There is plenty of action in the region this weekend for the 2013 Realtors Nationwide Open House.
Prospective buyers and people just interested in homes are getting to see a lot of housing inventory up close and in person, and real estate agents are making some sales and connecting with future clients.
One of the biggest participants continues to be Balsley Losco Real Estate, in Northfield, which again this year is showing about 100 homes from Friday through today.
“We’ve been doing this every year since the National Association of Realtors started its day,” said Carlo Losco, president of Balsley Losco Real Estate. “Prior to that, we did our own open house weekend, and then went with the national Realtors when they started.”
Losco said he expects the mass open house to result eventually in the sale of about 10 percent of the homes shown, if the agency’s past experience with the day stays true.
“We’ve got a large staff, so we can man the houses, and a lot of my agents are doing two or three homes a day,” Losco said.
The main benefit, he said, is that people can see several available houses, instead of just one or two, in a single day.
That might be more of a draw this year, because inventory of nondistressed properties is getting scarce. He said all of the activity on the mainland in Atlantic County is centered on homes $300,000 or less.
Matthew Iannone, the new president of the Cape May County Association of Realtors, said the local organization isn’t doing a countywide open house with the national event, the way it did a few years ago.
But plenty of individual agencies are participating, including his own, Freda Real Estate Agency in Sea Isle City.
“We have a little group of real estate agents in Sea Isle City that is informally organizing a group open house for the weekend, so we have more houses open and draw more people to town,” said Iannone, broker of record at Freda. “In each community, especially in the shore towns, I think you’ll see things happening.”
The Sea Isle agencies sent out a flier and put up a sign announcing that dozens of homes would be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and today.
The New Jersey Association of Realtors urged its members to participate in the national open house, saying spring is the perfect time to showcase the homes on the market.
“Additionally, it’s a great way for buyers to see what they can afford and what’s available in the neighborhoods where they’d like to live,” Christina Banasiak, president of the state association, said in a statement.
Susan Carr, an agent with Prudential Fox & Roach Atlantic Shore in Northfield, has picked a luxury home in the Seaview Harbor section of Egg Harbor Township, near Longport, to show this weekend.
The four-bedroom, 2½-bath house — only 10 years old — was on the market at one point for $2.5 million and now is listed at $775,000, Carr said.
Amenities include a boat slip, new granite countertops, fireplaces and a large two-car garage.
Carr said the first floor of the home is 13 feet above mean high tide and had no flooding during Hurricane Sandy.
She said the furniture and even a Grady-White boat can be part of the deal.
Carr, of Absecon, said she started working in real estate toward the end of 2004, as the housing bubble neared its peak.
She said she has a lot of repeat customers with homes to sell. Unfortunately, many owners bought during the bubble, and now their properties are worth less than they paid for them.
That difference is narrowing, though, as housing prices continue a slow and steady rebound that began a year ago. This month, CoreLogic reported that U.S. home prices jumped 10 percent in February from the year prior, the largest increase since 2006.
Losco said the number of home sales at his agency each month this year has been up about 30 percent over the comparable month last year.
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