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All Posts Author: Marion Romano

Buyers Build Future After Paying Tribute

Nov 14 2014
Once buyers could envision the homes rebuilt, there were still hurdles in 2013. “These are people who could not have come in before. They came in thinking there was tremendous opportunity, yet there was a lot of uncertainty. My tagline is, ‘there are risks and rewards; I’ll help you weigh the risks,” Romano said. 
The question marks included “elevation, flood insurance, the price to rebuild.”

“Their number one concern was, will the area rebuild or will it look like this for many years; will it be a second Katrina,” Romano related. “We were taking them down streets that had piles of garbage, doors open, construction scene tape. It took a real leap of faith, in the beginning, for the common person.” If a mortgage couldn’t be obtained for a house that was not habitable, then buyers had to pay cash. Just because they had means didn’t mean they did not feel for the family whose place they were assuming, according to the Realtor. “ I don’t think anybody wanted to take advantage of somebody’s misery. There were little pieces of somebody’s life on the street I was happy to be with some buyers who were respectful; they would walk around these things, a spoon lying there, with reverence … some would cry. 
“There were cases where the seller didn’t even want to come back and clean it out. But the buyer put all the personal mementoes into a box, packaged it up and brought it to me and said, please give them their stuff.”   

New buyers said they were there because they had fond memories from their childhood  -- Romano’s own grandchildren call Long Beach Island “Ice Cream Island.” 
As 2014 starts, new construction is underway on and of LBI, and non-waterfront communities are thriving. “There is more to go, but we are in so much better shape than we were.” 
Adult communities have been a “good, reasonably-priced alternative,” and mobile home communities “were a fallback for seniors who lost their home and wanted to stay in the area,” Romano said.  Every transaction still requires the Post-Sandy attention to new details. “My advice to everybody is, live your life, get all the information you can … talk to professionals – insurance brokers, attorneys, Realtors, who know what’s going on in your market. The old adage, ‘information is power’ – doesn’t it prove true now?”.    

The sales figures also qualified Romano as one of only a handful of agents in the county last year to earn the Circle of Excellence Platinum Award, Wyrsch noted – and she was the only one of these who does not work primarily on Long Beach Island. “We get numerous testimonials from Marion’s clients, thanking her for all the hard
work she does. Our mission at The Van Dyk Group is to provide superior customer service, and Marion exemplifies that mission. She is an intregral part of The Van Dyk Group family, and we congratulate her on her well earned, and deserved, success,” said Wyrsch.  
—Maria Scandale 

Moving Stories Of Moving On

Oct 30 2014

"Shocked" was one of Romano’s reactions to the news that a whirlwind year had resulted in the highest sales figures in the county. Then she smiled at the number of families that got relocated to get on with their lives. 

“You tell me the number, 110 units, and I “There were canyons of garbage and debris, and that was somebody’s life sitting in front of their house. That was heartbreaking. And it was that way for hundreds and hundreds of people. It was their life, and it was loss of innocence, and we had to get past it and feel good about it again. That’s what I tried to do for every family, one family at a time.  In a crisis, you just want to feel like someone is there for you, and that was what it was about. I wanted to help them just make good decisions.” 
Homeowners came into the office at a loss to know what to do next. 

“One, this grown man, just looked at me and said, ‘I don’t know where to begin.’ Later, I got a letter from him that said, ‘I took your checklist,’ that I had put on the back page of The SandPaper, ‘and did it one by one, and that’s what got me through.’”

Romano, as was probably the case with many other Realtors in the area, got involved in ways that varied from finding a crew to help clean out the muck, to seeking legal advocates. 
 “We had a lot of seniors who were displaced. A lot of seniors had reverse mortgages, and I had to team up with attorneys to get them represented, to make sure they would be properly advised. I had quite a few people who were upside-down in their mortgages. 

“There were other seniors with no flood insurance, displaced, no home. I had to take them out to Fawn Lakes and find them a rental.” One older gentleman died before the sale of his damaged house closed. “His son came in, tears were rolling down his face. That was a hard one.” 
For sellers, the aim was to get “the most fair price that they could get for their house, and at the end of the day, they were relieved, and able to move on with their lives.”   

Marion Romano, of the Van Dyk Group

Sep 23 2014
Stafford Township, where tidal surge deluged retirees and families or overtook longtime vacation havens. The devastation forced decision-making amid so many challenges. Buyers and sellers both needed to be reassured and informed of their options one at a time.   
When an owner listed their house for sale, that often-emotional step was only one in a watershed process. At the same time, she was able to help many sellers who wanted to relocate farther from the waterfront, but still stay at the shore.    


“Buyers were scared, sellers were scared, everybody was scared,” she said. “I told them, don’t be scared; let’s get some knowledge and make some good decisions together.”
VanDyk Group Broker/Principal David L. Wyrsch Jr. announced Romano’s distinction last week.
“At our Company Breakfast this past Monday, Jan 27th, we announced that our own Marion Romano sold the most homes in Ocean County in 2013, and by a large margin,” Wyrsch announced. “According to the Jersey Shore MLS, Marion closed 110 transaction sides, and sold just over $25 million in Real Estate for 2013.”
“This speaks to the dedication that Marion has for her job and for her clients,” Wyrsch said of Romano, who also received a 10-year distinguished sales award from the Ocean County Board of Realtors. 

In 2013 the next-closest agent in terms of closings completed 73 transactions; the third stood at 68, and the rest below 50, according to the Jersey Shore MLS figures. 
 “I didn’t track the sales; the office tracks that; for me it’s one client at a time, one family at a time, one problem at a time,” Romano told The SandPaper. 
Some swamped properties were selling for 2001 prices, and the challenge was to get the best price for the buyer. But that doesn’t mean that it was always an easy sell. Some buyers needed to be reassured that the neighborhoods would come out from under the damage. 
 “After Sandy, people just waved a brush and said Ocean County’s not coming back, when nothing could be further from the truth,” she knew. “I told them, ‘just think, four or five years down the road, how fabulous it’s going to be, and what a great opportunity this is.
“This is a great place to live, to raise your family, with great schools – and it’s a diversified area with all different housing options. There is tremendous opportunity here. 
“If you have optimism and you believe in something; it’s contagious,” Romano told the business column. “I adopted this area and I’m passionate about it and protective of it,” the Bergen County native said.   

Accredited Buyers Representative ABR
Council of Residential Specialists
NAR Short Sales and Foreclosure Certification
NJ REALTORS Circle of Excellence Award Platinum
njrealtor seals
RSPS Certification REALTOR
The Counselors of Real Estate