May 2011

Found 16 blog entries for May 2011.

Most, if not all, Santa Cruz real estate buyers begin with an Internet property search. Even buyers who are working with real estate agents start the weed-out process on the Web.

Because real estate has such a strong virtual presence these days, smart internet marketing (including price setting) is an absolute must for selling your home quickly.  Here are a few pricing techniques to maximize the number of potential buyers who find your home when they search for Santa Cruz real estate online:

• The theory of 9s - Most real estate search engines have parameters that filter listings based on $25,000 or $50,000 price blocks. For instance, you can search for houses valued $150,000-$200,000 or $200,000-$250,000. Many sellers don’t seem to take this into

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There’s a lot of confusion surrounding short sales, so I thought I’d answer some of the questions I’ve received from clients, owners of Santa Cruz real estate and blog readers.

Q:  What is a short sale?

A:  A short sale is when a lender agrees to accept less than what is owed on a home.  For example, you owe $300,000 on your home loan, but your lender will allow you to sell your home for $250,000.

Q:  Who makes up the difference between the short sale price and the amount owed?

A:  In the past, the owner of the Santa Cruz real estate would receive a 1099 income statement at tax time.  The “forgiven amount” would then be counted as income subject to income tax.  This left homeowners in debt to the federal government for the tax owed on that amount. 

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In this tough real estate market, you need all the advantages you can get in order to sell your home.  Staging is one of the biggest advantages you can give your home.

You’ve heard a lot about staging Santa Cruz homes and it’s usually followed by the words, "I can't afford to hire a professional stager.”  In today’s market you really can't afford not to.  Here are six myths about professionally staging Santa Cruz homes (and the facts behind the myths):

MYTH #1:  I can't afford to hire a professional home stager.

Fact:  Professional home staging is more affordable than you think. The industry has grown tremendously over the past few years, and because of this, the cost of home staging has become competitive.
MYTH #2:  I don't have time to look for

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With the overabundance of properties for sale these days, your Santa Cruz home for sale needs to stand out from the crowd.  One of the easiest things you can do to make your home shine is to finish all the basic repairs you’ve been putting off.

Here are 5 little repairs that make a big difference to potential buyers who visit your Santa Cruz home for sale:

1. Perk up the exterior:  As we all know, first impressions are crucial.  Give your picket fence, mailbox and front door a fresh coat of paint.  Missing roof shingles and hanging gutters frighten potential buyers, so fix them.  Give buyers the opportunity to think, “Where’s the best place for our couch?” rather than “Oh no, there’s a problem with the roof!”

2. Fix dripping faucets:  A dripping faucet

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If your home is sitting on the market month after month, or you’re only receiving ridiculously low offers, then you might be committing one of several common selling slip-ups. Some homes almost sell themselves, but if you don’t have that amazing home in the perfect location, you’ll need to be especially careful that you’re not committing one these four easily-avoidable Santa Cruz real estate mistakes.

1. Your home is priced too high. If no one’s even looking at your house, it may be priced above market value. Check out the competition, and reevaluate how badly you need to sell. If you’re unwilling to drop the price to get buyers through the front door, maybe it’s not a good time for you to sell.

2. Your house isn’t marketed well. Make sure you and your

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Finally, it’s spring!  With this winter’s record setting snow and rain, it’s more important than ever to perform some spring maintenance tasks.  You’ll reduce frustration and save money by touring your property to head off problems that may have occurred during the cold winter months.

Here’s a list of my top 10 Santa Cruz home maintenance tasks for the spring:

1. Cut shrubs and trees.  Remove dead or broken limbs.  Have a professional tree service remove large trees that are dead.  Trim overgrown trees and shrubs away from your home to discourage the growth of mildew and moisture.

2. Check your gutters and downspouts. You know the old adage “April showers bring May flowers.”  Don’t let all those April showers cause your basement or crawl space to

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