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Category Archives: Sell a Home

Should You Sell Your Home Or Rent It Out?

Sometimes, you decide exactly when you’d like to move. Other times, life swoops in and decides for you. Your company might transfer you, a family emergency might require relocation, or you might finally find the love of your life—three states over. Should you sell your house or hang on to it as a rental property? Here are 5 important considerations.

1. Are you gone for good?

Or do you need an exit strategy? If there’s a good chance you’ll return to your current home in a year or two, the money and time you spend selling your home and then buying a new one might make renting it out a smarter option.

2. How’s the rental market?

Look at online rental sites to see what properties in your neighborhood and in similar condition to yours are renting for. Are there a lot of listings? Think about what you might charge and what you might have to do to bring your property up to the market standard. You can then get an idea whether your potential rental income will cover your expenses.

3. Where’s the neighborhood heading?

A lot of factors feed into property values, from national trends to long-term construction plans. An agent can help you understand your property’s potential for appreciation and whether or not it might pay to hang onto it.

4. How much is the hassle of being a landlord worth?

Unless you pay for a property management company (about 10 percent of the rental income), dealing with issues, emergencies and uncooperative renters (sometimes all at once, often in the middle of the night) can be trying. Ask yourself if it’s worth the stress.

5. What are the tax implications?

Each situation is unique, so before you decide to rent out your home consider talking with a tax professional. They can help you figure out how much you can expect to pay in taxes on the rental income.

If you’re ready to sell, a RE/MAX All-Pro agent is ready to help. Find an experienced professional to work with – visit RemaxAllPro.com.

9 Tips for Making Your Move Stress-Free

Buying a new home is exciting – and a big deal. If you’re searching for the perfect place, or you’ve already found it and are under contract, the next step in the process can feel more tedious: moving.

Moving can be stressful, a bit expensive and plenty chaotic. But with some planning, help from friends and a little organization, it doesn’t have to be as hectic as you imagine. Here are some tips to take the stress out of your move:

1. Make a plan of attack – Whether you’re moving across town or across the state lines, you’ll probably want to rent a truck. Do you have willing helpers to assist in the move, or will you need to hire some help? If you’re moving farther away, you’ll probably want professional help. Figure out what your moving needs are, and ask friends or your real estate agent for references to a trusted mover. Also, stock up on boxes, packing tape, permanent markers and packing peanuts/bubble wrap.

2. Prioritize your packing – As you start packing your current home up, designate a few boxes for each room that you’ll need quick access to. For example, you’ll want to keep personal toiletries, shower curtains and liners, a first-aid kit and other necessities easily accessible for the bathroom. Label these boxes “Open Now” so you know which boxes are filled with the essentials – and which ones can wait until later.

3. Don’t go it alone – Packing is a monumental task. Invite some friends or relatives over, buy some pizza and make it a packing party! Delegate the tasks you feel most comfortable entrusting others with, like packing up DVDs, books and other non-fragile items. A little help goes a long way to saving you some time – and sanity.

4. Don’t take it all – If you realize you have 10 boxes of clothes and you haven’t worn half of them in a few years, it’s time to part ways. Create three piles: a “keep” pile, a “sell” pile and a “donate” pile. If time permits, hold a moving sale to unload some of the items you don’t want anymore. Bonus: Selling items before you move gives you extra money that you can put toward moving expenses. Added bonus: You reduce the clutter.

5. Forward your mail – Believe it or not, people forget to do this all the time! It’s easy to change your address with the U.S. Postal Service. Simply visit the USPS website, and in a few steps you’re done!

6. Turn off your utilities – Check with your local utility providers, as well as other services (trash pickup, newspaper delivery, cable/Internet, phone), to inform them that you’re moving. They’ll need to know an exact date for your move so they can transition or cut off service. You don’t want to be billed for charges after you move!

7. Change your address everywhere else – Contact your bank, credit card companies, healthcare providers, schools, etc. to give them your new address. Although your mail will be forwarded, you still want to update your contact information as soon as possible to avoid missing important bills or letters.

8. Be flexible – Closing day can be unpredictable, and sometimes there are delays. If you’re scheduling movers or arranging for help, you might want to pick a day or two after closing to avoid a moving-day headache.

9. Consider hiring a professional house cleaner – Sellers don’t necessarily leave their homes in sparkling condition when they leave. If time and budget permit, hire a house cleaner to make your new home move-in ready. It’s one less thing for you to worry about!

Ready to search for a new home? A local RE/MAX agent can help you find your perfect fit.

6 Easy, Affordable Smart Home Features that Could Help you Sell your House Faster

Fresh paint on the walls, professional staging and an asking price that ends in 999 — when you’re selling your home, you’ll do whatever you can to help it stand out and sell faster. Because the National Association of Realtors is predicting modest growth for the 2017 real estate market, as a seller you want every edge you can get. And on the heels of the popular Consumer Electronics Show in January, perhaps that edge is a smarter home.

“Smart home features are designed to make homes more convenient, appealing, secure and energy-efficient — all of which are bonuses when you’re trying to sell a house,” says Geoff Lewis, president of RE/MAX, LLC. “Sellers who want to move their homes faster may benefit from adding smart features that make their properties more appealing to tech-minded buyers.”

According to IHS Markit and CNBC, 80 million smart home devices were delivered worldwide last year. That’s a 64 percent increase from 2015.

Here are six trending smart home features that might catch buyers’ attention and help sell your home faster:

Keyless/remote entry door locks

Have you ever left the house and worried that you left the front door unlocked? If your home is equipped with a keyless/remote entry door lock — available from multiple manufacturers — you can use an app on your smartphone to lock the door from wherever you are. Some manufacturers make versions that will also send a text or email to your phone when the door opens. Locks that can be programmed with multiple entry codes also allow you to see who comes and goes and when.

Smart lighting

From lighting automation that allows you to control lights remotely and wirelessly, to energy-efficient LED bulbs that can change color to match your mood and decor, lighting has come a long way. Some smart lights work in tandem with home automation systems to allow you to turn them on or off, or even dim them, from an app on a smartphone or tablet. Others require no communication hub and can be controlled directly from your mobile device. You can also put some smart bulbs on timers (using your wireless device), sync them with certain TV shows or movies, and integrate them with security cameras and thermostats.

DIY security systems

Don’t want to sign a contract or deal with complex security systems? Install-it-yourself security systems are affordable and offer security features like cameras, sensors, motion detectors and alarms or sirens, without the need for a security service to monitor them.

Smart appliances

The Internet of Things (IoT) — everyday objects that have network connectivity — includes a growing list of smart appliances. Many manufacturers are offering washers, dryers, refrigerators and other home appliances that can communicate with you — and each other — wirelessly. Many can be controlled remotely from your smartphone — so if you leave the house and can’t remember if you turned off the stove, you can check in and turn it off using your smartphone app.

While appliances aren’t always included in a home sale, they do make for interesting features that keep your home top of mind to buyers.

Smart plugs

One of the easiest, most affordable smart home upgrades you can make is to add smart plugs to your home. These Wi-Fi-enabled plugs fit existing outlets and can be controlled from a smartphone app. Plug anything into a smart plug, like lights or a television, and you can turn it on or off remotely, track energy consumption, or even create an on-off schedule.

Temperature controls

Programmable thermostats were just the beginning; today’s home temperature controls are even smarter. Like other smart home features, smart thermostats can be controlled remotely from your mobile device. You can program them to make automatic temperature adjustments and then use your smartphone to override the program like turning up the heat on a particularly cold day. Some smart thermostats learn from household behavior and adjust the temperature to meet your family’s needs and save energy, while others adjust based on the number of people in a room. And several can now be operated via voice-controlled virtual assistants.

“Many of these smart home features are surprisingly easy and affordable to install,” Lewis says. “Sellers who are open to the idea of investing a little money to possibly help get a speedier sale, may want to consider adding the smart features buyers will be looking for in 2017.”

If you’re thinking of selling your home, find more helpful information at www.remaxallpro.com.

11 Tips for Selling a Vacant Home

2015-05-A-vacant-homeYou’ve moved to your new home but have yet to sell your former property. What should you do to ensure the safety and security of the vacant house?

1. Set the thermostat at no lower than 60 degrees to prevent frozen pipes. If necessary, your Realtor can turn up the heat the day before a showing, but not by much as sudden shifts in temperature can also damage pipes. If you have gas heat, check the level on your tank so it doesn’t run out.

2. Another tip to avoid frozen pipes: Leave faucets dripping ever so slightly.

3. Check the batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Some automatically send a signal to local authorities even if a home is empty.

4. Add a lock-bar in the pane of sliding windows for extra protection.

5. Install a timer on lights to give the appearance that the home is occupied.

6. Stop your mail and ask a neighbor to scoop up flyers, takeout menus or phonebooks that may accumulate on your porch.

7. Check your weather stripping for cracks or tears and replace worn-out strips. You’ll keep out mold-producing moisture and prevent critters from setting up shop.

8. Unplug any appliances. It saves energy and also prevents dangerous short circuits. Prop open freezer or fridge doors a crack to prevent potential mold buildup.

9. Let your neighbors know your home will be empty, and how they can reach you and your Realtor in case of an emergency or if things just don’t look right.

10. Clean the gutters. Clogs can cause water to pool and tear away from your home.

11. Arrange to have your yard mowed regularly and weeds tended to during warmer months.

The right agent can help minimize the time your home sits vacant. Find a RE/MAX All Pro agent here: www.remax.com/officeagentsearch/.

Selling Your Home? 3 Ways to Help Kids Cope

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Here is what they might be thinking as you begin the home-selling process, and strategies to alleviate your child’s concerns.

1. “Who is this stranger invading our lives?”
Your listing agent will become a frequent presence in your home, and your child may see him or her as the catalyst of all the changes to come. Help form a positive relationship between your kids and your agent by getting everyone together over coffee (hot chocolate for the little ones) or dinner.

2. “Where did my stuff go?”
Staging a home often means prepacking some of a child’s favorite things. Involve kids in packing as much as possible. This gives them an idea of where their toys and clothes have gone rather than fearing they’ve disappeared forever. The personal favorites – a blanket, stuffed animal or even family photos – should be the last to go. It’s easy to store them under the bed during a showing. You can even have your child put them away so he or she will know exactly where they will be when you return from an outing.

3. “Why can’t we go home?”
Vacating a house for a showing can be disruptive to kids’ schedules. Take them somewhere special so they see it as a treat. A movie, the local bookstore or a special restaurant are all good options.

If possible, it may be a good idea to let your child accompany you on a showing so they understand what visitors are doing when you have to leave your house for a couple of hours. You can also ask your agent to set up a “mock” showing of your current home for your children.

RE/MAX agents are well known for their years of experience. An agent will have even more ideas on how to make the process of selling your home a positive experience for your child. Find one here: Find My Agent

9 Reasons a Great Agent is Vital to a Seller

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Selling your home without hiring a real estate agent might be tempting, especially if you’re in an area where buyers are clamoring for properties. It’s not uncommon for sellers to think (even for a split-second) “How hard can it be to sell on my own?” But there are probably some challenges they’re not considering.

Here are some key ways a real estate agent – more specifically a licensed Realtor – proves to be indispensible during the selling process.

1. They offer wide exposure. Find an agent with the education, experience and know-how – along with the backing from a brokerage and powerful brand – to increase exposure of your house to potential buyers. Your agent can devise a marketing plan that stresses showing your property to other agents as well as to the public.

2. They bring objectivity. You probably love your home even with all its faults, but a prospective buyer might not be so dazzled. A solid real estate agent can give you helpful tips on things that need to be fixed and ways to improve your home’s appearance and curb appeal. Your agent can also evaluate and focus on features that might set your house apart from the competition.

3. They know the market. Agents can access current market data about pending and recent sales, and they can use that information to help you establish an appropriate asking price for your home. Homeowners often expect unrealistically high prices for their homes, which can turn off buyers who are seeing homes with more competitive prices. A house that is priced accurately from the get-go will sell more quickly and for a higher price than those that are priced too high right out of the gate.

4. They take care of all showings. You may not be available to show your home to prospective buyers, or you may have already moved out, but your agent can show your house even when you aren’t there. Agents can answer visitors’ questions and take note of their feedback. Further, prospective buyers usually feel more comfortable touring a house when the owner isn’t present. They might want to comment on a house’s drawbacks.

5. They take security seriously. Real estate agents can vet all potential buyers, including verifying they’re pre approved for a home loan and weeding out the “looky-loos” who aren’t serious buyers. They also can provide security by pre-screening visitors and accompanying them while they’re in the house.

6. They’re prepared to negotiate. Agents will negotiate contracts on your behalf. FSBO sellers generally negotiate with a professional representing the buyer’s interests. Your agent, on the other hand, can help you negotiate with the buyer’s agent to secure a contract that gets you the best price for your house.

7. They help you avoid legal trouble. Your agent knows the requirements for disclosures in your state. The seller is required to disclose any problems that could affect the value of the property. In most states, it’s against the law to hide physical problems such as flood hazards and prior damage. Some states require a seller to search for such problems even if they aren’t obvious. An agent helps prepare necessary disclosure documents.

8. They’re with you to the end – and beyond. Getting to the closing table is a complicated process, filled with paperwork, and mistakes can sidetrack the deal. Good real estate agents have safeguards in place to avoid them. Your real estate agent will work with you every step of the way to closing, and can even be a resource for you as you consider your next move.

9. They follow a strict Code of Ethics. Realtors are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and they are required to complete a two-and-a-half hour Code of Ethics course every four years. The repeat training ensures that agents are familiar with the code’s newest provisions and that its key guidelines are reinforced: protecting clients, protecting communities and protecting the industry.

Are you having second thoughts about selling your home on your own? Find a RE/MAX All Pro agent who can guide you through it all.

AV’S BEST REAL ESTATE SERVICES 2015

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It probably comes as no surprise to many in the Antelope Valley that RE/MAX All-Pro has once again been selected by Antelope Valley Press readers as AV’s Best Real Estate Services for 2015. The company is coming up on its 25th Anniversary next year and a multiple winner in this prestigious category.

“We are a very focused and forward-thinking real estate company that provides our clients the ultimate real estate experience. We understand the process of buying and selling a home through a client’s eyes and we provide them the best real estate council, advice, and negotiation skills,”says Broker/Owner Keny Terracciano.

“Our agents are the most productive and experienced agents in the Valley, and we pride ourself on the fact that nobody sells more real estate in the world than RE/MAX,” explains Broker/Owner Keny Terracciano. “When looking to buy or sell real estate, the consumers seek out the best brand in real estate, and no other brand in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX with over 1 million homes sold worldwide in 2014.  It is a win for the client and it is a win for the agents that work at RE/MAX All-Pro.”

“As a real estate broker, I am blessed beyond measure to lead a group of highly educated, successful, and experienced Realtors with unwavering focus on navigating and educating their clients through every step of the real estate transaction,” expresses Keny Terracciano.

“As an organization, we strive to give back to the community in which we serve through our non-profit Cure a Child, our City of Lancaster partnership, and the RE/MAX All-Pro Community Outreach programs. That is our company mission, and has provided much success for our associates and brokerage,” adds Terracciano.

The company’s continuing growth is reflected in Terracciano’s opening a Palmdale location at 3001 Rancho Vista Boulevard in Rancho Vistaand they look forward to serving the entire Antelope Valley.


 

Thank you for making us AV’s BEST Real Estate Services BACK to BACK!!!
If you need help finding your dream home, contact us to put our local knowledge and experience to work for you. Get the very BEST real estate professionals on your team with RE/MAX All-Pro.

7 Easy Steps to Declutter Your Home Before You Sell

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Spring is here!

When it comes to preparing to sell your home, the best place to start is clearing the clutter. Clutter includes all of those things we have a tendency to save that we no longer use that just lie around or take over extra space in our homes. We all are guilty of saving things in our homes, garages and basements that we forget we even still have. However, the more you declutter, the cleaner and more spacious your home will appear to prospective buyers and the quicker it will sell. If just thinking about it makes you feel overwhelmed, here are a few easy steps to get you started.

Step 1: Set a schedule

You are much more likely to stick to a routine, whatever it may be, if you work on a schedule. In addition, this allows you to clean when you can minimize interruptions and maximize your time.

Step 2: Do one room at a time

If you can visualize what you want, you will be better able to achieve it. By setting goals for each room, you can note the things that need changing and work toward that goal one day at a time.

Step 3: Create a deadline to finish

When do you hope to have your home ready for showing? One week, two weeks or even a month? Depending on your schedule and the amount of clutter that you have, it may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks before you can kick back and relax again. You may want to enlist the help of friends and family if you are on a short time schedule.

Step 4: Start small

The clutter in your home didn’t appear overnight, and it won’t disappear overnight either. If you start small, you will be less likely to get frustrated and give up midway through your cleanup.

Step 5: Categorize your clutter

When cleaning, it’s important to categorize your items into groups. By separating the items that you want to keep, toss and donate, you will be able to move through your clutter quickly and efficiently.

Step 6: Letting go

A good rule of thumb for uncluttering your home is to get rid of anything that you haven’t used within the past year. If it’s still useful, consider donating it to a good cause or having a garage sale. Otherwise, toss it.

Step 7: Pack it up

Since you are planning on moving anyway, pack up those items that you can’t part with but don’t need to use any time soon. You can either put them in storage until your move or confine them to a designated space in your garage, basement or attic. Buyers will perceive that you are a family that is organized, ready to move and it is less to pack once you sell your home.

Find a RE/MAX All Pro agent who can guide you every step of the way.

Press Release “GRAND OPENING Palmdale – New real estate office opens”

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AV Press Grand Opening

Sell that home!

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Selling a house can be stressful. Making the decision, preparing the house for sale, keeping it clean, waiting for a buyer, dealing with offers, and advancing to the closing table – all of these steps can involve discomfort. This is a huge financial transaction with many emotional aspects. But you can get it done – and it may even be easier than you anticipate. One thing to keep in mind is that you’re not alone. An experienced, professional real estate agent can guide you through the process, help resolve any issues that come up, and ensure that your home sells for the optimal price in a timely manner.

Home Seller Mistake No. 1: Pricing Too High

“I can always lower the price later if I don’t get any offers.”

That statement costs home sellers millions of dollars every year.

Yes, you can always lower your asking price, but that’s not a good strategy. Time and time again, experience shows that sellers who list competitively from the start get a better price than sellers who list high and then go lower and lower.

Why? Psychology.

When you price too high, here’s what buyers think:

“Wow, three price cuts in the last four months… There must be something wrong with that house.”

“With all the price cuts on this house, the sellers must be desperate. Let’s offer them far below what they’re asking and see if they bite.”

Sound Pricing Strategies

A far smarter approach is to find a knowledgeable agent who understands the local market and then work together on setting the right price. A good agent can help you avoid the overpricing trap.

An experienced agent will help set the right price for your home by considering the following:

Similar homes, via a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA): Your agent will provide a professional analysis that goes deep into stats about recent sales and current listings similar to your home in size, age, condition and features. Sales within the past six months are especially relevant.

General market conditions: Is it a seller’s market or a buyer’s market in your community? It’s important to note that what’s happening nationally may not reflect local conditions. Your agent can explain the difference and clear up any misconceptions you may have.

Find a local RE/MAX AllPro agent who can tell you all about helping you meet your real estate goals.