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How you can Sell Your House by Owner – with No Realtor

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Possessing a home is 1 of the largest investments most folks ever make. When it’s time to sell your property, the conventional practice is to locate a realtor.

After the deal, your agent and the buyer’s agent will share about 7% of the sale price as their commission, which amounts to a significant piece of your equity being lost to the real estate professionals.

After exchanging multiple properties, I finally realized that I was paying the real estate agents too much cash for something I could manage myself. I found how to sell a property while retaining significantly more equity than if I had hired an agent.

What Does a Real Estate Agent Do?

A real-estate agent basically does four things for his or her commission:

Lists your house with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Marketplaces your house though fliers, ads, and a web site.

Eases showings of your house and possibly hosts open house occasions.

Acts as an intermediary when entering negotiations and accompanies one to the closure.

After working with Realtors on several occasions, I determined to try selling a home by myself. Here are the steps to follow if you decide to forego using a real estate agent to sell your home:

How to Be Your Own Real Estate Agent Selling Your Dwelling

1. Price Your House to Sell

Before you list the property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or everywhere else, ensure you have priced the home competitively. Use the Internet to get a concept of selling prices for similar houses in your neighborhood, and then price your house consequently.

It’s simple to get hung up on this particular measure and, notably if you have lived in your home for a while, you may feel compelled to overprice the dwelling. Don’t fall into that trap. Remember, the goal of this procedure will be to sell your dwelling, thus make sure the asking price is realistic.

2. Get a Flat Fee Listing on the MLS

The MLS is the most complete list of real estate available in the U.S. It is available to Realtors, and in some regions, prospective buyers also can search for dwellings using the MLS. You will find services that permit you to list your property on the MLS for a couple hundred dollars. Search for “Flat Fee MLS” on-line to find similar services in your place.

3. Marketplace Your Property

As well as listing the home on the MLS, advertise by putting up “for sale” signs, creating booklets, putting advertisements on Craigslist, and constructing a website to promote the property. FSBO.com offers house-selling packages for homeowners that start at $69.95. The advertising packages comprise items like booklets and yard signs. There will be some prices entailed in marketing the sale of your residence, but they are going to be a fraction of an broker’s commission. The actual price is the number of time and energy you may have to place into selling your dwelling.

4. Hold an Open House

You may also hold an open house to advertise the deal of your dwelling. Advertise for the open house by posting signs in your neighborhood. Have some light refreshments available and set out booklets about the dwelling that visitors can take together as they leave.

5. Understand Your Property’s Selling Points

When writing your ad copy for sites or leaflets, make sure to contain basic information regarding the house, including the cost, number of bedrooms, number of toilets, lot size, location, and of course the particular details which make your house special to prospective buyers.

Have a look at other listings on Craigslist, Realtors’ sites, and Yahoo! Real Estate to get a sense of what form of details sellers and brokers are including in their listings. You’ll quickly discover that characteristics like granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and oversize windows entice buyers. Discover what is specific about your house and highlight those attributes in your promotion attempts.

6. Prepare to Exhibit Your House

You’ll need to prepare your house for showings and open house events. Deep-clean the house, including scrubbing the kitchen counters and the appliances, shampooing the carpeting, cleaning the linoleum, and stashing your keepsakes in a cupboard (i.e. house spring cleaning hints and checklist). The final result should be a dwelling that’s squeaky clean and stripped bare of most private items.

7. Show Your House

You may have to set a key in a lock box and answer calls from other representatives or buyers. If you are at home during the day, it is possible to reveal the house yourself. Otherwise, you’ll need to check the identity of the agent before giving out your lock box blend.

Another alternative would be to find an a la carte real estate agent who’ll perform this function for a fee without asking you for a commission on the deal price of the house. After an agent shows your house, make sure to call to follow on the showing. Some brokers will share the buyer’s feedback with the homeowner, if they feel it will not compromise their customers’ privacy.

8. Perform Your Own Negotiations

Property negotiations take the form of a contract that is submitted to the seller. The seller can accept the offer, or revise the contract and submit it to the buyer. The procedure continues until both parties sign a contract.

In most states, there exists a standard contract for property purchases. If you are not knowledgeable about the contract, you should have it reviewed by a lawyer. Or, you are able to find a realtor that will perform this function with you for a flat fee. Having gone through this procedure before, I was competent to talk to family members who were real estate agents and solicitors, then negociate with the other party to sell my house.

Agents like to close deals quickly so that they can get their percentage, even if you don’t ultimately receive the cost you desire for your home. They may even accidentally relay your negotiating position to the buyer. If you are a distressed seller, that is the last thing you’ll ever need an excited buyer to learn. Doing your own negotiating ensures that you just do not give away important indications of your fiscal strengths and weaknesses.

9. Comply with All Laws in Your Area

It’s essential that you just comply with the laws in your area related to selling homes. Some laws are universal and will apply to the sale of your residence no matter where you live. The Fair Housing Act stipulates that sellers cannot discriminate against buyers for reasons including race, faith, and sex. Contracts and agreements located online can help get you began on the selling process, but recall, those forms are not special to your unique circumstances. It Is best to have a real-estate attorney review all records and contracts related to the sale of your home.

Selling a house is not for everyone. Many people will not have the time or the patience to take care of the procedure. And for some, if the listing price is low enough, the potential economies might not be worth the time and effort essential to sell the house with no realtor. Whatever the instance, if you are intending to list your residence, at least consider the great savings you could love by selling the house on your own. Knowing merely a small about real estate, and you are able to put forth the attempt to do a superb occupation, it is possible to save a huge amount of money by selling your own property.

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The Best Way To Find An Excellent Real-Estate Agent You Can Trust

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When it comes to Realtors, dispositions and ability amounts run the gamut. I Have worked with two real estate agents in my personal life, and the second one far exceeded the first when it came to friendliness, marketing savvy, and general ability.

There are over 1.3 million Realtors in the U.S. Remarkably, over 80% of them leave in merely their first year. Out of the 20% that do make it, another 80% of them will quit within five years.

Selling real estate is hard work, that’s why deciding on the best agent can make the difference between failure and accomplishment for you, whether you’re buying or selling.

So, how can you go about locating an excellent agent? Here are a few tips for tracking down the greatest real estate agent for you.

Locating a Real-Estate Agent

First of all, you need to actually uncover some representatives to consider. Try these strategies for meeting Realtors in your region:

1. Inquire Approximately

Chances are your buddies, family and company associates have all worked with the agent at some point in their life. Agents often get a huge number of company from referrals; or at least they do if they are good.

Question the folks you know and trust if they’ve an excellent recommendation. But do not let their referral be the only crucial factor. The first agent I worked with was referred to me by my parents, and unfortunately, she wasn’t that excellent.

So, get referrals, but take them with a grain of salt. Do your due diligence researching potential agents, no matter who advocates them. The appropriate representative for one individual might not be a good fit for you.

2. Attend Open Houses

If you’ve got some time before you begin searching for a home, or before you put your home on the market, try attending some open houses in your town. Realtors are consistently in attendance here, so this can be a superb opportunity to fulfill them face to face and size them up.

3. Attend House Buying/Selling Seminars

Many cities put on dwelling shows every spring and summer. These events offer a great means to match several distinct Realtors at once.

If you are purchasing your first home, attend a First-Time Homebuyer’s course. Realtors behave as guest speakers for these, and you will learn a lot about the ins and outs of home purchasing.

4. Seek out Advertisements

Successful Realtors will often put advertisements out in local newspapers and magazines. If you are trying to find a Realtor who is likely to have a “team” of professionals helping them, then browse the local publications for ads.

If you find someone you think you might like, create a meeting. And remember, one assembly doesn’t mean you are dedicated to working with them. It is only a time for you to take a good look at that person and their qualifications, and see if they fulfill your needs.

Analyzing an Agent

Once you’re ready to meet with an agent, what should you look at? How do you know if he or she will be appropriate for you?

Here are several things you should do to reply these questions satisfactorily:

1. Size Them Up

Do they appear like someone you’d get together with? Do they appear open and fair? Is their personality and energy level harmonious with yours?

Go with your intestine here. You desire to work with someone you feel comfortable with. If you don’t like the individual, or do not trust them, their “Million Dollar Income Prize” will not make the encounter any better. So, go with someone you actually like, first and foremost.

2. Inquire Some Vital Questions

Make a list of questions to ask the Realtor when you meet with him. Be sure to bring a pad of paper and pen so you could take notes. Some crucial questions are:

Have you got an active real-estate permit?

Is real estate your full time career?

How much of your business comes from referrals?

How long have you ever been working in the place?

Would you live in the region? If so, how long?

Just how long does it take your average customer to sell their home (or find the correct home, if they’re buying)?

Have you been a member of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)? MLS membership means you will have access to all the listings in the place, including pictures and descriptions.

3. Ascertain What Type of Agent They Are

Be sure to fully comprehend if the Realtor is a buyer’s agent or a seller’s broker. If you’re selling, you’ll want a seller’s broker. If you’re buying, you desire a buyer’s representative (not someone who signifies both sides). This means that the Realtor will be loyal to you; any information you tell them, especially about your selling or buying cost, will be kept strictly private. It Is important to ask this up front, as some Realtors won’t tell you outright.

4. Inquire About Advertising Tactics

If you’re selling your house, ask how a Realtor will be marketing your house. Will they do a Virtual Tour? Will there be flyers put out for prospective buyers? Can they assist with staging your dwelling?

Each of these points is incredibly significant to the general picture of the agent. Cover these bases, and you’ll be able to feel assured you are making the appropriate decision.

It may look overboard, but having the correct Realtor has a massive impact on whether you sell your dwelling, or purchase the right one. It’s especially significant that you just feel confident in your determination when the time comes for almost any discussions. Someone who does not actually understand what they’re doing can end up costing you, and they will still be paid a fee whether you get the finest deal or not.

Finally, it’s undoubtedly worth the extra time and attempt to find someone whose style, encounter, and ability level fits your needs, and gets you excited about the process.

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Dividend Stock Investing Strategy – How you can Choose the Best Dividend Stocks

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Many investors find themselves experiencing extreme psychological shifts in concert with the unpredictable rises and falls that include stock market investing. Stress may reach like a ton of bricks when costs fall, while delight sets hearts racing with exhilaration when they rise.

People who choose to purchase long-term dividends, yet, will not feel this same angst as stock prices shift. These investors understand that the financial success of the investment isn’t centered on the vagaries of the market itself, but rather on the long term success of the company. They believe the stock price and dividend will eventually climb over the long haul, leading to enormous gains over a very long period of time.

So, which type of investor should you be? Should you ride the rollercoaster of short term investing, or settle in for the long haul? Really, it is all about your character and fiscal targets. Read on for some of the how’s and why’s of long-term dividend investing.

What Exactly Is a Dividend?

When a freely traded business makes a gain, the direction typically has three options:

Reinvest the cash in the company.

Offer a share buyback.

Offer a dividend to investors.

Often, fast growth companies will keep the proceeds and either reinvest their income in the long term increase of the business or offer a share buyback. Share buybacks increase each investor’s profits as time goes by by reducing the outstanding shares of stock.

Other firms will issue a dividend, or a share of the company’s gains, which will be paid out to investors on a quarterly basis.

Long-Term Dividend Investing

Dividend stock investing doesn’t generally supply the short-term capital appreciation of popular penny stocks. Nor does it fit the exhilaration of day trading, which during fast growing marketplaces can make these investments look like stodgy, slow money stocks. Moreover, dividend-paying securities frequently fall out of favor in fast rising bull markets, afterwards recovering a fervent following during disruptive and unpredictable markets. This can be because of the relatively average increase nature of these securities as well as the slow compounding nature of dividends that is possible through a long-term, buy and hold philosophy of dividend stock investing.

However, during slow growth bear markets, more and more investors seek shelter in dividend growth stocks including blue chip stocks. Moreover, the equilibrium these stocks can offer make them an attractive category of security to contain as a part in any portfolio during both brutal and booming economical times.

Now that you know what dividends are, and how they work in the market, is it the correct investing course for you? Here are a couple of things to consider:

1. The Power of Dividends

When picking whether to begin such a investing, it is significant to understand the concealed power of dividends. Take these dividend facts into account:

You can not falsify a dividend. Regrettably, recent history has shown that “creative accounting” procedures can be used to falsely inflate a firms earnings per share and other valuation tools as a way to falsely raise share price. Dividends offer protection from these shenanigans. Companies cannot pay out cash that they do not have.

Dividends protect you in the drawback. During a bear market, when prices of many securities fall, dividend-paying stocks really become more enticing, as their dividend yields efficiently improve. This may result in an man-made stock cost floor, preventing the tremendous capital losses that can provoke panic selling.

Dividends result in more shares. Using a dividend reinvestment strategy or dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) will result in each of those incremental payouts building commission free equity in your standing, which then results in bigger dividend payouts the following quarter.

2. A Strategy for Investors, Not Traders

When picking a dividend investing strategy, it is necessary to develop a long-term investor’s mindset. To the dividend investor, a share of stock is a living, breathing bit of a company, not only a vehicle for capital appreciation. By taking a look at the investment as such, you will not be disappointed by what’ll likely be a slower growth rate than non dividend-paying stocks. The most important variables within their total investing strategies are:

The long-term increase and financial prospects of the business.

The present and long-term financial health of the business.

The well-being of the business’s dividend and the ability because of its payout to grow as time passes.

Management’s treatment of investors.

3. Successful, Long Term Investors Pick Dividends

Warren Buffett continues to be called a value investor. Truly, he’s historically purchased shares of businesses when they are being sold at a discount to their own built-in value. But, if you review the top holdings of Berkshire Hathaway, additionally you will discover each place make up a dividend paying security. If dividend stocks are the investment of selection for the most successful investor ever, shouldn’t they be good enough for your personal investment portfolio? Buffet loves dividend-paying stocks because they add another, more secure form of capital appreciation above and beyond share cost increases.

The best way to Choose the Best Dividend Stocks

As with any investment, it is critical to do your research when picking a dividend stock. The most important things to contemplate when discovering the correct dividend stock to your portfolio are:

1. Long-Term Prospects

Dividend investing is a long term investing strategy. When asked what his favourite holding period for stocks is, Warren Buffett is reputed to have responded, “eternally.” That is a dividend investor’s mindset.

As a dividend investor, you never desire to sell because this breaks your long-term investing strategy. So you must carefully select firms with the long-term staying power and skill to thrive despite economic conditions. Seek corporations that grow, regardless of external economic conditions. Even dividend investors need to sell from time to time, when the inherent company or strategy changes.

If you can’t read a balance sheet, research the business’s bond ratings. You want to put money into the businesses with the best credit ratings (investment grade or preceding). If you are familiar with reading financial statements, you will want to look at all the conventional valuation tools, for example, P/E ratio, cost/sales ratio, Enterprise Value/EBITDA, and book value.

The firm’s outstanding debt construction is likewise significant to comprehend, as a corporation’s lenders will get paid before the shareholders in any fiscal downturn.

3. Management and Dividend History

Seek out businesses with management teams that have a reputation for being investor-friendly. Consider the management’s historical treatment of dividends and share buybacks, too as the skill to browse tough fiscal times. Has management ever suspended or lowered its dividends? Has the company ever missed a dividend payout? Or has the company consistently grown its cash reserves and increased its dividend yield over the years?

4. Competition

If someone will be putting this firm out of business in several short years, there is no point in owning the shares as a dividend investor. Recall, fads come and go, but exceptional businesses with long-term staying power find a way to browse challenging financial waters while emerging as a leader within their sector. Look for business leaders with staying power.

Long-term dividend investing can be an exceptional alternative if you are looking to increase big over time. While it doesn’t always provide the instant gratification (or entire devastation) of short-term investing, it does promise a more secure investment strategy. Get a page out of the playbooks of big investors like Warren Buffett, believe long term, research the firms you’re investing in, and your portfolio will significantly profit.

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Leaving a Brand New Job for An Improved Offer – Can It Be a Great Idea?

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Imagine this: You spend months looking for a brand new job with no luck in any way. Then, nearly miraculously, you finally get a adequate offer, take it, and begin the new occupation. A month or two afterwards, among the other companies you interviewed with contacts you. They desire to make you an offer.

It seems to be a great offer for a job you actually desire. Now you have a problem – a problem loads of us would love to have – but a problem however. Can you remain with the employer who took you in out of the cold, or pitch it for the better offer?

At first glance, the temptation is to follow the opportunity and take the better occupation, but sometimes the wiser course of action is to stay put.

How do you make this significant decision?

Motives to Consider Resigning Your New Job

This can be your fantasy job, and opportunity is knocking. While spending a year or two with the first employer might seem like the right thing to do, you cannot know when a opportunity like this latest offer will come along again. And if your job hunt took months, you are not going to want to go through that procedure again anytime soon. Taking the finest job now may simplify your life in the future.

The first occupation was a compromise; you took it because you’d nowhere else to go. When you are jobless for some time, or face layoffs, you occasionally have no choice but to take the first offer that comes along – even if it’s beneath your skills and earning power. The job may have already been a port in the storm and was never meant to be permanent.

The first job has turned out to be a disappointment. I will generally determine if a job is not going to work for me within two weeks, and I guess most people can as well. Businesses have a culture, even a personality, that does not regularly change with time. Either you fit in well or you don’t. I’ve had occupations I was discovered to stick with, merely to see if they would get better – but they never did. In such a situation, it is generally best to leave rather than stay and be wretched.

The new job is a quantum leap in income and responsibility. If the new occupation offers a more senior position and significantly higher pay (say, 15% to 20% or more), making the change is a no brainer. So long as you’ve got no reservations about the position, take the opportunity to advance your profession and add cash to your own wallet.

The money isn’t tremendous, but it is something. All of us have obligations – a family that depends on us, or perhaps a looming stack of invoices. If you have been through a period of joblessness, maybe you are looking at a debt overhang that needs to be whittled down as soon as possible. Every additional dollar counts. Even if the new job increases your salary by only 10% or less, and the place does not include a promotion, it’s probably still worth jumping ship to ease the monetary weight.

The new job will give you a much better quality of life. Will the new place enable you to spend significantly more time with your relatives and buddies? Are you going to be competent to devote more focus to your avocations? If the new occupation provides a much better lifestyle along with a quality profession move, it might be the ideal move for you.

Motives to Consider Remaining at the New Occupation

The reasons for keeping the first job may not be as obvious, but they’re just as real.

Swift leaps can force you to look unstable. In some fields, job-jumping isn’t an dilemma. In others, it could be a profession killer. Much will depend on your own employment history. If you’ve had long term stays at the large majority of your places, one short term position probably won’t hurt you. But if you’ve held several jobs in merely the previous five years – as a lot of folks have these days – it could hamper your future prospects. And don’t forget that employers can easily find out who you have worked for even if you do not disclose it with a simple background check!

The grass is not always greener on the other side. The new occupation offers a promotion and more pay – of course you want that! But it may also mean more hours and worry (i.e. stable salary occupations vs high-paying commission occupations). If your main focus today is your family and life outside of work, the less stressful posture may function as the better fit – even though it’s not your dream occupation.

The company took an excessively long time to make the offer. While understanding that not everything happens at the speed we need it to, and that there may be issues we are not aware of, an offer that takes months to come through could be a warning sign. Unless the second company told you that an offer could take months, a serious delay is also an indication of other difficulties:

The employer may have financial troubles.

Disorganization and indecision may be part of the company’s operational style, which may have serious implications once you are on board.

You may not be their first selection. Someone else may have been hired and maybe fired during that long delay – showing possible clues to your own tenure.

You may have botched your chances with the first company. If you pass on the offer from the second employer to stay with the first, the possibility for employment with the second company may be a choice in the foreseeable future. However, if you make the jump to the second firm, the first won’t be thinking about taking you back. If you’re in a domain with a small amount of companies, this may be a danger that isn’t worth taking.

If you’ve been actively hunting for a occupation for quite a while, you have definitely approached dozens, maybe hundreds, of employers. Each signifies a distinct opportunity and usually distinct pay levels. It would be terrific if they could all submit bids for the services on the same day, allowing you to make the pick, but that isn’t how things tend to work.

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Delinquent Tax Debt Representation and Service Act

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To promote and ensure the protection of taxpayers from unfair and deceptive advertising claims from unscrupulous delinquent tax debt representation providers.

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS

(a)

SHORT TITLE – This Act may be cited as the “Delinquent Tax Debt Representation and Service Act”.

(b)

TABLE OF CONTENTS – The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Findings and declaration of purpose.

Sec. 3. Definitions.

Sec. 4. Exemptions.

Sec. 5. Fees.

Sec. 6. Duty to client.

Sec. 7. Bond.

Sec. 8. Conditions of providing service.

Sec. 9. Customer service.

Sec. 10. Right of cancellation.

Sec. 11. Disclosures.

Sec. 12. Advertising and solicitation.

Sec. 13. Due diligence.

Sec. 14. Return of client’s records.

Sec. 15. Prompt disposition of pending matters.

Sec. 16. Knowledge of client’s omission.

Sec. 17. Prohibited practices.

Sec. 18. Requirement of good faith.

Sec. 19. Retention of records.

Sec. 20. Severability.

Sec. 21. Civil liability for willful noncompliance.

Sec. 22. Civil liability for negligent noncompliance.

Sec. 23. Jurisdiction of courts; limitation of actions.

Sec. 24. Good faith reliance defense.

Sec. 25. Effective date.

SECTION 2. FINDINGS AND DECLARATION OF PURPOSE

(a) The Legislature makes the following findings:

 

(1) Tax law is complex and changes frequently;
(2) Tax law and tax law procedural requirements require that taxpayers have access to and representation from delinquent tax debt representation providers;
(3) Delinquent tax debt representation providers are an essential part of ensuring that taxpayers have competent representation when addressing the Internal Revenue Service regarding delinquent taxes;
(4) Taxpayers facing delinquent tax debts are vulnerable and may be subject to engage providers of services to resolve problems that are potentially unfair and deceptive; and
(5) The Treasury Department’s rules and regulations governing practice before the Internal Revenue Service are aimed at protecting the integrity of a tax system that depends upon voluntary compliance.
(b) Purpose:

 

The purpose of this title is -
(1) To protect clients from unfair and deceptive advertising claims and inappropriate practices of some delinquent tax debt representation providers; and
(2) (2) To balance taxpayers’ rights and interests against improper conduct by some delinquent tax debt representation providers

SECTION 3. DEFINITIONS

(a) As used in this title -

 

(1) The term “agreement” means an agreement between a provider and an individual for the performance of tax debt relief services;
(2) The term “client” means any person who owes a tax debt and enters into an agreement with a provider for delinquent tax debt representation services;
(3) The term “delinquent tax debt representation services” means a program or strategy provided to a client by a provider for a fee to effect the settlement, forgiveness, suspension, release, abatement, reduction, adjustment, compromise, payment by installment or discharge of any tax debt;
(4) The term “good faith” means honesty in fact and the observance of reasonable standards of fair dealing;
(5) The term “inadvertent error” means a mechanical, electronic, or clerical error that was not intentional and occurred notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid such errors;
(6) The term “interest abatement” means forgiveness, suspension, release or reduction of assessed interest in a person’s unpaid tax debt by the Internal Revenue Service;
(7) The term “offer in compromise” means a settlement between a person and the Internal Revenue Service that discharges the person’s tax debt for less than the full amount owed subject to specified terms and conditions;
(8) The term “payment” means any transfer of money, property, other thing of value;
(9) The term “penalty abatement” means forgiveness, suspension, release or reduction of an assessed penalty in a person’s unpaid tax debt by the Internal Revenue Service;
(10) The term “person” means an individual, husband and wife jointly, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, unincorporated association, joint venture, or any other legal or commercial entity. The term does not include a public corporation, government, or governmental subdivision, agency, or instrumentality;
(11) The term “practice before the Internal Revenue Service” means all matters connected with a presentation to the Internal Revenue Service or any of its officers or employees relating to a taxpayer’s rights, privileges, or liabilities under laws or regulations administered by the Internal Revenue Service. Such presentations include, but are not limited to, preparing and filing documents, corresponding and communicating with the Internal Revenue Service, rendering written advice with respect to any entity, transaction, plan or arrangement, or other plan or arrangement having a potential for tax avoidance or evasion, and representing a client at conferences, hearings and meetings;
(12) The term “provider” means a person that provides representation to individuals or companies before the Internal Revenue Service, or before a State taxing authority, as defined below. This term shall include any person or entity who receives money or other valuable consideration or expects to receive money or other valuable consideration for:

(A) Soliciting or receiving an inquiry from a person for services;
(B) Forwarding or providing a completed inquiry for services to a Provider;
(C) Referring a person to another Provider, if the person is a Provider; or
(D) Providing a person’s name, address or other information that identifies the person to a Provider for the purpose of arranging the providing of services.
(13) The term “record” means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form;
(14) The term “services” means delinquent tax debt representation services.
(15) The term “state” means any state, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any territory or possession of the United States;
(16) The term “state tax” means a tax demanded by a state based on income, payroll, sales tax or use tax. The term does not include an assessment for real property tax, personal property tax, or any tax assessed on a specific item, purchase or service;
(17) The term “tax debt” means the amount of state tax or federal tax including principal, interest, additional amount, addition to the tax, or assessable penalty, imposed by law on the person against whom the tax is assessed;
(18) The term “tax return” includes an original tax return, substitute for return or amended tax return;
(19) The term “unenrolled return preparer” means a person who prepares and signs a tax return as the preparer, or who prepares a tax return but is not required by the instructions to the tax return or regulations to sign the tax return, and to that end does not provide tax debt representation services.

SECTION 4. EXEMPTIONS

(a) The requirements of Sections 7 and 9 shall not apply to:

 

(1) An unenrolled return preparer; or
(2) A person other than an unenrolled tax return preparer that is authorized to practice before the Internal Revenue Service pursuant to Title 31 Code of Federal Regulations, Subtitle A, Part 10 and provides tax debt relief services.

SECTION 5. FEES

(a) A provider may not charge an unconscionable fee to a client to provide delinquent tax debt representation services.
(b) A provider shall enter into a written fee agreement with any client which sets forth the compensation to be paid to the provider.
(c) Any statement of fee information concerning matters in which costs may be incurred must include a statement disclosing whether a client will be responsible for such costs.
(d) A provider may not impose charges or receive payment for services until the provider and the client have entered into a written agreement. The provider may obtain credit card information from a client, but may not charge the client until the written agreement is signed by the client.

SECTION 6. DUTY TO CLIENT

(a) A provider shall not provide services:

 

(1) To a client that will be directly adverse to another client to whom the provider provides services; or
(2) When a significant risk exists that providing services to a client will be materially limited by the provider’s responsibilities to others.
(b) Notwithstanding a conflict of interest, a provider may provide services to a client if:

 

(1) There exists a reasonable belief that the provider is able to provide competent and diligent services;
(2) Providing services is not prohibited by law; and
(3) A written, informed waiver of the conflict by each affected client is signed no later than 30 days after the conflict is known by the provider.

SECTION 7. BOND

(a) Any person engaged in providing delinquent tax debt representation services shall obtain and maintain at all times a surety bond in the sum of $100,000 conditioned on the faithful performance and payment of obligations of such provider arising in connection with providing services, and for the payment of all claims for damages for which the provider may become liable in the course of business as a provider.

SECTION 8. CONDITIONS OF PROVIDING SERVICE

(a) A provider shall not provide services without conducting a good faith analysis of the information available to the provider before entering into an agreement with a client that the provider’s services are suitable for the client.
(b) A provider shall not knowingly make any false statement when providing information to the Internal Revenue Service.
(c) A provider shall make reasonable inquiries if information received or assumptions appear incorrect or incomplete.

SECTION 9. CUSTOMER SERVICE

(a) A provider shall maintain a toll-free communication system, staffed at a level that reasonably permits a client to speak to a customer-service representative, as appropriate, during ordinary business hours.

SECTION 10. RIGHT OF CANCELLATION

(a) (a) A client may cancel an agreement before midnight of the third business day after the client assents to it. To exercise the right to cancel, the client must give written notice in a record to the provider.

SECTION 11. DISCLOSURES

(a) If a provider offers services for offers in compromise, it shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner in any agreement between the provider and the client:

(1) The fact that the Internal Revenue Service has stringent requirements to accept an offer in compromise and that not all clients will qualify;
(2) The conditions of an offer in compromise including, but not limited to, the potential for the client to relinquish all current assets and future income, or the monetary equivalent, to the Internal Revenue Service to qualify for an offer in compromise; and
(3) The fact that the IRS will not remove the original amount of the tax debt from its records until the client has met all the terms and conditions of the offer, the tax debt will remain a valid tax debt until the client meets all the terms and conditions of the offer, if the client files for bankruptcy before the terms and conditions of the offer are completed any claim the Internal Revenue Service files in the bankruptcy proceedings will be a tax claim and that the client must comply with all provisions of the Internal Revenue Code relating to the filing of tax returns and paying required taxes for 5 years or until the offered amount is paid in full, whichever is longer.
(b) If a provider offers services for penalty abatement, it shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner in any agreement between the provider and the client:

(1) The fact that the Internal Revenue Service has stringent requirements for penalty abatement and that not all clients will qualify; and
(2) The fact that penalty abatement will normally occur only where the taxpayer exercised ordinary business care and prudence in determining their tax obligations but nevertheless failed to comply with those obligations. Examples of situations that may justify a penalty abatement include: death, serious illness, or unavoidable absence; fire, casualty, natural disaster, or other disturbance, inability to obtain records; erroneous advice or reliance; and ignorance of the law.
(c) If a provider offers services for interest abatement, it shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner in any agreement between the provider and the client:

(1) The fact that the Internal Revenue Service has stringent requirements for interest abatement and that not all clients will qualify; and
(2) The fact that interest abatement will normally occur only in instances of error on the part of the Internal Revenue Service.
(d) An agreement between a client and a provider shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner the provider’s cancellation and refund policies.
(e) If a provider has a policy of not making refunds or cancellations, the agreement between the client and a provider shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner the terms and conditions of the provider’s policy.
(f) If a provider makes a representation about a refund or cancellation the agreement between the client and a provider shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner the terms and conditions of the provider’s policy.
(g) A provider shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner in any agreement between the provider and the client any limitations and alternatives available in a delinquent tax case and the responsibilities of all parties;
(h) A provider shall disclose in a clear and conspicuous manner opportunities, if available, for a client to avoid penalties through disclosure and the requirements for an adequate disclosure.
(i) A provider that maintains an internet web site shall disclose on the home page of its web site or on a page that is clearly and conspicuously connected to the home page by a link that clearly reveals its contents:

(1) Its full legal name and all trade names under which it does business; and
(2) Its principal business address, telephone number, and electronic-mail address, if any.

SECTION 12. ADVERTISING AND SOLICITATION

(a) A provider shall not make, directly or indirectly, any solicitation to provide services if the solicitation violates federal or state law.
(b) Any solicitation made by or on behalf of a provider must clearly identify the solicitation as such.
(c) A provider may state that it is “enrolled to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service,” “enrolled to practice before the Internal Revenue Service,” or “admitted to practice before the Internal Revenue Service.” only if such statement is true.
(d) If a provider advertises on radio or television broadcasting, the broadcast must be recorded and the provider must retain a script of the actual transmission.
(e) If a provider advertises through direct mail and e-commerce communications, the provider must retain a copy of the actual communication, along with a list or other description of persons to whom the communication was mailed or otherwise distributed.

SECTION 13. DUE DILIGENCE

(a) A provider shall exercise due diligence when preparing, providing and filing tax returns, documents, affidavits, and other records on behalf of a client to the Internal Revenue Service.

SECTION 14. RETURN OF CLIENT’S RECORDS

(a) A provider shall, at the request of a client, promptly return any and all records of the client that are necessary for the client to comply with his or her state tax or federal tax obligations. A provider may retain copies of the records returned to a client.

SECTION 15. PROMPT DISPOSITION OF PENDING MATTERS

(a) A provider may not negligently or intentionally unreasonably delay the prompt disposition of any matter before the Internal Revenue Service.

SECTION 16. KNOWLEDGE OF CLIENT’S OMMISSION

(a) A provider who has knowledge that a client has not complied with the revenue law of the United States or has made an error in or omission from any return, document, affidavit, or other paper which the client submitted or executed under the revenue laws of the United States, must advise the client promptly of the fact of such noncompliance, error, or omission. The provider must advise the client of the consequences as provided under the Internal Revenue Code and regulations of such noncompliance, error, or omission.

SECTION 17. PROHIBITED PRACTICES

(a) A provider shall not, directly or indirectly:

(1) Use the phrase “bail-out” or any variation thereof in a manner that inaccurately implies that the service offered by the provider is related to any program or benefit of the United States government or any agency or department thereof;
(2) Use the phrase “stimulus” or any variation thereof including “stimulus act”, “stimulus plan”, “stimulus program” or “stimulus notice” in a manner that inaccurately implies that the service offered by the provider is related to any program or benefit of the United States government or any agency or department thereof;
(3) Use the phrase “government program,” or any variation thereof including “government agency”, “government sponsored” or “federally regulated program,” in a manner that inaccurately implies that the service offered by the provider is related to the United States government or any agency or department thereof;
(4) Use any logo or image of the White House, U.S. Capitol Building or any other United States landmark or government building in a manner that inaccurately implies that the service offered by the provider is related to the United States government or any agency or department thereof;
(5) Use any form, envelope, letterhead, image or communication which simulates or is falsely represented to be a document authorized, issued, or approved by the United States government or any agency or department thereof, or which creates a false impression as to its source, authorization, or approval;
(6) Use any emblem, logo or other sign or device that is similar to an emblem, logo, sign or device that a government agency or department uses to identify the government agency or department or a product or service the government agency or department provides, including but not limited to an eagle, flag or crest;
(7) Use in an agreement or advertising a name other than the true legal name and/or any trade name of the provider;
(8) Use false or misleading information to deceive a client or prospective client;
(9) Misrepresent the amount, type or quality of tax debt reduction a client will receive as a result of a service the provider performs or offers to perform;
(10) Misrepresent that using provider’s service will stop collections, levies, attachments or garnishments;
(11) Misrepresent that the fees paid by a client to a provider are tax deductible, unless true;
(12) Represent that a client in a “currently not collectible” status with the Internal Revenue Service has the tax debt forgiven, discharged or eliminated;
(13) Misrepresent that a provider can eliminate interest or penalties that have accrued or that will accrue on a client’s tax debt;
(14) Misrepresent that a provider can reduce a client’s liability to a specific dollar amount;
(15) Misrepresent that a provider can secure a specific monthly payment amount for the client as part of an installment agreement;
(16) Represent, state, indicate or suggest that a client or potential client “qualifies”, “qualify” or “is qualified” or words of similar import for any Internal Revenue Service program without confirmation of the client’s qualification by a good faith review of the client’s financial situation and tax history;
(17) Misrepresent the provider’s affiliation with, endorsement or sponsorship by, any person or government entity;
(18) Misrepresent the provider’s qualifications, training or experience or the qualifications, training or experience of the provider’s employees, agents or affiliates;
(19) Promise or guarantee any specific outcome or result to a client without a good faith basis for so doing;
(20) Compensate its employees solely on the basis of a formula that incorporates the number of persons the employee induces to enter into agreements with the provider;
(21) Exercise or attempt to exercise a power of attorney after a client has terminated an agreement;
(22) Initiate a transfer from a client’s account at a bank or with another person unless the transfer is:

(A) A return of money to the client; or
(B) Before termination of an agreement, properly authorized by the agreement, and for payment of a fee.
(23) Advise a client to stop making their monthly installment payments to the Internal Revenue Service unless justified after a good faith analysis of the client’s situation;
(24) Advise or imply that a client is not obligated to continue making their monthly installment payments to the Internal Revenue Service, unless justified after a good faith analysis of the client’s situation;
(25) Utilize when describing a provider’s professional designation the term “certified” unless true;
(26) State or imply that the provider has an employer/employee relationship with the Internal Revenue Service;
(27) Assist, or accept assistance from, any person who, to the knowledge of the provider, obtains clients or otherwise provides services in a manner forbidden under this title;
(28) Imply endorsement by Internal Revenue Service;
(29) Give false opinions based on knowing misstatements of fact or law;
(30) Cause the unauthorized disclosure or use of tax return information;
(31) Assist a client to evade any assessment of tax in violation of any federal tax law; or
(32) Knowingly provide assistance or resources a person to provide services or practice before the Internal Revenue Service who is ineligible, suspended or disbarred.

SECTION 18. REQUIREMENT OF GOOD FAITH.

(a) A provider shall act in good faith in all matters under this title.

SECTION 19. RETENTION OF RECORDS.

(a) A provider shall maintain records required to be retained under this title and for each client for whom it provides services for 3 years after the final action with the client. The provider may use electronic or other means of storage of the records.

SECTION 20. SEVERABILITY

(a) If any provision of this title or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this title that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this title are severable.

SECTION 21. CIVIL LIABILITY FOR WILLFUL NONCOMPLIANCE

(a) In general – Any provider who willfully fails to comply with any requirement imposed under this title with respect to any client is liable to that person in an amount equal to the sum of:

(1) Any actual damages sustained by the client as a result of the failure or damages of not less than $1,000; and
(2) In the case of any successful action to enforce any liability under this section, the costs of the action together with reasonable attorney’s fees as determined by the court.
(b) Attorney’s fees. Upon a finding by the court that an unsuccessful pleading, motion, or other paper filed in connection with an action under this title was filed in bad faith or for purposes of harassment, the court shall award to the prevailing party, attorney’s fees reasonable in relation to the work expended in responding to the pleading, motion or other paper.

SECTION 22. CIVIL LIABILITY FOR NEGLIGENT NONCOMPLIANCE

(a) In general – Any provider who is negligent in failing to comply with any requirement imposed under this title with respect to any client is liable to that client in an amount equal to the sum of:

(1) Any actual damages sustained by the client as a result of the failure; and
(2) In the case of any successful action to enforce any liability under this section, the costs of the action together with reasonable attorney’s fees as determined by the court.
(b) Attorney’s fees. On a finding by the court that an unsuccessful pleading, motion, or other paper filed in connection with an action under this title was filed in bad faith or for purposes of harassment, the court shall award to the prevailing party attorney’s fees reasonable in relation to the work expended in responding to the pleading, motion or other paper.

SECTION 23. JURISDICTION OF COURTS; LIMITATION OF ACTIONS

(a) An action to enforce any liability created under this title must be commenced by a client in any court of competent jurisdiction not later than the earlier of (1) one year after the date that the client discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the facts constituting the violation that is the basis for such liability; or (2) three years from the date of the wrongful act or omission that constitutes the violation that is the basis for such liability.

SECTION 24. GOOD FAITH RELIANCE DEFENSE

(a) A provider shall not be held liable in any action for a violation of this title if the provider shows by a preponderance of evidence that the violation was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid any such error. Examples of a bona fide error include, but are not limited to, clerical, calculation, computer malfunction, and programming and printing errors, except that an error of legal judgment under this title is not a bona fide error.
(b) A provider may rely in good faith, without verification, upon information furnished by a client.

SECTION 25. EFFECTIVE DATE

(a) This title takes effect upon the expiration of 180 days after the date of its enactment.
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How to Protect Your Social Security Number and When Not to Give It Away

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Most of you likely learned early on to keep your Social Security numbers safe, protected, and private. These nine digits are your primary personal identification numbers, the key to your accounts and private data. As technology has developed, vulnerability to identity theft increases, yet many folks are getting more lax about securing their Social Security numbers.

It appears that virtually everyone needs your Social Security number before they’ll do anything for you or with you. So where do you draw the line?

The government provides some guidance by stipulating that you are just required to give out the number in particular situation:

Filing income taxes

Entering into an employment situation

Running business through financial institutions

Applying for authorities benefits

Trying to get a driver’s license

So why does it feel like you need to type, print, and share your ID numbers on a daily basis?

While giving out your Social Security number is technically voluntary, refusing to give it outside may mean you can not access a service or purchase a product. Meaning that the regular routine as a consumer is issue to some colossal gray area. This enormous can of worms causes it to be difficult to figure out when it makes sense to give out your Social Security number. To clear up the confusion, consider these seven times to be wary about giving out your number.

When to Not Give Out Your SSN

1. Email

From online shopping orders to e-mailing customer support, e-mail is a basic – if not the main – means to do business. But since it’s also part of your regular routine for private contacts, it is simple to feel very comfortable sharing info over e-mail. In fact, most individuals do not even realize they’ve let their guard down before it is too late. When a company, particularly one you trust, asks for your Social Security number over email, it’s natural to reply and discuss the information. It’s easy and quick. But you have three reasons to cease and think before you are doing.

Unlike paper files that a business can securely file in a fast drawer, the e-mail you send can get forwarded (accidentally or on purpose) and end up in the wrong hands. Digital records are easy to duplicate, and hackers can locate their way into the most risk-free system. Once you hit send, your name and SSN are exposed and available.

Even when dealing with a recognizable business, you still can’t be sure just who will get your email. Saving a customer service representative’s name in your contact list, for instance, doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily in touch with that man every time. Do Not trust the “answer-to” discipline every time.

Your system may be safe, but is your virus software up so far? Can you be sure the business’s email server is safe? How about the Internet connection you are using: Is it public Wi-Fi access? Though we had like to think we are safe all the time, malicious folks may be seeing.

In summary, even though we had like to believe that one on one emails are private, they’re not constantly actually just between the sender and receiver. It’s not a safe location for sharing your Social Security number.

2. Internet

Similarly, the rest of the Internet is dangerous for your own Social Security number. But as it pertains to online kinds on protected sites, sharing can appear inevitable. Most online stores and businesses can and will take your credit card number as satisfactory advice. But if your SSN is a needed field, what else are you supposed to do? If you frequently do business on the internet, notably if you are applying for occupations or running your own company, you may find which you must provide your number more generally than you’d like.

If that is the case, apply for a federal identification number through the IRS, and use that number instead. This number is a valid citizen ID for business and tax purposes, but it isn’t one that identity thieves could use to apply for credit or access your personal accounts.

3. Phone

When you are on the telephone, you might have a little more control of the situation than you would over email – at least sometimes. Safety on the phone is about trust and control. Only share your number with accredited organizations, & most importantly only after you have verified the call is valid. The biggest problems come from calls you receive, not the ones you make.

Say they are from a particular firm but caller ID lists an “unavailable” or “limited” amount. If that’s the case, ask when you can call them back through the routine customer care line. If they say they’re from your phone company, for instance, you should be competent to telephone the number on your recent statement and reach someone that will help. Don’t take a hazard by coping with someone you don’t understand, can not authenticate, and can not call back or report if there is trouble.

Call from numbers you do not recognize. Take some time to search for the number online to try and check where they’re calling from. If you take the call, ask for the man’s name and firm up front, and look online for confirmation. If you screen the call, dig just a little deeper to learn if other folks have gotten the call also. Do Not just accept what you see on reverse number lookup sites; constantly go back to the company’s official site to strive and find the number.

If anyone ever contacts you asking for the amount, find out who they symbolize, and inform them you will call them back at their official number.

Once you know you’re dealing with the right those who are actually calling from the correct firm, you’ll be able to feel more comfortable. But don’t let your guard down fully. Cell phones, VoIP services, and dwelling telephone landline options are exposed to hacks and attacks, so make an effort to take these calls from house, instead of a public space. And remember that in addition to the call being recorded on another side, people standing around maybe you are listening too. Don’t give your number when you’re standing on a busy street corner or taking a call while shopping at the mall.

4. Anyone Promising to Be Your Bank or Financial Institution

If someone promising to represent your bank (or other financial institution) emails or calls and asks for your Social Security number, it’s a scam. It’s not your bank. It’s not your credit card business. And it is not the urgent situation the individual is saying necessitates them to get your number over the telephone or email.

Your bank may ask for one to verify the last four digits before finalizing a trade, but they’ll never ask for your whole number. They have it on file. The same manner that Internet service providers remind you that they’ll never request you for your password, your financial institutions should never request you for your full nine digits.

5. Curriculum vitae and Job Applications

If you are used to companies asking, you might be tempted to merely put your Social Security number in the header of your cv. Resist the urge. Your goal would be to get your cv shared among as many potential employers as possible, and you don’t want that many copies of your number floating around. But what about job applications?

To establish citizenship, you’ll need to give your SSN to companies. But that doesn’t contain future companies. Most areas where you’ll apply for a occupation will only require your number after they hire you.

However, some businesses comprise it on a job application. In some scenarios, they’re only attempting to save time, but in others they just don’t recognize that it is not needed. Do Not be afraid to pass on sharing this advice. Only write “will provide upon offer of employment.” If an interviewer mentions that it’s for a background check, you can describe that you’ll provide it at the end of the interview.

It’s your judgment call on if it feels premature to provide this personal information. You don’t want to jeopardize the job opportunity, but you also don’t desire to work someplace that will not honor that you protect your identity.

6. Checks

With the lone exception of tax payments to government revenue agencies, never write your Social Security number on a check. Your check already has your bank’s routing number, your personal account number, and your mailing address. Even if the check is for a close, trusted friend, you just do not want all of this advice in the same area. If your buddy by chance loses the check or is the victim of a stolen wallet, you will be a likely casualty too.

If your seller ever insists that you add your SSN for your check, summon the heart to talk with a supervisor. Offer to add your phone number and sometimes even driver’s license number instead, or threaten to take your business elsewhere. Be company. You should never need to provide these records on a check.

7. Retailers and Other Sellers

Even if you’re not using a check, you could think you’ve got to give your Social Security number to anyone you do business with. They presume they desire it, and you presume they are right. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you’re paying someone by cash, credit card, or debit card, they already have what they must get paid. If they insist on your SSN, you have ample reason to suspect foul play, and should refuse to do business with them and potentially even report them.

Our society is becoming incredibly relaxed about providing and requiring 1 of the most significant security measures that we have: the Social Security number. Since the laws surrounding this issue are quite obscure, you must be completely alert to the possible risks that come with providing your SSN.

Only give it out in scenarios where it is either lawfully demanded or you’re assured the party asking for it is legitimate and trustworthy. If you ever have any uncertainty, err on the side of caution and work your way around having to give out your number. Do Not be afraid to delay your purchase, say no to a sales telephone, or take your business to another firm.

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What Is a Real Estate Investment Trust – Investing in REITs

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For many, real estate is the gold standard of investments. It has a great long-term track record, can provide a steady income, and is an investment that is tangible and usable. There is something filling in taking a look at a building you possess, versus staring at shares of stock on a computer screen.

Unfortunately, real estate as an investment has barriers to entry, such as money for a deposit, the skill to get a substantial loan, the time and instruction to run a prosperous enterprise, and the mandatory cash for upkeep, repairs, property taxes, and insurance.

Luckily, there is a way to put money into real estate without owning individual properties. It Is referred to as a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).

What’s a REIT?

A REIT exists to invest in income-creating properties. It does this directly through the purchase of real estate, or indirectly by supplying loans or purchasing preexisting mortgage contracts. To qualify as a REIT (and avoid corporate income tax), at least 90% of its gain must be disbursed to shareholders as dividends.

REITs are usually broken down into three types:

1. Equity REITs

The most used and well known kind of REIT, equity REITs focus on getting, handling, and developing investment properties. Since REIT limitations require that properties are held and grown over an extended time frame, their primary source of earnings is rental income from their holdings. They commonly purchase specific kinds of property, which normally fall into the following categories:

Office and Industrial

Residential

Hotel and Resort

Health Care

Self Storage

Raw Property

Not as popular as equity REITs, these funds loan cash to real-estate investors or invest in existing mortgage loans on properties (rather than investing directly in the properties themselves). Their primary source of earnings is interest in the loans they hold.

3. Hybrid REITs

A blend of both equity and mortgage REITs, hybrid REITs diversify between owning properties and making loans to real-estate investors. Their sales comes from both lease and interest income.

Advantages

Like all investments, you will find advantages and disadvantages to REITs which should be weighed before investing:

Advantages

Investors can diversify within the real-estate market by holding an interest in multiple properties with minimal dollars.

Risk is pooled among many investors versus a single property owner.

REITs pay high cash dividends.

Many REITs offer high liquidity, relative to outright real estate ownership, by enabling investors to sell shares immediately.

Investors share ownership in substantial properties, like leading office buildings or resorts, that they’d otherwise be hard to afford.

Properties are professionally handled.

Foreign individuals, otherwise limited from possessing property, can have an interest in such property via a REIT.

Depreciation expenses can minimize shareholder taxes on dividends.

Typically, dividends are taxed the year they’re received and as ordinary income. When depreciation expenses are passed down by the REIT, those expenses are viewed as a return of capital to the stockholder and offset an equal portion of investor dividends. This delays the payment of taxes on that portion of dividends until REIT shares can be purchased.

Moreover, when shares are sold, the amount is taxed as a capital gain rather than as ordinary income. For example, in case a shareholder was paid a 0 dividend, but could claim $10 of that as a depreciation expense, the shareholder would simply pay income tax on $90 that year. Nevertheless, the $10 subtracted would be taxed as a capital gain after, when the fund is sold.

Because ordinary income is taxed at a much greater rate than capital gains, this can be a major edge over the tax treatment of standard REIT dividends.

Disadvantages

REITs typically show low increase since they must pay 90% of income back to investors. Therefore, just 10% of income can be reinvested back into the business.

REIT dividends are not treated under the tax-friendly 15% rule that most dividends fall under. They’re taxed as regular income at a considerably higher rate.

Investment risk can be substantial. Do your due diligence before investing and consider all variables in the real estate market (i.e. property values, interest rates, debt, geography, and shifting tax laws).

REIT investors cede control of all the operational decisions that an individual property owner would make.

Some REITs will incur high direction and trade fees, leading to lower payouts for shareholders.

Freely Traded vs. Non-Traded REITs

Now that we’ve researched how REITs work and the three principal sorts, let’s delve into the important differentiation between openly traded and non-traded REITs:

Freely Traded REITs

Freely traded REITs are registered with the SEC and recorded on a national exchange.

Pros:

They can be purchased and sold in a brokerage account.

They offer almost immediate liquidity since the fund can be sold anytime.

The market promptly represents an increase in share worth.

These funds are usually quite substantial and diversified.

Cons:

Share price can be greatly determined by market conditions versus the genuine value of the underlying properties. As a consequence, investors may experience volatility in a publicly traded REIT portfolio.

The additional expense to run a freely traded fund may lower an investor’s prospective dividends.

Non-Traded REITs

Although a non-traded REIT is regulated by the SEC, it isn’t recorded on an exchange. Investors must meet minimum net worth or liquidity guidelines so that you can maintain the stability of the REIT and protect investor interests.

Now, investors must have a liquid net worth of 0,000 (exclusive of their houses), or income of $70,000 per year and $70,000 in assets. Shares in non-traded REITs are usually purchased at a set price of $10 per share. They’re designed to be held for a particular time period (normally five to seven years depending on the REIT strategy) and pay a pre-stated dividend.

This sort of REIT will generally raise money for the first few years and then close its doors to new investors. There are 4 common ways the fund may be unwound, either before or after the holding period is over:

The REIT could be obtained by a larger freely traded REIT with the sale profits passed along to shareholders.

The REIT could go public, by which case the investors would receive new shares that would be sold on an exchange for, theoretically, a substantially higher price.

The REIT could sell individual properties and pass a predetermined portion of the profits to the stockholders.

If the economy dictates that none of these options are prosperous, the REIT, through stockholder voting, could extend the normal operations until market conditions improve.

A set share price eliminates the daily cost changes and unpredictability connected with publicly traded REITs.

Dividends are usually higher in non-traded REITs, and may be paid monthly or quarterly. These higher dividends are a result of lower expenses and a method to compensate the investor for low liquidity.

There is possibility for major appreciation at the conclusion of the holding period.

Investors may hold foreign real estate that they’d otherwise be prohibited from possessing. These properties are comparatively immune to the volatility of foreign stock markets.

The share price and dividends are not ensured, although they are “set.” In reality, some REITs have had to cut dividends and reduce share values because of the economic decline and increased vacancies in their own properties.

The products are not liquid. Because of minimum holding requirements, an investor must remain in the investment for a very long time. Unlike their publicly traded counterparts, investors can’t sell shares upon important drops in share worth. This appreciably raises the danger of buying a non-traded REIT.

There is less monetary transparency of fund operations. Because non-traded REITs aren’t publicly recorded, they are subject to less oversight.

Leading appreciation in the share price isn’t recognized until the end of the span of functioning (though dividends can be raised).

Suggestions for Investing in REITs

REITs can supply outstanding income and increase opportunities for the right investor. If you are contemplating making the leap, here are a few suggestions to consider before investing:

Comprehend the types of properties you are investing in. Most REITs specialize in a specific sector which should be simple to find in the fund summary. Understand the risks of each sector. For example, REITs holding undeveloped land or retail shopping centers in a poor market will carry more risk than high end flats in a important metropolis.

Look at the amounts. It’s important to see if dividends are being paid from operations or if the fund is being driven to use added capital. A nicely-run REIT should rely on its operations to purchase expenses and dividends. Additionally, be skeptical of big, one time real-estate sales that might skew the financials upwards.

Learn when the REIT began investing. If investments were made before a market slowdown, the REIT could hold properties which are underperforming or need to be refinanced. In such cases, REITs might need to lower dividends or sell additional shares in order to raise cash in the near future. However, if the fund is made after a home market downturn, it could own and be buying valuable properties at low prices.

Understand your time horizon. Notably in a non-traded REIT, investors could hold shares for at least five years before seeing a yield of principal. Ensure you can handle this potential deficiency of liquidity.

We have seen considerable increase in many marketplaces as our market finds its way out of a deep downturn. Nonetheless, the property marketplace has lagged behind.

The good thing is there are amazing long term investment opportunities, particularly in the type of real-estate. REITs are a means to diversify in the real-estate marketplace and can be an alluring income producing investment in a low interest rate surroundings.

If you need to prevent stock market unpredictability and you fulfill minimal guidelines, non-traded REITs could play a significant part in your personal investment portfolio. As with all investments, it is important to do your homework and understand where you are placing your cash and why.

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