When Selling a House with Mold

Mold doesn’t discriminate; it can attack even the best and most beautiful properties. It loves warm, damp, humid conditions (think bathrooms and basements), and it lives and reproduces by creating spores. Mold is never okay with potential buyers or with the bank. Needless to say, if you’re helping your client sell a house, the mold problem should be resolved before any further steps are taken. Otherwise, you’ll need to disclose the issue or open yourself up to a lawsuit by the new owner. To avoid this: have the mold removed, and then test for any remaining or lingering presence. Mold testing kits ...

Seven Worthy Real Estate Reads

Most of us simply don’t have the time to read, but reading these recommended books can strengthen your skills and focus your outlook. A career in real estate is intensely challenging, but also uniquely rewarding; if you open yourself up to advice from experts and apply it to your own journey, you can raise your prospects higher. Here are a few books we recommend: The HyperLocal, HyperFast Real Estate Agent: How to Dominate Your Real Estate Market in Under a Year, I Did it and so Can You! By Daniel Lesniak and foreword from Keri Shull The author claims to have sold ...

What Agents Should Know About Home Inspections

While it’s not legally required for real estate agents to attend home inspections, a good, dedicated agent who cares about clients should be there to advocate, ask questions, or even challenge decisions. A home inspection should not be left to the buyer or seller alone, who may not know the red flags that may arise or which questions to ask. Many real estate deals get broken because of some kind of issue that was brought up during a home inspection. Since it’s the agent’s job to advocate and negotiate on behalf of their clients, being at an inspection will help move that ...

Tips on Selling Commercial Real Estate

When most people think of working in real estate, they think of buying and selling houses. Of course, the real estate industry is much more diverse than that. Commercial real estate focuses on the buying and selling of commercial properties, such as office buildings, multifamily apartments, hotels, malls, hospitals and more. The opportunities are endless: you can work as an independent contractor with a general brokerage, open your own brokerage, or get involved in development, construction, project management and leasing. More good news: despite all the economic turmoil and technological change affecting the industry in the last decade, commercial real estate remains ...

How to Protect Yourself from Client-Initiated Sexual Harassment

We’re living in a long-overdue time when inappropriate behavior and professional misconduct is not tolerated on any level. Although what often doesn’t change is a sexual harassment victim’s reluctance to report the behavior, or even wrestling with the very definition of harassment. It’s defined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassments of a sexual nature. If a client is making you uncomfortable in any way, or harassing you in a way that cannot be denied or debated, you have a right to protect yourself. Of course, you ...

The Luxury Real Estate Market for 2018

For the luxury market, 2018 will be a year of adjustments, according to the luxury-watch website Mansion Global. The rewriting of the United States tax code is one of the major reasons for the changes. The American tax code has experienced its biggest overhaul in decades, particularly affecting foreign investors and second-home buyers in the luxury market. Congress is imposing limits on tax deductions for property taxes and interest on mortgages. The new tax law limits your deduction for state and local income and property taxes to a sum total of $10,000 ($5,000 if you’re married and file a ...

How to Sell a Home with a Bad Past

A stigmatized house may often be a hard sell. In the digital age, there are very few secrets — prospective buyers can search for any gruesome details and facts about an unfortunate event that once took place on the property. Even if the home is a gem, it still may sit on the market for longer than it should, because of its dark past. The history can affect (or not affect) prospective buyers — a violent or widely reported murder or suicide, a common belief that the property is haunted, or even someone who died peacefully in the home — can ...

Benefit from a Commission Advance at Tax Time and Beyond

When you live solely on commissions, cash flow and timing are vital. Most real estate agents learn the hard way that commission payments don’t always sync up with billing cycles — including quarterly tax payment requirements. Not only could this be harmful economically, but it can also be psychologically damaging — a career demotivator. Don’t give up hope. eCommission can help with advances on that all-important commission payment, before the final closing on the property. The advanced commission payment can help keep cash flow consistent and bridge the time gap between commission checks, especially at tax time. It’s not a loan — ...

The Most Gentrified Cities in America

Gentrification is the buying and renovation of houses and stores in deteriorated urban neighborhoods by upper- or -middle-income families or individuals, raising property values but often displacing low-income families and small businesses, according to Dictionary.com. The site also defines gentrification as the process of conforming to an upper- or middle-class lifestyle, or making a product, activity, etc., appealing to those with more affluent tastes. However you define it, gentrification has been a controversial mixed blessing, to say the least. Depending on what side you’re on, the process is either a new lease on life for a troubled, decaying neighborhood, or ...

Estimated Tax Considerations for Real Estate Agents

Although the digital age is changing so many dynamics in the real estate business, the tax process is mostly business as usual. Most agents are still considered independent contractors or self-employed sole proprietors. In most of all cases, that means that no taxes are withheld from your commission checks; therefore, you’re responsible for paying taxes four times a year (quarterly). These are called “estimated taxes,” an educated guess as to how much you will be earning and the resulting percentage you will pay in taxes. These estimated taxes are used to pay both income taxes and self-employment taxes (Social Security and Medicare ...