As you may be aware, there are two primary ways to sell and buy Santa Cruz homes. One, FSBO (For Sale By Owner), means just what it says – the owner sells the home. The second, of course, is selling the home through a real estate agent. What you may not be aware of is the main reasons why so many choose to hire an agent, whether selling or buying Santa Cruz homes.

Should you hire an agent? Of course, I’m going to say yes. However, what I really want you to do is make up your own mind after reading. Only you can answer this question because only you know your situation, but you need to know the facts:

Fact #1, for buyers – Real estate is one of the biggest areas of fraud in the U.S., and a fraud in which the scammer is less likely to be caught. Instances…

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It’s open season on homes for sale in Santa Cruz, and no hunting license is needed. You might want to wear bright orange jackets if you’re a seller, though. It’s a buyer’s market and, in this case, you want the house hunters to see you.

Now, you can only take the hunting analogy so far; I don’t think you’d appreciate being hung on a wall as a trophy. You will appreciate hunters setting their sights on homes for sale in Santa Cruz, however. Here are a few tips to ensure that your home is the one they target:

Stand out in the open
To put it simply, buyers are using more and more technology nowadays. Obviously, you, as the seller, want to be where the buyers are, right? Embrace the Internet. Twitter, Facebook, blogging and other forms of social media are…

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If you have a home for sale in Santa Cruz or anywhere else in the U.S., you may have heard of the term “disclosure.”  What is it, why is it important, and what does it entail?

What is disclosure?
First, disclosure is the act of informing a buyer about any issues that your home for sale in Santa Cruz may have. For instance, if the home has water damage in the basement, you may have to tell the potential buyer about it. I say, “may have to,” because in some states disclosure is a legal issue. In some states, not disclosing issues may be illegal, while in other states, non-disclosure is perfectly legal.

Why is disclosure important?
Real estate transactions are fraught with pitfalls, many of which can end with a lawsuit. Non-disclosure is one of the pitfalls.…

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“Buyer’s market” means that the buyers have the upper hand; there’s more supply than demand. When it comes to selling your home, it’s safe to say that you’re competing in one of recent history’s toughest real estate markets.  This is a true buyer’s market, where supply far outweighs demand. So how do you go about selling your home in these conditions?

Interview Santa Cruz  Real Estate Agents
Don’t pick an agent based on looks. An agent who drives an expensive car may very well just be someone who lives beyond his or her means. Instead, create a list of the top Santa Cruz  real estate agents in the area and interview them. Ask:

• About their experiences in selling homes in your area this year and last year – not in years gone by
• What they’d recommend to…

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While many homes that haven’t sold are being rented instead, some that have been rented out are now up for sale. So what do you do if the house you’re renting becomes a Santa Cruz  home for sale?

Get a Fresh Perspective
Nobody wants to get kicked out of his or her home. However, if it comes down to it and you have 60 to 90 days left before you have to move from what is now a Santa Cruz  home for sale, look at your options from a fresh perspective.

• If the home has problems and you’ve been responsible for some of the upkeep, it’s no longer your problem. If you still don’t want to buy a home, you can rent somewhere else with a home that has fewer problems than the one you’re moving out of.

• If the rent was high and you’ve been struggling to keep it…

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 Let’s face it.  A lot of people like the idea of the easy lifestyle condos in Santa Cruz County provide.  While there are a multitude of positive reasons to buy a condo, many people are so glamorized by the idea that they fail to make sure condos fit their needs. 

Before you jump in and buy one of the condos in Santa Cruz County, make sure you also consider what some people consider the downside to owning a condo:

1.  Space – Buying a condo means sharing an interest in it.  What you own is your personal “box of air.”  The rest of the condo - the common areas - is shared between the other owners.

2.  Neighbors – Because you share walls and common areas, there’s a high chance that you’ll be able to hear them as they move about their own space.  You’ll…

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You don’t list your Santa Cruz home for sale on a whim; you don’t just decide you don’t like the one you have. Selling a home carries significant financial, emotional and family repercussions. Selling your home is one of those life decisions, the ones you discuss with your spouse, look over with professionals and use experts to move forward.

While you might have been able to list your Santa Cruz home for sale and have it sold quickly at the beginning of the decade, that’s no longer the case. Now, you have to be truly motivated in order to get your home sold.   Unmotivated sellers, those without concrete reasons, are not serious sellers. 

If you’re a motivated seller, on the other hand, you have several new marketing weapons at your disposal. These…

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In bygone days, the key to closing many of the deals on Santa Cruz homes for sale often relied on an agent’s networking skills. Those of us with a successful real estate history knew where to go to bring Santa Cruz homes for sale, financers and buyers together.

In fact, the real estate community became so used to “the way things were done,” the standards for home purchasing and financing became a little lax. Today, regulators have taken aim at any less-than-transparent practices by, quite simply, changing the rules.

Were the “good ole’ days” competitive? Most definitely. Were they as competitive as they are today? Not even close.

Now, in order to complete contracts on Santa Cruz homes for sale, you have more transparency and a stricter set of industry…

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Spring is the rainy season for many parts of the nation and, for those areas where spring doesn’t bring rain, summer does. Rain brings mold, mold grows on your Santa Cruz real estate and buyers run. Of course, if it doesn’t rain, there’s always humidity, which can also cause mold and mildew in the home.

How do I know if I have mold?
Well, for example, if you get up in the morning, walk into your living room and find a swimming pool where your couch used to be, you might have mold once the water dries up. Of course, if you have swimming pool in your living room every spring, you can always use it as a selling point… “Living room boasts natural, seasonal pool!”

On the serious side, mold is often indicated by a musty, often sharp smell in the home. You also…

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You’ve finally decided that, yes, you can afford to buy a Santa Cruz home. After years of frugal saving, hard work and patient waiting, the timing is great. You don’t want to wait anymore, so you rush out and start looking for homes. It is, after all, a buyer’s market, and you’re a buyer.

Now, if you read about real estate, you’ve probably considered your credit. Is my credit strong enough? Is my score high enough? Some go to lenders and request preapproval. A few request prequalification. Many, however, go to the “free” credit score searches.

Of those who use the credit score searches, some find a Santa Cruz home they want to buy. They then confidently take their credit reports to the lenders and find out the lenders don’t care about the reports.…

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