Saturday, February 25, 2012

How will you vote?

Here is a recent email I received asking everyone to send to everyone they know. I thought this would be a great topic for our blog: (I have added a more clear understanding of what this means for Kansas City homeowners just below this original email)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Kenneth Thompson & I received it from Jerry Stots
Date: Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 2:23 PM

I thought you might find this interesting, -- maybe even SICKENING!

The National Association of Realtors is all over this and working to get it repealed, -- before it takes effect.  But, I am very pleased we aren't the only ones who know about this ploy to steal billions from unsuspecting homeowners.  How many realtors do you think will vote Democratic in 2012?

Did you know that if you sell your house after 2012 you will pay a 3.8% sales tax on it?  That's $3,800 on a $100,000 home, etc.  When did this happen?  It's in the health care bill, -- and it goes into effect in 2013.  Why 2013?  Could it be so that it doesn’t come to light until after the 2012 elections?  So, this is ‘change you can believe in’?

Under the new health care bill all real estate transactions will be subject to a 3.8% sales tax.

If you sell a $400,000 home, there will be a $15,200 tax.  This bill is set to screw the retiring generation, -- who often downsize their homes.  Does this make your November, 2012 vote more important?

Oh, you weren't aware that this was in the ObamaCare bill?  Guess what; you aren't alone!  There are more than a few members of Congress that weren't aware of it either.

You can check this out for yourself at:

I hope you forward this to every single person in your address book.

It's HERE! NAR, MAR (Missouri Assoc of Realtors) and a some of the local Realtors have been fighting it off for years. Does your Realtor go to Jefferson City to help get support for homeowners rights? Do they respond to the requests from our Missouri Lobbyist to get the word out to our Congressment and Senators? Unfortunately only about 10%-15% do.

Something similar to this happened  7-8 years ago when they passed the law that real estate sale prices would be public knowledge. That meant that every sale from 7-8 yrs ago became the new tax assessed value. Did you notice 7 years ago that your taxes started to climb drastically? The reason is they tried to slip this law inside another bill. A handful of local Real Estate agents were in the chambers to fight this one off. They delayed the passing of the law because there was so much controversy. Then, while we were all in Jefferson City protecting the rights of homeowners by visiting with your Senators and Congressmen to help them understand what some of the new laws would do to Missouri homeowners, they put that vote back on the docket and passed it without any opposition. Result? Our local property tax values were about 20% under the current real estate value, and our property taxes began to climb.

The reality of this law passing? This has already been happening in many other states for years. Other states around the country have been paying a 1% (most common) and I have heard of some as high as 2% tax on all sale prices. It is not new, just new to us. We have expected it to work it’s way through after many many years of fighting it off for KC homeowners. The Missouri Association of Realtors has one of the BEST lobbyist on the planet and Sam (our lobbyist) has done an incredible job of helping us protect local homeowners rights AND getting MO Congressmen & House Rep’s to support the homeowners rights. We did expect that something around the 1% to 2% sales tax would continue to work it’s way through the system.

So what is the result? The truth is, this will NOT be something fun to pay and it is going to affect equity (somewhat) if it is passed. We could lose one year appreciation on our property values every time we buy a home or piece of property AND if you hire a Realtor that sells more than one to two properties each month, and rely on someone helping regular home owners get 2-4% higher sale prices because they sell 6-10 properties each month, and know how to help homeowners get more equity then this law may not affect you as much.

Because our appreciation in the past has been very solid around 3-5% appreciation each year up until the end of 2005, that 3.8% sales tax is basically one year of appreciation out the window. In a normal market where we are appreciating, that just means you won’t be able to move every 3-5 years like most Kansas Citians would do, it means you will just move every 4-6 years. This is what has happened lately. In our current market conditions, mostly our market has been flat. If there was any depreciation, it has mostly been in homes priced over $225,000 in Missouri, and homes over $300k in Kansas. That means there has been no appreciation for the past 6-7 years and most people have now been in their homes for 7-10 years. I wanted to thank Jerry for forwarding this email to me because it really makes us all look at your voting decisions more seriously, and even though you may be in complete favor of a new law, especially when it is for schools, etc. you  may be passing another law, buried inside that one, that will cost you thousands of dollars.

If you would like to find out more about how this law would affect you and the value of your property, don’t hesitate to give The Korn Team a call. We have been helping and average of over 100  home owners and home buyers, per year for the past 7 years, take advantage of the current market  conditions. You can call us directly at (816) 224-KORN (5676) or visit our website at to get our email or mailing address. Vote wisely this election year and make sure that when you vote in support for something you are passionate about, that you are not voting for something else you absolutely do not support.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

an interview with Brad Korn of The Korn Team, Keller Williams Real Estate:
The episode you were on aired in 2009, if you recorded the show for the same house now, what things would be different when considering what the home was worth?

I would truly have to look at how many sales have happened in the past 12 months and compare that to how many are for sale. If there are twice as many homes for sale vs what sold, then they are going to have to get VERY competitive on their price and stay around the #4-#6 position if there are 10 homes for sale. On the other hand, if there are only a couple homes for sale in that neighborhood and 10 have sold, we are seeing a HIGH DEMAND for that neighborhood, and we can command more in the asking price. Low supply, High demand gets higher price. High Supply, Low demand causes prices to drop.

Your home value is completely determined by the amount of Suppy & Demand. Don't just take someone's word that your house is worth $XXX,XXX, in fact if someone every tells you your home is worth more than you thought it was...grab a real estate contract, hand them a pen, and ask, "So, you will buy it for that right now?"  Get an honest opinion on the value of a property by conacting The Korn Team at (816) 224-KORN (5676)  or visit our website at and we can schedule a convenient, no cost, no obligation Broker's price opinion on how you can take advantage of your current neighborhood conditions.
an interview with Brad Korn of The Korn Team, Keller Williams Real Estate:
You were featured in an episode of "My House is Worth What?" On HGTV. What were the major factors you considered when deciding on the value of the home?

To determine the true market value we look at 3 different reports from the MLS. Where we are different from most Realtors, is we don’t find 3 comparable homes that are for sale, and 3 that sold. When you use that appraiser type method you are picking the 3 homes YOU feel is most like. Appraisers have a contract price in front of them when they do an appraisal. They are hired to help the bank determine if they should loan this amount to the buyer. When an appraiser finds 3 comparable homes, that average the sale price, they are letting the bank know that 3 other homes did average around this price. Where we get in trouble is if everyone is always using the 3 highest sales. Anyone can justify a price…but what are the true buying patterns of the buyers in the market place. The appraiser method isn't wrong, it just does not take into consideration ALL the supply and ALL the demand. To prove the point, if you use 10 different appraisers and give them 10 slightly different sale prices on a property, it would be rare to see all 10 use the same three comparables. They are using their opinion. The best opinion to determine the price of a property is a true buyer (not being sold by an overly aggressive sales person) that looked at 10 similar properties and see what they say the fair value is compared to all the homes they saw.

Here is another thought about why prices are different. Some agents (and even appraisers) might include a foreclosure in the neighborhood into their evaluation. Here is where that might not be a valid comp. If a homeowner is not in a distressed situation think of this scenario: If a neighborhood had 10 regular, non-distressed closed sales and 2 foreclosures sold, do you think the values are dropping in that neighborhood? It appears that a more significant number of regular sales are happening than foreclosures. If you are getting the value of your property from someone that uses the lowest price and the highest price and calculates an average price…that average is skewed and is actually lower than the true average. Can you see how IF the subject property is a regular sale and there are significantly more regular sales..why wouldn't you only use the average of the regular sales (if there were only 1 or 2 foreclosures)? The typical buyers out there in the market place right now, do not see values dropping in that neighborhood because of a couple foreclosures. The sale prices show the actual buying consumers are still paying regular price. The flip side is, if there are 10 foreclosures and 2 regular, non-distressed sales, then what buyer in the marketplace is going to want to buy in a depressed neighborhood when they are comparing that neighborhood to 10 other neighborhoods that may have more “regular” sales.
It is truly all about Supply & Demand! Remember that class in high school everyone hated…ECON 101? Guess what, that is what real estate is. If there are 10 homes on the market and a homeowner wants (or needs to be) priced at the #10 spot on that list that would make them the MOST expensive home on the market. In a FLAT or Depreciating market, that overpriced listing will make #1-#5 look like a really great deal! That is when I would advise a homeowner to not sink any more money into the property. It is already  going to sell for less than they want, so why lose more money? Each property and each day brings a new set of circumstances therefore you truly want someone knowledgeable in this aspect of valuing property to help you determine what the market will bear.

The best value for spending money on a home is adding square footage or adding a bedroom. Believe it, or not, adding a bathroom is truly not going to add more to your sale price (UNLESS you are going from one bath to get 2 baths in your property). Think about it…do you really think a buyer will pay $5,000 more for a home that has 2 ½ baths vs 3 baths? When they compare the two…they may make the offer on the home with 3 baths, but they will offer the price they would have paid for the 2 ½ bath home.
See more about our HGTV episode at
interview with Brad Korn, The Korn Team, Keller Williams:
What trend do you see when it comes to individuals house hunting? Are more people looking for new builds or homes in established neighborhoods?

They are looking for BEST VALUE! Buyers typically look at 10 homes before they make a decision. In today’s market they might even look at 20 homes. Remember, as I said in the nicest home comment…buyers are comparing a property to 5-10-20 other homes. The nicest home can only sell for the top dollar if it wre the ONLY home for sale. A Seller typically gets bad advice from the everyday, average Realtor that is pricing in negotiating room. Again, this only works if you property is the ONLY home on the market. When a seller puts negotiating room into a price, then the other house on the market that is now priced properly TAKES THEIR BUYER! When seller’s say, “well, they can make us an offer” the reason they don’t get the offer is because they just made their competition look like a better deal AND the buyer made the offer on the better deal…not the overpriced listing.
The Korn Team has one of the most aggressive marketing plans in the country! While others are cutting marketing out, we continue to do the things that help our clients get 1-4% higher sale prices over almost all of our competition. Don't trust your equity with just anyone. Contact The Korn Team today at (816) 215-KORN (5676) or visit our website at to see how our marketing plan can help you find more buyers and get more exposure to your property. Our marketing plan has proven to help us average over 100 sales each year for the past 7 years.
interview with Brad Korn, The Korn Team, Keller Williams:
What advice would you give to individuals trying to sell an older home in this market?


Before you spend a lot of money, we need to truly evaluate the “return on investment” in any money being spent just to sell. An older home can look and compete if the seller first does some easy things without spending money. The main thing is to STAGE the house. When The Korn Team says “stage” we mean pack up everything! Well, really our general rule of thumb is no more than 1-2 things on every wall, shelf, flat surface, etc. AND there are 2 rules that go along with that. #1- no personal or family photos anywhere. #2) nothing sitting out that reminds the buyer they are in someone’s home. Buyers are uncomfortable ‘snooping’ through a total strangers’ home. Put the daily things you need, coffee pots, toasters, toothbrushes in the cabinet. Heck, just pack everything up that you don’t need for the next 30-60 days and put the daily needs in the cabinets. You are moving, right?
Don't just trust anyone with your equity. National Board of Realtors track that the average agent only sells 4-6 properties per year. Unfortunately, many Realtors don't sell enough houses each month to truly help home owners take advantage of a market or give you the real true advice you need to hear. The Korn Team has average around 100 sales per year for the past 7 years. We know what it takes to get the most equity out of a market. You can get a free, no obligation evaluation by contacting us at (816) 224-KORN (56756) or visit our website at We can schedule a convenient time to meet and evaluate how your home will compete in today's market.
interview with Brad Korn, The Korn Team, Keller Williams:
How do you feel being the nicest home in the neighborhood affects the ability for the home to sell?

My normal response in a market like this is that “you do not want to be the castle in the neighborhood” and therefore if someone ‘TRULY’ has the nicest house in the neighborhood, they need to realize that is not going to help them. The only way this can help is if they were the only house for sale…or there is very low inventory AND everyone currently on the market is way overpriced. Remember, it is truly about Suppy & Demand…NOT 3 most-like comparable sales. Let me explain. If you have 12 homes for sale, and use the 3 highest sales as comps…we can justify why someone would price higher, but what about the true read on the market that there are 9 more sales lower.

We help a seller with the nicest home in the neighborhood realize that they are going to get just a little bit more than the other homes if they have incredible updates, however, hopefully they have some enjoyment value from living in an incredible house.
If you feel your home is one of the nicest homes in a neighborhood, be sure you contact The Korn Team at (816) 224-KORN (5676 or visit our website and reach us at We can help you determine if you can put more equity in your pocket. Do not list with anyone else until you have met with us. Our meeting is not a sales is an evaluation of your currrent situation and we help over 100 home owners and home buyers get the most out of these market conditions every year.