Oct. 17, 2019

3 Tips That Will Make Your Home Sale Easier While Going Through a Divorce

Are you going through a divorce and need to sell your home? Here are three tips that will make the sale process easier.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation


If you’re going through a divorce and need to sell your home, here are three tips that will make the sale process smoother. 

First, talk to someone with divorce experience. A Realtor will be able to answer a lot of questions about your home, and they should be the first person you call. But you should also speak with someone who’s handled divorce sales in the past. Even if you and your spouse are on the same page, couples going through a divorce will oftentimes have a difference of opinion halfway through the transaction, and it takes a special skill set to walk each person through these differences of opinion. 

Second, know your options. I work with a lot of couples who are going through a divorce, and I find that many of them aren’t sure of what their options are when discussing one of their largest financial assets: their home. This means it’s paramount that you speak with a Realtor who can explain your options.




I’ve helped many clients who were going through a divorce, and I’ve seen a lot of different scenarios arise.



Usually, the best option in this situation is to sell the home and split the proceeds, but is that the best option for you? Or would the best option be if one spouse bought out the other, or rented the home from the other? Or what if you both kept the house and used it as rental income? No matter which option you choose, make sure you get good advice and that all the paperwork is handled correctly 

Lastly, know what to expect. I’ve helped many clients who were going through a divorce, and I’ve seen a lot of different scenarios arise. That’s why I put together an e-book that covers this topic in-depth and details which strategies to use to overcome various obstacles. To receive a free copy of this book, all you have to do is reach out to me and I’ll email it to you. 

If you have any more questions about this or any other real estate topic, feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to talking to you soon.


Posted in Home Seller
Oct. 16, 2019

4 Tips to Save on Your Energy Bill


As a homeowner, it is important to keep your home running efficiently, not only to save money, but also to help the environment thrive. Since, Energy Efficiency Day was just on October 2nd, we thought it would be a perfect time to inform you about some key upgrades that will improve the efficiency of your home. Even if you are looking to sell your house, these 4 tips will help increase the pool of potential buyers in your market. 

1. Make the Switch to LED

LEDs are a great example of how innovation and technology can make your life easier. They last at least 25 times longer and consume up to 90% less electricity than incandescent bulbs. 

TIP: By switching five of your home's most frequent used bulbs with LEDs, it is possible to save $75 on energy costs annually. 

2. Seal Those Leaks

On average, heating and cooling account for almost half of your home's energy consumption. In fact, all the little leaks can be equivalent to leaving open a 3-foot-by-3-foot window. 

TIP: Take simple steps by caulking windows, sealing leaks around chimneys and recessed lighting, and sliding draft guards under your doors to save up to 20% on heating costs. 

3. Heat and Cool Efficiently

Don't waste money heating or cooling an empty home. Install a programmable thermostat and in colder weather schedule your home's heat to lower when you are away or asleep and increase when you are returning home or waking-up. In warm weather, schedule the thermostat to raise the temperature when you are away or asleep, and lower it at other times. 

Tip: Follow the U.S. Department of Energy recommended temperatures and be energy-efficient all year.

4. Maintain Your HVAC System

Make sure to clean or change your furnace filters regularly. A dirty furnace filter will slow down air flow, making the system work harder to keep you warm (cool) and costing you more money. 

TIP: Consider getting a winter tune-up. Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a semi-annual or yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can be vital to improve efficiency, saving you money and making your home more comfortable. 

By making a few key upgrades to your home you will save on your utility bills and improve the energy efficiency of your home. When you're ready to sell your house, these key features will make it even more attractive to potential buyers. L

If you have any questions or would like to get together to discuss what buyers are looking for when it comes to energy efficiency options in our area give me a call at 925-584-1640. 

Posted in Community
Oct. 4, 2019

Which Came First: The Chicken or the Egg?

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, the order in which you handle the tasks associated with these moves matters. Allow me to explain.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation


The age-old question about whether the chicken or the egg came first has prompted heated debate for many years. Whatever the case was, though, the end result has been lots of chickens and lots of eggs. The order doesn’t really matter.

In real estate, however, the order of operations is everything. 

So when buyers tell me that they plan to purchase a home in a few months, and will, therefore, “just call me then,” or when sellers tell me they’d like to list but don’t want my help until they’re moments from putting their home on the market, this is a major mistake. The truth is that market conditions change all the time.

You need to work with a Realtor before you’ve got all of your ducks (or chickens) in a row if you want your home sale or home purchase to go smoothly. Trying to prepare on your own can be unnecessarily expensive and stressful, and, ultimately, won’t put you any closer to the kind of results you deserve.




I like to speak with buyers and sellers months before they’re ready to make their move.



An agent will not only be able to help you determine what steps you should take to make the most of your real estate goals, but they will also advocate for you along the way. They can also help you figure out what kind of timeline works best for you. Most people don’t realize how long the entire real estate process can actually take. I like to speak with buyers and sellers months before they’re ready to make their move so that I can help them make smart decisions about their goals. 

If you have plans on moving in the next year, please reach out now. My team and I are here to answer all your questions, so don’t hesitate to get in touch by phone or email to ask for a free consultation. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Posted in Home Buyer, Home Seller
Oct. 3, 2019

Projected Home Sales

The top 3 industry analysis are predicting home sales to increase in 2020.  

The real estate market is still strong and will continue to be strong over the next several years.  If you are thinking about buying, selling or investing lets take a few minutes to discuss how this information may effect you moving forward.

When you are making one of the most important decisions of your life it is important to have all the information so you can make the best decision based on the facts.

Most of the information you see in the news is National and some of it may not pertain to us here locally or it is actually the opposite for us.  

I am your local expert!  It is my job to give you the answers to all the questions you have as it pertains to you and your home.

Call or text me, Kari Cross, direct at 925-584-1640

Posted in Community
Oct. 2, 2019

Are you selling your house in the next 6 months?



What a difference a day makes!!!⁠

If you are thinking about selling sometime in the next several months we will schedule your outside pictures to be done on a sunny day and keep the pictures until you are ready... FREE of charge!⁠

We have a better chance of scheduling pictures on a pretty day now than we will when winter really hits.

Call us and schedule your exterior pictures today. That way if you do decide to sell your home it will look better than all the other homes on the market for sell.  ⁠

Flowers, grass and lighting is great now, but that will be changing very soon.  ⁠

☎️Call today to save your spot 925-584-1640⁠



Posted in Community
Sept. 26, 2019

4 Reasons to Sell in Fall



🍁Fall is a great time to sell🍁

Here are the top 4 reasons to sell your home now!!!

1. The kids are in school all day and it is easier to keep you home clean

2. Less competition from other sellers allowing you to get more money from the sell of your home 🤗 Supply and demand is in your favor when buyers have fewer homes to pick from

3. Your home will look beautiful with the fall colors and holiday decorations.  This gives the buyers an idea of what it will look like to spend the holidays in their new home

4. With mortgage rates lower than ever we have more buyers looking to find the perfect home before the end of the year and take advantage of the 2019 tax savings.

If you are thinking about selling your home lets discuss your options to see what is best for you.

Call or message me, Kari Cross at 925-584-1640.

Posted in Community
Sept. 19, 2019

What Are Your Options When an Appraisal Comes in Low?

If an appraisal comes in low, there are four ways a transaction can proceed.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE Home Price Evaluation


Picture this: A home is on the market, multiple buyers make an offer on it, and the seller picks one and opens escrow. You would think that because the home had multiple buyers trying to purchase it that it must be valued correctly and there would be no appraisal issues, right?


Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. An appraisal is an independent analysis of a home’s value. Appraisers will compare the home to others in the area that have sold and adjust the value according to its size, upgrades, number of bedrooms, etc. When they adjust the value, it’s not an exact science, but it is very numbers-driven. They don’t give value to emotional attachments. They don’t care how much time you spent landscaping the yard, or if you have the best neighbors in town. Everything boils down to size and condition.




Whether you’re a buyer or seller, it’s important to know what your options are when an appraisal comes in low.



What happens when an appraisal comes in low, then? The answer depends, but there are four options for how the transaction can proceed:

1. The seller lowers the price to the appraised value and the buyer purchases the home at that price.

2. The buyer and seller meet in the middle—the seller lowers the price a little and the buyer pays a little extra over the appraised value.

3. The buyer pays the difference. In other words, the buyer brings in extra money to cover the difference between the appraised value and the offered value.

4. The buyer and seller can’t come to an agreement and the home doesn’t get sold at that time to that buyer. 


The type of loan the buyer uses to purchase the home makes a difference in terms of which option is available. Some loan programs don’t allow buyers to bring in extra cash (or any money at all) to make up the difference in the appraised value. Additionally, some buyers may not have extra cash available to make up the difference. 


I’ve been in situations where buyers did have money to pay over the appraised value but refused to do so. Others were OK with paying a little now, knowing that they’d gain equity later on. 


The bottom line is this: Whether you’re a buyer or seller, it’s important to know what your options are when an appraisal comes in low. 


If you have any questions about this or any other real estate topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.

Posted in Home Buyer, Home Seller
Sept. 12, 2019

Are Zillow Zestimates Accurate?

Did you know that the CEO of Zillow sold his home for 40% less than his Zestimate?


Even Zillows fine print tells you that the homes value is not an actual value of the home and is a calculation of public data.


Zillow encourages buyers and sellers to supplement their Zillow information with either a CMA from a local real estate agent or paying for a professional appraisal. As your local realtor I offer a free comparative market analysis or CMA that  helps you determine what is the best value of your home in today's real estate market.


If you are in need of one of these please reach out to my team and I. You can reach us at 925-584-1640 or visit our website at www.crossgrouphomes.com. 


Posted in Community
Sept. 12, 2019

6 Kitchen Safety Tips

62% of home fires start in the kitchen... is your kitchen safe?


Over half of home fires start in the kitchen, so we want to remind you about these 6 safety tips.


Number 1 - Make sure you have GFCI receptacles in the kitchen and you check them often to prevent shock and electrocution.


Number 2 - Keep your oven and stove top clean of grease and dust to prevent fires.


Number 3 - Make sure you have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.


Number 4 - Unplug counter top appliances when not in use.


Number 5 - Never leave the kitchen when cooking food on the stove and remember to turn everything off when finished.


Number 6 - Have a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen and remember never put water on a grease fire... instead smother it with a pot lid or use baking soda.


This is a reminder to STAY ALERT and STAY SAFE in your kitchen.


For more information contact Kari Cross at 925-584-1640 or visit www.crossgrouphomes.com (BRE 01276206)



Posted in Community
Sept. 12, 2019

4 Earthquake Safety Tips

Are you prepared for the next earthquake?


Living in California you never know when an earthquake will happen and it is important to be prepared. Here are 4 earthquake tips to make sure you and your family are protected.


Number 1 - Make sure you know where your gas and water shut offs are. You also want to attach any tool that may be needed close by.


Number 2 - Make sure large furniture pieces are strapped or secured to the wall.


Number 3 - Have an emergency kit equipped with a flash light, extra batteries, first aid supplies, water and non perishable food. You want to update and replenish your kit with new supplies each year.


Number 4 - Have a disaster plan with a designated meeting place in case your family gets separated.


A good plan today could save your family tomorrow. BE EARTHQUAKE SAFE!


For more information contact Kari Corss at 925-584-1640

or visit www.crossgrouphomes.com  (BRE 01276206)


Posted in Community