The Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® is proud to announce our election results for 2018 Leadership positions. Please help us congratulate these incoming Officers and Directors for 2018:

Officers
President: Kevin Cole
President-Elect: Gustavo Gonzalez
Vice-President: Doug Goss
Treasurer/Secretary: Sandy Jamison

Board of Directors
Director: Frank Cancilla
Director: Don Jessup
Director: Gabrielle Perez
Director: Tam Quach
Immediate Past President: Rick Smith
Director: Karen Nelsen – SCRA Representative

We would like to thank the following members who served on the 2018 Election Committee: Craig Gorman, Trisha Motter, Myron Von Raesfeld, Carl San Miguel, Karl Lee, Steve Hanleigh, Anne Hansen, Lisa Faria, Mike Bui, Mo Wise, Gema Smith, and Dennis Steinbach.

SCCAOR is pleased to welcome back Kristi Kennelly of REALTOR.com to our 2017 Convention & EXPO. Her talk is titled: Crush-It with Disruption: How to Create Reactions & Close Business. She will dig into easy video production, useful apps, and tools that increase productivity. The class will be about real, tactical advice so you can immediately get noticed in your market.

Kristi is a nationally recognized speaker, well known for her high energy and engaging presentations that highlight the newest technologies for real estate practitioners. You will walk away inspired and ready to implement everything that you will learn in this dynamic session. The 2017 SCCAOR Convention & EXPO will take place on October 19th, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

Tickets for the SCCAOR Convention & EXPO are free for a limited time (ends Sept. 19th)

SCCAOR Members: Click here to register for free
Non-Members: Click here to register for free

C.A.R. is OPPOSING SB 231 (Hertzberg), a bill that allows local governments to circumvent the State Constitution and Proposition 218 to tax property owners directly for costs related to stormwater infrastructure projects without the legally required voter approval. C.A.R opposes SB 231 because it uses legal “sleight of hand” to allow local governments to impose new taxes without required voter input. The bill will be considered by the ENTIRE Assembly as soon as Monday, June 19th.

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There have been several recently reported thefts that have occurred during open houses in Santa Clara County. Individuals have been attending open houses and signing in with a fake name, phone number, and address. They are commonly targeting two story houses so they have a better chance of creating separation between themselves and the REALTOR®. Common items that have been reported stolen include cash, wallets (out of purses), jewelry, and other small items. Sometimes the thief will do a quick walk through the house and then ask a question about the number of bedroom or bathrooms upstairs. They will then say that they missed a room and go back upstairs for a quick look. Many of the thefts are happening at this time. In many instances, the thief says that they are very interested in the property and plan on coming back later in the day with their spouse, but they never return.

Since holding open houses exposes you to people that you’ve never met before, it is critical that REALTORS® follow all possible safety precautions. Even a buyer that seems legitimate could quickly decide to steal a small item on a whim.  NAR has provided the following 10 tips for holding a safe open house:

  1. If possible, always try to have at least one other person working with you at the open house.
  2. Check your cell phone’s strength and signal prior to the open house. Have emergency numbers programmed on speed dial.
  3. Upon entering a house for the first time, check all rooms and determine several “escape” routes. Make sure all deadbolt locks are unlocked to facilitate a faster escape.
  4. Make sure that if you were to escape by the back door, you could escape from the backyard. Frequently, high fences surround yards that contain swimming pools or hot tubs.
  5. Have all open house visitors sign in. Ask for full name, address, phone number and email. Read more

Many new and prospective homeowners are surprised when they learn about supplemental assessments and supplemental tax bills. Figuring out the amount of property taxes that a new homeowner is required to pay after escrow closes is a confusing process and it often leaves many people frustrated when they receive an additional tax bill.

To help reduce the confusion, the Office of the County Assessor has released a new video on its website called “Property Tax Avenger”. This lighthearted video provides an oversight on how supplemental assessments work. It’s targeted towards individuals who just acquired or have plans to buy a home.

Although supplemental assessments have been part of California property tax law since 1983, new buyers often overlook the financial impact that generally falls within their first year of ownership.  Supplemental assessments and taxes are in addition to the annual assessments and property taxes which are generally prorated during escrow, so that the seller and buyer each pay the portion of taxes attributed to their time of ownership.  However, the proration is based on the assessed value prior to the purchase transaction. The supplemental assessment is based on the difference between the prior assessed value and the new assessed value. This value is multiplied by the tax rate, and the resultant tax is prorated for the number of months remaining in the fiscal year from the date of acquisition by the new owner. The tax new homeowners pay is the amount between the regular tax bill prorated in escrow, and the supplemental tax bill, based upon the value of the property as of their date of purchase.

The Assessor’s website also includes a “Supplemental Estimator” that enables a new property owner to calculate the estimated taxes based upon the anticipated purchase price and month of acquisition. The “Estimator” assists taxpayers to better understand how supplemental assessments and taxes are calculated by the Assessor and the Tax Collector.

If you would like the Santa Clara County Assessor to speak at your business, neighborhood, or event, please fill out this online form.

 

On behalf of current and future home and property owners throughout the country, SCCAOR members attended the National Association of REALTORS® Annual Legislative meetings in Washington D.C. They were joined by more than 9,600 REALTORS® from across the country with the aim to advance key real estate issues during the 2017 REALTOR® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

Led by 2017 President Rick Smith and 2017 President-Elect Kevin Cole, the SCCAOR Leadership team joined fellow REALTORS® from California and across the nation to attend meetings and informational sessions. They also met with regulatory agency staff and lawmakers on Capitol Hill to discuss and advocate for real estate issues affecting their businesses, communities, and clients.

At the legislative-focused meetings, REALTORS® focused on several significant issues affecting the industry, such as flood insurance, tax reform, and sustainable homeownership.

Rick Smith (2017 SCCAOR President) and Kevin Cole (2017 SCCAOR President-Elect) with Rep. Ro Khanna

“REALTORS® are critical advocates for the real estate industry and for their clients, and this trip allowed us to educate our lawmakers that the wrong type of tax reform could cost homeowners hundreds or thousands of dollars more in taxes annually,” said Rick Smith.

SCCAOR members met with three members of Congress that represent parts of Santa Clara County: Rep. Ro Khanna, Rep. Zoe Lofgren and Rep. Anna Eshoo.

“We discussed important regulatory issues like proper oversight of PACE loans that impact home buyers and sellers in California,” said Kevin Cole.

Additionally, REALTORS® urged for the protection of sustainable homeownership by advocating for responsible reform of the secondary mortgage market, prohibiting the use of guarantee fees for any purposes other than credit-risk management, improving consumer protections for energy-efficiency improvement loans, and tax reform. CAR Treasurer-Elect and SCCAOR member Dave Walsh is the Key Contact for Rep. Zoe Lofgren and he led the meeting where she agreed that we should have tax policies that encourage homeownership and not punish it.

SCCAOR Members meeting with Rep. Anna G. Eshoo

One of the main issues discussed with Congressman Ro Khanna was the urgent need to pass a multiyear reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program before it expires on September 30. Khanna agreed that we needed to renew the flood insurance program without lapsing.

We appreciate the time and thoughtful feedback on our positions from all our members of Congress, which made this another successful trip to Washington D.C. representing all our REALTOR® members. For a full list of the issues that we discussed with our legislators, please visit the NAR Website