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Category Archives: Sell a Home

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.

For all the things that move you®

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At RE/MAX All-Pro, we understand the stress that can be involved in moving, and we want to make your real estate experience as smooth as possible. When you are ready for the big move, our 15 foot box van is available for the exclusive use of our friends, family, and clients. Call your RE/MAX REALTOR for details and reservations. Some rules and restrictions apply. Call for details.

New Year’s Pledges for Home Sellers

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The New Year is a time for resolutions. If you’re thinking about selling your home in 2015, here are some resolutions that could help boost your chances of a quick sale.

Repeat to yourself: “I pledge to…”

“Avoid drastic design changes” – Unless you plan to turn your bold color palette into a more neutral one, then it’s best not to try and anticipate what buyers want in design and décor. The best approach to freshening up your home for sale is to simplify and depersonalize the look and feel so that potential buyers can picture building their own lives there. If you think repainting a bright purple wall, replacing an old toilet or buffing and restaining kitchen cabinets would help the home sell, by all means make these types of updates. Just be sure to keep your personal preferences in check. Your real estate agent can help you prioritize and remain objective.

 “Stop neglecting the drippy faucet” – This applies to any repairs you might view as minor but actually could be a symptom of a larger system problem. Addressing things like plumbing leaks, poor ventilation and cracks in walls helps everyone avoid surprises from the inspection report and avoid the delay or even cancellation of a sale. When you have the information, you can either make the fixes or work with your agent to adjust pricing during negotiations with the buyer.

“Price my home reasonably” – It’s understandable to think your home is the best on the block and worth more than all the others – especially if you’ve invested in key upgrades and remodels. And, frankly, you might be right. But the only way to truly know is to consider recent sales of comparable homes in your area. Your real estate agent can provide you with the latest information and help you list at a competitive price that’s appropriate for your area and the local real estate climate.

 “Make my home inviting” – This starts with creating curb appeal. The condition of your home’s exterior is a big part of getting buyers in the door. Maintaining the yard, sweeping the porch and driveway, replacing the tattered welcome mat, replacing missing house numbers, and removing clutter all are things that can help improve curb appeal.

 “Thin out the clutter” – The best time for making tough decisions about what stays and what goes is BEFORE you put your home on the market. By the time the for-sale sign goes up, the home should be clutter free. You can either toss things you don’t want, sell these items, or move the more personal ones to storage. The types of items to remove include your prized knick-knack collection, clothes overflowing from the closets, and family photos. You want all closets and cupboards to appear as spacious as possible. When they’re jam-packed, it gives the impression that storage is limited even if that’s not the case.

“Clean like I’ve never cleaned before” – Think about under, behind, around and between. It’s easy to focus on cleaning the major surfaces, high-traffic areas, and areas that are visible. But what about the dust on top of the refrigerator? How about the slats in the window blinds? Have you cleaned the cabinets under the kitchen or bathroom sink recently? Did you notice the cobwebs behind the guest-room door? Look high and low for the dirt.

“Nail down my next step” – Don’t let your new plans and new place get lost in the shuffle of selling your old place. Determine where you’ll go next before your home goes up for sale. Are you prepared to move if your home sells that quickly? Although it might not be typical, a quick sale is certainly possible. On the other hand, are you prepared if your home doesn’t sell quite so quickly? Be sure to talk with your real estate agent about your relocation needs and timeline.

Find a local RE/MAX All pro agent who can tell you all about his or her own resolutions for helping you meet your real estate goals.

6 Pricing Mistakes Every Seller Can Avoid

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If you’re getting ready to sell your home, you want to get the most money for your investment, right? One of the key factors that will sell your home is price, and having a sound pricing strategy is a must if you want to find the right buyer.

Here are six common pricing mistakes all sellers should avoid.

1. Overpricing from the start – You might think your home is the best on the block and should command a price relative to the value you see. Wrong. You have to appeal to the value homebuyers see. Overpricing your home at the onset could leave out strong potential buyers, especially if recent sales and other factors in your neighborhood don’t justify your listing price. You also run the risk of needing multiple price reductions, which keep your home on the market that much longer.

2. Leaving out potential buyers in online searches – Entering a price range is the first search parameter most homebuyers use to narrow down their options. If a buyer’s price range is, say, $250,000 to $300,000, they won’t see your home if it’s listed at $305,000. It might make sense to list it right at $300,000 so that you capture potential buyers in the ranges above and below. Ultimately, this is up to you and your agent, but the range your home’s price falls into is certainly worth thinking about – especially if you’re teetering between price ranges anyway.

3. Not considering recently sold properties – To arrive at a listing price that will generate buyer interest, you can’t base your price solely on the prices of other homes in your area that are listed for sale. You also need to consider recent sales in your neighborhood and the final sale prices. An experienced agent can provide you with information on recent sales to help you see the bigger picture.

4. Getting too creative with your asking price – Make it easy for buyers and pick round numbers. Listing a home for $512,477, for example, will give potential buyers pause about your intentions and divert attention from your property to you, as the seller. Maybe it’s best to save the creative juices for the property description.

5. Not being open to negotiation – The quickest way to kill a sale is to dig in your heels on asking price before the for-sale sign even goes in the yard. Negotiation is a two-way street, and if you refuse to budge on pricing or other conditions, you might be in for very bumpy (and long) ride. Ask yourself: Is it more important to get full asking price, or can you make a few concessions to find common ground that will ensure a closed sale?

6. Ignoring your agent’s insights – The best route to the right price starts with picking a great agent and then listening to his or her advice. Your agent will look at your situation from all angles – your home’s features, the local market, recent sales and more – to help you make an informed decision about pricing.

Ready to list your home? A local RE/MAX All Pro agent can help you price it right and get it sold.​​