Kerby & Cristina Real Estate Experts

Getting Ready to List Your Home?

Welcome back to PDFfiller Realtor Guest Blog series, which brings you advice from the experts!  This week’s post from Kerby Skurat and Cristina Edelstein-Skurat focuses on steps to take when you are getting ready to list your home.  For more great posts from Kerby and Cristina, check our their blog at


Getting Ready to List Your Home?

Rumor has it that Spring is the best time to sell your house, and year after year that has proven to be true. Whether you’re ready to sell your home now, or plan to wait until next Spring, these 6 tips will help you prepare your home to sell for top dollar. Whether you’ve been questioning that decision for several months, or you just got the itch recently, you’ll want to make sure your home is in tip-top shape to sell it for the best price, in the least amount of time.

People always ask me why the spring is the best time to sell. The largest number of buyers are actively searching for new homes during the months of April, May and June in hopes of moving after school is out, when it’s warm, and when they have the best chance at finding that ‘dream home’ in the perfect neighborhood. If you want your property to stand out from the competition, it’s going to take a little extra effort on your part, but it’ll definitely be worth it in the end.

So what can you do today to prepare to jump on the spring bandwagon? A few easy, and pretty inexpensive things you can do include:

1. De-Clutter
I know it’s hard to imagine cleaning out those storage rooms, extra closets, and attic space, but doing a little cleaning makes your home appear larger to potential buyers. Start small by tackling one room at a time. Set aside ‘donate’ piles, ‘sell’ piles, and ‘trash’ piles. When it’s time to move, you’ll be thankful you have less to pack!

2. Paint
This is another cheap and effective tool that makes a huge difference when selling your home. If you’ve been little more ‘bold’ in your design choices, we recommend finding a neutral beige or cream color to brighten the walls instead. You may love your bright green bathroom, but the average buyer may not be able to look past your color selections and a neutral color appeals to buyers of all ages. The lighter colors give off the appearance of larger rooms as well. If you’ve still got wallpaper on the walls… it’s time to say goodbye! Tackle it on a Sunday afternoon or hire a professional to scrape it all away. Make sure you touch up holes, marks, or wear and tear in all your rooms too!

3. Floors
Whether you’ve got carpet, hardwood, tile, or laminate, make sure they’re clean! A professional flooring company can give your flooring a new lease on life for relatively inexpensive. It will make a world of difference!

4. Clean
Wash the windows, drapes, cupboards, fans, fixtures, appliances, tile, tubs… if you can put a rag to it, you need to clean it! No one wants to come into a home and see your moldy grout, nose-smudged windows, or crumbs on the floors… so start that ‘spring cleaning’ a little early to take some of the stress out of the process.

5. Exterior
As soon as the snow starts to melt, get yourself outside to make sure your home is looking good. Buyers will want to make sure the outside of the home looks just as good as the inside, so make sure your home as great curb appeal. Add some flowers, mulch, get your grass is great shape, and keep the exterior looking spectacular. A buyer will form their first opinions of the home before they ever step foot in the front door.

6. Give us a call!
Let one of our professional designers help you sort through the tasks that you need to complete to make your house stand out from the competition.

I know that preparing your home can be such a daunting task. We have professional stagers that come in to meet with all of our clients whenever they’re ready to suggest some simple and easy things they can do to prepare the home to sell. We’ll also leave a 101 point checklist so no stone goes unturned when getting your home ready for the market. If you’d like to meet with one of our stagers, or want to start tackling the 101 point list, give us a call today!

We go into thousands of homes each year, and there is a noticeable difference when a seller has taken the necessary steps to prepare their home to sell. And in the end, it pays off because they sell their home in less time, for more money, so they can move on to their next dream home! If you want to ensure your home sells as quickly as possible, and for the highest price possible, take the next few weeks to follow these 6 easy steps. It may take a little bit of time, but it will certainly be worth it!

Kerby & Cristina Real Estate Experts

Kerby & Cristina Real Estate Experts

Realtor | RE/Max Results

2605 Campus Drive, Plymouth, MN 55441

P:612-812-9262| F: (612) 605-5704  |


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Make Them Yours With A Watermark

Have you ever created a sample document, a company template, or a form that you wanted people to know was yours?  If so, there’s a new feature at PDFfiller that you will definitely be interested in! Watermarks are text or pictures that appear behind document text. In addition to establishing the provenance of a document, they can also add information or identify document status – for example they may mark a document you are working on as a draft.

PDFfiller’s watermarks feature makes it easier than ever to customize your documents with a personalized watermark.  Where can you find it?  After opening a document in the forms editor you’ll find the new watermark tab on the far right upper corner of the editor.  In the text field you can type in your watermark, and then change its orientation, size, and opacity.  You can also decide to place it across any or all of your pages.




Along with the watermark feature there are two other useful features – particularly for those who want an easy way to add page details to your document.  The first allows you to add a date to each page of your document – either an automatic one or selected from a calendar.  The second feature lets you add page numbers to your form, and will allow you to determine the size of the type and the positioning on the page.




Once you have your document exactly the way you want it, with the date and page numbers, watermark it and the world will know it is yours!  Come and check out some of the other great features PDFfiller provides for editing and sharing your documents – you’ll be amazed by what you discover!


Xero: Our First Integration for Accounting Efficiency

The integration of PDFfiller with Xero represents a new type of synergy between your document management software and your favorite accounting platform that allows you to do end-to-end accounting and customer management without leaving your desk, touching a single sheet of paper, or ever losing important documents.

Last year Xero grew at 83% a year, and was used by 300,000 people. At PDFfiller we love stories of startups that disrupt markets by creating great products and we can’t think of any business with which we are prouder to work.

Xero is an online accounting software which lets you create invoices, quotes, bills and custom purchase orders.  With our new integration it’s now possible to import Xero documents into PDFfiller in the same way that you upload documents from your favorite cloud storage services! Once your invoices are within PDFfiller you can use all our great features to edit, annotate and sign, as well as eFax and send them to others for signature.



Here’s how to get started.  You can access your Xero documents directly from our forms uploader.  Start by selecting the tab that says ‘3rd Party Connections’ and choose the Xero icon.  Once you give permission for PDFfiller to access your Xero data, you will be shown a window with a list of your invoices.



If you click the checkbox next to the invoice you want, and then hit the ‘Export to PDFfiller’ button on the top right hand side of the window, the document will open in our forms editor ready for you to edit, sign, and share.  Any changes you make to the document will automatically be stored in your PDFfiller account.

You can also import your Xero contact list into PDFfiller’s address book, so you have all of your accounting contacts right at your fingertips. Click the ‘Export Contacts’ button, also on the upper right hand side of the invoice window, and your Xero contact list will be automatically imported into your PDFfiller address book accessible from My Account.  (Click here for more on using the contacts from your address book).

We understand that you need flexibility and efficiency in your workflow, and here at PDFfiller, we are working to make it as easy as possible for you to get paperless management for all your documents. We love what Xero does, and with our first integration for accounting efficiency, we want to make it even better!


Six Things to Know Before You Short Sell

Welcome to PDFfiller Realtor Guest Blog series, which brings you advice from the experts!  This week’s post focuses on issues to consider when you short sell your home.  It comes to us from Suzanne Coleman of Big Block Realty.  For more great posts from Suzanne, check our her blog at: 

Thinking of short selling your home in CA? Although short sales have decreased dramatically, they are still a viable option for some homeowners. First, what is a short sale? A short sale is a sale of real estate in which the proceeds from selling the property will fall short of the balance of debts secured by liens against the property. In a nutshell, if you owe more on your home than it is worth; have experienced a hardship which impedes your ability to make your mortgage payment; and you want to avoid foreclosure, a short sale may be a good option for you.

Homes for sale in Santee, CA tend to sell quickly these days. Inventory is very low and demand is very high. So the opportunity is now. Currently the shortage is technically considered income, however Federal guidelines allow for this “income” to be forgiven in 2013. This could change for 2014.

Know your options

Although short selling your home in Santee may be the best option, it is wise to contact your lender and explore potential relief programs they may offer. Some banks offer deeds in lieu of foreclosure, loan modifications (some permanent, others temporary) an opportunity to refinance, and others. It’s worth your time to look into in order to avoid a foreclosure.

Get a real estate agent who has successfully closed short sales

Find a Santee real estate agent who has successfully closed more than a few short sales. Each situation is different, so your agent should be seasoned. Each mortgage lender has a different process and system they utilize. Your Realtor should also assist you in exploring the options mentioned above with your lender if you have not done so. Realtors like listings, but prefer to have lifetime buyers and sellers because we help choose the best option for you. If you decide to short sell, your agent will assist you to complete an authorization for them to speak on your behalf to the bank. In most cases, the Realtor, while remaining in very regular communication with you, should handle any further interactions with the Bank.

Get your tax person involved

Bottom line, laws change. More importantly, no matter how great your Santee Realtor may be, trust me, they do not know the tax laws like your good old tax preparer. If you do your own taxes, it is worth a visit with a CPA to discuss any potential penalties or consequences of your course of action.

Required Paperwork

Because your short sale will require approval from your mortgage lender there are some paperwork details that differ from a “normal” sale. First you will be asked to provide a Realtor Authorization Letter. This letter, signed by you, should include all of your contact information, your loan number, all the contact information including license information for your Realtor and verbiage allowing your Realtor to speak to your lender on your behalf. The next item you will be asked for is a Hardship Letter explaining the details as to why you are no longer able to make your payment. Common reasons include change in employment status, divorce and even death of a mortgagee on the loan. Be prepared to prove your change in circumstances. Finally in addition to the regular paperwork your Realtor will help you complete, you will be asked to get a notarized “Arm’s Length Affidavit”. This form specifies that your transaction is not between you and a relative or business associate.

Know that it will be anything but short in most cases

More often than not short sales take an eternity to close. “Short” refers to the proceeds falling short of paying off the debt and has nothing to do with the time is takes to get a short sale finished. That said, some banks are well equipped to handle short sales, others woefully slow and unprepared. This is another reason to have a real estate agent experienced with short sales, who will take charge and be proactive.

You can buy again

Although short selling your home certainly wasn’t what you envisioned when you bought, understand that the opportunity to buy can happen again. Banks are currently offering programs for individuals who had to short sell or who have a bankruptcy or foreclosure in their credit history. There are qualifications and time frames, and these change frequently. The Realtor that helps you short sell your Santee home, should be able to connect you with lenders who specialize in buying again.



Suzanne Coleman
Big Block Realty
Cell/Text  619-206-2784
BRE Lic # 01747776

Getting the Best of Both Worlds with Office 365

We have more exciting news for you about the ever-expanding family of programs and services with which PDFfiller is building working partnerships. You may have already tried our ‘Edit With Google’ feature, which enables you to send documents from your PDFfiller account to Google Docs where it’s possible to take advantage of word processing tools (read more about that here). Well now, the same thing is possible with Office 365!

Office 365 is the brand name used by Microsoft for a group of software plus service subscriptions that provide subscribers with software like Microsoft Word. If you use Microsoft Word for your word processing needs, now you can seamlessly move your documents from PDFfiller into your Office 365 account and back again!

Here’s how it works: When you are on your forms page, if you click on the checkbox next to a Word document, you’ll see the option to edit in Office 365.  Note that this option is only available for the Word documents in your account and not for the PDFs.  You can check the file format of your document by looking at the small icon next to the document title.


Once you click on ‘Edit in Office 365′, you’ll be taken to an instruction page to confirm that you want to edit your document with Word online.  Press the orange ‘Edit Document’ button to open it in the Office 365 editor where you’lll have access to a full range of word processing tools.


Any changes you make to your document in Office 365 are saved automatically.  When you are finished editing your document, simply look for the message ‘Saved to OneDrive’ which should appear at the bottom of the window. If you see that, it’s safe to close the window.



Next you’ll want to save your changes to PDFfiller.  Do that by simply clicking on the orange ‘Complete’ button back in PDFfiller.  This will reimport your document into your PDFfiller account with the changes you have made.


Integrations like these make it possible for PDFfiller to build on the capacities of your favorite tools and platforms so you can get the best of both worlds.  If there’s a program that you use daily which you think could work with PDFfiller, go ahead and drop us a note! We’d love to be inspired by you!