From the NY Times:
“GET ready for the block party! Great neighborhood!” That is how an agent named Heather Gilheany verbally baits the hook in her listing for 156 Oakland Road, a three-bedroom one-bath colonial built in 1925.
“Selling the neighborhood,” explained Ms. Gilheany of Coldwell Banker. “That is what we always do — sell not just the house, but the neighborhood.”
But it so happens that on this particular block of Oakland Road, and in the immediately surrounding three or four blocks, for-sale signs abound. While the agents are busy “selling the neighborhood,” someone just driving by might be forgiven for wondering whether the entire neighborhood was for sale — lock, stock and barrel.
Last week there was a for-sale sign in front of No. 157, and one at No. 160 on the opposite side of the street.
There was another at 66 Burnett Terrace around the corner, two on the same block of nearby Highland Avenue, two on contiguous blocks of Plymouth Avenue, and so on. In all, there were a dozen signs within a roughly four-block area, although in some cases, houses were already under contract and the signs were being kept up during the attorney-review process.
In Maplewood over all, there are 126 active listings, out of 5,541 owner-occupied homes, according to Patricia Ross, a Coldwell Banker agent, who says she has lived in town all her life and sold real estate there since 1984. She found the number high but not unusually so. And she noted that many residents moved from one house to another within Maplewood over the course of their lives.
Focusing more tightly, though, real estate agents in northern New Jersey said a concentration of for-sale signs was often the result of sociological change, rather than change of season or economy.
“I think what happens is a natural progression,” said Perri K. Feldman, an agent based in the Keller-Williams office in Summit. “People move into a neighborhood when their children are young, and then when everyone is older, and their children have stopped boomeranging back home, one decides to put their house on the market.