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How’s the Market? Ask Realtor Allison Ziefert

From the Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group

After a few very quiet weeks, the market here in SOMA has picked up again. Buyers are back and sellers are just a few paces behind them. We have been fielding calls from numerous buyers looking to make a move from the city to the suburbs. In fact, we’ve held Zoom webinars with 300+ such city buyers in the last few weeks. Unlike in New York, we have been able to show homes in NJ with strict precautions. 

Interestingly, we’ve talked to a number of potential sellers who are getting ready to list after realizing they can work remotely and wanting to relocate out of the area to be closer to family. Coronavirus certainly has caused many folks to re-examine their current living patterns and it’s fascinating to watch these trends in real time.

Right now there is VERY little inventory on the market here in SOMA– less than half of what it should be. So buyers are still encountering competition. Crazy as it sounds, it’s a good time to be a seller! An unusual number of homes are being traded off-market and even commanding multiple offers. 

Nationwide, as restrictions in many states are easing from shelter-in-place, we’ve seen the number of homes going into contract trending upward in most major markets since mid April. 

Our SOMA real estate market reports shown below demonstrate the impact of shelter-in-place in the year to year comparisons of “active listings” and “under contract listings,” which were down substantially in both towns from April 2019. 

April 2020 Real Estate Market Reports for Maplewood:


April 2020 Real Estate Market Reports for South Orange:


One note of caution, the land of mortgage forbearance in the age of COVID is uncharted territory for lenders and consumers. The CARES Act promised mortgage forbearance for borrowers for any reason without a negative impact on credit score. Now we are seeing that this is not  exactly the case. Even if a forbearance does not impact your FICO score directly, it can negatively impact a lender’s decision to give you a mortgage or loan. We are seeing the same phenomenon with borrowers whose businesses made use of the PPP program for payroll assistance from the SBA. Bottom line: Unless you really need the assistance do not opt for it as its impact on your future ability to borrow could be negatively impacted.

Have questions about how Coronavius is impacting our local market and how this relates to your needs? Let’s talk confidentially. Reach out to me through email at:

The Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group is a top producing real estate team based at Compass in Short Hills, NJ. We are local market experts, specializing in real estate and homes in Maplewood, South Orange, Millburn/Short Hills, Montclair, West Orange, NJ and the surrounding towns. We are driven by earning great testimonials and referral business from happy clients. You can read our testimonials at


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