Spring brings flowers and sunshine to New Jersey, and, consequently, it also brings many new home listings. “It’s a good time to put your house on the market because everything is green and brighter coming from the winter doldrums,” Gary Vermaat, President and Broker of Record for Lenny, Vermaat & Leonard Realtors Inc., says. “So, you’ll generally see an uptick in supply in available homes.”
But, according to Gary, before the snow completely melts away is really the time to look at listing your home.
“That time period between the winter and spring, which is right about now, is an ideal time to get your house up and running before there’s an onrush of a lot of inventory,” he says.
If you’re looking to buy a home, right now is also an ideal window to start talking with an agent because interest rates are still quite low.
“The affordability rate right now is great for buyers to go out and purchase with a lower interest rate,” Vermaat says.
Gary has more than 40 years of experience in real estate, so he has borne witness to the many changes of the profession over the years including the onset of information technology. When he first started in the business, the multiple listing service (MLS), was not an online real estate database but a physical booklet disseminated to agents.
Today, because anyone can access information easily about their local market and available homes through the internet, Gary, his partners and their staff know that they need to offer more.
“A good agent has to be able to offer a buyer or seller information or knowledge that they can’t gain somewhere else,” Gary says. “In other words, you have to show them your value. Otherwise they can just go anywhere.”
Homebuyers and sellers also need to be wary about what they come across in their web searches because not all information found online is accurate. Although, when it is, it can still be hard to make sense of. That is why a topnotch real estate agent can help buyers and sellers understand the data in addition to checking its veracity.
Having an agent who is at the top of his or her game is something that can only be achieved through constant learning. That is why Lenny, Vermaat & Leonard Realtors invest in the company’s agents and encourage them to continue their education.
“You’re always learning something new in this business no matter how long you’ve been in it,” Gary says.
The company also doesn’t take on part-time agents because the needs of clients do not just fall between the hours of nine and five.
“We think that the industry calls for continuous and constant contact with clients,” Gary says. “Whether it be electronic or pick up the phone and call them. You’ve got to be available. Availability is key.”
With more than 30 professionals working out of its Haddonfield office, the agents at Lenny, Vermaat & Leonard Realtors are experts in what Gary calls the “high-speed line corridor,” which are the communities that are linked to Center City Philadelphia by the rapid transit system. This includes Collingswood, Haddon Township, Haddon Heights and Cherry Hill. However, the company does operate throughout the whole state of New Jersey and, in fact, its agents can even help you beyond the borders of the Garden State through relationships formed with other real estate companies throughout the world.
“It’s the thing people don’t realize that we can help them with,” Gary says. “We can get them the information before they even make a move or get them information about communities where they are considering moving to. Or if they’re coming to our area, we can help them establish the value of what their house is worth in California or Singapore or other places around the globe.”
Through all of it, the almost 40 years of continuous operation is a testament to the company’s timeliness, because while the methods of communication and providing information to clients may change, at the end of the day, the core of this business is the per- sonal touch that can only be provided by dedicated professionals.
“Things are always changing and the dynamics change, but the bottom line is the real part of the business has not changed,” Gary says. Looking toward the future and whatever ameliorations it may bring, Lenny, Vermaat & Leonard Realtors expects to embrace all the new advancements that are always happening in the real estate business while continuing to provide the service clients have come to expect.
“That’s the one thing I think we cannot lose in our industry: the human touch,” Gary says.
Lenny, Vermaat & Leonard
90 Tanner St., Haddonfield
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 12 (March 2018).
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