Is your home stagnant during the holiday market?

I receive notices hourly each day, homes in our area reducing their listing price.  While drafting this blog, I’ve received fifteen, (15) notifications of price changes. I have also taken the initiative to randomly review the values of these actions, and in 90% of these cases, it’s unnecessary. So what is it that motivates the agent, and/or the seller into making these judgment calls?

Not being prepared or experienced or just laziness!  Preparation;  Prior to placing the property on the market. Do not always agree to list your home with the first realtor you set an appointment with. I do not care how experienced they may be, you can learn from each individuals presentation. What is it that will entice buyers into viewing your home? What makes your home special from similar models; location, upgrades, material modifications, the hidden value that should be brought up and promoted, and most importantly the description that will sell your home.   

My biggest vice, being too perfect, too analytical, I think outside the box. I also reach out to top agents in our community.  I have been a successful marketing specialist since the 1980s with proven and up to date strategies that work. 

Every property, whether in December of 2018 or in January of 2019, will benefit from these strategies. But they can be particularly effective when the market seems quiet, as in these weeks between now and the New Year. Sometimes, unconventional wisdom is the way to go, not necessarily a reduction in your listed price. 

Question your realtor’s knowledge

I recently came across a part-time realtor claiming to be full time and presented their buyers offer. It was accepted and after five (5) days, had not begun the due diligence needed and clearly required, to protect their buyer’s interest.  Sometimes I feel like I’m doing their work and protecting my seller’s interest.

Many inexperienced listing agents are only interested in getting the listing, promise all sorts of strategies yet poorly market the property. I’ve found helping my clients accomplish their goals, is much more rewarding.  Surprises come up that are sometimes good and some bad. The negative to this? It may delay a closing or stall or abort negotiations during the process. More importantly the process to start over becomes a troubling problem! The history of the listing becomes clouded and may divert potential buyers from even viewing the home. “The subject of doubt becomes surreal!”   

I have also encountered agents that do not understand addendums, the different types of contracts, an FHA, VA, USDA, and conventional. Each has its own merits and potential roadblocks. These elements and timing of each step in the loan process are critical and may affect a successful closing.

I’m a full-time realtor, not part-time and I make it my priority to stay up with changes in the North East Florida Associations contract that I find more favorable than the Florida Association Realtors contact.  Also known as the FARBAR contract.

When you consider the selling process of your home, please give me a call! My marketing skills and strategies are second to none. I also have a program that buyers agents must follow when writing an offer that helps both sides accomplish our ultimate goal. We want a safe, stress-free, closing for all parties.

Did I mention that I hosted foreign exchange students from 1992 through 2008?  Young ladies and gentlemen from 37 countries I have an extensive network of foreign national investors and buyers.

Wishing you all the best during the Holidays.

Are Prepaid Property Taxes Deductible?

The Pro’s and Con’s are all over the place!  April 17, 2018, was the tax deadline, and tax advisers still could not agree on whether prepaid 2018 property taxes can be deducted in full. Congress passed a tax reform bill late last year, capping write-offs for state and local taxes at $10,000 per return for single filers and married couples. 

The move set off a rush of homeowners at the end of last year to prepay their property taxes for 2018 ahead of the tax bill taking effect this year. 

The overhaul “barred deductions for many prepayments of 2018 state and local income taxes, but it was silent on deductions of prepaid property taxes,” The Wall Street Journal reports. 

On Dec. 27, the IRS had warned prepaying owners that not all prepayments of 2018 property taxes would be deductible on 2017 returns. To be eligible for a write-off, the owners must have known their tax liability at the time of payment, the IRS stated. 

Some tax specialists disagreed with the IRS’ assessment that you can only deduct the portion that was known or determined at the time. Others argued you could still make the prepaid deductions as long as they were based on reasonable estimates. They assert that prior tax rulings and regulations support this argument too. 

“If the amount is a reasonable estimate made in good faith, it’s deductible,” asserts Stephen Baxley, who heads tax planning for Bessemer Trust, a multifamily office.

Some tax officials say they’re closely following the IRS’ guidance. “Some CPA firms believe, the amount due must be determined for a prepayment to be deductible,” You may find many large CPA firms are on this page. 

Some accountants say they’re doing both.  Many CPA’s, not accountants, recommend clients deduct prepayments of known amounts. But possibly will allow a deduction of an estimate “The opinion of some CPA specialist? “If their client understands the risk that the IRS will disagree.”

Warning, you must seek the advice of your tax preperation firm.  I am not a CPA or accountant and do not have a strong opinion either way. 

What the new cash buyer rules mean for you!

In some cities, most cash sales will have to be reported to regulators

Perhaps common knowledge to those that purchase with cash, buyers moving to Florida after the sale of their home in Northern and Western states may encounter these regulatory measures. The changes mean the identities of buyers of almost all-cash purchases in some counties will have to be reported to the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

Identifying cash buyers of luxury real estate has helped ferret out illicit activity  so well that the U.S. Treasury Department is expanding previous regulations to more U.S. counties and lowering the sales price threshold for reporting.

In January 2016, in an effort to combat money laundering, FinCEN announced title insurance companies would be required to identify the human beings behind any cash-paying “shell companies” that buy high-end residential real estate in New York City and Miami at or above certain million-dollar price points.

Other “geographic targeting orders” (GTOs) put out by the department have expanded the list of affected markets and price points since then and earlier this month, the department issued its most widespread order yet.  The order is effective Nov. 17, 2018, through May 15, 2019.

Now, title insurance providers in these areas are required to disclose the people behind any buyer companies for any all-cash transactions of residential real estate at or above $300,000:

  • The Florida counties of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach are a few noted;

Given that the median sales price of a home in many of these counties is well above $300,000, that means virtually all cash purchases of homes in those areas will have to be reported to FinCEN.

Resources Inman News Nov. 27 by Staff Writer Jim Dalrymple. 

Why 2019 won’t bring about more affordable homes

Despite slowing price growth and slowing sales in many parts of the U.S., the national housing market is still going to become less affordable for many buyers next year, thanks to both rising prices and rising mortgage interest rates, according to a new forecast from Realtor.com. That means a true buyer’s market is not on the horizon.

Though the forecast, out today, offers a few glimmers of hope for buyers, it paints an overall dour picture of the 2019 housing market as both buyers and sellers are forced to adapt to more expensive housing transactions.

Perhaps most significantly, Realtor.com expects mortgage rates to average 5.3 percent in 2019, and to hit 5.5 percent by the end of the year. That increase comes after multiple interest rate hikes in 2018, and will ultimately make buying a home 8 percent more expensive next year, according to the forecast.

The rising cost of buying a home will likely slow price growth, which Realtor.com expects to average 2.2 percent, and lead to a modest increase of 7 percent in home inventory.

Danielle Hale, a Realtor.com economist, suggests overall 2019 will continue the softening trend that began in 2018.

“It’s going to be a tougher year in some respects,” Hale said.
Home price gains slowed to 5.5 percent in September, year-over-year, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Index. Year-over-year growth was down from 5.7 percent last month and the second time in 12 months price gains fell under 6 percent.

Why many home sales do not show up on Zillow, Realtor.com, social media sights.

Why don’t you see many transactions in sales or purchases? Because they never reach the Multiple Listing Service. Many Commercial, Residential and Social Media networks gather their data from these IDX sources.  So don’t always judge a Realtor’s performance by Internet data alone.  Do all Comparable Market Analysis provide full and accurate data. Worth calling my team just to find out, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Many of my networks include a large portion of Orange, Lake, Osceola, Polk, St John’s, Duval and Pasco Counties in Florida. I’ve put together transactions by paperless applications and mobile closers. References on request.  I might add, that my experience includes deals from all over the United States, South America, Canada, Europe, and the United Kingdom. 

Five of my last (7) transactions never made it to the MLS or internet. I had buyers in my pipeline watching for and asking about homes with specific criteria. Showed them properties that may go on the market, viewed them and made handsome offers almost immediatley. This does not always happen and perhaps I’ve been lucky. In any event I have many reviews to substantiate my sales activity. 

Once I sold my Ad Agency and Printing Companies, I invested in Real Estate long before ever thinking about becoming a Realtor. 

From 1992 through 2008 my family and I hosted foreign Exchange Students through local soccer organizations that hosted soccer camps for students in Swedan, Finland, and other european countries.  I was a member of Lions International and hosted young men through the Montgomery Youth program and one year actually hosted 7 boys for 10 days. Challenging and rewarding. So my network of foreign nationals is extensive. 

Interested in Selling?  Call me and my team and I will provide an extrodinary listing presentation unmatched by competitors. Our marketing model is extensive, elaborate and extremley effective.