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NAR Leads the Dialogue on Sustainability, Develops Resource Guide

As the real estate sustainability movement continues to grow, the National Association of Realtors® is proud to introduce the Sustainability Resource Guide, a resource especially created for associations and members to positively impact business practices.  NAR research shows real estate consumers are requesting more information about the sustainability aspects of their real estate investment, and 40 percent of Realtors® reported that their MLS now includes green data fields. NAR created this resource to help guide growing consumer interest in sustainability by providing an evaluation of sustainability topics in any market, the parties involved and how sustainability is integrated into the build environment.

“The Sustainability Resource Guide tells NAR’s sustainability story and guides real estate associations and members through common topics, case studies, industry partnerships, policy overviews, and internal programs and research. Evolving industry standards are changing the conversation about sustainable home features, and NAR is taking the lead on real estate sustainability among real estate agents, brokers, trade associations and consumers. We envision this guide as a one-stop resource that curates significant principles, initiatives, organizations, policies, programs, research, and contacts at the intersection of sustainability and real estate,” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty.

The guide is primarily focused on local associations to help field member questions about sustainability to provide an understanding of the broader conversation and the resources available in the sustainability area.  For more information, visit: https://www.nar.realtor/sustainability-resource-guide

Story Idea: Tips for Deep Cleaning a Home

Keeping a home spic and span can be a time and energy consuming process. However, there are many ways to get and keep a home immaculately clean without breaking a sweat. Cleaning soap scum out a tub can be a backbreaking task, but homeowners can cut the effort in half by attaching a scrubber to a power drill and using it to do the scrubbing for them. Cleaning mineral build-up on a showerhead doesn’t have to involve tedious scouring, just attach a bag of vinegar to the showerhead using a rubber band and soak it overnight – presto, good as new!

Story Springboard:

Check out HouseLogic’s spotlight “The Most Annoying Household Problems Solved!” for more tips and tricks on keeping a home clean during the summer. Speak with homeowners about the most significant cleanliness issues they face during the summer. Talk to a REALTOR® about advice he or she gives new homeowners about cleaning concerns they may not have considered as renters.

Big Win for Realtors in IRS Guidance on 20% Income Deduction

On Wednesday, August 8, the IRS released its proposed guidance on the new 20 percent business income deduction.

The deduction, included as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in Congress last year, was a huge win for Realtors.

With Wednesday’s announcement, that victory becomes even more significant for real estate professionals and small businesses across the country.

Under this deduction, a wide range of real estate professionals, including those who are self-employed and those operating through partnerships, LLCs and S corporations, can take 20 percent off the top of any income received through pass-through businesses, provided annual income doesn’t exceed $157,000 for those filing individually, or $315,000 for married couples.

The calculation will depend on how your business is structured. Other limits could also come into play, but the basic structure is very favorable to you as a small business or independent contractor.

The key development from Wednesday’s announcement is the IRS’ new recognition of eligibility for a wide range of real estate professionals, including, as previously stated, those who are self-employed and who are operating through partnerships, LLCs or S corporations.

Realtors were integral to the favorable interpretation in the proposed guidance. Your association made a forceful case—both in a detailed letter sent to the agency on June 19 and in a face-to-face meeting with IRS officials in early August—that certain limitations on the deduction, based on income, were not intended by Congress to apply to real estate professionals. And that’s the interpretation the IRS has taken in its proposed guidance.

As Bloomberg News reported on August 7, “the National Association of Realtors … met with OMB (Office of Management and Budget) and Treasury Department officials to discuss proposed rules outlining computation of the new write-off for pass-throughs.”

NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall had this to say about Wednesday’s annoucement:

Over the past several months, the National Association of Realtors® has worked with the IRS and Treasury Department to ensure real estate professionals can benefit from the Section 199A 20% deduction for pass-through businesses.

We were pleased with yesterday’s announcement, and believe this new 20% deduction will have a significant, beneficial impact on real estate professionals and America’s small businesses. Specifically, we anticipate the deduction to become available to a wide range of real estate professionals, including those who are self-employed as well as those operating through partnerships, LLCs, and S corporations.

This ruling is a victory for many of our 1.3 million members, those who represent all aspects of residential and commercial real estate. NAR continues to review all relevant information in the recently released proposed regulations on Section 199A, and will communicate with our members as new details emerge.

The new deduction is available for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017. That means you’ll be able to claim it for the first time on your 2018 federal income tax return, beginning next year.

Look for detailed NAR guidance by mid September. It’s a complicated provision, and how it works for you is going to depend on many factors unique to your business structure and your income. As always, consult with your accountant or tax attorney on how this deduction should be applied in your situation.

Cheri Elliott, Broker-Associate
Century 21 Select Real Estate
4601 Post Street
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
Direct: 916-939-7762
Text: 916-812-0382
Email: elliott-c@sbcglobal.net
DRE#01320399

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Cheri Elliott | 916-939-7762 | Contact Cheri
4601 Post Street - El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
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