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 ...

How Tax Reform May Affect Real Estate Agents

The National Association of Realtors®(NAR) worked hard to make sure the new tax bill would include some advantages for real estate agents. As a result, many agents and brokers will see a significant deduction on their business income. The new tax law brings lower tax rates for just about all individual filers. This current tax reform is the largest change to the system in 30 years. It was passed in December 2017 and took effect as of January 2018. As a result of the bill, NAR is projecting a slower growth in home prices of 1-3 percent in 2018, even as ...

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 ...

How to Sell a Good Home in a Bad Neighborhood

There is not much you can do about an undesirable neighborhood if it conceals a hidden gem that you just know you can sell. The buyer has to have an open mind, and should remember to focus on the value of the property before being discouraged by the lack of charm in the neighborhood. In fact, these days, many neighborhoods don’t stay undesirable for long — they tend to improve if the properties are worth pursuing. Here are a few tips on how to make a great house in a not-so-great nabe marketable: Appeal to first-time buyers These are the clients who ...

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 ...

Catch the Boomerang Buyer!

Life happens in cycles, and a new one is about to offer you a big opportunity. The homeowners who defaulted on their mortgages during The Great Recession are eligible to buy homes again. Those bankruptcies are coming up to be discharged — many have already been — and those homeowners may be contacting you. Between 2007 and 2014, more than 12.8 million homes began the foreclosure process. That’s 29 percent of all homes with a mortgage. In 2009, when foreclosures were at their highest, more than 650,000 homes entered foreclosure in a single quarter. That’s 1.5 percent of those with ...

America’s Hottest Urban Suburbs

The idea of the American suburbs reflecting a Fifties sensibility of white-picket fences, enclosed backyards, shopping malls and car culture — may be gone forever. But the suburbs themselves are not gone, or anywhere near the end of its role in American culture. Instead, suburbs are taking a cue from cities. They’re reinventing themselves to appeal to the young people who prefer an urban, live/work/play environment, complete with walkable communities, green spaces and hip, vibrant gathering centers. The CBRE Group reported that only 30 percent of Millennials live in cities. The other 70 percent are part of a migration from urban ...

Mortgage Rate Outlook for 2018

The stock market entered 2018 on a wild roller coaster. But here’s the slightly more stable story for mortgages thus far: According to the mortgage agency Freddie Mac, mortgage rates held below 4 percent for 26 straight weeks in 2017. Freddie predicts that 2018 will be a year of rising rates again. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 3.95 percent during the first week of January 2018 to 4.15 percent by month’s end. This marks only the second time in the past year that rates have increased 20 basis points (read as 0.20 percent) within a four-week period. There is a consensus among ...

Be More Than Just an Agent to Your Clients

You already know that you need to do everything you can for your client to make the home buying and selling process as seamless and productive as possible. However, going an extra mile further will make an intense difference when it comes time for clients to talk you up and refer you to new business. In addition to being the real estate agent, there are many other roles you can take on that can help you earn trust and a good reputation among your clients and prospects. Here are just a few: Be a welcome wagon Introduce clients to activities, organizations and locations ...

Relevant Advice for your Clients — Get a Roommate

Almost one in three U.S. adults are living with an adult roommate, according to new findings by the Pew Research Center. This roommate situation is not traditional in the sense of a romantic partner or an undergraduate college student. What’s the reason for the rise? We’ve all heard about Millennials still living in their parents’ basements due to stifling student loans and being unable to afford a home of their own. That’s largely true. The other situation comes from the other end of the spectrum: many Baby Boomers are moving in with their adult children. Almost 79 million U.S. adults – ...