Local Weichert office celebrates decade at top

SPARTA. House still selling despite high interest rates, Realtors say.

| 01 Dec 2023 | 09:25

The Weichert, Realtors office in Sparta is entering its 10th consecutive year as the top-selling branch company-wide.

Weichert has nearly 500 offices and franchise units in 43 states.

After a decade of mortgage interest rates at about 4 percent, they fell to below 3 percent during the pandemic. Then in 2022, they jumped to 5 percent and now are near 8 percent, making fewer local homeowners are willing to sell.

“A lot of folks who are kind of dipping their toe in the water of potentially selling probably have a very low mortgage rate or probably have a paid off home,” said Realtor Marc Tremain.

The only people listing their homes locally are those who believe they need to because of retirements, deaths or divorces, said Realtor Chrstine Tremain, who with Marc as Team Tremain, are on track to be the top-selling team at Sparta’s Weichert office this year.

“The convenience moves have completely been removed from the market,” she said. “We’re only seeing the ‘I have to move’ people.’ “

Still, Sussex County homes are selling quickly, they said.

As of October, the average home in the county was on the market for just 38 days, said Andrew Millings, managing broker at Sparta’s Weichert office.

“That doesn’t mean that it’s available for 38 days,” he added. “You put your house on the market today, and it goes under contract tomorrow, it may take two or three weeks to officially mark the property as ‘under contract.’ “

In a normal market, the average home is on the market for 75 to 80 days, he added.

Who is looking to buy homes today ranges from local residents to city-dwellers and includes singles and families, the Realtors said.

“I just had an open house ... for one of our listings and the demographic was all over the map,” said Marc Tremain. “It was people from out of the area looking to come up to the country. It was young, non-homeowners looking to purchase their first home. It was an older person who was now single and looking for a more reasonable home to live in but to stay in their same area.”