16239 Kamana Road Apple Valley, Ca 92307

  • Multi-family Home
  • Open Floor Plan
  • Wet Bar
  • Spacious Bonus Room
  • Private Dining Area
  • Gourmet Kitchen
  • Spacious Pantry Area
  • Private Study Area
  • Master Suite Balcony
  • Private Balcony View
  • Watch The Sun Rise
  • Lattice Covered Patio
  • RV Parking

Offered at $385,000

Property Type: Single Family
Year Built: 1990
Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 3
Living Space: 2862 sq. ft.
Lot Sq. Ft.:20,200 sq. ft.

Cozy Desert Home Located in Apple Valley, California

The home features 4 bedrooms, 3 baths with 2,862 sq. ft. of spacious living area which is Air Conditioned for comfort, filled with all the modern conveniences. Sit on the quiet covered patio or go through the master bedroom french doors which leads to a private balcony. Enjoy the scenic view of local mountains and admire the night stars, watch the sun bring out nature's glorious colors.

Located on a 20,600 square foot lot with an RV parking area. The newly added block wall brings added privacy while sunbathing. One of Apple Valley's most desired area known as Desert Knolls is surrounded with neighboring medical facilities like St. Mary's Hospital and much more. Hurry, this property won't last long on the market.

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Home Worth

Seller Secrets-Proving Market

Seller Secrets-Proving Market

Seller Secrets-Market Value

Seller Secrets-Market Value

Best Way To Hold Title


Written by: Paul Horn, California Licensed Attorney & CPA

Owning your own home or a rental property is very different than owning your wardrobe, a computer or a car. The way you own your home or your rental property is the way you hold title to that property. How you choose to hold title is very important because it has many tax and legal consequences during your life time and when the property is transferred to your heirs when you die. Holding title incorrectly could translate into costing you or your heirs hundreds of thousands of dollars in unnecessary income taxes and legal fees. Did you realize that when you bought your home, you were asked how you wanted to hold title? Did you understand the tax and legal ramifications of all your options before
deciding what kind of title you wanted to hold on your purchase?

These next few pages may not address every imaginable situation, but they will help put
you on the path of thinking about whether your current or future ways of holding title are
the best to maximize tax savings and avoid expensive legal fees.

These are the common ways to hold title in California:

1) sole ownership,

2) joint tenancy,

3) tenancy in common,

4) community property,

5) community property with right of survivorship,

6) LLC/corporation,

7) partnership, and

8) trust.

1. Sole Ownership

A Single Man/Woman

Example: John Doe, a single man

A Divorced Man/Woman: A man or woman, having been legally divorced

Example: Jane Doe, an unmarried woman
A Married Man/Woman, as His/Her Sole & Separate Property

This method is used when one spouse is using his/her separate inheritance or cash acquired before getting married and is using those funds to purchase the property. When a married man or woman wishes to acquire title in his or her name alone, the title insurance company will require that the other spouse consent, by quitclaim deed or otherwise, to transfer, thereby relinquishing all right, title and
interest in the property.

Example: John Doe, a married man, as his sole and separate property

This is generally the way most single people hold title. If you own an asset in your sole name
then the asset will need to be probated in court after you die. This is because once you die, no
one will have the legal authority – only you had the legal authority. Whoever receives the
property will receive the property with a stepped up basis; meaning if the decedent bought the
property for $100,000 with no major improvement and at the time of death if the value is $1
million then the decedent’s heirs will receive the $1 million stepped up basis. If the heirs sold the
property for $1 million then the taxable proceed is $0 (zero)!

2. Joint Tenancy

Joint and equal interest in property owned by two or more individuals created under a single instrument with right of survivorship

Example: John and Mary Doe, husband and wife, as joint tenants

The main characteristic of holding title as joint tenancy is the right of survivorship. When one
joint tenant dies, his/her interest in the property is equally distributed to the remaining joint
tenants. The property does not become part of the individual’s estate, so it does not have to go
through probate under California law. This means that the transfer of property to the joint tenant
is easier, but it also means that a joint tenant cannot include his/her interest in the property in
his/her will. If unmarried individuals (such as brother or sister, investor, etc) hold title as joint
tenants and one owner dies, the property will automatically transfer to the other surviving joint

In a joint tenancy, the decedent’s half interest in the property receives the tax benefit of a basis
adjustment. Using the example of a property purchased by a married couple for $100,000 which
is now worth $1,000,000, when the first spouse dies, the adjusted basis for the surviving spouse
would be $550,000 ($500,000 for the decedent’s half, plus $50,000 for the surviving spouse’s
half). If the surviving spouse sold the property for $1,000,000 then the taxable proceed would be
$450,000 ($1,000,000 minus cost basis of $550,000 = $450,000).

3. Tenancy in Common

Under tenancy in common, the co-owners own undivided interests, but unlike joint tenancy, there is no right of survivorship; each tenant owns an interest, which on his or her death vests in (goes to) his or her heirs

Example: John Doe, a single man, as to an undivided ¾ interest and Sally, a single woman, as to an undivided ¼ interest, as tenants in common

Tenancy in common is a form of holding title to property owned by two or more individuals for
an undivided fractional interest. Tenancy in common carries no right of survivorship and each
party has a right to encumber, transfer, or sell his or her respective interest. For example if
brother and sister hold title as tenancy in common in a home, then upon the death of the brother,
the brother’s heirs (whoever they are) would get whatever was the brother’s interest in the
property. Further, unlike joint tenancy, the fractional interests held by spouses through tenancy in
common do not have to be equal and each spouse may sell, lease, will, or dispose of his or her
share of the property as he or she wishes. For example, three individuals could hold title as
tenancy in common, with one person having a 50% interest and each of the other two having a
25% interest. Each co-owner can sell, convey, or mortgage his or her interest without the consent
of the co-owners. The new owner simply becomes a tenant-in-common with the other owners.
This method is almost never used by spouses because of the lack of the right of survivorship, no
stepped-up tax advantages, the possibility of holding unequal fractional interests, and potential
devastating tax consequences.

4. Community Property

Property acquired by a married couple or domestic partners, or either spouse during marriage, other than by gift, bequest (inheritance), or as the separate property of either, is presumed community property

Example: John and Mary Doe, husband and wife, as community property
Example: Sally and Mary, registered domestic partners as community property

When the title to property is held by a married couple or domestic partners, as community
property, each spouse or partner has equal rights of management and control of the property and
the right to include his/her half of the community property in his or her will. If the first spouse or
domestic partner dies without a will or leaves the property to the surviving spouse or domestic
partner, the property will go to the surviving spouse or domestic partner and no probate is

With community property, on the death of one of the spouses, both spouses’ half interests in the
property will get a stepped-up in income tax basis adjustment to fair market value. For example,
if the property was purchased for $100,000 and is worth $1,000,000 at the time of the first
spouse’s death, the surviving spouse will get a stepped-up basis to $1,000,000 for tax purposes.
If the surviving spouse sold the property for $1,000,000 then the taxable proceed would be
ZERO ($1,000,000 minus cost basis of $1,000,000 = $0 (zero) gain! Further, because of the
unlimited marital deduction, no estate taxes would be levied against the property upon the death
of the first spouse creating an additional tax advantage.

Each owner has the right to dispose of his/her one half of the community property, by will.

5. Community Property with Right of Survivorship

Community property acquired by a married couple or registered domestic partners when
 expressly declared in the transfer document to be “community property with right of
  survivorship,” shall pass to the surviving spouse or partner without having to first pass
  through the administration of the estate.

Interest must have been created on or after July 1, 2001
John and Mary Doe, husband and wife, as community property with right of survivorship

Under California law, spouses or registered domestic partners can enjoy the benefits of
community property, while simultaneously receiving the benefit of joint tenancy: the automatic
right of survivorship by holding title as community property with right of survivorship. Because
the property is still under the guise of community property, the surviving spouse is able to obtain
the full step-up in basis for income tax purpose. This will likely result in a tremendous tax
savings for the surviving spouse if the property has appreciated. The tax analysis here is the same
as in community property that was discussed above. To reiterate the example above: if husband
and wife bought the property for $100,000, and upon the death of the first spouse, the fair market
value of the property is $1,000,000, the surviving spouse cost basis is $1,000,000 resulting in $0
(ZERO) taxable income if the property was sold for $1,000,000. The end result is that the
surviving spouse 1) receives the entire property without any burdensome delays, 2) avoids
probate and unnecessary legal expenses, but 3) still obtains a significant tax savings.

Absent any of the limitations of special circumstances, most couples would benefit most from
community property with right of survivorship.

6. Corporation & LLC

A Corporation: A corporation is a legal entity; created under state law, consisting of one or more shareholders but regarded under law as having an existence and personality separate from such shareholder(s).

For many reasons, few investors hold investment real estate in C corporations. A corporation protects the shareholders from personal liability, however the double taxation of dividends and the inability to have “paper losses” from depreciation flow through to owners make a C corporation inappropriate for real estate investments.

Limited Liability Companies (LLC): This form of ownership is a legal entity and is similar to both the corporation and the partnership. The operating agreement will determine how the LLC functions and is taxed. Like the corporation its existence is separate from its owners.

The California LLC is probably the least understood entity, but it’s the best entity to hold ownership to real estate investment property (rental property) because of the asset protection it provides and the beneficial tax treatment it offers over the corporation. This is especially applicable to individuals who own investment properties in addition to their primary home.

7. Partnership

A partnership is an association of two or more persons who can carry on business for profit as co-owners, as governed by the Uniform Partnership Act. A partnership may hold title to real property in the name of the partnership. Partnership is included here for the sake of completeness but not it is relevant to the vast majority of homeowners holding title to a home.

8. Trust

Title to real property in California may be held by a trustee in trust; the trustee of the trust holds title pursuant to the terms of the trust for the benefit of the trustor/beneficiary

Example: John buyer trustee of the John’s Family Trust

Community property with right of survivorship is an inexpensive and convenient way to avoid probate and to significantly reduce tax liability for spouses. However, community property with right of survivorship, though not entirely devoid of disadvantages, seems to be a far superior choice to joint tenancy. In certain cases holding title in a living trust may offer additional benefits to couples. The primary advantage of a living trust is that assets transferred to the trust are not part of the settlor’s probate estate and are not subject to probate proceedings in California. Avoiding probate will save significant costs and attorney fees. In our example, a $1 million house will cost at least $23,000 in statutory attorney fees in probate. Furthermore, probate proceedings are public records with no privacy and can be lengthy, resulting in delays for a minimum of twelve to eighteen months before the assets are distributed to the heirs. These are some of the reasons why a trust has become the primary transfer device used by professional estate planners in California.


The best manner of holding title to a property is one of the most frequently overlooked items
when purchasing a home. The wrong choice in holding title to property will lead to increased tax liability and legal fees. Individual and couples should consider many factors when deciding how to hold title. It is always best to consult an experienced attorney, accountant or estate planner when purchasing a home or any other real property to ensure the best possible tax and legal outcomes down the road.

Summary of the Probate Process in California



Once you have figured out that a probate is needed in California, here is a summary of what is involved in a probate process. The first step is that the probate attorney will meet with the client to review what assets and liabilities are left behind by the deceased and collect important documents such as :

1) any original Will,

2) death certificate and

3) financial records.


The probate attorney will identify the heirs, devisees and beneficiaries. Heirs are those who rightfully have a stake in the estate if there is no Will, devisees are those named in the Will to receive assets from the estate, and beneficaries are those specifically named on “Will substitutes”, documents such as a trust, life insurance policy or retirement accounts.


The next step that the probate attorney takes is to petition the court to appoint the daughter, son, wife or whomever as the personal representative (PR) of the estate. The probate attorney will ask the court that full authority be given to administer the estate under the Independent Administration of Estate Act, known as IAEA. The full authority under the IAEA will allow the estate to sell the house just like any other real estate transaction IF the Notice of Proposed Action is given to all the heirs that the house is being sold. Unless the Will waives bond or all the heirs waive bond, then the PR must post a bond as an insurance policy against losses dues to the PR’s wrong doing.Next, the Notice of Petition to Administer Estate must be filed and served to all heirs within 15 days before the first court hearing.


Probate Code 8121 requires that the probate be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the city where the decedent resided at the time of death. A very important court form that is needed before you can sell the house is called “Letters”. The certified “Letters” form allows the PR to sell the house, access the deceased’s bank accounts, pay the creditors or take any other actions that are required to administer the estate. However, before “Letters” can be issued; there is a form called the “Statement of Duties and Liabilities” that must be filed with the court. This form lists all the PR’s responsibilities and because of all those duties, the PR gets exactly the same statutory probate fees listed in Probate Code 10800 that the probate attorney would be entitled to.


The basic purpose of a probate and the function of the PR are to collect the decedents assets, pay the debts and taxes, and distribute the decedent’s property to the heirs. Every single probate requires that an Inventory & Appraisal Form ( I& A) be filed with the court. If the PR has full authority then the estate does not have to sell the house for the required 90% minimum of the value listed in the I & A Form. The I & A Form has to be filed with the court within four months after issuance of Letters (Probate Code 8800). The PR must also file a change in ownership statement with the county. The PR also needs to file and mail a form called “Notice of Administration of the Estate” to all known and reasonably ascertainable creditors and to the required public entities (such as the Department of Health, California Victim Compensation, and the FTB).


After the house has been sold, creditors are paid, and taxes have been accounted for, then the estate can be put to rest by petitioning the court to close the estate. It is important to understand that the heirs CANNOT use any of the proceeds from the sale of the house until the court approves the distribution of the proceeds. The court will approve the distributions once the probate attorney prepares and files the Final Petition with the court that details how much the house was sold for and how much was paid to the creditors and how much is left for distribution to the heirs. When the court approves it then that is when everybody, including the PR and probate attorney, and the heir get their money. Then the probate case can be put to rest.

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Fax:      760-680.2044

Email: Rudy@RudyRodriguez.us

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Concierge Services


California Life Properties and Rudy Rodriguez are proud to announce its concierge service for our Southern California Realtor partners. Taking pride in what we do and offering meaningful services sets a standard of excellence we strive to provide. With a client first approach, our concierge services create a consistent agent experience that translates into superb client care. These services include;

  • Pre- arranged door to door delivery service of client documents, keys, signs, marketing
  • High tech call capture, fax, text & video conferencing services available for agent/client use
  • Broker direct screen sharing for contract collaboration, review and submission
  • Community ambassador service; arrange people, pets and community events
  • Professional design team for custom work on listings, campaigns and print work
  • Technology suite of services to write, receive, store and access all client documents
  • Value added Wells Fargo direct pay program for commission, BPO disbursements
  • Contracted attorney services for risk management and assessment of contractual matters
  • National research firm with access to statewide data to track, trend and forecast market values
  • National syndication services to promote and manage internet traffic and marketing efforts

Listing your property with a California Life Properties consultant incorporates these services to better serve our most trusted asset – our Seller and Buyer Clients.



   -a pet friendly real estate company-

About Rudy



they want to come true in life Whether it’s having the ultimate job, living where you’ve always wanted, starting a family or a combination of all these, our aspirations motivate us to pursue these passions and interests, but reaching your dreams starts by setting goals for yourself and having the tenacity and initiative to achieve them.



Having spent his childhood in Los Angeles, CA. Rudy was raised in a family-oriented atmosphere. The close-knit environment helped mold his strong family values. Rudy's inspiration to turn his passion into realty came in the form of education. As a self taught real estate investor he combined his deep affinity for real estate investing with the love of his faith and began investing full time. Being able to connect with people he has Taught others the act of real estate investing.



For Rudy, launching a successful business on the premise of helping people turn their aspirations into realty was another lifetime goal. He understands that buying and selling a home is one of life’s biggest and most emotional investments. As one of the area’s leading real estate professional, his approach to his client’s needs is characterized by his dedication to provide them with a level of service and guidance that will allow to make their move the best yet.




Rudy delights himself on having the industry knowledge and personalized approach to help his clients make sound investment decisions and take the guesswork out of their move and investments. Rudy’s intimate familiarity with the area and savvy business skills runs the gamut of expertise. He stays in constant communication throughout the process with timely updates and market information that allows clients to make the most of their time and effectively maximize their investment.

5-Star Customer



It is more than lip service, the number one ethic at Rudy Sells Realty, Inc., is taking care of the buying or selling customer! For this reason, our organization is designed to provide expert service during every step of the transaction. At CLP, the customer is the center of our universe. We have experts to manage the different parts of the transaction so everything goes smoothly. Our customers have an entire team to ensure a 5-star experience.

Making The Dream



Traditional brokerages have little or no concern with the customer (buyer/seller) and leave it 100% up to their self-employed real estate agent to deliver the knowledge and service (or lack of). This means there is no consistent quality or standard of care and minimal service by virtue of the capacity of the single agent. All of this is risky for the customer.

Seller Secrets-Understanding The Market

Understanding The Market

Seller – Proper Pricing

What would an upward or lower price adjustment look like based on the current market CMA?  Well, let’s look at an example.  Let’s say that the CMA of previously and recently sold similar homes shows that the listing price should be around $235,000.  However, those sales were between one month and three months old.  Our current market listing CMA shows that similar homes in the neighborhood are listed at $249,000 or thereabouts.  We and you may decide that the market is improving and justifies raising the listing price of your home to $245,000 so that it’s still competitive but a better deal for you.  Of course, this can work the other way as well.
A proper list price that reflects current and realistic market conditions is critical to getting your Apple Valley, Hesperia, Rancho Cucamonga, Rancho Santa Margarita, Wrightwood, and Eastvale real estate property sold quickly. We don’t want you to under–price, but it’s worse to over–price in any market. Buyers discount value by DOM, Days On Market. The longer a home stays on the market, the greater they’ll discount their offers. So, a realistic list price is how we make sure your property sells without languishing on the market.
How do we come up with a suggested list price that reflects your home’s competitive position? It’s a combination of services and experience, and we’re going to be very careful and detailed in our analysis and market evaluations to make sure that you don’t leave money on the table or sit around wondering why you aren’t getting offers.
Our evaluation of how your property compares to the current competition is the first step. Then we may suggest some worthwhile corrections you can make to improve that position. Once we know what your home will look like when listed, we’ll go into our thorough CMA, Comparative Market Analysis, process.

CMA of Sold Properties

First we select comparable properties out of those sold recently and in the neighborhood or nearby. These “comparables” or “comps” are selected based on similarity in features, location and characteristics with your home. They must have been sold as recently as possible so the sold prices are of maximum value.We then do a go through a detailed “adjustment” process to adjust their sold prices for any differences with your property. If a home has one more bedroom than yours, we would adjust that property’s sold price downward for the value of one bedroom to make the comparison “apples to apples.” We make adjustments for garages, bathrooms and other major features to bring our comps to closely compare with your home. Then we use those sold prices to arrive at a preliminary listing price for your home.We say “preliminary” because we have another CMA step.

CMA of Current Listings

Now we get more comps, but instead they’re properties currently listed and your competition. We go through the same adjustment process, and we come up with another, possibly higher or lower, price suggestion for your home. This second CMA gives us more up–to–date information about the market which could cause us to lower or raise our preliminary list price to adjust to the current market. Using the two CMA results and an experienced analysis of your home’s position in the marketplace, we can set a listing price that will get the job done.

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Eight Things To Consider Before Listing

cropped-MP9004140382.jpgEight Things To Consider Before Listing

So you have decided that you are going to sell your home. While your home may work just as it is for you and your family and you don’t want to invest any more time or money into your property, there are a few necessary steps that every homeowner should take in order to ensure that their home will sell quickly and at the highest price possible.

Contact A Real Estate Expert-A REALTOR® can give you advice on what your property’s potential value may be, what improvements your home needs to get the best price, and the best strategy to use to market your home.

Have Your Home Professionally Cleaned-While this may seem like an unnecessary expense, it can give your home that fresh appearance that really appeals to potential buyers.

Make All Necessary Minor Repairs-This is an inexpensive way to give your home a finished look and will convince potential buyers that the home is in good repair. This includes fixing any damage to walls and ceilings, installing new faucets or lighting fixtures, and making any cosmetic changes to the kitchen and bathrooms that will give your property a modern appearance.

Clear The Clutter-Giving your home an open and clean appearance can definitely make a huge difference in attracting buyers. Be sure you tidy any messy areas of the home, and depersonalize it by removing most photos and any items or collections that may distract buyers during open houses or while looking at pictures of your home.

Look At Your Home From A Buyer’s Perspective-Because you are use to it, sometimes you may not notice small imperfections or areas of your home that seem not to flow with the rest of the house. Try to take a walk through your home and on your property with fresh eyes, and be as critical as you would be if you were looking to buy your home again.

Make Repairs To The Exterior-Don’t forget the front and back yards, as well as the roof and brick or siding of your home, when making repairs to your property. Your investment is always worth it, and creating curb appeal can really make a difference in attracting buyers.

Have Professional Photographs Of Your Property Taken-Photographs are very important tools for home sales in today’s housing market, and having a complete set of high quality photos that best accentuate the features of your home is critical to the success of your marketing campaign.

Consider More Major Renovations If Necessary-If your kitchen or bathroom is very outdated or in bad repair, or you have electrical, plumbing, or mold problems in your home, these are all issues that can really stall the sale of your property. Fixing these problems will usually not only make your home sell more quickly, but will also increase the value of your home far beyond the expense associated with making the repairs in the first place.

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Choosing The Right Listing Agreement

cropped-MP9004140382.jpgChoosing The Right Listing Agreement

When listing your home with a REALTOR®, you will be required to sign an agreement. This document will outline all of the agreed upon terms, including the asking price of the property, the REALTOR’S® commission, length of the agreement, cancellation policy (if any) and other details that will govern how the listing is handled. As a homeowner, it’s important to choose the right listing agreement to fit your needs.

Evaluate Your Options

When you decide to sell your home, talk with several different REALTORS®. Speak with them over the phone, meet with them in person, ask for references or do anything that you can to get a feel for how they do business. In real estate, punctuality is a must. The REALTOR® that you choose should return your calls, answer your questions and should provide a listing agreement that coincides with any verbal agreements that you may have had regarding the listing. For instance, if you tell your REALTOR® that you only want to list your property for six months, make sure the listing agreement reflects six months and not one year or longer. In addition, make sure that your asking price is the same in the agreement as you agreed upon in earlier discussions.

Exclusive Right-To-Sell Real Estate Agreement

This contract is the most common in the real estate industry. With this agreement, the REALTOR® will earn a commission regardless of whether they sell the house or you sell the house yourself. Always make sure you understand what you are signing.

Open Real Estate Listing Agreement

This type of contract allows a homeowner to list with more than one REALTOR® in a non-exclusive manner. The agent responsible for presenting a buyer who purchases the property will receive the commission, which means REALTORS® will compete to see who can sell the house first. If the owner eventually sells the home without the help of a REALTOR®, they are not required to pay anyone a commission. An Open Listing Agreement is not common with REALTORS®, but it is one option to consider.

Exclusive Real Estate Agency Listing

This type of agreement requires that the homeowner list their property with only one real estate agency. Unlike an Open Listing Agreement, where the homeowner can list their property with multiple REALTORS®, an Exclusive Agency Listing entails only one agency being granted permission to list the home.

Read The Fine Print

Before signing any type of contract, homeowners must read over every detail to ensure that it represents the full agreement between themselves and their REALTOR®. Some things to consider include the length of the contract. Some REALTORS® prefer to have a minimum of one year to list a property, but the homeowner will have the option to negotiate. Some owners prefer a shorter term, such as one to six months.

Every real estate contract should outline a cancellation policy, which will provide details surrounding a release and/or fees and penalties. Some agents will offer a cancellation policy that allows the homeowner to cancel the contract by providing a 30-day written notice at any time.

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Home Staging: Should You Hire A Professional?

cropped-MP9004140382.jpgHome Staging: Should You Hire A Professional?

Home staging is the latest trend in real estate, and if you are selling your home you are likely at least aware of what this growing practice involves. Home staging is a marketing strategy that encourages you to make your home as presentable as it can be to buyers by dressing the interior and exterior of your house so that it looks more like a model home. While there are a number of interior designers, experts, and even REALTORS® who can offer you advice on staging your home for sale, for most sellers a few simple tips can save you the expense of hiring a home stager.

Clean Is Key

The most important tip to remember when preparing your home for resale is to make it clean, clean, clean. The last thing a potential buyer will want to see is a sink full of dishes or a grimy tub. This may seem like a simple task, but the cleaner it looks the more interest it will receive.

Clear The Clutter

Another important tip when staging your home is to lose the clutter. Keeping rooms simple, modern, and tasteful is key. Also be sure that each room has a clear purpose and that everything in the room fits that purpose. This is also a good time to depersonalize your home. Remove family photos, personal collections, and anything else that may not appeal to potential buyers or that may detract from the features of your home.

Curb Appeal

When staging your home, don’t forget to consider the appeal of the property itself. Be sure your front lawn is mowed and free of weeds, you have a tidy and presentable yard, and that the features of both the front and back yards are highlighted. You also want the potential of your property to be apparent to buyers who may want to make improvements.

There are some cases when you may also want to consider renting furniture or adding additional touches, but in most cases these simple steps can really make a big difference in getting the most for your home. A REALTOR® can give you all the advice you need to prepare your home for a quick sale.

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Getting Your Home Ready to Sell


Getting Your Home Ready to Sell

You would never dream of inviting guests to your house without making certain preparations, so don’t invite potential buyers without first making the necessary updates by preparing your home to sell. If you are like most sellers, you want to get as much as possible for your home and you want to do it as quickly as possible.

Letting Go

After you’ve lived in a house, it becomes much more than four walls and a ceiling. It’s a home and it has a lot of good memories. Your first step to preparing your home to sell is to realize that you will take these memories with you wherever you go, but you won’t be taking the house. It can be difficult to let go, but the task will be much easier if you start to think of it as a new beginning rather than an ending.

Cleaning House

An important part of getting your home ready to sell is in staging the decor for potential buyers. When you stage a home, you create an environment that is free of any personal items, such as photos and/or anything that stands out as being customized for you or your family. When a potential buyer walks through your home, they need to envision their belongings and decor without being distracted by yours. While these items may be special to you, they could possibly prevent the buyer from being able to imagine their own style complimenting the home.

In addition to removing any personal items, make sure that you remove any clutter from the home. A clean home seems larger and more inviting, whereas a lot of stuff lying around could give the impression that the home is too small or cramped for storage. Pack up any knickknacks, remove your children’s drawings from the refrigerator and clean up your counter space in both the kitchen and bathrooms.

Staging Your Home

Now that your house is clean, it’s time to put the finishing touches on the staging process. A solid, neutral shade in a tablecloth should be selected for the dining room table. Depending on your decor and wall coloring, a solid white, sand or ivory covering will work well. In the center of the table, a vase with fresh cut flowers (or silk, if you have allergies) will add a nice accent. Did you know that the kitchen and bathroom are two of the main selling points to any home? Keep this in mind when preparing your home for potential buyers.

The living room should have one focal point, whether it be a fireplace or breathtaking view of the outside world. If you have too many features screaming out at potential buyers, they may feel overwhelmed, so focus on one aspect and make it shine. If you have a mantle, line it with three candles that match your decor in color. Place a large candle in the center with one smaller one on each end, which will be reminiscent of a perfectly matched bookend set. A home with a stunning view should have window dressings that accent the positive, instead of hiding it. If your furniture has a design of any kind, mask it with a solid slipcover to compliment the flooring or wall color. Some homeowners also add a fresh coat of paint to their home, which will bring life back into a fading color. Turn on the lights and open the blinds and draperies to create a bright and inviting environment throughout your home.

Where To Store Your Stuff

Now that you know how important it is to remove any clutter and oversized or bulky furniture, you need to know where to put it. If you already have a new home, you can simply move it there. Otherwise, you can put it into storage until you are ready to move. It’s important to leave some essentials in your former home for potential buyers to see, such as a dining room table, a sofa and chairs, bed, etc. Any additional furnishings that seem to interrupt the flow of your home, or make it feel cramped, should be removed. You do not want potential buyers to feel as though the house is too small.

Details, Details, Details . . .

As a final strategy to prepare your home to sell, make sure that you have any carpet stains removed, windows cleaned, fresh linens placed in the bedrooms and bathrooms, etc. You would be surprised how many people pay attention to even the smallest of details, so be sure to fix any small repairs that could be a turnoff for buyers. Last but not least, make sure your home looks just as good on the outside as it does on the inside. This means that your lawn should be cared for, flower beds must be maintained and any outdoor clutter must be removed.

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Five Steps To Holding A Successful Open House

cropped-MP9004140382.jpgFive Steps To Holding A Successful Open House

An open house is one way that REALTORS® attempt to expose a home to multiple buyers at once. Not only is an open house designed to market the home in a way that differs from a simple listing, but it also opens the door for competitive offers as more than one buyer could potentially fall in love with a home on the same day.

Step # 1: Make Your Home Shine

A successful open house begins with cleanliness, so make sure that your home is ready to be shown. This means the clutter should be removed and the home should be “staged” to allow potential buyers to envision themselves living in a beautifully decorated home.

Step # 2: Cross Your T’s & Dot Your I’s

Your next step to an open house is making sure that the price is right. If the day is successful, you may be fielding offers within hours, so be ready to make a deal. Most open houses are advertised locally in order to attract buyers looking to move into the area, which means a newspaper ad may have a lot of potential. The advertisement should feature a photo, along with text that outlines all of the unique and positive aspects of the home. The date, time and clear directions should also be given in the ad, along with the REALTOR’S® contact information. Before your ad goes to press, make sure that you have proofread it to ensure accuracy.

Step # 3: Spruce Up Your Curb Appeal

As buyers begin to show up for your open house, they will want to see attractive landscaping with an inviting atmosphere. This will make them eager to see what’s inside the home. The front yard should feature an Open House sign with colorful balloons, but don’t forget to place signs along the street (with permission, of course) to help potential buyers find you.

Make sure the lawn is freshly cut and flower beds are well kept. Any clutter, including bicycles or yard care equipment should be removed to produce a visually pleasing image of the home. Make sure your windows and doors are sparkling clean and free of fingerprints. Nothing should distract buyers from the prize, which is your house.

Step # 4: Feed Your Guests

It’s customary for every open house to have complimentary coffee or other refreshments and/or cookies. The smell of freshly baked cookies will give buyers the feeling of being at home-exactly the type of reaction you want when trying to sell your home.

Step # 5: Reading Material Is Golden

Your REALTOR® should provide a business card and/or informational sheet for each potential buyer that tours your home. If this is not a service that they offer, take a few minutes to design your own flyer using a computer and print out some full-color circulars to offer interested parties as they arrive. You should also provide copies of any appraisal, inspection or other information about the home that potential buyers would find interesting.

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Marketing Tips: How To Sell Your Home

cropped-MP9004140382.jpgMarketing Tips: How To Sell Your Home

If you want potential home buyers to fall in love with your house, they first have to know it’s for sale. This is where a strong marketing plan comes into play, which not only publicizes your property but gives people a preview of your home before they get there.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Regardless of whether your home is to be featured online, in a REALTOR’S® publication or paid advertisement, quality photos are a must. You must capture your home’s best qualities in each image. Take a photo of the front and back of the home, along with interior photos of every room. Try various angles and lighting situations, which gives you the opportunity to choose the best shots.

When photographing any part of your home, make sure that it’s spotless. Home buyers, especially those with children or pets, would love to see a yard. If your house has a lot of room to run, showcase it in photos. If you live in a condominium or townhouse, emphasize nearby activities that offer family fun. This may include a swimming pool, recreation center, tennis court, etc.

When you present your photos to the REALTOR®, he/she will use them to pique the interest of potential buyers. If a buyer likes the photos, their next step will be to schedule a tour of the home. Hence, the right photos are invaluable when selling real estate.

Sign Here

Believe it or not, one of the best marketing strategies is free. By placing a sign in your yard, you will let anyone driving by know that your home is for sale. Even if you live in an area that does not get a lot of traffic, a passerby may notice the sign and tell someone they know who is in the market for a new home. Your REALTOR® will likely provide you with a sign, which should be placed in a visible area of your lawn. You can also place a sign in your window or on your front door. Be sure to check with your local community association, if applicable, regarding placement and permission for this type of sign.

Paid Advertisements

Many REALTORS® advertise their listings in local real estate publications, their business Web site and even the occasional ad in the newspaper. Depending on the terms of your listing agreement, you may be able to continue advertising the home independently. Check with your REALTOR® about their commission policy if you sell the house yourself.

If you decide to advertise yourself, try the local newspaper first. People looking to move into your area will likely be browsing the newspaper for real estate ads. Keep in mind that it’s not just newcomers who may be looking to buy a new home. Perhaps an empty nester is looking for a smaller abode or a growing family is looking to upgrade to a larger house, so don’t discount locals as potential buyers.

Hold An Open House

If you want potential buyers to fall in love with your home, invite them in to see what it has to offer. An open house allows for anyone to simply drop in, with or without an appointment, to tour the home. In some cases, a successful open house may result in an offer or possibly multiple offers that same day. You can advertise an open house with signs in your yard, posting a notice on local bulletin boards and by utilizing free or paid ads online and/or in your local newspaper.

In most cases, your REALTOR® will schedule the open house and will help answer questions from potential buyers. If you are still living in the home, the date and time should be convenient for you, but also a day that would be convenient for others. For most, the weekend is a good time and most open houses are an all-day event.

For the best approach at a successful marketing strategy, confer with your REALTOR®. Successful agents know their markets and what will likely be the best approach to selling your home. Don’t be afraid, though, to offer your input and ask questions as you develop your marketing plan.

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Home Selling Checklist: The Process Of Selling Your Home

cropped-MP9004140382.jpgHome Selling Checklist: The Process Of Selling Your Home

Once you’ve made the decision to sell your home, it’s time to think about what comes next. Throughout the process, you may find it beneficial to have a checklist to help guide you in some very important choices that you will be making in the coming months.

Interview Several REALTORS®

A REALTOR® is a person who you will enlist to help with the selling of your home. Just like no two homes are alike, no two owners are alike and each has different needs when it comes to real estate. The REALTOR® that you ultimately choose will have access to your home at any time and will be responsible for marketing it to potential buyers. As such, you should choose someone that you feel comfortable with and will do the best job for you. The only way to know which REALTOR® this will be is to speak with more than one, ask plenty of questions and get a feel for how they do business.

Get An Appraisal

When you list your home for sale, an appraisal will be helpful for a number of reasons. As the seller, you may wonder why you would need to have your home appraised, but here’s why. As a seller, you do not want to overprice or underprice your home. If you ask for more than the home is actually worth, lenders won’t likely grant a loan even if you find a willing buyer. If you price your home too low, not only will you be taking away from your own profit, but potential buyers may wonder what’s wrong with the home that it’s priced so far below market value.

With an appraisal, you can list your home with the knowledge that you need to make sure the price is right. If you want to advertise the home as a bargain, sell it somewhat below the appraised value. Buyers will know they are getting instant equity in the home and lenders will see the investment as a good one.

As a final thought to choosing an asking price, note that your REALTOR® will require a commission and possibly other fees in connection with listing your home on the market. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask the REALTOR® for a written summary of these fees, as opposed to just a mention of them in the contract, and how much they will be. With this information, you will know exactly how much money you will have left in your pocket from the sale of your home.

Decide How Quickly You Want To Sell

Believe it or not, your schedule could greatly impact the listing price. If you are in a hurry to sell, you may find that a competitive asking price will help you to get the cash you need much quicker. A price that reflects the higher end of a buyer’s budget may take some time to sell, so consider these factors when pricing your home.

Make Time For Updates

Your REALTOR® will offer advice as to what needs updated, repaired or changed in order to maximize the potential of your home. When a buyer looks at a house, they are looking at the cost, needed repairs or upgrades, decor, etc. Once your REALTOR® does a walkthrough and explains what, if anything, needs updated, you will commit to an asking price and sign the listing agreement.

Field Offers

As a seller, you are probably already aware that potential buyers will make an offer that could be less than your actual asking price. Most REALTORS® will tell you that if you ask for ‘X’ amount of dollars, buyers will probably offer you ‘X’ amount instead. That’s the name of the game, and you will need to decide whether or not your asking price is firm or negotiable. If an offer comes your way, you will always have the option of making a counteroffer or simply rejecting the deal altogether.

As a final thought to the negotiation process, keep in mind that buyers typically offer less than they are actually willing to pay initially. Most offers are time sensitive, which means you may have to make some quick decisions. Of course, your REALTOR® will be there to guide you through every step of the process and will likely offer an opinion as to whether or not an offer is fair in the current market.

Close The Deal

When the price is right and you agree to the terms, it’s time to say goodbye to your former home and hello to a brand new life. Letting go is not always easy, but moving forward is a part of life. If you still live in the home, most contracts will require that you move within 30 days. If you no longer live in the home, most buyers will want to move in immediately.

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How Long Should You Keep Your Home On The Market?

cropped-MP9004140382.jpgHow Long Should You Keep Your Home On The Market?

Many a home seller has been there-the house has been on the market for months and there is no sign of a sale. At what point should you pull the house off of the market, assuming it is even an option for you? When you start to feel like you are getting nowhere, it’s important to step back and consider the facts of the situation before you make any decisions.

Is The Season A Factor?

If your house has been on the market through the summer and well into fall, and the holiday season is approaching, you may feel there is no point in keeping it listed through the winter. You may be right. The holiday season is a notoriously difficult time to sell, and you yourself may want to just take a break and enjoy your holidays without interruptions from agents and potential buyers. If you can take a step back and resume your efforts to sell in the late winter or early spring, doing so is usually a wise choice.

Are You Asking Too Much?

Before you consider pulling the house off the market, take an honest look at your asking price. If it is unrealistic and you have been holding off from dropping it, going to a lower asking price before you give up on selling altogether might be the wiser course of action. Giving up on what you feel your house is worth is difficult, but if selling is an urgent need you are going to have to do what is necessary.

The Market Is Just Slow

Economic factors have slowed the sale of homes all across the country. If the market is particularly slow where you live, you might want to consider taking the house off of the market for a while and waiting it out to get a better price later. If you have already moved out, consider renting the house for a while until the market looks up.

Making the decision to pull your home off the market is difficult, and you should never do it without looking at all the details and discussing it with your REALTOR®. In some cases, however, it will be the wisest course of action and result in a sale for more money down the line.

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