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By John R. Merlino Jr. Esq.
Founding Attorney

Author: D.J. Ten Hoeve

Never make a final offer that ends in 000.

“High School sweethearts and first-time homebuyers move in to 1 Roma Court”…it sounds like a fictitious headline for a Realtors Facebook page. Well in this case it’s true. Rich Denora and Erika Martoni are the new owners of 1 Roma Court in Lincroft, and what an awesome street to welcome them!

Roma Court, located a few blocks off the Garden State Parkway is about as easy a commute to NYC as possible from Monmouth County with the Park ’n Ride at Exit 109 within walking distance. With 2 NJ State Troopers and 2 local police officers on the street, Roma Court is S.A.F.E (Safe And Friendly Environment). Better yet, 1 Roma was a clean, renovated, relatively move-in-ready home on this wonderful street.

When the home hit the market, we emailed and texted Rich and Erika immediately, letting them know we thought the house wasn’t just perfect for them, but was priced to sell. Knowing the home was right, our clients made a strong first offer. Even still, we ended up in a bidding war, asking for best and final offers. Rich and Erika followed our advice (never make a final offer that ends in 000) and bid $650,500. AND, they won!

But three weeks later the purchase appeared doomed to fail as the home appraised $50,000 below purchase price. That’s where we shine! Reading through the appraisal and noting the errors and inaccuracies in the appraisers report, we pushed back to the lender and supported a rebuttal with additional comparable homes and facts to justify the value of the purchase. While the appraiser wouldn’t adjust his valuation, the lender agreed with our rebuttal and got approval from senior management to switch investors. The new appraisal came in at value and we were ready to close within 3 weeks. The sellers (The Blands) had already closed on their new purchase near the Shore and were wonderfully patient, knowing the buyers were making every attempt to hold true to their offer.

Rich and Erika trusted team of professionals included William Golding, Esq. and Stephanie Golding, Joseph Mahurter of DM Home Inspections, J&J Pool Service – (347) 517-3946, and DJ & Nici Ten Hoeve of The Ten Hoeve Realty Group at Keller William Realty East Monmouth.

John R. Merlino, Jr. and Michele Santacroce of Merlino & Gonzalez were the settlement agents and the seller’s agent was Lisa Raimondo of Gloria Nilson & Co.

About the Author
John is a fierce advocate and the office guru for problem-solving and brainstorming. He guides clients through every stage of a real estate transaction from offer to contract, navigating through nerve-shattering home inspection and title clearance concerns, maintaining constant contact with lenders, conducting the actual closing, and continuing to advise clients with regard to any post-closing concerns.  John brings a practical and fair-minded approach to the process which has earned him the respect of his clients and peers.