`Tis the season when it’s popular to reflect on the year that is drawing to a close, so here’s a collection of my favorite columns from 2018. If any of them strike your fancy, you can find links for each of them online at www.JimSmithColumns.com.
Jan. 4, 2018 — Golden Real Estate: ‘Promoting and Modeling Environmental Responsibility’ This column describes how we completed the transition from mere energy efficiency to a “net zero energy” office.
Jan. 25, 2018 — Life Transitions Are at the Heart of Most Clients’ Real Estate Needs. Divorce, marriage, relocation, medical crises and becoming “empty nesters” are a few examples.
Feb. 1, 2018 — Here Are Some Obstacles (Real or Imagined) Faced by First-Time Home Buyers. Down payment, credit issues, student loan debt, and unwarranted risk aversion are some of the obstacles covered.
Feb. 22, 2018 — Owned Your Home for a Long Time? Here Are Some Ideas on Limiting Capital Gains Liability. Although not a CPA myself, I offer some advice such as “Don’t put your heirs on the title of your house — let them inherit it.”
Mar. 8, 2018 — How Can Sellers Prepare for the Buyer’s Inspection? Here’s Some Practical Advice. The information in this column can help to save you money when the buyer asks for repairs.
Mar. 15, 2018 — Buyers and Sellers Ask: Why Did the Appraisal Come in at Exactly the Contract Price? This is a common question, and I help answer it this week.
Mar. 22, 2018 — Off-Market Real Estate Sales Hurt Sellers by Shutting Out Buyers Who Might Pay More. When someone offers to buy your house, treat it as an opening bid. You don’t want to sell your home to less than it’s worth, do you?
Mar. 29, 2018 — How Can Buyers Win a Bidding War? Here’s What Our Agents Do. It’s easy for agents to ask buyers to submit their “highest and best,” but an auction approach often nets you more money for your home.
April 5, 2018 — What If Sellers and Their Agents Don’t Disclose Known Defects in Their Listings? The new version of the Sellers Property Disclosure is a disservice to both buyers and sellers. I explain why.
April 26, 2018 — Just in Time: A Breakthrough in ‘Rent-to-Own’ for Those Who Can’t Buy Now. Golden Real Estate has an investor who will buy a home that is being offered for sale, then rent it you. And you receive an 5-year option to buy!
May 3, 2018 — As Warm Weather Arrives, What Are the Different Ways to Cool a Home? Alternatives to conventional air conditioning includes whole house fans, evaporative coolers and heat pumps.
May 24, 2018 — What Is Title Insurance, and Why Do Buyer and Sellers Need It, Anyway? This is typically your second biggest expense when selling a home. I explain its purpose.
June 14, 2018 — Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Sell Your House Without Putting It on the Market. To get the highest price, you need to expose your home to the broadest range of buyers possible, something that happens only if it appears on the MLS.
June 21, 2018 — I Love to Write About Real Estate, But This Week It’s Personal. This well-received column was about Donald Trump. I just couldn’t stay silent any longer, and I was flooded with thank-yous for writing it.
July 26, 2018 — The Home Buying Process: How It Works in the Internet Age. The role of the real estate agent has changed now that most buyers do their own online searching before calling their agent.
Aug. 16, 2018 — Should the MLS Include a Condition Rating for Each Listing? Here’s How It Might Work. In this column, I explain how this could be done and how it would better serve buyers.
Aug. 30, 2018 — What You Need to Know About Agents Who Claim to Have a Buyer for Your Home. They could be lying to get you to list with them.
Sept. 13, 2018 — Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Made by Others When Trying to Sell Their Homes Perhaps you’ll recognize some of these common mistakes.
Nov. 8, 2018 — Senior Homeowners Are at Risk of Being Conned/Scammed Out of Their Homes. This is a must-read! Too many seniors are falling victim to scammers.