What buyers fear the most is that after buying a home and renovating it, will the home be worth the the new cost. If it’s a break even deal that would be ecstatic. This one on the other hand has an incredible upside from the start.

      Banks would finance a deal like this all day long, and Realtors could sell those deals all day long.

      As for the other deal on Howard Park.. see homes being under priced and under sold all the time in Tenafly and elsewhere.

      The stats for Tenafly home sales are incredible compared to those of other towns. So if Tenafly homes are over priced by 20% then what does that mean for homes in Closter, Cresskill or Alpine?

      This is the difference between a builders mindset and those of Realtors.

      As for the new home being built on Magnolia, hopefully their agent has a more realistic view of the price than you do, and markets the home accordingly, and doesn’t just wait around for agents to beat the price down so they can make a sale. If you were a builder or a homeowner and risking your money, knowing that agents have a negative view of any price, wouldn’t you price it high?

      Also, how can anyone possible possibly build and sell a home on the east hill of Tenafly and sell it for anything less? That’s what new homes HAVE to sell for in order for builders to build spec homes.

      If they look at it from your pov, then nothing will ever get built…unless the market goes down another 20%.

      Are you saying that builders are stupid for building spec homes on the east hill?

      I look at the business from a different perspective than Realtors, and this is why I’ve always sold my homes for considerably more than others would have SETTLED for.

      I look for reasons why homes can sell for more, while you’re looking at it from the negative…why they have to always have to sell for less.

      What more has to happen in Tenafly for you to see that homes should be selling for more?

      Great conversation…and it’s an important one.


  2. I think you have assumed that I am an agent. FYI – I am NOT and agent. I am just a regular guy who lives in The Fly raising a family and has watched the RE estate crash with great interest. I agree that Tenafly has been outperforming surrounding markets with sales lately…but more important to me is where those homes trade… and most of those sales prices are trending downward. There has been an avg. 20-30% drop in home prices nationwide…it is silly to think that Tenafly could escape that unscathed.

    I think Tenafly is a great town and community…but how come it can’t even support its own small downtown? Sadly, there are a ton of empty storefronts in downtown Tenafly right now, not to mention other closings like Sparky’s after 6 months. What do you think could thrive in some of those downtown locales? What does Tenafly need?

    The 2 recent sales on Coppell will be closing soon. I await those #’s with great interest.

    I enjoy the back-and-forth on the Tenafly market. Glad I stumbled upon your site.

  3. I didn’t assume that you were an agent, but I saw that you were privy to info that only someone with a license (or knew someone who had one) would have.

    No one has watched the crash and aftereffects with greater interest than I have.

    Your comments are all very much on target, and why more people aren’t discussing this online is beyond me. Not even the Realtors are taking aim at this and reporting what is really happening in each town. Facts never mattered to them.

    This is the goal of my blog> Present factual information online, discuss it from my builders/developers pod…which is nothing close to Realtors pod, and hopefully start a discussion like this one, so we can all learn.

    It’s not always a great time to buy a home, and not every town is as good as all the other towns. So not every town is a great place to invest your money in.

    My biggest complaint it that what’s in the best interest of brokers, isn’t always in the best interest of sellers, homeowners and communities.

    Throughout my career, Realtors have always pushed lower prices, in the belief that it’s easier to sell homes that are priced lower…even in the good times. Never has a Realtor come to me, saying that they have a great way to sell my homes for more money (that I wasn’t asking enough). And they were always easy to fold on the price whenever an offer came in. It was always…take the lower price.

    I always sold my homes for considerably more money than Realtors would have. And that is the same philosophy that I bring to this blog and to me selling real estate. The knowledge and experience to see what others can’t even imagine, and to market my projects and homes and listings better than anyone else can, and to create value, so that the homes sell for their highest price possible.

    You cam’t find another agent who thinks that prices should increase. Yes they are all pushing for lower prices…and that hurst all of us.

    Tenafly didn’t escape the crash. We got killed just like everyone else did. But some towns go it worse, and are still performing much worse than Tenafly. One town that jumps out as still being a disaster is Alpine.

    For whatever reason, Tenafly is an oasis in the market. It’s back to where it was before the market shy rocked in sales volume…basically it’s back to a normal sales pace. And prices still have a long way to go before they recover.

    But they can’t recover if the forces are still there that continually push prices lower.

    At this point it’s all about marketing, and providing sellers, buyers and homeowners like yourself, with accurate information about what’s really happening in the market.

    The sun and the moon and the stars are all aligned for sellers in Tenafly to start increasing their price.

    I’d rather sell less homes for more money, then more for less. That would be better for everyone.

    What I;m trying to figure out, is why I’m the only real estate person in the area talking about the market and providing content that will help people to see what’s really happening. This process has opened my eyes to some things that I never saw before.

    I thought the market crashed in 2008. Nope. It really started crashing in 2006…but no one told me!

    The reason for empty stores mostly falls on the shoulders of the Mayor and Council, for not allowing the free market to rule. A town can’t run their retail areas like a mall owner would. They are still anti development and they have no idea how to make it better. It’s also the retailers fault. Most have no idea what they’re doing to attract more customers, and their stores are out of date. They need to get their head out of…the sand.

    Did Tenafly need another pizza joint? No way.

    We need more traffic in town. So restaurants would be good, because they bring a constant flow of traffic.

    The internet is also killing retailers and downtowns. Even Englewood is having major problems.

    Incredibly high taxes hurt as well. As great as the schools are, the sports fields are disgusting, and the school board is out of hand. In 15 years, my taxes started at $16,000 for a new home in 1998…and are now at $35,000. That’s a lot of money!

    I appreciate the chat as well.

    If you’d ever like to do it live I’d be more than happy to meet you at Cafe Angelique for coffee. My treat. You can reach me at snkonefsky@gmail.com

    Look forward to more conversations.


  4. 2 of the homes under contract…Back On Market. Both on Downey, both within a day or two of each other. Besides asking the agents on each, is there a way to find out why these sales fell through? Financing? Inspection issues? Appraisals?

    1. I’m surprised that the lesser expensive of the two came back on the market, because this home is way under priced. The other one…all you have to do is look at the pictures and you’ll see what it’s been for sale forever. When you’re selling it’s all about marketing. I see it as being a knockdown. If I hear something I’ll let you know.

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