Category Archives: Homes for sale in Sylmar

House Straightening Techniques for Immediate Showings

Sometimes we real estate agents need to show a home for sale in Sylmar in a matter of a few minutes. While I always try to give a Sylmar homeowner several hours notice to prepare, there are times when buyers are on a tight schedule and need to see the home “right now.”

Here are a few tips for homeowners with homes for sale in Sylmar for those last minute home showings:

Your tools:
– Disinfectant wipes
– Air freshener
– Window/mirror cleaner
– Paper towels
– Large plastic trash bag
– Vacuum cleaner 

Get into high gear immediately (you may sweat a bit on this one if your place isn’t already “leave no trace” clean for showings. Remember, your goal is to sell the house in Sylmar or the San Fernando Valley!  Using my guideline below, a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house should take no more than 39 minutes to prep for potential buyers:

1. Do the Bathrooms
Remove clutter from around the sink. Wipe everything down with a disinfectant wipe.  Clean mirror with paper towels. Spray air freshener and close the door.  Allow 3 minutes per bathroom.

2. Do the Kitchen
Clear countertops. Put all dirty dishes in the dishwasher. If need be, stack items in the sink. Wipe countertops with disinfectant wipe. Remove dirty pots and pans to the oven (few buyers will actually open the oven or dishwasher on the first visit). Allow 7 minutes for the kitchen.

3. Make the Beds
The biggest eyesore is an unmade bed, so make sure all beds are straightened and made. If you have clothes and stuff everywhere, shove all of it under the bed.  Close closet doors. Spray air freshener. Allow 3 minutes per bedroom.

4. Clear the Living Room/Family Room
This means removing all non essentials and clutter (clothes, dirty dishes, shoes, toys or video game set ups). Straighten magazines and newspapers. Wipe off tables with a disinfectant wipe. Spray air freshener. Allow 4 minutes.

5. Take out the Trash
Take a big plastic trash bag and dump trash from all rooms. Replace plastic liners, if used. Spray with air freshener. Allow 3 minutes.

6. Vacuum Paths of Foot Traffic
You’ll need to vacuum carpeting, wood or tile floors at least in the front entryways and main walking areas. (If you have pets that roam, you cannot skip this step!) Spray air freshener. Allow 10 minutes.

Extra time?
Open windows, turn on lights.
Wash off outside entry, porch and walkways with garden hose.

Remember, clutter free is better than perfectly clean. The “big picture” overall impression is more important than whether the windows are sparkling clean (although it helps!).

Be sure to call me if you are interested in buying or selling a home in Sylmar or the San Fernando Valley, or if anyone you know wants to buy or sell a home. Thank you!

Ms. Jacky Walker
Realtor – DRE License #01124140
Century 21 All Moves
11011 Balboa Blvd.
Granada Hills, CA 91344

Cell: 818-970-1286


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Open Houses Reveal a Change in the Housing Market in Sylmar and the San Fernando Valley

If you have visited an open house recently in Sylmar or most areas of the San Fernando Valley, then you know that a lot of home buyers are out there looking for their first home or next home.

Sometimes open houses are so busy with people that real estate agents are not able to say hello to everyone, which is a big change from last year. That is definitely a sign that times have changed in the housing market in Sylmar and the San Fernando Valley.

If you are a visitor to an open house, please follow some basic etiquette:

– Say hello to the agent, even if you are with your Realtor

– Complete the registration card or guest register truthfully

– Be polite to other visitors and keep your children under control

– Don’t ask to use the toilet

– Realize that the agent at the open house is there to assist you

This last point is often misunderstood by visitors. Sometimes people are rude and feel the open house agent is there to intrude on their privacy. In reality, the agent knows you came to the open house for a reason (why else would you spend part of your Sunday afternoon looking around in someone else’s house?). So, please respect the fact that the agent is just trying to make a living with his or her unique knowledge of the real estate market.

For tips on how to use open houses to your advantage, please call me at 818-970-1286.

— Jacky Walker

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Federal Tax Credit Can Be Used on Closing Costs for Sylmar homes

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that qualified first-time home buyers will be able to use the $8,000 federal tax credit upfront, which is great news for Sylmar home buyers.

Under the guidance, FHA-approved lenders can develop bridge loans that home buyers can use to help cover their closing costs, buy down their interest rate, or put down more than the minimum 3.5 percent.  The loans can’t be used to cover the minimum 3.5 percent, however.

The credit is worth up to $8,000 and is available to households that haven’t owned a home in at least three years. The credit does not have to be repaid, and is fully reimbursable, so households can get their credit returned to them in the form of a payment.

If you are a potential buyer and have questions about this news ,or want answers to other real estate questions, please give me a call.

Jacky Walker

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Spring Buying Season in Sylmar has Started

Wow! Are buyers popping out looking for homes in Sylmar or what? You bet! It is absolutely unbelievable how many buyers are interested in Sylmar homes. Last weekend I was at an open house for the beautiful new Mountain View Trails Equestrian Estates on DeGarmo Street that my Century 21 All Moves office is marketing, and there were so many buyer prospects that we just couldn’t talk to them all.

We’ve also been seeing a lot of multiple offers on properties in all price ranges for just about any home in Sylmar. So be aware that there is big competition in making offers on Sylmar real estate, especially REOs and even short sales. For example, last week one of my clients had me write an offer for them on a lovely house in Rancho Cascades. There was a call from the seller for “highest, best” offers. We learned later that there had been 18 offers, and nine that topped my clients’ maximum dollar amount. Sigh. Continue reading

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When Shopping for a Home, Think ‘Castles in the Air’

When shopping for a home, home buyers often don’t know what they really want. They’ll drive around looking for neighborhoods they feel comfortable in, perhaps close to schools or shopping, near a freeway, or even far away from “civilization.” We have many such homes here in Sylmar.

Design psychologists suggest that a good exercise for home buyers is to spend a few minutes thinking about ‘Castles in the Air’ (a fantasy picture of what they would possibly want to have in a home if they could have it).

One way to figure this out is to write down all the places the home buyer has lived, then circle the ones that were the most appealing (and write down why next to it). This list will reveal what the home buyer actually prefers emotionally — beyond the number of bedrooms and baths.

As a REALTOR®, my job is to help you find the perfect match between your idea of “home” and properties currently on the market. Please call me if you are planning to buy and just don’t know how to begin, or if you want to sell your house and move into your next dream home. Either way, I’m here to help. Call me at 818-970-1286.

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Did we hit the price bottom in Sylmar real estate already?

Here are some home sales statistics from the last three months regarding homes for sale in Sylmar. You can see that the sold prices for properties have been dropping, but look at the prices for single family homes in February.  They actually went up a bit from January.  Does this mean we’ve already hit bottom on home prices and homes for sale here in Sylmar?   Hmm. Hard to tell.  I’ll keep watch and post the March figures on homes for sale in Sylmar as soon as they become available. 


Data Source: SoCal MLS, March 1, 2009. Deemed reliable but not guaranteed.
Note: Information posted on this blog can change at any time. Check back frequently for updates.

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