Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tax Reform Update: Mortgage Interest and Property Tax Deductions

Will you pay more in Federal taxes because of vanishing mortgage interest and property tax deductions?

Are your mortgage interest and property tax deductions in the 2017 tax reform plan at risk?  According to the National Association of Realtors, they probably are: the “Senate-Passed Tax Legislation Bad News for Homeowners”. Below is an excerpt from NAR:

Posted by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS(R) Dec 2, 2017
Early Saturday morning, the U.S. Senate, by a vote of 51-49, passed legislation that would change the face of homeownership in this country for decades to come. The House passed its own version of tax reform Nov. 16.

A last-minute change to the Senate version would make up to $10,000 in property taxes deductible for the small number of homeowners who would still be itemizing. Previously, the Senate version had eliminated the property tax deduction entirely. The change aligns with the property tax cap set in the House bill. One difference between the two bills is that the Senate version retains the deductibility of mortgage interest payments on up to $1 million of indebtedness; the House version caps indebtedness at $500,000 (again, for the small minority still itemizing).

Now, members of the Senate and the House must meet to agree on a final bill. It’s not too late to make your voice heard. Join us in telling your members of Congress that incentives for homeownership and the capital gains tax exclusion on the sale of a home MUST be protected. On Monday, Dec. 4, NAR will issue a new Call for Action. If you haven’t already signed up to receive CFAs on your phone, please text ACTION to 30644!

You can visit the NAR website to read updates on the 2017 tax reform plan by clicking here.

While Jim Bobo Real Estate can’t offer you tax advice, we can offer sound advice from over 20 years of experience helping people buy and sell throughout the Metro Charleston area.  Please click here to contact us!

Jim Bobo, Jr., BIC, Owner
Jim Bobo Real Estate LLC
10605 Hwy 78 East
Summerville, SC 29483
Call or text (843) 442-7275
Licensed in South Carolina
In addition to over 20 years of real estate industry working experience,
Jim holds the following designations:
CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist)
CNE (Certified Negotiation Expert)
ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative)
RSPS (Resort and Second Home Property Specialist)

Does Staging A Home Really Work?

Listing clients often ask if staging a home has any measurable benefits.  While I still haven’t found any hard “scientific” evidence, the latest report “2017 Profile of Home Staging” from the National Association of Realtors reveals that some but not all Realtors think the answer is “Yes”.

Bear in mind that this profile is a result of a survey of Realtors who may or may not accurately reflect a broad market opinion.  Information about the survey respondents and methodology are on pages 13 and 14 of the report.   Click here to read the full report.

Like any other cost or effort associated with selling a home, sellers should evaluate if staging a home will improve their bottom line, and by how much.  Since real estate is highly local, your listing agent should be able to advise whether staging would be beneficial and, if so, by how much.  39% of those polled state staging a home “greatly reduces” time on the market.  Since there are typically carrying costs paid by the seller while their home is on the market (utility bills, insurance, lawn care, mortgage payments, etc), a minimum DOM is critical.  If the seller has already relocated and is having to maintain an empty property in addition to another, these costs can be substantial, so moving the property as quickly as possible for the highest amount resonates more loudly than normal.

Another key result of the poll shows that 58% of respondents say staging a home increased the selling price between 1 and 20%.  41% said staging a home actually decreased the selling price, or weren’t sure if staging a home actually increased the selling price compared to other similar homes in their markets that were not staged.

Staging a home – does it pay off?

Below is NAR’s synopsis of this survey.  Click here to read the full report.

From the Buyers’ Agent Perspective:

Forty-nine percent of buyers’ agents cited that staging a home had an effect on most buyer’s view of the home.

Seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.

Staging the living room for buyers was found to be most important (55 percent), followed by staging the master bedroom (51 percent), and staging the kitchen (41 percent).

About one-third of buyer’s agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between one and five percent compared to other similar homes on the market that are not staged.

From the Sellers’ Agent Perspective:

Thirty-eight percent of sellers’ agents said they stage all sellers’ homes prior to listing them for sale. Fourteen percent noted that they only stage homes that are difficult to sell.

The most common rooms that are staged include the living room (83 percent), kitchen (76 percent), master bedroom (69 percent), and the dining room (66 percent).

The costs of staging a home were typically paid by the seller before the home is listed (25 percent).

When staging a home, 29 percent of sellers’ agents reported an increase of one percent to five percent of the dollar value offered by buyers, in comparison to similar homes.

Twenty-one percent of respondents stated that staging a home increased the dollar value of the home between six and 10 percent.

Thirty-nine percent of sellers’ agents stated that staging a home greatly decreases the amount of time the home is on the market.

The most common home improvement items agents recommended to sellers were decluttering the home (93 percent), entire home cleaning (89 percent), carpet cleaning (81 percent), and removing pets during showings (80 percent).

In summary, I tend to take results of surveys and polls with one or two grains of salt.  Only 1,894 “usable responses” out of 53,760 respondents were used to tally the results of this survey, and the format in which the data is presented suggests the authors may have had a slight bias in favor of staging versus not staging.  But all in all, it’s an interesting report worth reviewing if the seller is on the fence about staging a home.

Contact me to learn more about staging a home and whether it might benefit your bottom line.

Jim Bobo, Jr., BIC
Jim Bobo Real Estate LLC
10605 Hwy 78 East
Summerville, SC 29483
Call or text (843) 442-7275
Licensed in South Carolina

2069 Briar Bend Road Ridgeville SC 29472 Home For Sale

2069 Briar Bend Road Ridgeville SC 29472 Home For Sale
Living Room
MLS# 1425007   Newer Brick Home For Sale in Ridgeville, SC. 4 Bedroom, 2.5 Bathroom, FROG, 2764 SF, built 2006 on 1.423 acres. Wow – this Town and Country Home has it all! Enjoy the peace and quiet of the country but still be close to Summerville and Downtown Charleston. All living areas including the Master bedroom are on the main floor – only the FROG (counted as 4th bedroom) is up!
01 2069 Briar Bend Front of House 1

To schedule an appointment, contact us at (843) 442-7275.

This listing is brought to you by Jim Bobo, Jr., BIC Jim Bobo Real Estate LLC

Flat Fee MLS Listing Charleston-Summerville-Mt Pleasant SC

When it comes to choosing a Flat Fee MLS listing broker in Charleston-Summerville-Mt Pleasant SC, your best choice is Flat Fee SC.

Operated as a discounted Flat Fee MLS listing service by Jim Bobo Real Estate LLC, FlatFeeSC.com promotes our client’s listings better than any other flat fee company – Guaranteed!

Buyers won't even think your home is being marketed at a huge discount!

Buyers won’t even think your home is being marketed at a huge discount!

We have been offering this service since 2008, and over the last 8 years have learned a lot about what does and what does not work for economy-minded sellers.  We are America’s Best discounted full service Flat Fee MLS listing company!

As our client:

  • you receive full service – you don’t pay “extra” for expert advice and guidance from seasoned local Realtors who have an incentive to sell your home
  • we shoot high resolution quality photographs that we individually adjust to achieve the best color, sharpness and lighting effects possible – we believe that a “great picture is worth a thousand words”
  • you get the maximum # of photos in MLS
  • your listing is syndicated to Realtor.com
  • there is no charge to use our custom metal yard sign, Realtor’s lockbox and info box for flyers
  • we feature your listing on our company-owned websites
  • you get extremely broad Internet syndication to all the major search engines and literally thousands of websites, including newspaper real estate classifieds, across the United States
  • clients eligible for this service must be able to communicate all documents electronically – one reason we can offer this incredible service at an incredible price is because we have streamlined the listing and communication process. We ask that you be prepared when we visit your home to list your property. Don’t worry – we have a guide we will send you in advance of listing that will answer every question you may have!
  • you can click here to read more about this program.

Flat Fee SC is a discounted full service MLS listing program.  It is not a limited service MLS program.

Call Jim Bobo Real Estate at (843) 442-7275 to get started.

1532 Maple Grove Drive Johns Island, SC 29455 Home For Sale

Just listed! 1532 Maple Grove Drive Johns Island, SC 29455 Home For Sale
1 year Home Warranty included with acceptable offer!
1532 Maple Grove Kitchen 2 Featured Visual Tour
2,127 SF
4 bedrooms (counting the FROG)
2.5 bathrooms
Built in 2009
2 car attached garage
Listed at $275,000
MLS # 1320570

2 story upgraded home with stunning hardwood floors downstairs, upgraded carpet up and tile in the bath rooms and laundry room. Located in The Retreat on beautiful Johns Island close to Downtown Charleston and shopping! This home has everything to give it that “Wow” factor buyers love!

1948 Gracewood Drive West Ashley-Charleston SC 29414 Home For Sale

1948 Gracewood Drive West Ashley-Charleston SC 29414 Home For Sale
1948 Gracewood Kitchen 2

2,650 SF 4 Bedrooms + office 3.5 bathrooms 2+ Car Garage Elevated construction
Premium lot Built 2012 Listed at $399,000

Make sure to check out the full photo gallery by clicking here.

Built by Pulte Homes in prestigious Essex at Carolina Bay, this home features many upgrades. Why wait for your home to be built when you can buy a premium upgraded move-in ready home that’s only about 1 year old?

1948 Gracewood Flags 2

This listing is brought to you by Jim Bobo Real Estate LLC
Call or text if you enjoy saving money! (843) 442-7275
Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC

Gorgeous 1.5 story home with the Master Suite down stairs! 2069 Briar Bend Road Ridgeville SC 29472 Home For Sale MLS# 1314382

2069 Briar Bend Road Ridgeville SC 29472 Home For Sale
2069 Briar Bend Kitchen
MLS# 1314382   Newer Brick Home For Sale in Ridgeville, SC. 3-4 Bedroom, 2.5 Bathroom, FROG up (4th bedroom) 2751 SF, built 2006 on 1.423 acres. Wow – this Town and Country Home has it all! Enjoy the peace and quiet of the country but still be close to Summerville and Charleston and all of the industry in the region.  Master bedroom is on the main floor.
01 2069 Briar Bend Front of House 1

This is a Flat Fee MLS listing.  Contact us at (843) 442-7275 to view this beauty!

Sell your home in record time by following a short list of do’s and don’ts

Here’s a short list of things you can do to sell your home in record time.   I call this “The 6 C’s of Selling Your Home”.

Stage your entire property

Stage your entire property (OK, maybe you don’t need the band)

1. Curb appeal.   It’s always planting season for some type of flower in South Carolina, presenting you with the year-round opportunity to get out in the yard and do some planting and cleaning!  Grimy exterior residue?  Consider pressure washing the exterior first.  Clean gutters.  Check your shingles.  Touch-up with painting.  Replace or repair damaged screens.  Make your house look clean and fresh.  Then pull or spray for weeds, trim the bushes, add some flowers and top it all off with a fresh dusting of pine straw.  Weed ‘n feed the lawn and don’t forget to spruce up the mailbox.  The message: Do everything you can do to the exterior of your property to make it pretty and inviting.

Keep your home clean and tidy while showing

Keep your home clean and tidy while showing

2. You know the saying: “Cleanliness is next to Godliness“.  Make sure the inside of your home – including the garage, storage areas, etc – is clean.  Nothing turns buyers off more than dirty homes.  Many listing agents won’t even take a listing if the house and lawn are not presentable because they are worried about their reputation and all that buyer resistance they know they will hear.  And those are the agents you want working with you, not against you.

Pack away clutter - move off premises if possible

Pack away clutter – move off premises if possible

3. Got Clutter?  Get rid of it.  Box it up and move it out – literally from off the property, if possible.  Boxes distract buyers almost as bad as the clutter itself, which will not help your home sell.  Hey, you’re moving anyway!  Don’t have a handy place to store off-premises?  Then stack the boxes neatly in the attic (preferable).  No attic or storage nook?  While it is better to remove it from the property, try a wall in the garage that is out of everyone’s way.  It’s not advisable to stack the boxes inside in closets or on floors because it looks like the house doesn’t have adequate storage space.  While you’re at it, make sure you have appropriate furniture where it belongs.  Most of us do not need professional staging services, which can get expensive.  Just exercise common sense and make sure your house is arranged nicely.

Uniform Residential Appraisal Report form with tape measure

A good appraisal gices you “fair market value” of your home, plus a bonus: a floor plan sketch your agent can use in marketing the property.

4. Correctly price your house to sell.  Whatever you do, do not “fish” for an unrealistic price while thinking “if I don’t ask, I won’t know”.  What could happen is buyer’s agents will convince their buyers to shy away from your listing because they think the price is too high, and they don’t want to waste their time with a property that is so obviously overpriced.  Today, even many buyers are very knowledgeable about comparables.  With an over-priced home that sits on the market, people start to think there is something wrong with the house because it isn’t selling, which makes it more difficult to sell even when you lower the price – all because it was overpriced to begin with.  You can avoid this vicious cycle by pricing your home so it sells.  Your agent will give you a probable selling range in a CMA (Comparable Marketing Analysis).  Additionally, I recommend you get a good appraisal, which will give you an actual “Fair Market Value” for your home from a licensed 3rd party with no potential conflicts of interest.  The appraiser gets a fee, not a commission.  You also get a decent floor plan out of the deal your agent can use in marketing.

A pre-listing home inspection gives you advanced warning of what a buyer may find.

A pre-listing home inspection gives you advanced warning of what a buyer may find.

5. Check your home for any deficiencies by having a pre-listing home inspection. This will allow you to correct as many deficiencies as possible before putting your home on the market. Having knowledge of big-ticket issues with your home that a buyer’s home inspector will likely call-out (maybe the windows are nearing the end of their useful life) gives you advanced warning of what is likely to come.  You still should price your home using an appraised value, but when it comes to renegotiating the price after the buyer hits you with a “Repair Addendum” about two weeks after going under contract, you won’t be caught off guard.  Just the opposite, you’ll be ready for it.  It is important to note that it doesn’t make mathematical sense to add the estimates for making repairs/improvement to the appraised value; the appraiser is generally appraising the property as though it is in habitable and functional condition.

Make sure your bathrooms are clean and properly equiped

Make sure your bathrooms are clean and properly equipped

5.  Be Considerate of buyers.  Turn on an adequate number of lights and set the temperature appropriately.  It’s OK to show off your home sound system with some very low volume easy listening music.  Leave a note on the counter next to some paper napkins inviting buyers to a bottle of cold water.  They’re going to open your fridge anyway.  Might as well offer them a reward for visiting your home.  Make sure there is toilet paper, soap and clean hand towels or paper towels in the bathrooms.  Talk about embarrassing.  Remove pets period.  Not everyone likes animals.  Assume all buyers are not pet lovers to be safe.  Remove anything that might offend someone, or be inappropriate for children’s eyes.  These are only a few of the considerations you should make when your home is on the market, but it hopefully points you in the right direction.

Sell your home in record time by following Flat Fee SC's 5 Cs

While you don’t need to bake cookies for each showing, leave a short note on the counter inviting buyers to have a bottled water

While this is a shortened version of what a seller needs to do to make their home stand out from the competition, I have used these basics to help my selling clients meet or exceed the basic Buyer Tests, at least on things the seller can control.

Copyright © Jim Bobo Real Estate

Call us at (843) 442-7275 to get started!

What Home Buyers Want In 2013

What Home Buyers Really Want in 2013
reprinted from Daily Real Estate News | Monday, March 04, 2013

Home buying shopping cart - what home buyers want in 2013

Home buying shopping cart – what home buyers want in 2013

Home buyers want energy efficiency, according to a new study released by the National Association of Home Builders titled, “What Home Buyers Really Want.” Four of the top-ranked home features involve saving energy. For example, 94 percent of buyers surveyed say they want energy-star rated appliances. Ninety-one percent said they want the whole home to boast an energy-star rating. What’s more, 89 percent said they wanted energy-star rated windows and 88 percent desire ceiling fans, according to the survey.

Home buyers are also paying more attention to the laundry room in homes. Fifty-seven percent consider a laundry room “essential” in a home and nearly every home buyer surveyed say they want one in their home. Organization is also big for home buyers. All ranking high on their wish-lists: A linen closet in the bathroom, space in the garage to put sports equipment and gardening tools, and a walk-in pantry in the kitchen.
Meanwhile, what do buyers show little preference for? About 43 percent say they do not want a two-story family room, and 38 percent say they don’t want a two-story entry foyer. More buyers view these open spaces as less energy efficient, so they’re no longer as highly rated.
Source: “What Do Home Buyers Really Want?” RISMedia (March 3, 2013)

Brought to you by Jim Bobo Real Estate

Flat Fee SC is Charleston’s Best Flat Fee MLS Real Estate

Welcome to Flat Fee SC.  We’re not only the Charleston, SC Region’s Best Flat Fee MLS Real Estate Service Provider, we’re America’s Best!

 23 Lindendale Great Room Flat Fee SC is Charleston's Best Flat Fee MLS Real Estate

Flat Fee SC is Charleston’s Best Flat Fee MLS Real Estate

In addition to providing premium full service residential and commercial services,Jim Bobo Real Estate offers residential sellers the best discount real estate services anywhere in the Greater Charleston, SC area under our registered trade name FlatFeeSC.com. You’ll get full service representation – this is not a limited service program.

Since 2008, Flat Fee SC has been providing superior discount real estate services saving sellers tens of thousands of dollars in commissions.  Now our improved system is even better!

Some of the services included in our program are professional-quality photography, an MLS listing, a Realtor.com showcased listing, a custom web address for your property, broad Internet syndication to scores of other real estate websites, as well as a listing on this website www.FlatFeeSC.com.  You’ll get automatic updates of all MLS activity in your neighborhood – new listings, new photos, price changes and change in statuses – keeping you informed.  We’ll use our professional high quality custom metal yard sign and a Realtor’s lock box.  And you’ll also receive full service representation by experienced real estate agents at no extra charge.  This is not a limited service MLS listing.

We offer America’s best discount real estate MLS listings for the Charleston, Summerville, North Charleston, and Mt. Pleasant, SC region.  When it comes to Charleston real estate listings, Flat Fee SC is your best choice.

Jim Bobo Real Estate provides this service for homes throughout most of Charleston, Berkeley, Colleton and Dorchester Counties, including Hollywood, Meggett, Yonges Island, Ravenel, Wadmalaw Island, Johns Island, Kiawah Island, Seabrook Island, James Island, Folly Beach, West Ashley, Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Daniel Island, Sullivans Island, Wild Dunes, Isle of Palms, McClellanville, Awendaw, North Charleston, Hanahan, Goose Creek, Moncks Corner,Summerville, Ladson, Knightsville, Ridgeville, St. Stephen, St. George, Harleyville, Walterboro, Cordesville, Reevesville, Round O, and more!  We reserve the right to charge an additional travel fee or increase our service fee for areas in excess of 30 miles from our Summerville office.

Jim Bobo Real Estate LLC
10605 Hwy 78 East
Summerville, SC 29483
Call (843) 442-7275
email jim@jimboborealestate.com
Conveniently located near the intersection of Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties!

Contact us to get started now.