Friday, April 28, 2006

The Cost of Selling without a REALTOR®: $31,800

Real estate professionals do more for sellers than make the transaction easier. They make them money. In fact, the average seller who uses a real estate professional makes 16 percent more on the sale of their home than do sellers who go it alone. That’s an average of $31,800 per home.
That’s one reason the level of unrepresented sellers has declined steadily in recent years. Despite five consecutive record-breaking years for home sales from 2001 through 2005, the level of unrepresented sellers has dropped from a cyclical peak of 18 percent of the market in 1997 to a record low of 13 percent in 2005, according to the 2005 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.
Real estate professionals assist both sellers and buyers with the services necessary for a successful real estate transaction, especially pricing and marketing. Real estate pros can help price the property accurately and market it successfully using the variety of tools available today -- Internet, print, word of mouth and more. REALTORS® know best how to prepare a home and maximize value, provide broader exposure to the market and are more likely to generate multiple bids than a seller on the own.
In addition, REALTORS® are experts in attracting qualified buyers. A professional can show a home more objectively than can a seller who may be emotionally attached to the home, and who might become unnerved by prospective buyers’ critical comments. The real estate pro also checks the financial capability and bona fides of buyers before allowing them onto a seller’s property.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Carlton Provides $125M for Miami Beach Condo Project

Carlton Advisory Services has arranged $125 million in financing for a Christa Development Corp. and Bluerock Real Estate L.L.C.-developed condominium project in Miami Beach.

The venture will convert the Caribbean Ocean Hotel to condo units and build a 19-story condo tower next to it. In total, the Caribbean project (rendering pictured) will total 103 condo units. Carlton also provided a $50 million bridge loan for the venture.

Even though Miami has consistently topped the lists of markets to watch for a condo bubble, Carlton senior executive vice president Marc Sznajderman told CPN that the Caribbean project is already 70 percent leased and is under construction--a promising fact in an industry beginning to be plagued by false starts."Although the velocity has slowed, the market has not gone away," he observed.

Completion of the Caribbean is expected by 2008.

600M Luxury Wellness Resort Planned For Bethesda

Tucson-based Canyon Ranch has announced plans to develop a $600 million luxury wellness resort and residential community called Canyon Ranch Living in Bethesda, Md. The Penrose Group, Inc. of Tysons Corner, Va., will develop the project.
The decision to locate in Bethesda stems from the fact that the Washington, D.C., metro area is the fourth-largest market for Canyon Ranch resorts in Tucson and Lenox, Mass. “Canyon Ranch guests have consistently told us they want more opportunities to integrate our healthy living philosophies into their daily lives,” said Kevin Kelly, president of Canyon Ranch.
The Bethesda development is the second Canyon Ranch Living community. The first got underway in Miami last year. According to Kelly, the company plans to announce a new community in a major market every 18 months. Scheduled to open in 2008, the Bethesda resort will include a 157-room hotel and two 20-story towers with 434 condominiums and 87 luxury apartments. One of the towers will contain a 90,000-square-foot complex housing wellness programs, exercise equipment, retail, a restaurant and a host of wellness professionals.
The project will alter Bethesda’s image in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. “In this region, you never think about Bethesda as a high-end retail and entertainment destination,” said Larry Thau, managing director of the Bethesda office of CB Richard Ellis Inc. “For the first time, Bethesda will be part of the four star luxury marketplace.”

Sunday, April 16, 2006

New features this week...

Are You Taking Advantage of All Your Real Estate Write-Offs?
A handy check-list of write-offs to help ensure you get all the deductions your entitled to. If you already filed, use this list throughout 2006 for next year.
Your Home Office Tax Deduction... It's Not a Red Flag When Done Right
Too many agents who legitimately deserve to claim this deduction fear they'd be inviting an audit. With 16 years of IRS experience - I'm here to tell you it's just not true!
Before You File be Sure You Have Maximized Your Retirement Plan Options
Even if you have an accountant or CPA file your returns for you, you still need to be aware of these basic changes and updates every year.
Will the IRS be Satisfied with Your Record Keeping?
These requirements are actively enforced by IRS personnel - I know this because I used to actively enforce them when I was an IRS agent.