About Steve Sepanak
My business philosophy is simple: I am here to help you achieve your specific real estate goals.
- I listen with a “consultant’s” approach and offer my real estate experience, both professional and personal.
- I provide in-depth market data, honest market analysis, and insights from personal and professional experience to evaluate a property’s value and then develop a strategy for the sale or the purchase of it.
- I provide creative and effective marketing approaches to help my listings stand out and attract interest.
- I stay involved and in communication throughout the sales transaction – from offer through strategic negotiations to contract, coordinating with attorneys and inspectors, prepping for final town inspection and walk-thru, and doing whatever is needed to achieve a smooth settlement.
As a result, almost none of my transactions fall apart between contract and closing.
Although I don’t believe you should choose an agent based on sales volume alone (see References below), I have been consistently successful for my clients and customers:
- I’ve earned numerous county and state “Top Sales” awards
- I am consistently a “Multi-Multi-Million Dollar Producer” and among the top agents on LBI
- Over the years, I’ve had several highest sales in various LBI market segments, including:
Listed and sold the first lagoonfront home to sell over $1MM
Had the highest priced oceanfront listing sold ($6,050,000 in 2013) since the 2006 market peak.
Some of my Professional Credentials include:
- BA in Psychology, Rutgers College
- MBA in Marketing, Rider College
- Resort Property Marketing Certification
- E-Marketing Certification
- Resort and Second Home Specialist Designation
- Luxury Property Specialist Certification
My professional experience includes real estate sales, as well as corporate marketing, sales and technology positions for major firms:
- 20+ years as Broker/Sales Agent serving LBI and the adjoining mainland waterfront.
- Sales from Barnegat Light to Holgate and from oceanfront to bayfront, including single and multi-family homes, condos/townhouses, commercial property, vacant land, and new construction.
- Prior corporate experience in marketing, sales and technology with AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, GTE, Source Services and Strategic Microsystems Corp.
We are personally, as well as professionally, committed to LBI and to real estate here:
- My wife Pat and I purchased our first LBI property in 1978.
- We have been year round bayfront residents of LBI since 1988, in a home that we designed and built.
- We also currently own two rental properties on LBI
- Over the last 20 years, we’ve built and sold over 15 homes on LBI, from bayfront to oceanfront
- As a result, we are very experienced with CAFRA/DEP bayfront and oceanfront requirements, local LBI zoning issues, and the evolving flood insurance rules.
I think I offer a unique set of qualifications to be your agent:
- Top educational and corporate marketing credentials
- Personal experience buying, selling and building numerous LBI properties
- In-depth market knowledge
- Consistent professional success in real estate sales and listings
- Over 25 years as a year-round LBI bayfront resident
- Currently heavily invested personally in other LBI properties
- Proven strong negotiating skills
- Personal attention to my clients and customers – a boutique approach of “quality not quantity”
References: Talk Is Cheap — unless it’s from your clients and customers. Then it’s priceless.
To better explain how I work, here are some excerpts from letters and emails I’ve received over the years:
“I chose to write this introductory letter about Steve Sepanak after observing Steve market my home in Surf City… He qualified in making my list of the Top 10 realtors I have met during 25 years of owning my own real estate agency.” — DW, Surf City & Mountainside, NJ
“We have owned 7 oceanfront homes, 6 at the same time! Hands down, [you are] the best real estate person we’ve ever met…a great negotiator… friendly…honest…helpful, and above all…effective. Hands down…the best!” — RM & LM, Harvey Cedars & Medford, NJ
“(You were) easily the most knowledgeable, proactive, and best negotiator we found on LBI (by a long shot). Best of luck this year!” — MD & JD, North Beach, NJ
“Thank you…for being such a patient person…You listened to us…were never pushy… and allowed us to take the time to be comfortable. Thanks for such trustworthy performance!” — RK & MK, Loveladies & Doylestown, PA
“Your expertise was stellar in negotiating …Your knowledge of local real estate values and trends made it happen. We could not be more pleased with your performance and would not hesitate to recommend you. — MD, Loveladies & Haworth, NJ
“We ENJOYED our association with you and your ‘just drop in’ visits. It showed you cared about us and we were not just another listing.” — FS & RS, Barnegat Light
“Thank you for your constant care of our purchase…letting us know — sometimes on an hourly basis — how [things were going]…During the [four months] until closing, we knew we were in good hands with ‘Steve’…I can [also] say without a doubt that your newsletters are my “eyes and ears” about property values on LBI. “ — JM & GM, Surf City & New Milford, NJ
“Re-reading your newsletter reminded me how well you seem in touch with the LBI market — even the rental market …” —LB, Harvey Cedars & Philadelphia, PA
“You did all you said you would. You were there when we wanted to talk…or you always called back. We appreciated the… follow up. You [were] a true professional… and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you to our friends.” — DE, Surf City
“…I only have glowing things to say about you. Personality, demeanor, persistence, and value of your advice …it’s a pleasure working with you.” — GC, North Beach & Princeton, NJ
“Thank you again for another job well done! This being our third LBI real estate transaction [with you], we have the utmost confidence in your abilities. Your guidance and thorough knowledge of the Island has assured us…of…wise investments each time. Thanks for everything!” —TR & SR, Brighton Beach & Marlton, NJ
“We were and still are very pleased with your service… You are consistently professional and hard-working … prepared …and [led] us to closing swiftly. We highly recommend you.” — DW & JW, Harvey Cedars & Holland, PA
“I’ve told all my friends what an awesome realtor I used, if they get some cash you’ll be hearing from them!” — CC & BC, North Beach & Holmdel, NJ
“I would be more than pleased to be a reference. Our experience was exceptional with you.” — KY, North Beach & Basking Ridge, NJ
“Thank you for your excellent guidance with regard to our recent purchase…in Loveladies. The whole experience was educational and enjoyable. I would highly recommend your services.” — WK & MK, Loveladies & Hasbrouck Heights, NJ
“Your generous helpfulness and the insights…have been a source of pleasant surprise and increased profits…your attention points up your drive for a complete and accommodating relationship with your clients, regardless of the difficulties involved.” — WC, Loveladies & Philadelphia, PA
“We [did] well by choosing to list with you, not just because you did indeed sell our house, but because you had been so helpful and nice to deal with…You were very responsive…always courteous and helpful. You kept us informed of every new development… and made the whole experience less stressful. Thanks and best wishes.” —AR & CR, North Beach & Mahwah, NJ
“I am writing to congratulate you for successfully navigating our relocation from one end of North Holly to the other over the past year…I’m not sure we’d have made it to the goal line without your local knowledge and your calming demeanor. I’m hoping that I’ll never need another LBI realtor, but if I do there’s no question whom I’d call. Thanks again for the good work and, indeed, for your friendship.” – GA, Harvey Cedars
A lot of people ask, ‘How did you end up on LBI?” In case you’re interested, here’s the story:
In the late ‘70’s, Pat and I were living in Piscataway, in Central NJ. Although I always vacationed in the mountains and fished in lakes and streams, Pat was a shore person. So in 1977-78, we spent many winter weekends checking out literally every Jersey Shore area from Pt Pleasant to Cape May. We decided that LBI was the place for us because of its quiet family atmosphere, no boardwalks, great beaches, and no high-rises. Plus it was an easy 90 minute drive.
Our first LBI purchase was an old (really old!) duplex. It did pretty well as a rental, but required a lot of maintenance and repair which got to be a bit much. (Eventually, we tore it down and built two townhouses which we sold.) Later, we bought a small lagoonfront home to enjoy on weekends.
A few years after that, we had our Piscataway home under contract and had a purchase contract for a home on a trout stream in western NJ. However, the seller we were buying from reneged on our contract and rather than take him to court, we decided to proceed with the sale of our house and move into our vacation home down the shore — temporarily (we had no children at the time.) This required the two of us to commute over an hour and a half to our jobs in different locations (2 vehicles). This got old pretty fast. We also found that we really enjoyed living at the shore and walking the LBI beaches in the off-season!
So Pat quit her corporate job and joined a local LBI real estate firm, while I continued commuting. Three years later, Pat opened Sand Dollar Real Estate (the youngest broker to own an office on LBI at the time) in North Beach Haven, so I got my real estate license and did Open Houses on the weekends.
In 1988, an old bayfront home in Haven Beach came on the market and we bought it with the intention of renovating it. As often happens, it needed more work than we anticipated and we quickly realized it made more sense to build new, which we did. We sold our lagoon home and we’ve been enjoying the bayfront house and location ever since.
A few years later, we had our daughter Samantha so I eventually quit commuting and got into real estate fulltime – and never looked back. The rest, as they say, is history!