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Expert Update - 04.15.2022

Showing New Homes Can Be a Win-Win

In a recent 'new homes' seminar, agents were asked what was keeping them from showing newly constructed homes. Here are some of the concerns most often cited in this study:

  1. Unsure how to find new home inventory
  2. Inability to negotiate purchase price
  3. Unsure what to expect from the onsite agent

While the concerns listed above are valid, they can be resolved with training and experience, on both sides. Consumers have a misconception that buying a new home is a straightforward process. It's important for them to have an experienced agent working for their best interests, giving you the perfect opportunity to show your skills.

Start by visiting new home build sites to develop relationships with the onsite agents and educating yourself on the unique elements of the new-home market. This vital step can help you gain insight into the buying experience prior to bringing your client into the mix. This will give you more control and your client more options.1

 

Tips for Expanding into the Vacation Home Market

Vacation and second home sales rose to 6.7% of the total market share in 2021. And by the end of January 2022, vacation home sales were still climbing. If you're new to this market, here are strategies for success with vacation and second home buyers.

  • Share location-specific costs. Instead of searching for top schools, vacation home buyers often seek access to lifestyle and recreation activities. When selling a property next to a golf course or beach, or near a hunting or fishing area, there may be additional costs like membership dues, game/fishing permits, and homeowners' association fees. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these and share details when showing the property.
  • Check tax scenarios. While specific tax advice should come from a CPA or licensed tax professional, you can remind potential buyers to check into possible tax breaks for mortgage interest and property taxes. Additionally, vacation home sellers may take advantage of a 1031 exchange to help reduce their capital gains taxes.2

 

Sell More Homes with These Budget-Friendly Marketing Materials

Although establishing an online presence is essential to success (over 90% of homebuyers begin their search online), other strategies can be equally effective -- and stick around for longer. Introduce yourself to new prospects and keep in touch with past clients by using a mix of online and offline items.

  • Postcards -- Want to make sure you stay top of mind? Send postcards featuring local school sports schedules, details of new subdivisions, and recipes -- subjects that will hang around for months on bulletin boards and refrigerators.
  • Retailers and restaurants -- Do you frequent certain shops or restaurants in your sales area? Create small table-top items with your photo and contact details, together with a quote that describes why you love visiting that particular shop or café.
  • QR codes -- These are a type of barcode that smartphones can scan with a camera or app, eliminating the need for pen and paper. Add them to printed marketing materials so people can easily access your listings, business website and more.3

 

Three Important Tax Tips to Remember

Even if you've already filed your federal taxes, it's always a good time to brush up on specific tax deductions and rules (and not too late to file a revised return using a 1040-X form). Whether you prepare your taxes yourself or work with a tax pro, keep the following in mind.

  • Don't forget your mileage. This tax deduction can include mileage for attending meetings, putting up For Sale signs, and running business-related errands.
  • Classify team members properly. Make sure you're not classifying W-2 employees as independent contractors. Freelancers and contractors should be issued a 1099 form, while employees get a W-2.
  • Gift expenses. Gifts are deductible up to $25 per person, per year. Or, if your client is a couple, then it's $50 per couple per year. So, if you're buying a big-ticket item for a client, the amount you can claim is limited. Check RESPA for more gift-related regulations.

As always, be sure to consult a tax professional to ensure you adhere to all local and federal guidelines.4

 

Sources: 1 realtytimes.com; 2 rismedia.com; 3 realtybiznews.com; 4 mckissock.com;

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