Setting the sales price for your Santa Cruz real estate is the most important factor to get it sold quickly and at a price you’re happy with. Why is it so important?

 A high price can turn people away. Pricing doesn't just influence how much money you’ll make off the sale of your Santa Cruz real estate, it also dictates whether buyers will even take the time to look at your home. Price your home too high and it could sit on the market for months until you lower your asking price. Identify your home's true value in today’s market, and set the price slightly under that price if you want to sell your home as quickly as possible.

• Your home’s appeal drastically decreases after the first two to three weeks of showings. The amount of traffic that a…

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One of the first things you want to do to get your home in Santa Cruz sold is to hire a Listing Agent. Listing Agents (or what some call Seller’s Agents) are agents who look out for the best interests of the sellers, perform tasks required to sell the property and guide sellers through the real estate process.

Here are five tips to help you choose a Listing Agent to sell your home in Santa Cruz:

1. Find a Listing Agent who blogs. Reading his/her blog posts gives you a feel for who this agent is and his/her level of knowledge about the local real estate market.

2. Consider one with a CRS and/or GRI designation. CRS means Certified Residential Specialist, and GRI means Graduate, REALTOR® Institute. While this does not guarantee the agent knows more…

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Open houses take some work on your part in order to make them successful, but they’re worth the effort. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, almost 50 percent of buyers used open houses as a key part of their home search. Additionally, it allows you to pull large numbers of buyers inside to preview your Santa Cruz home for sale.

Here are three tips for getting tons of buyers to attend the next open house for your Santa Cruz home for sale:

1. Invite the neighbors. You might think you don't want neighbors coming to your open house. Actually, neighbors are a great way to find a buyer for your home. They might have a friend or coworker who is looking for a home, they already know everything about your neighborhood and they have a vested…

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Even though you’re a first-time Santa Cruz home buyer, you may want to skip the starter home and drive straight to your dream home. Due to lower housing prices and interest rates, you may be able to afford (or at least qualify for a loan for) your dream home. But that doesn’t mean it’s the right move for you.

What is a starter home?

A starter home is a home that is less expensive than the average Santa Cruz home. It's usually less expensive because it is smaller, older or a fixer-upper.

What are the benefits of buying a starter home?

If you’re struggling to let go of your desire to own your dream home right now, consider these benefits of buying a starter home:

• It’s easier to qualify for a smaller mortgage.
• You can stop paying rent and…

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You’ve heard that buying a foreclosed home is a good idea. But you’re not sure why. Below are two benefits of buying foreclosed homes in Santa Cruz.

• Foreclosures are typically priced below their true market value. How much money can you save by buying foreclosed homes in Santa Cruz?  Most sources say 5 to 15 percent is the average amount saved by buying a foreclosure.

• You can afford to get a larger or more luxurious home. Because the price is lower than the true market value, you can usually buy a larger foreclosed home for the same price as a smaller home that isn’t going through foreclosure.

There are also risks involved when buying a foreclosure. Before deciding to buy a foreclosure, ask yourself these questions:

• How much experience…

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Like any commodity, you’re going to make money if you buy Santa Cruz real estate when prices are low and sell when prices are high. So why haven’t you, and millions of others like you, bought a home during the major downturn in the real estate market?

When pushed for an answer, many potential buyers respond that they’re afraid, unsure or allowing their emotions to guide them. They’re worried that Santa Cruz real estate prices will see another huge drop. Or they’re unsure if prices have reached rock bottom so they can get the very lowest price possible.

Stop allowing your emotions to guide you. Face the facts. The real estate market is steadily improving. Those low prices are gradually moving higher and higher. It’s time to get off the fence and buy…

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Most buyers consider bathrooms to be one of the most important aspects of a home. If you’re thinking of selling any time soon, give your bathroom a facelift to increase your Santa Cruz home’s value and help it sell faster.

Here are seven ways to fluff up your bathroom without breaking the bank:

1. Spring for a new toilet seat. Buy a well-known brand name, and spend the extra money for a quality seat material. Polypropylene, basically a hard plastic material, is a very good choice.

2. Remove old wallpaper. Rent a steamer or use the scrape method to remove old wallpaper. Paint the walls in a neutral color.

3. Lighten it up. Install updated lighting fixtures to make the bathroom in your Santa Cruz home instantly brighter.

4. Refinish your…

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Most property owners getting ready to sell their Santa Cruz real estate understand the importance of cleaning, de-cluttering, updating and staging in order to make a quick sale. However, there are also many other steps you can take to ensure your home appeals to potential buyers, draws them in and seals the deal.

Below are five tips to help you not only get your house in tip-top shape, but also make it extremely marketable:

1. Find a good Santa Cruz real estate agent. While many people think they can sell their home themselves and save money, they’re wrong. Relying on a professional’s expertise and experience has been proven to net you a bigger profit — and definitely reduce your stress and frustration.

2. Clean and de-clutter. While this goes…

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The kitchen is the gathering place in most Santa Cruz homes. That's probably why it gets dirty so quickly. A dirty, messy kitchen can make your whole house feel like a disaster. It can also breed germs that are dangerous to you and your family.
Here are five cleaning tips to remove bacteria and make your kitchen shine:

1. Use a paper towel. If you need to clean up a mess from raw meat, eggs or anything likely to cause contamination, use a paper towel and throw it out.

2. Microwave your sponges. Kitchen sponges are the number one source of germs in most Santa Cruz homes. To disinfect a sponge, wet it and pop it in the microwave for two minutes. Depending on the power of your microwave, a dry sponge may catch fire so be sure to wet it first.


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According to the National Association of REALTORS®' recently released 2011 Legal Scan: Legal Issues Facing Real-Estate Professionals, nondisclosure of a property's problems is becoming a bigger issue. That could result in more lawsuits against sellers who have not provided full disclosure of problems with their property.

As a seller, you must disclose anything that might impact the value of your Santa Cruz home. That includes something as small as a toilet that doesn’t flush properly to something as big as an unstable foundation.  Anyone selling a Santa Cruz home, even in “as-is” condition, must obey disclosure laws.

Here are six things you, as the seller, must reveal:

1. Termites.  If your Santa Cruz home has or had a problem with termites, it…

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