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What Does “Showing Ready” Really Mean?

What Does “Showing Ready” Really Mean?

I have already written about starting the decluttering process in order to get your home ready to sell.  Once you’ve gotten rid of the stuff you didn’t want to move, it’s time to take a super critical look at what deferred maintenance or other conditions detract from your home showing at its best.

Let’s start with the easy things, also known as the Elephant Approach.  You’ve all heard the quote, “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time!” That’s the same way you get your house showing ready.  One step at a time!

Wall Painting If you have chosen bold, or multiple wall colors, you will need to paint.  Your bold colors and accent walls are great when it comes to expressing your personality but not so great when it comes to showing your house to potential buyers.

Bold colors and / or accent walls attract the eye.  You want the buyer looking at the layout of the house and not paying attention to the colors at all.  So, paint the walls a neutral color.  If you have some walls painted a neutral color, and some that are bold or accent colors, you are ahead of the curve.  You can simply use the same neutral color and paint over the accent walls.  Much better than having to paint everything!

Touch-up Painting Check all the baseboards, door and other trim.  Make sure the paint is not chipped or dirty.  If it is, then touch-up and clean to make sure it looks fresh and well-maintained.

Appearances are everything when it comes to having a buyer fall in love with your house.  Make sure it appears to have been meticulously maintained at all times!  Replace or repair anything that would make a buyer think otherwise.

Is a lightswitch plate or outlet cracked or chipped?  Replace it! Hard water stains or buildup that you can’t remove from a faucet?  If soaking in vinegar doesn’t take care of it, replace it!  Most of the deferred maintenance like this can be addressed for very little cash outlay but bears dividends in the speed and quality of the offer you will get.

Clean! As I’ve said often enough, the best thing you can do to get your house ready for showing is to make sure that it is as clean as can be.  It’s surprising to many of us, just how much dirt gets overlooked in our day-to-day living.  It’s also the kind of subliminal message that a buyer picks up without even realizing it.  Most buyers equate the presence of dirt with lack of maintenance. Don’t let them make that association in your house!

One of the services I provide clients is a Room-By-Room Review and consultation to identify the least expensive way to get the highest dollar for the house.  And of course, if doing this in the shortest period of time with the least amount of stress while dealing with high levels of complexity is what you want, then why not call 661-375-7325 and schedule your own no-obligation consultation today?


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Is it a Seller’s Market or a Buyer’s Market?

A question most often asked by someone thinking about buying or selling a home is, “Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market?”  It’s a bit surprising how often real estate professionals don’t know the definitive answer to that question!

Experience shows that 6 months of available housing inventory is considered to be a balanced market.  Less than that favors sellers and more than that favors buyers.  In the greater Tehachapi area, you can’t just consider the entire region because the absorption rate varies significantly from one community to another.

The real answer though is. “it depends.”  It depends on a number of different factors beyond the actual calculation of available inventory and probability that a particular house will sell.  It depends on things like the popularity of a particular area, what’s going on politically in that community, whether or not the community is showing up in local media in a positive or negative way.

The truth is that even if the numbers show that it is the type of market that you would prefer the reality may be different.  Want to know more?  Call 661-375-7325 today and let’s talk about the specific neighborhood you are interested in moving from (is it a seller’s market?) or moving to (is it a buyer’s market)?


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5 Top Tips for Sellers to Choose the Best Purchase Offer

Your house is for sale and what you want more than anything is to get it sold quickly for top dollar.  If you made it appealing to buyers and priced it correctly to begin with you should receive offers pretty soon after it starts showing on the internet.

Once you receive a purchase offer, you can accept it, reject it, or propose a change in terms and/or conditions by making a counter-offer.  Keep in mind that all terms and conditions are negotiable.

  1.  Keep your emotions out of the process.  Yes, this is likely the home that you have enjoyed for a period of time and you will no doubt have mixed feelings about the move.  The prospective buyer doesn’t have any history with this house and is often less emotionally involved in the process at this stage.
  2. Think about what is most important to you about selling this property.  Is it getting the highest price, being able to move on your preferred schedule, or something else?  If price is the primary factor, you may need to compromise on closing date.  If the date for you to move is more important it may require a compromise in price or other terms.
  3. If your property receives multiple offers, your real estate consultant can (and should) prepare a method to compare the relative merits of those offers for you.  Ask for their best recommendation and reasoning as to which offer will most likely provide the optimal outcome.
  4. Review all the terms and conditions.  Yes price is important, but what else is at stake?  Is the buyer asking for closing cost help?  Do they want you to leave appliances or other personal property included with the purchase?
  5. Make sure the buyer is actually capable of completing the purchase.  The purchase offer should include a pre-approval from a reputable lender that your real estate consultant has already spoken with and proof of funds needed to close the transaction.  Because your property is no longer being marketed once you have accepted an offer, you want to be sure that offer has the best possible chance of concluding successfully in a closed transaction.

Remain flexible and use whatever information you can to negotiate the best terms of sale.  For example if the buyer needs to move quickly, you may be able to hold firm on price provided you can compromise on an accelerated closing.

Above all, make sure that you are comfortable with and understand how the process progresses once you have an accepted offer.

This is one in a series of articles designed to help the consumer navigate the world of a real estate transaction.  Real estate is local, and working with someone who knows the area and the specific issues that may affect your transaction is important.

Sally Sig extra smallPlease share your thoughts or questions by commenting below, emailing me at or phone / text at 661.375.REAL (7325)


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Would you let a car mechanic perform heart surgery on you?

If this is the extent of your real estate holdings, you probably don’t need this article. If you have, or want, more — keep reading to find out what you need to know.

Would you let a car mechanic perform heart surgery on you?  No?  Every day many consumers unwittingly put themselves in a similar position when they become involved in a real estate transaction.

Below is an excerpt from an email I received, apparently exhorting me to abandon the Associations of REALTORS® that are largely responsible for upholding standards of professionalism within the real estate community.

No NAR, CAR, local AOR and Realtor dues. Stay in business.

It’s that time of year again! You have to pay your NAR, CAR and local AOR dues. We know that this is a costly expense and many agents choose to quit the real estate industry rather than paying these dues. Don’t quit, our brokerage will help you to stay in the real estate business without having to pay unnecessary expenses!

If you would like to keep your real estate license active, but do not want to pay even for MLS access, we have an option for you too. This option will permit you to stay in the real estate industry, buy/sell houses, and receive commission without having to spend any money on a single membership. 

Frankly I find the entire message offensive and chose to share it with you so that you could have a glimpse of what goes on “behind the curtain” in the real estate business.  To be clear, I am a licensed Real Estate Broker in California, so some of this may not apply to other parts of the country.

For me, it starts with the subject line.  It indicates that abandoning the professional organizations that are in place first to protect the public is somehow going to benefit the agent or the consumer.  And that somehow, by doing this, that agent will be able to “stay in business.”

Seems much more likely that it’s a fast road to leaving business.  By disassociating themselves from the Associations of REALTORS® (AOR), these agents are losing a lot — but the public that deals with them stands to lose even more.

A quote from the Danger Report sums the issue up nicely:

The real estate industry is saddled with a large number of part-time, untrained, unethical, and/or incompetent agents. This knowledge gap threatens the credibility of the industry.

The company that sent that email soliciting me to join them seems to be promulgating the problem.

37% of the agents did no business in 2015 according to our local MLS statistics.

According to the Danger Report, an agent with no more than 2 years experience is earning a gross median of $9100 annually.  What about more experienced agents?  The overall median gross income is approximately $45,500. Combine that with the average $6500 in expenses and it becomes more apparent why the email I received may be appealing to so many of the non-productive agents.

I suppose it’s possible that I’m wrong, but it seems to me that the agents’ earnings do have a bearing on their competency.

  • If the earnings are so low, how much experience with different issues can they have?
  • How up-to-date are they on changes in law, necessary documents, disclosure requirements, etc?
  • What kind of familiarity and relationships do they have with other area agents?
  • What is the likelihood that those agents would even recognize the validity of these questions?

I’m not going to tell you that all REALTORS® are great, or that all of those who heed the lure of lower fees (as advertised in the email) are horrible because you already know that’s not true but I will tell you that overall there is a difference and you deserve to know what kind of help you are getting.

This is just scratching the surface of the differences between REALTORS® and those that are governed merely by the state provided license.  To find out more, feel comfortable giving me a call (661.375.REAL), sending an email ( or commenting below.


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