Want to sell your home fast and for top dollar? Stay away from these seller pitfalls.

Prices are up, interest rates are low. It should be easy to sell your home, right? Under the best conditions, yes, it is. However, some sellers make bad Montemayor and Associateschoices that can cost them thousands of dollars, or even cost them the ability to get their home sold at all.

Three common mistakes sellers should avoid.

Selling your home yourself.

“Hey. I can do this myself,” you’re thinking. “Why should I pay all that money to a real estate agent?” Okay. So you plunk a “For Sale By Owner” sign in your yard. Maybe you throw something on Craigslist or other public internet media advertising your home. A...

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What does it REALLY take to get an offer on your home within your desired time frame?

Homeowners have many different reasons for selling their home. Whether upsizing, downsizing, or due to unforseen economic issues, it’s important Marketing your real estate listingsto garner as much attention from buyers in an effort to sell it as quickly as possible.

Of course, pricing your home right is the first step, and we’ve covered that issue at least a few times in the past. However, feedback from potential buyers is critical in making sure that your home is indeed appealing to those who may be interested in purchasing your home. And how do we generate feedback from buyers? First, we get them through your door. And how do we do THAT? ...

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It’s still a hot real estate market for sellers, but how realistic are your goals?

We’ve spoken in depth on several occasions about the real estate market rebound. Compared to the chaos of a half decade ago, home owners are once again enjoying Proven home selling strategies from Montemayor & Associatesrising value and, in many cases, a quick sale.

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It’s a seller’s market, but should you be too picky when it comes to accepting a buyer’s offer on your property?

Wow, how exciting! We listed your home for sale and you’ve already received an offer at your asking price with 20% down. Congratulations! Wait…ANOTHER offer has come in as well and it’s OVER your asking price, but with a 100% financed loan. Okay, another one has come in at slightly below your asking price, but it’s an ALL CASH offer.


What to do, what to do?

This type of scenario is happening with incredible frequency in today’s market, especially with the low inventory here in the Santa Clarita Valley. This, coupled with incredibly low interest rates and loan incentives for qualified buyers is helping to fuel a rapidly recovering real estate industry. After several years of repressed prices and foreclosures, we’re once again seeing double digit growth in equity and housing prices.

Imagine yourself facing the scenario that was described at the beginning of this article. What would you do in a situation like this? You have three very tantalizing offers, and you can only accept one. Well, let’s clarify, you have THREE choices actually when it comes to receiving buyer purchase offers on your property for sale:

You can accept an offer
You can accept only one offer on the sale of your property. However, you do have the option of holding the other options in backup position in case the original buyer falls out of escrow or the transaction is cancelled.
You can refuse the offer
You have the right to accept or refuse any offer that comes to you from a home buyer. Even if the offer is at your asking price (or above).
You can counter the offer
Counter, short for “counter offer” happens when a seller replies to the buyer with additional terms or conditions that the buyer must accept in order for the home purchase to continue. Be advised, the buyer can counter your counter offer, and in some cases several “counters” may occur before an agreement is reached or the offer is cancelled by either party.

So which home purchase offer do you choose?

Based on the above scenario, your decision might be a bit tricky. Some home sellers might think the highest offer is the best offer, however in some cases offers that come in above your asking price may be a double-edged sword. Remember that the home must still appraise at a value equal to or above 80% of the buyer’s home loan. If it doesn’t, the buyer either has to make up the difference of the value in cash, or they have the choice of walking away from the purchase offer, leaving you back to square one.

As for the all cash offer that was slightly lower than your asking price, you’ll definitely at least want to consider the possibilities that come with an offer of this type. A cash buyer does not have to wait for loan approval, leaving the possibility of a last minute disqualification of funding out of the picture. Cash buyers are also in a position to waive some of the other purchase contingencies, thus making the escrow process go much faster. Beware however, in some cases, all cash buyers may be in a hurry to close escrow, and may not wait around if you require a longer escrow period before the sale closes.

Finally, the original offer that included your asking price plus a 20% down payment. Think wisely about this. They are giving you what you ask for, and as long as they are on good, solid footing with their loan pre-approval (which you should ALWAYS demand before accepting an offer), then this may be one of the best options available.

Ultimately, the best purchase offer is the one that satisfies all of your home selling wants and needs.

The decision is yours. However we will be there to guide you every step of the way and help you explore all of the options available to you. We’ll discuss the benefits and risks of each offer that comes to you, and answer all of your questions and concerns before you sign off on any offer.

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Improvements and upgrades to your home MAY increase its value, but…

There are two sides to home value: Its perceived value, and its appraised value. Both can help determine what’s known as Fair Market Value. What’s important to understand however, is that appraised value drives the bank’s final decision on how much they will lend a buyer to purchase a home. Part of what can drive both is the number and types of improvements made to the property. The question is, which improvements affect home value to the positive, and are there any that may have a negative impact on a home’s value?

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With all of the mobile apps available, it is always difficult to decide which one will work best for your needs. Tune in to our video blog to hear about some of the apps we recommend when searching for homes or managing your budget. Although these apps may be a quick and easy way to find some basic information, they are definitely not error proof. The only way to pin point what is happening with your neighborhood’s real estate climate is to ask a professional Realtor. At Montemayor and Associates, we are here to help you and we have the answers you are looking for. For a free consultation or for additional information about the Santa Clarita Real Estate Market, contact us at 661-510-2789 or

It doesn’t rain that often in Southern California, but when it does, nothing prevents rain and water-related damage to your home better than just a little bit of proactive inspections.

Before the next rain storm, make sure you check your rain gutters to make sure they are clear. When it is raining, try to make the opportunity to do a quick outside inspection to insure water from rain gutters is flowing smoothly to the gutter’s exit spout, and not overflowing from the gutters themselves. Water overflowing from the gutters usually means there is debris blocking the flow somewhere which can eventually cause water damage along your roof line or eaves of the house. Waterlogged eaves can eventually lead to dry rot, which can open the way for wood-destroying pests.

While you’re checking around the outside of the home, make sure there are no puddles forming where they shouldn’t be. Puddles forming along hillsides, portions of your back yard, or even your hardscape are possible indications of drainage or foundation issues.

You also want to make sure you see no moisture or water stains on the ceilings inside the home. It is also best to check your attic for water leaks as well. Many water-related issues inside homes begin in the attic. Remember that unchecked moisture problems can lead to physical damage of your home as well as contribute to mold and mildew that can possibly become health hazards if not treated early.

Montemayor & Associates is a professional real estate team with Keller Williams VIP Properties in Santa Clarita CA. Our team has had great success working with home buyers and home sellers from across the valley. We are here to answer your questions. Go to or call us direct at 661-290-3802.

My neighbor just sold his house for X price, so I should be able to sell mine for substantially more.

Many home sellers make this mistake only because they have not yet been educated on how the process of determining Fair Market Value (FMV) works when it comes to pricing their home for sale. When we help home sellers price their home for sale, we take into account many factors in what we call a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). The CMA helps us and the seller determine their home’s value using recently sold comparable homes in the area. We also can assess fair market value based on some of the amenities the home has that perhaps other sold homes have not, but even still, one must remember that amenities and upgrades can still be s...

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If you’re considering selling your home, it is important to put together a proper strategy that will attract as many potential buyers as possible.

With the advent of instant access to homes for sale via the Internet as well as an increase in savvy buyers gaining a better understanding of the real estate market at large, pricing your home properly can make a difference in getting an offer within your desired time frame or having your home languish on the market.

One of the main things to consider when pricing your home is the principle of value as it applies to comparable sales of similar homes in your neighborhood or area. Our associates are skilled in helping home sellers determine the right price to help bring buyers through the door. Contact us for details.

The best way to begin the process is to assess the value of your home through a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA will bring together data including comparable neighborhood properties that have sold, current homes on the market, and other valuable area data that will help you determine whether it is time to sell your home, and at what price. We can provide you a detailed CMA at absolutely no obligation to you. Click here to get started.

Is it time to sell your home? We’re here to help! For more information or to schedule a no obligation home seller analysis, go to, or call us direct at 661-290-3802.