Negotiating Tips for Selling Your Loon Area Property

     Okay, so you’ve decided to sell your Lincoln-Woodstock property…you need to ask yourself how much do you really know about negotiating a real estate sale?  The professionals at Loon Mountain Real Estate Company can help you to potentially keep thousands of dollars in your pocket at closing.  Let us share with you a few key tips which will make you a better negotiator:

1.  Negotiations start when you choose a real estate agent to represent you through the sales process.  You need to choose an agent who represents your interests, not their own.  That agent should be backed by a visible, well respected and results oriented company whose marketing plan is the strongest in the area.  Don’t choose just on personality, but effectiveness.

2. Ask for more than you would ideally like to get. Once you have a number in mind, aim a bit high (but not prohibitively high) from what you’d be comfortable settling on.  No brainer, maybe, but you’d be surprised how many sellers miss this opportunity.  Aiming high gives you the potential to maybe just get that number; it gives you some obvious wiggle room; and it creates the opportunity for a “win-win” negotiation which is critical for a successful closing. 

3. When pricing your property…the second step of the negotiation process after choosing a Loon Mountain Real Estate Company agent…work with your agent to consider not only what the most recent comparable properties have sold for, but also consider market conditions.  If the market is growing exponentially, determine what that annual growth percentage number is and when the last comparable home sold.  Multiply the comparable price by the growth rate, and multiply the result by the portion of the year since the comparable sold.  Then figure that growth into your asking price.   

4. As the offers start to come in, the best advice is to stay behind the frontlines in the negotiation.  You, as the seller should maintain an active role, but from behind the scenes.  By “appealing to a higher authority”, your agent can best negotiate on your behalf. 

5. If you receive an offer which you feel is well below your asking price, do not dismiss it automatically.  Although low, if the offer is still reasonable and has some merit, get a dialogue going.  If you get a conversation started and move on your asking price just a little bit, you’re telling that buyer that you’re willing to negotiate, but you’re not desperate. That little bit of movement will more often than not entice the buyer to try to work with you and counter with a more realistic offer.

6. Remember, the negotiation process is not personal.  In many instances the first offer from a buyer will be a lowball offer.  You can’t blame them for trying as they just want to make the best deal possible for themselves.  You too want to make the best deal possible for yourself, so don’t be insulted.  You need to decide if there is any merit to the offer, and respond to it based on its merits, nothing else.  The quickest way to short circuit a negotiation is to take things personally.

7. Keep the conversation moving as time is a key element of negotiation.  The longer the negotiation goes, the better chance you have of making a deal.  Be willing to make concessions as the result of the negotiation needs to be a “win-win” for a deal to happen.  Concessions don’t always have to be made on price…they can also be made on terms such as financing, timing, including personal property, etc. 

8. Don’t automatically offer to “split the difference”.  It’s tempting to just offer to split the difference between the offer and counter offer, but in most cases you will be leaving money on the table.  Never entertain any offer to split the difference early in a negotiation, but if the situation does ultimately arrive where it may make sense, never be the first to offer to split the difference, but encourage the buyer to be the one who suggests it.   

9. If you are willing to walk away from the deal, then you have the upper hand in the negotiation.  Just as the negotiation is not personal, it should also not be emotional.  Of course you will not be able to completely remove emotion from the process, but practicality, resolve, and reasonableness need to dictate the bottom line. 

     Now that you are an expert negotiator, contact an agent here at Loon Mountain Real Estate Company to assist you in putting your skills to work for you.  There is no doubt that we are currently in a Seller’s market here at Loon, a situation which has not occurred in many years.  If you have been thinking of selling, there is not better time than now.  We look forward to hearing from you and to being your Realtor!  

 

Ski New Hampshire Reports Ski Industry’s 2012-2013 Economic Impact To State Is More Than 1.1 Billion

Ski NH, the statewide association representing 33 downhill and cross country resorts, including Loon Mountain Resort, and more than 200 businesses in New Hampshire, including Loon Mountain Real Estate Company, has officially released its 2012-13 economic impact study, highlighting the ski industry’s significant contribution to the state’s economy. The study shows 3.26 million winter and summer visitors came to New Hampshire’s ski resorts, resulting in an all-time high of $1.15 billion in direct and secondary sales for the 2012-13 season.

Overall, the study shows positive trends in long-term growth and increased spending by visitors to New Hampshire’s winter resorts, which has a direct, positive effect on the real estate markets in those areas.

Highlights of the 2012-13 economic impact study include:

• Direct spending by skiers, snowboarders, and non-skiing family members totaled $300.4 million during the five winter months. An additional $58.6 million was spent by summer and fall visitors to ski areas and ski area towns, for a total direct spending of $359 million between May 2012 and April 2013.

• This direct spending led to an estimated $70.1 million in secondary spending benefitting the insurance, banking and real estate industries.

• The majority of winter resort visitors are from Massachusetts (46%) and New Hampshire (34%), with additional guests from Rhode Island (4.4%), Maine (2.5%), Connecticut (2.5%), New York (2%) and other states and countries (8.7%).

“In this most recent study, only 11 percent of the total direct and secondary sales generated by ski area visitors actually took place at the ski areas. This reflects the substantial contribution these ski area visitors are making through spending at hotels, second homes, restaurants, liquor stores, tollbooths and other service facilities,” commented Alice Pearce, President of SkiNH.

Looking to sell your Loon vacation rental property? Is a Section 1031 Exchange right for you?

In a typical real estate sales transaction, the property owner/taxpayer is taxed on any gain realized from the sale.  However, through a Section 1031 Exchange, the tax on the gain is deferred until some future date.*

Under Section 1031 of the United States Internal Revenue Code, the exchange of certain types of property may defer the recognition of capital gains or losses due upon sale, and hence defer any capital gains taxes otherwise due.  Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code provides that no gain or loss shall be recognized on the exchange of property held for productive use in a trade or business, or for investment.

Translation:  A tax-deferred exchange is a method by which a property owner trades one or more relinquished properties for one or more replacement properties of “like-kind”, while deferring the payment of federal income taxes and some state taxes on the transaction.  Both the relinquished property and the replacement property must be held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment.  Property acquired for immediate resale will not qualify, nor will the taxpayer’s personal residence.  If your property is a vacation property which you also rent, it will qualify.  All qualifying real property located in the United States is “like-kind”.  Property outside the United States is not “like-kind” to property located in the United States.

Example:  A seller decides to sell his Loon area vacation rental property to purchase a vacation rental property in Myrtle Beach.  That seller can opt to perform a 1031 Exchange whereby at closing, the proceeds from the Loon sale are immediately invested into the Myrtle Beach property, and any taxes on the capital gains resulting from that sale are deferred until some future date.

The like-kind exchange under Section 1031 is tax-deferred, not tax-free.  When the replacement property is ultimately sold (not as part of another exchange), the original deferred gain, plus any additional gain realized since the purchase of the replacement property, is subject to tax.

The process:

-when you list your property for sale, you need to let your real estate agent know that you will be performing a 1031 Exchange as language to that effect needs to be included in the Purchase and Sales Agreement.

-all proceeds from the sale of the relinquished property are wired directly from the closing to a Qualified Intermediary (QI).  The seller may not receive the proceeds or take constructive receipt of the funds in any way without disqualifying the exchange.

-within 45 days after the date that the relinquished property is transferred, a replacement property must be identified, the value of which must be equal to or greater than the value of the relinquished property

-within 180 days after the date that the relinquished property is transferred, the exchange must be completed, meaning that the sale of the replacement property must be closed within that timeframe.

What is a Qualified Intermediary (QI) and why are they needed?

A Qualified Intermediary is an independent party who facilitates the tax-deferred exchanges pursuant to Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code.  Acting under a written agreement with the taxpayer, the QI acquires the relinquished property and transfers it to the buyer.  The QI then holds the sales proceeds to prevent the taxpayer from having actual or constructive receipt of the funds.  Finally, the QI acquires the replacement property and transfers it to the taxpayer to complete the exchange within the appropriate time limits.

The use of a QI is a safe harbor established by the Treasury Regulations to ensure that the taxpayer does not take actual or constructive receipt of the proceeds from the sale of the relinquished property, which would end the exchange.

Exchanging vs. Selling:

-a 1031 Exchange is one of the few techniques available to postpone or potentially eliminate taxes due on the sale of qualifying properties.

-by deferring the tax, you have more money available to invest in another property.

-any gain from depreciation recapture is postponed

-you can acquire and dispose of properties to reallocate your investment portfolio without paying tax on any gain.

Ultimate use of the property:

The replacement property can eventually be converted to the taxpayer’s primary residence or vacation home, but the holding requirements of Section 1031 must be met prior to changing the primary use of the property.  The IRS has no specific regulation on holding periods.  However, many experts feel that to be on the safe side, the taxpayer should hold the replacement property for a proper use for a period of at least one year.

*Always consult a competent Qualified Intermediary, attorney, or tax advisor to determine how an exchange may best be structured to accomplish your investment objectives.

For more information regarding 1031 Exchanges, please contact Jay Polimeno, Principal Broker of Loon Mountain Real Estate Company at jpolimeno@loonrealestate.com.

 

 

The Twelve Days of Loon Mountain Real Estate Christmas

On the first day of Loon Mountain Real Estate Christmas, our company gives to you…1 of the strongest real estate years in a long time and reason to believe it will continue!

On the second day of Loon Mountain Real Estate Christmas, our company gives to you…2 many reasons for you not to list or buy in this improving market if the time is right for you!

On the third day of Loon Mountain Real Estate Christmas, our company gives to you…3 strongly performing condominium ownership options…wholly owned, quarter-share, and fractional.

On the fourth day of Loon Mountain Real Estate Christmas,  our company gives to you…4 percent mortgage interest rates, and lower, through our lender referral network.

 On the fifth day of Loon Mountain Real Estate Christmas, our company gives to you…5 bad real estate years to forget!

 On the sixth day of Loon Mountain Real Estate Christmas, our company gives to you…6 in-house listings featured on Loon TV Channel 22, updated seasonally, along with general Loon Mountain Real Estate Company spots.

 On the seventh day of Loon Mountain Real Estate Christmas,  our company gives to you…7 days per week that Loon Mountain Real Estate Company is open to service buyers and sellers.

 On the eighth day of Loon Mountain Real Estate Christmas, our industry gives to you…8+ hours per day that our agents are based out of our new office location next to the Octagon Lodge at the base of Loon.

 On the ninth day of Loon Mountain Real Estate Christmas, our company gives to you…9 full pages of listings in our 16 page Loon Area Real Estate Guide, 1250 copies of which are distributed annually.

 On the tenth day of Loon Mountain Real Estate Christmas, our company gives to you…10+ display locations directly on Loon Mountain where your listings are displayed for targeted buyers.

On the eleventh day of Loon Mountain Real Estate Christmas, our company gives to you…11 buying and selling tips included in our Loon Area Real Estate Guide, featuring properties throughout the Lincoln-Woodstock community.

 On the twelfth day of Loon Mountain Real Estate Christmas, our company gives to you…12 more strong real estate months in 2014 to be optimistic about!!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays from all of us here at Loon Mountain Real Estate Company!

Fall is the Best Season to Sell Your Loon Area Property.

     Conventional thinking holds that spring is the busiest real estate season. This is true in many parts of the country, but here in the White Mountains region of New Hampshire, fall is the busiest time of the year for real estate. The fact that winter is just around the corner surely impacts this activity as many second home buyers plan to set themselves up with a ski home that they can move right into once the snow flies. However, another major factor is the large amount of tourists in the area during the summer season. Visitors are here to enjoy all that the Lincoln-Woodstock area has to offer in terms of hiking, biking, swimming, and area attractions while experiencing the most pleasant weather season of the year. Because late spring and summer are historically the busiest time of year for properties to enter the market, new inventory spurs an increase of showings over the summer, resulting in buyers and sellers meeting at the closing table in the fall.
     If you have been thinking about selling your Loon area property, this fall is as good a time as any to enter the market. We are truly experiencing a seller’s market for the first time in a long time, and when inventory is low, the odds of selling your property are better. The property does have to be priced right to market conditions, which a Loon Mountain Real Estate professional will be able to help you to determine by preparing a free Comparable Market Analysis of your property. Also, your property needs to have an attractive curb appeal on the exterior and should be as clutter free, de-personalized, clean, and comfortably functional inside. If you are successful in being able to view your property through the eyes of a potential buyer, you will have no problem presenting your property in its best light.
     The financial component of the real estate market is also a plus for sellers. Although mortgage interest rates are on the rise, relatively speaking, they are still historically low. Also recent developments in the mortgage industry have resulted in greater consumer satisfaction with the credit approval and underwriting process. Lastly, demand is heightened by buyers who are motivated by rising interest rates as they are looking to lock in a rate before they get much higher.
     Fall is a special season in the White Mountains, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors. Take advantage of the exposure your property will get from the leaf peepers, the hikers, the motorcyclists, and auto club members who frequent the area before the snow flies. Fortunately, right behind them are the skiers who are checking out seasonal rental opportunities, which frequently turn into purchases when the perfect property may not be available to rent, but is available for sale.
     If you’re thinking about selling this fall, there’s no time like the present to contact Loon Mountain Real Estate Company to get the ball rolling. If you’re looking to buy, please download the newly printed fall edition of the Loon Area Real Estate Guide to see what’s available, and then contact us to help you through the process. We look forward to hearing from you!

Loon Mountain Real Estate Company-Be Aware

     It has now been just about two years since Loon Mountain Real Estate Company embarked on an aggressive marketing campaign, including a specific concentration on awareness marketing in the Lincoln-Woodstock area. Held to the belief that brand recognition is extremely important in today’s fast paced, immediate gratification driven, and highly technological real estate marketplace, a strong commitment to creating awareness about one’s brand is critical. Working in partnership with Loon Mountain Recreation Corporation and Polimeno Realty, the parent company of Loon Mountain Real Estate Company, we are now starting to see very positive results from this long term commitment. Relationships with the Lincoln-Woodstock Chamber of Commerce; Highland Games; Town of Woodstock 250th Celebration; Lincoln-Woodstock Senior Services; Lincoln-Woodstock Rotary Club; White Mountain Attractions; Littleton Courier; Mountainside Guide; Valley Fun; Loon Channel 22; North Country Center for the Arts; and the creation of the Loon Area Real Estate Guide have all played a huge part in increasing the public’s awareness of and resulting in the acceptance of Loon Mountain Real Estate Company as the preeminent real estate company in the Loon Valley.  Our company has the most expansive and extensive marketing plan of any real estate company in the area…and our sales results confirm it.  Commission revenues to date in 2013 as compared to 2012 are up by over 29%,  which is even more impressive given that 2012′s performance was positive to 2011 by over 20%!  Sellers and buyers are now aware that their real estate needs can best be handled through Loon Mountain Real Estate Company.

     To create strong brand awareness, it is necessary to maximize the visibility of logos, taglines, and corporate identifiers ; create and participate in networking opportunities for personnel; support local organizations financially and through volunteerism; and of utmost importance, be a good neighbor.  This is especially important in a small, rural community where corporate and personal identities often merge and become indistinquishable from each other.  As brand awareness of Loon Mountain Real Estate has strengthened, pressure for the entire staff to live the brand both professionally and personally has intensified exponentially.  The result is a consistently positive experience for the sellers, buyers, seasonal rental owners, and tenants for whom Loon Mountain Real Estate Company works.  We answer to you…always!

Jay, Donna, Amy, Paul, and Kathy

Loon Mountain Real Estate Company News Update!

Big things are happening this month at Loon Mountain Real Estate Company!

First News Update: Loon Mountain Real Estate Company has moved! Please come visit us at our new location still directly on Loon Mountain next to the Octagon Lodge and Whistle Stop Cafe. We have inhabited the former South Peak Real Estate Office building, a truly professional office upgrade to better serve our clients. We are now perfectly situated to better serve all of the “on-mountain” real estate customer and client demands as well as continue to handle real estate needs throughout the Lincoln-Woodstock area.
In Other Breaking News: in order to meet the increased demand in client needs over the course of the last couple of years, Loon Mountain Real Estate Company has contracted with Paul Bankosky, Sales Associate who was most recently contracted with Century 21 Mountainside Realty. Paul and his wife, Andrea moved to Woodstock 9 ½ years ago from Cape Cod. Paul is the parent of two adult children, a son Chris who lives locally in Woodstock and a daughter Cailyn who resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. Paul operated heavy equipment for 23 years on the Cape and then owned and operated a successful bicycle and moped shop for 9 years, before moving to the majestic White Mountains. Paul has had a background in the sales industry for over 19 years and enjoys helping people find their dream vacation homes in the Loon Valley region of New Hampshire. He is also a former member of the budget committee for the Town of Woodstock. In his spare time, Paul can be found riding the scenic byways of New Hampshire on his Harley. Loon Mountain Real Estate Company is proud to welcome the professionalism and integrity that Paul brings to the firm!
Final News Update:  The 2013 Summer Loon Area Real Estate Guide has hit the streets!  Following the inaugural Winter Edition of Loon Area Real Estate Guide, over 5000 copies have been printed for distribution throughout the Lincoln-Woodstock area.  Also, an electronic version of the guide is available by clicking Loon Area Real Estate Guide.

Our real estate family has grown in size, which necessitated our home to grow in size along with it. We are all here at Loon Mountain Real Estate Company to be of service to you. Please call us, or even better, stop by to visit our new home and find out how we can help you to realize your real estate buying or selling dreams. We are here to serve you!

Jay, Donna, Amy, Paul, and Kathy

Real Estate: Buyer’s Market to Seller’s Market…Are We There Yet?

It’s hard to ignore the fact that the real estate market in the Loon area is changing.  What are the indications?  The amount of quality inventory in the Lincoln-Woodstock area is declining as realistically priced properties are selling, and staying on the market for shorter periods of time.  Some properties are starting to sell at or above asking price as it is no longer unusual to receive multiple offers for quality properties.  Land listings which have been on the market for well over a year are starting to sell, as buyers are looking to build their own home once again.  Demand for larger land parcels is also increasing as developers are looking to get back into the market.  Our builder partners are reporting that requests for new construction are starting to filter into their offices at a greater pace than the remodeling requests which they have been living off of the last few years.  First time homeowners are back in the hunt for affordable properties, unfortunately for them often competing with investors who are also back in the market, looking to scoop up more low end and distressed properties with the intent to flip them. Lastly, interest rates are still at all time lows and optimistic thinkers believe that lending requirements which have frankly been overly restrictive, may actually be loosening up.

What does all this positive, confidence driven activity mean for real estate buyers and sellers currently active in the market?  Inventory will become more scarce, with fewer options for buyers.  Prices will start to climb as demand increases and supply decreases.  And if interest rates remain low and mortgage restrictions loosen up to become more realistic, both of the above factors will be further exacerbated!  That folks, will result in a Seller’s market for the first time in quite a few years.  And here in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, timing could not be better as we enter the peak real estate selling season!

Whether you are looking to buy or sell real estate, your best resource is Loon Mountain Real Estate Company, the premier and completely diversified, independent, and uniquely full service Loon Area professional real estate company.  Contact us today to find out how we can help you achieve your real estate dreams!

Loon Real Estate Outlook-Winter Traction Carries Market Into Peak Selling Season

Ever the eternal optimists over the last few lean real estate years, all of us here at Loon Mountain Real Estate Company feel as if we are finally riding the optimism and realities of an improving market into the Loon area’s peak real estate season. As we enter the spring to fall selling season here in the Lincoln-Woodstock area, the gap between a seller’s and buyer’s perception of value is narrowing which is resulting in more sales. Demand is at its highest in 5 years, which is finally positively impacting prices. Some properties are even selling for asking price or higher as buyers are competing for those quality listings being offered at market value. Inventory numbers are still strong, but the quality of those listings is diminishing as the properly valued and well maintained properties are selling.

Cash is still king, as the majority of vacation home closings are cash deals, funded either by primary home refinancing or withdrawals from other investment vehicles. Interest rates are still at all time lows, and bank financing is available, however a borrower needs to be prepared for an extensive and sometimes frustrating process. Mortgage underwriters, still handcuffed by restrictions and guidelines as a result of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacle a few years ago, can make the process stressful, even for the most qualified buyers. The money is available, and at great rates, but borrowers need to enter the process with their eyes open and Metamucil at the ready.

There is no better time than now to buy real estate, and there is no better time to sell real estate if you are realistic about your property’s market value.  Prices are starting to edge up in some segments, while others are still undergoing price reduction adjustments, which are frankly overdue.  View the Loon Area Real Estate Guide if  you’d like to see what is currently on the market in the area.  Look also for updates to this publication this spring, summer, and fall.

Addressing Unsold Loon Area Property in an Improving Market

      The Loon area real estate market has finally started to gain some traction. The fourth quarter of 2012 and the start of the first quarter of 2013 have shown marked increases in property sales here in the Lincoln-Woodstock community, both in the residential and vacation home sectors. Inventory numbers are still strong, but the inventory itself is not necessarily strong as determined by a quality to value ratio. If you have had your property on the market for a while with no substantial activity, maybe the following market reality “points to ponder” may help you to get the offer that you’ve been waiting for:

Is your property priced appropriately to market conditions?

     You’ve chosen a real estate professional you can trust to best market your property, so trust them! They are your best resource to help you understand the realities of the market, and where your property fits in to those realities. A trustworthy broker will give you an honest opinion of value, based on extensive research into the strongest comparable sales within the market area. This value will be based on reality, not emotion or the balance of your mortgage. Remember, emotion and debt obligations can be the greatest obstacles to determining a realistic price for your property. Review your pricing strategy to make sure that your listing price is market driven…period.

Is your property presentable?

     Look at your property through the eyes of a potential buyer.  A vacation home is best presented, and subsequently more sellable, if it is furnished, well-maintained, and in turn-key condition. Most buyers like to think that they can take possession the property the day of the closing and begin enjoying it immediately.  Any personal modifications can be done over time, while the property is being enjoyed.  Sellers may be hesitant to spend money on a property that they are looking to sell, but if that expense becomes an investment which gets the property sold sooner, then it is worth it.  A seller does not want to turn potential buyers away because of cosmetic issues, but this will happen in a buyer’s market, which is what we are dealing with today.  Ultimately, a seller will pay one way or the other…either up front in modifications, or at the negotiating table with a potential buyer.   Also, a seller may need to address the issues before the closing anyway, so having the property presentable will attract more potential buyers initially and is really the best way to market your property. 

Should you offer incentives?

     If your property is priced appropriately, is as presentable as it can be, and is still not garnering serious interest from prospective buyers, then you may need to consider offering incentives.  Buyer incentives could be an offer to pay buyer closing costs; outstanding association assessments or annual dues;  or something specific to the seller that may be of interest to potential buyers.  Broker and agent incentives could be a commision increase; a bonus to a buyer broker; or something specific to the seller that may motivate a broker or agent.  Consult with your real estate agent to see what incentives may work best given your specific property and market.  

     Loon Mountain Real Estate Company is the best positioned and experienced Loon area real estate company to help you to bring your property from a listing to a sale, successfully, as quickly as possible, and at an acceptable price!  The gap between what sellers want for their properties and what buyers are willing to pay is narrowing, which flattens out the supply and demand curve, positively impacting the real estate market.  That being said, it is still imperative to price your property appropriately and present it as positively as possible to maximize its sale potential.  Loon Mountain Real Estate Company is here to serve you!