Monday, March 16, 2009

$8,000 Tax Credit Info:

We recently had a very successful lender, Gene Pulliam at Bank of America give us more information about the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit.

* $8,000 Tax Credit - up to 10% of home purchase price, capped at $8,000 maximum.
*First Time Homebuyers - defined as those who have not owned a principal residence during the last 3 years.
* 2009 Buyer ONLY - eligible home purchases must occur after Jan 1, 2009 and before Dec 1, 2009.
* Income Limit - $75,000 adjusted gross income for single buyers and $150,000 AGI for married couples. Higher incomes - up to $95k single/$170k joint - may qualify for reduced tax credit.
* Refundable - unused portion of tax credit is refunded to homebuyer by the IRS, if they owe less than $8,000 in taxes.
*Recapture - if home is sold within 3 years of purchase, the entire tax credit will be returned to the government; one home ownership exceeds 3 years, there is no longer any recapture liability.
*Repayment - NONE!! this credit is not a loan to be repaid, like the tax credit offered in 2008.
*2008 Tax Return - this credit can be claimed on your 2008, 1040 filed by April 15, 2009 - IF the home was purchased after Jan 1, 2009.

If you have more questions about wether or not you qualify for this FREE money, give us a call today at 816-224-KORN (5676) or send us an email at and speak with one of our first time home-buyer specialist.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Should I offer a Carpet Allowance to get my Home SOLD?

This is a great question from many Home Seller's. It actually is a great thought if you have carpet that is in rough shape or dated. However, it just does not have the effect you would think it would. Here is an email conversation with a current client, and how I responded to that question:

---Original Message---
Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 2009
To: 'brad@kornteam
Importance: High

Brad and/or Sonya,
I want to add a $5000 carpet and paint allowance to the listing. The number one thing that seems to be consistently noted in our showing feedback is how “outdated” and/or poor condition the carpet and wallpaper is so I would like to try and address this directly. Somehow I want to get the point across that we acknowledge the situation and instead of us presuming we know what carpet a potential buyer would prefer we would instead prefer to give the buyer the choice on this as part of the sale. I am a little amazed that so many prospects cannot get past the carpet and seem to think that replacing the carpet and doing some simple paint work is some sort of heavy duty remodeling effort but based on the feedback we have gotten to date this appears to be the case so I think making some sort of attempt to address this directly rather than simply through the price itself might be a good marketing move.


I would like you to consider one more option. Consider doing a 90 days, same as cash type deal to put brand new carpet in…or even get (the carpet guy) to put some cheap carpet (but decent looking) in and just pay for it to get it in the house.

Unfortunately, with all my years of selling, even the allowance will not get them past picking your home. It is truly a “Beauty Contest” AND a “Price War” and you have to win both. Obviously the price is not keeping them away…we are getting some decent traffic.

Even a cheap new carpet is still new and looks great. A neutral, light color is important. But also understand that if you do change the carpet, you may still want to get some neutral paint colors on the walls. Really, I think both will work great together in that home, and you will definitely see a return (by getting more for you home than if you don’t do it).

I know you are both busy, so you might want to decide if you would rather discount the price and not do the work…make is such a good deal that anyone will overlook the carpets, etc…….OR… a little work to make it neutral (cream, off white, wheat colors, etc…) and have a better shot getting the price you are at.

The honest truth is...if your home blew their socks off from the minute they walked into the home, carpet and paint would never keep someone from making an offer. Based on the other homes in the market competing for your buyer...they are seeing either better values out there, or maybe even homes that don't need the work, and are priced very competitively (sometimes even more than you...but no work needed, and completely updated).


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Enjoy Life More:

I am at the Lodge of the Four Seasons today and just listened to our Past National Association of Realtors President, Richard Mendenhall. He made a very interesting comment about our enjoyment of life. He said, "Did you know that Television can reduce your enjoyment of life by 50%" Wow....think about that for a moment. Do you watch a lot of TV? Do you shows help enhance your life? Does the news get you depressed? Why not turn off the TV. Make your life what you want it to be. Richard also showed a clip from the movie with Will Smith, Pursuit of Happiness and you can make happen whatever you just have to dream.

If you don't own a home, it may be easier than you think. Call us to see how we can make your dream come true.

The Korn Team