Apr 18, 2011

Behind the Scenes: How Realtors work for homeowners

So many people think that most of what a Realtor does involves sticking a sign in a yard or show people around a house. Here is just one of the 'behind the scenes' jobs we do:  We work to help keep down a homeowner's cost of buying, selling and owning their property.

Home ownership is under attack in a way we’ve never seen before. Financially strapped federal, state and local governments are proposing transfer fees and other taxes on real estate to increase revenues and reduce homeowner tax exemptions. Since World War II, home ownership has been a priority in the United States. But that is changing. The way real estate is financed, taxed, and regulated will likely change in the next year or so - and not to the benefit of homeowners.

The Mortgage Interest Deduction is threatened under the tax reform that is part of current efforts to rewrite the federal budget. Mortgage backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may be eliminated and leave no form of federal involvement, which would leave the FHA as the lone option to assist borrowers who can’t find financing in the conventional market. This elimination of a federal safety net will threaten the availability of  30-year, fixed-rate mortgages that so many middle class households rely on.

At the state level, we have successful fought a tax on real estate sales and services. But at the national level, there’s still talk of a national tax on real estate sales and other services. Among the proposals is a 4.5 percent tax on services.

Realtors not only contribute to our state and national PACs that fight for homeowners' rights, but we are also active in political activities to voice our concerns and influence legislation. So when your agent earns a commission, you can know that part of that money goes to our efforts to save you money. I don't know of another industry whose members contribute the way we do to help their customers financially. [where: 75230]

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