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Contact Your Elected Officials

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Red Alert: SCCAOR Opposes SB 231 (Hertzberg) Sewer Tax

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.

Read more

Broker Tip: Make Your Home Stand Out to Buyers — 10 Tips to Prep Your Home for Sale

By Doug Evans

Even though selling a home can be a stressful undertaking, why not give it every chance to “wow” potential buyers?  Securing the right offer is not always easy, but here are 10 tips to impress potential buyers and maximize the possibility of obtaining the best price:

  1.      Focus on Curb Appeal: When you meet someone for the first time, you always want to make a good first impression and the “curb appeal” of your home is no different when it comes to impressing buyers.  When the curb appeal is strong, people will want to see what is inside – and that is your goal – to get buyers inside.  Mow and water the lawn, prune the bushes so no windows are hidden, trim the trees, weed the garden beds, and plant some colorful flowers in pots or window boxes.
  2.      Clean the outside:  Make sure to clean the gutters, pressure wash the exterior, properly store bicycles, gardening equipment, and children’s toys.  In addition, be sure the front door has a welcome feeling. A fresh coat of paint on the front door works wonders for a good first impression.  Add a new welcome mat for the finishing touch!
  3.      Make Necessary Repairs: Homebuyers will automatically expect all features in a home to operate safely and efficiently. If a buyer notices any problems, they may question whether the home has been cared for.  Take care of major issues like faulty or outdated electrical outlets and wiring, broken windows, furnaces and water heaters, along with leaking roofs and other plumbing concerns prior to putting a house on the market.
  4.      Remove Clutter: Virtually all homebuyers are on the lookout for one thing – a spacious home. Homebuyers tend to show less interest in an untidy, cluttered home.  In addition, an untidy home tends to fetch a lower selling price.  Consider renting a storage unit for extra furniture to create more open space in rooms.
  5.      Organize Closets and Drawers:  Avoid overflowing closets and drawers which indicate there is not enough storage space in the home. Read more

Open House Theft Alert + Safety Tips for REALTORS®

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

SCCAOR General Membership Meeting Recap (June 2, 2017)

The SCCAOR General Membership Meeting was on June 2nd, 2017 and featured a panel on how to develop Accessory Dwelling Units in San Jose. The panel was moderated by San Jose’s Planning Director Steve McHarris. The group discussed the opportunities presented by the new state law as well as the challenges that still exist in developing these ADUs.

 

The meeting also featured an MLSListings, Inc. update from Jim Harrison, an NAR Update from Dave Walsh, and a C.A.R. Update from Trisha Motter.

 

SCCAOR Members were also recognized for reaching various Membership Milestones. We would like to congratulate Yana Mocak and Bharath K. Talluri (25 years), John S. Choi and Rose M. Pfander (30 years), Allen Ansari (35 years), Jim Allen, Jerry A. Dias, Manuel Franco, and Floyd “Sonny” Wilkins (40 years), and Steven C. Blair and Janet E. Simas (45 years). We appreciate your commitment to your Association!

 

We livestreamed the meeting on Facebook Live, and you can watch a recording here:

SCCAOR General Membership Meeting – June 2nd, 2017

Posted by Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® on Friday, June 2, 2017

Oppose AB 71: Tell Legislators “Don’t Eliminate Mortgage Interest Deduction on Second Homes”

 


UPDATE 6/2/2017: ASSEMBLY DOES NOT APPROVE AB 71 DUE TO REALTOR OPPOSITION! 

This is a brief update on AB 71 (Chiu), a bill C.A.R. has been OPPOSING that eliminates the mortgage interest deduction on second homes. C.A.R. opposes any attempt to limit or alter the mortgage interest deduction.

In advance of a possible floor vote in the Assembly, C.A.R. issued a series of Red Alerts, asking REALTORS® in targeted legislative districts to call their Assembly Member to urge them to vote “NO” on the bill. Others were asked to help spread the word on social media. And Key Contacts – our first-line volunteers who work day-in, day-out with legislators with whom them have a personal relationship – worked to educate the legislators and their staff about the MID and the need to preserve it.

It worked! In just two days, over 1,600 calls were placed, over 400 Tweets were posted using our hashtag #NoAB71, and countless others posted on Facebook. And, in many cases, Key Contacts were able to confirm their legislator’s opposition to the bill.

AB 71 has been eligible to be voted on by the entire Assembly since Wednesday and last night the Assembly adjourned until next week without taking action on the bill, presumably because the bill did not have the support necessary to pass it. This is thanks almost entirely to all of the REALTORS®– the only large political organization opposing AB 71 — who called their legislators and still more, including local association staff, who helped spread the word.

Because AB 71 has an “urgency” clause, it can still be voted on any time before the end of session in early September. And we will be asking some of you to reinforce your legislator’s opposition to the bill by sending emails or posting to social media. Be looking for that Red Alert early next week.

Thank you to everyone who took action on this bill so quickly. It really does take an army – a REALTOR® army!

For more information:

Contact DeAnn Kerr deannk@car.org or Rian Barrett rianb@car.org

(The Original blog post is below)


SCCAOR and C.A.R. are OPPOSING UNLESS AMENDED AB 71 (Chiu), a bill that would eliminate the mortgage interest deduction for second homes to fund an increase in low-income housing tax credits. While C.A.R. supports increasing the amount of tax credits available for low-income housing, the association is opposed to doing so at the expense of the mortgage interest deduction for second homes. AB 71 will be voted on by the entire Assembly as soon as  Wednesday, May 31st.

Action Items

  1. Urge your Assembly Member to Vote NO on AB 71 by calling 1-800-798-6593. Then enter your NRDS ID (or the Red Alert PIN number in the chart below) followed by the # sign to be connected to your legislator’s office.
  2. When staff answers the phone, you can use the following script:  “Hi, this is <insert your name>. I’m a constituent and a REALTOR®. Please ask the Assembly Member to Vote No on AB 71.
  3. Use Twitter to tweet the following with the appropriate legislators twitter name inserted from below: Govt shouldn’t change the rules. <insert handle>, please protect the MID.  #NoAB71
Assembly Member PIN Number Twitter Handle
Kansen Chu 3505 @kansenchu
Ash Kalra 2857 @Ash_Kalra
Evan Low 1152 @Evan_Low
Anna Caballero 2163 @AMCab2

 

Background and Talking Points

  • C.A.R. supports increasing the amount of tax credits available for low-income housing, we are opposed to doing so at the expense of the mortgage interest deduction for second homes.
  • AB 71 (Chiu) would eliminate the mortgage interest deduction (MID) for second homes to fund an increase in low-income housing tax credits. If the MID were eliminated for second homes, 2,152 home sales would be lost in the first year after implementation. The potential impact of the MID elimination is an economic loss of $180.2 million to the state of California in the year following the implementation.
  •  C.A.R. opposes changing the mortgage interest deduction because:
    • The state shouldn’t change the rules after the fact. People made significant financial decisions, trusting that the mortgage interest deduction would be there to make the property affordable The MID is already capped. The amount of the mortgage interest deduction is already capped regardless of whether the taxpayer has one home or two homes.  It’s not right for government to dictate to homeowners how they can allocate their housing dollars
    • Second homes are not necessarily “vacation homes.”  Someone faced with a one-way commute of an hour or more may choose to purchase a small condo near where they work in which to live during the workweek.
    • Local economies and communities will suffer. The economic health of the recreational areas of the state will be harmed by the elimination of the mortgage interest deduction on second homes. Homeowners in those areas of the state are going to be hard pressed to find a buyer if the mortgage interest deduction on second homes is eliminated.
    • Using the MID as a piggybank sets a dangerous precedent.

To learn more about this issue, visit www.SaveYourMID.org.  You can also contact DeAnn Kerr (deannk@car.org) or Rian Barrett (rianb@car.org) with any questions.

The Supplemental Property Tax Assessment — Understanding one of the most confusing parts of purchasing a new home

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.

 

Broker Tip: So you want to be a Successful Agent? Here are some Tips from Someone with 38+ Years in the Industry

By Diane DeFaria LoVerde, D&F Properties

People often ask me: “How did you get that listing or that buyer”.  And I will be honest — it takes a lot of work, dedication, and passion.  I have been an independent broker for almost 33 years and I have worked in the industry for over 38 years.  I don’t work for a big office so self-motivation is extremely high on my list.  Here are some ideas and tips that I would recommend to anyone that desires to be a top producing agent:

Passion is a must.  You need to love what you do.

Talk, Talk, Talk.  Being shy is not an option.  Speak with everyone and let them know what you do.  This was a challenge for me as I am generally a quiet person.  But once I started speaking more, I instantly started reaping the rewards with new clients.

Return your calls.  I call leads within 15 minutes and I always return my clients call as soon as I can.

“Be Everywhere”.  Having an online presence is important.  I try to create a profile for any new site where potential clients might find me.  But don’t just create a profile on every site you find and ignore it. Make sure you check in on these sites occasionally and always keep your profile information updated.

Know your areas intimately.  I have been doing BPO’s for over 10 years now.  The pay isn’t great but I get educated in different neighborhoods every day plus I do get an occasional REO listing from these BPO’s. It also helps me with my retail sellers and buyers.

Know your stuff.  Always learn new things and attend classes.  SCCAOR has so many great classes you can take. I try to take about 2 or 3 classes every month.  The “Brunch n Learn” series are also a great way to learn about the business (and network with other members!).

Get leads any way you can.  Wear a badge. Ask your friends, family, and acquaintances for referrals. Don’t be shy! You never know who might be looking for a REALTOR®. Maybe your hairdresser (or your mechanic, restaurant server, kid’s soccer coach, etc.) is looking to buy or sell a home.

Keep in contact with your database.  My database is growing all the time.  I send them mailers about every other month.  I also send birthday cards with a small denomination gift card for lunch or coffee.  They love it.

Have a great network.  I am a one-person shop, so broker breakfast meetings, CE classes, and board activities are great ways for me to meet fellow agents and referral partners.  Working with agents that you know makes the transaction much smoother and a lot more fun.  You might even make good friends from your network.

Great customer service, knowledge, honesty, integrity and authenticity are also some good traits to have.  Remember to work hard, love what you do, and most importantly: BE YOURSELF!