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Selling Features Agents Forget to Mention

Selling Features Agents Forget to Mention

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as an agent is not mentioning all the “selling features” of the property you are listing. When you post the listing description online or print marketing material, you want to make sure you are referring to all of the focal selling points of the house. There are the obvious selling points such as the home being located in a desirable neighborhood or sitting on acres of land. However, there are some selling features that are not quite as noticeable, but still have the potential to draw in buyers. Here are 3 selling features that real estate agents sometimes forget to mention that could attract potential buyers.

1. Surrounding Attractions and Amenities

Mentioning that a house is located in a desirable neighborhood or gated community can often be obvious, but some agents fail to mention the close proximity to certain attractions and amenities. Just because a buyer might be familiar with or has heard of the neighborhood, don’t assume they know everything there is to know about it. Some buyers could be relocating from out of town and may not be familiar with the area, and they would appreciate knowing what attractions and amenities are around.

With a lot of people being health conscience these days, short walking distances can be a real perk. Put in your listing description if there are any restaurants, parks or other attractions within reasonable walking or biking distance. The fact that the home is within walking distance of shopping districts, universities and some big-time employers could seal the deal.

2. Energy Efficiency

Everyone is looking for ways to cut down on their monthly bills, and one way to do so is by having a home that is energy efficient. Energy saving amenities such as double paned windows, new insulation and lower than average energy bills for the area are well worth mentioning. While being energy efficient isn’t the “most attractive” feature of a home, it could be the icing on the cake for budget-friendly buyers.

3. Storage Space

One big selling point that often gets overlooked is having a lot of space to store things. This is a huge selling feature in bigger cities where space is a valuable commodity. Don’t be afraid to mention that the property has extra storage in the basement, added closets in the master or built-in storage in the garage. If they are coming from a rental, they will appreciate the extra space since most rentals come with very little storage.


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: 1099-S: The Tax Form Your Title Company Files For You

1099-S: The Tax Form Your Title Company Files For You

1099-S: The Tax Form Your Title Company Files For You

Taxes are never a fun subject to talk about, since they’re often unnecessarily complicated and generally end with you having less money in your pocket. To add to the complexity of filing taxes, the IRS requires that you report not only your standard income, but also certain miscellaneous earnings, such as the profit you make if you sell your house.

Yes, if you sell any real property, the IRS will want to know about it through the 1099-S tax form. But there’s good news! If you use a title company to close on your property, they will file the 1099-S form for you. Just don’t forget to tell your accountant that you sold a property come tax season!

That being said, it’s important that you provide the title company with all of the information they need to properly file your 1099-S form, such as your tax ID and social security number. Failure to do so will not only keep the title company from being able to provide the IRS with correct information about the sale of your property—you could be subject to civil or criminal penalties for failure to provide the information.

Your 1099-S amount reported is the gross proceeds of the sale, not your net proceeds. Gross proceeds include cash received, notes payable to the seller, and any liabilities of the seller assumed by the buyer. Gross proceeds don’t include separately stated cash received for personal property.

It should be noted that if the sale is your primary residence, the transaction may not be reportable depending on certain circumstances, but always ask your tax professional.


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: The Basics of Intellectual Property

The Basics of Intellectual Property

To understand patents, trademarks and copyright—the main forms of intellectual property—let’s compare them to board games. Imagine a game rule that says, you can make up a new rule. If the banker allows the rule, you get exclusive use it for 20 turns. If others like it, they must pay you to use it during those turns. That’s roughly like a patent; patents protect new and useful ideas for a time, so inventors have a chance to profit.

Trademarks are about names and designs that identify & distinguish things. Picture a game where only one player gets to use the label ‘HotelsIncluded’ to describe the properties they sell – which always have a hotel. Other players could sell property with hotels, but can’t use ‘HotelsIncluded’ to describe them. That’s the basic idea of trademarks.

Finally, picture a game that includes blank cards. Anything a player writes or draws on a card becomes theirs to own, sell or trade. Since their original ideas are fixed & written down, their ownership rights are protected. That’s a loose analogy for copyright – creators of original works that are fixed & tangible have legal rights to those works.


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: Stay on Top of These 4 Home Maintenance Items

Stay on Top of These 4 Home Maintenance Items

Stay on Top of These 4 Home Maintenance Items

It doesn’t matter whether you’re going to sell your house in the near future or down the road—it’s wise to keep up with the maintenance of your home. If you don’t properly maintain your home it can affect the property’s value…not to mention potentially be dangerous for you and your family. A well-maintained home is something most homes that sell fast and for top market value have in common. Here is a list of a few home maintenance items a lot of homeowners fail to think about but could be imperative to the sale of your home.

1. Make Your Front Door Inviting

The front door is the first thing buyers are going to see as they enter the home, and first impressions mean a lot. This doesn’t mean you have to replace your front door. It may need something as trivial as a new door handle and lock or a fresh coat of paint. What kind of maintenance the front door requires depends on what it’s made of. If it’s a hardwood door that has a natural finish to it, it may require cleaning, sanding and applying a new polish. Also, a fresh-looking front door will help with the curb appeal.

2. Check Your Water Heater

The water heater is one of the most common appliances people fail to think about maintaining. It could be the fact that most water heaters are in places that are rarely seen like in the corner of basements and garages. Where ever yours may be located, we recommend checking it out once a year or maybe even twice a year for older units. Having it checked is better than coming home to a deluge of water because the water heater has busted. It could end up costing a lot more than just a new water heater if you have to start tearing out drywall and replacing flooring.

3. Have Home Filters Checked Regularly

You’d be surprised how important it is to change the heating and cooling filters. Your air conditioning unit has to work extremely hard to push air throughout your entire house. Failing to change filters or have them cleaned on a regular basis makes your unit work harder than it has to and shortens the life of the unit. To ensure your unit is running as efficiently and effectively as possible, it’s wise to change the filters on a monthly basis or as recommended depending on the type of filter you use.

4. Garage Doors Need Maintaining

When you check to see if your garage doors are functioning correctly, start with the remotes. Make sure they have batteries and are working correctly. Next you want to make sure the doors are running smoothly on the tracks without much jerking and you may also need to lubricate the chain. It’s also common for garage door systems to have sensors or electronic eyes at the bottom near the garage floor on each side of the door to detect movement. This is important to ensure the safety of small children and pets.


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: The Legal Basics of Divorce

The Legal Basics of Divorce

When a couple marries, they gain the legal right to do certain things together, such as own property or owe debts. Divorce is the legal termination of marriage; the legal status, responsibilities and arrangements of the married couple are cancelled. Divorcing requires that these all be resolved in some way. Property and debt has to be divided. Custody, visitation and support of children must be addressed. If the divorce settlement commits one spouse to financial support of the other after marriage — called ‘alimony’ — that must be defined as well.

Legally-acceptable reasons for divorce may include both ‘no-fault’, where parties divorce without officially blaming each other, and fault-based divorce, where individuals’ actions are accepted as grounds. While there are other forms of change in marital status, such legal separation and religious annulment, they are not the same thing as legal divorce.


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: Fireplaces in Warm Climates

Fireplaces in Warm Climates

Fireplaces in Warm Climates

When correctly implemented, fireplaces add a charming focal point to a room. Not only do they look great, but the variety of fireplace styles can range from rustic and cozy to sleek and sophisticated. They can also be decorated for each season and are the perfect place to hang stockings come Christmas time. But nowadays with central heating, fireplaces tend to serve a more aesthetic purpose than a functional one, though that isn’t to say you couldn’t build a fire if weather permits.

But that’s just it—if you live in a tropical/subtropical climate like Florida, it’s rare for the weather to permit such a thing. Not only that, but a good deal of houses aren’t even built with chimneys anymore, as by the 1950s central heating was the ticket for keeping buildings warm. Bad news for chimney sweeps!

Fortunately, many modern fireplaces don’t require a chimney to function. Ventless gas fireplaces are popular for their cozy heat-generating capabilities, while electric fireplaces are a cheaper alternative that can add to the atmosphere of a room without the heat, which is ideal for warmer climates where heat is not in short supply.

While fireplaces are not specifically accounted for in home appraisals, they can add value to a house given the right circumstances. A fireplace can potentially add $1000 or more to a home’s value, depending on the area and how much the buyer values it as a home amenity. However, this is more likely to occur in more expensive homes, as fireplaces don’t always make the must-have list of homebuyers looking for an affordable home.

In the end, whether or not a fireplace adds value depends on individual preferences. Some people won’t buy a house without a fireplace, while others don’t want to shell out the extra money to have one. As with any home feature, it’s all about matching the right buyer with the right house.


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: Buyers Closing Timeline: A To-Do List

Buyers Closing Timeline: A To-Do List

Buyers Closing Timeline: A To-Do List

Within the first few weeks after the contract is signed, you will work to hire a team of professionals that you will need to close your transaction and make sure your mortgage, insurance and property documents are at your fingertips.

Soon, you will move into your new Cape Coral or Fort Myers home, perhaps starting a new job or blending a family. But before any of that, there are steps you need to take. Once you have negotiated a deal acceptable to both sides and have a signed contract in hand, you can expect to spend about 6-8 weeks working to get to the closing table. Not all of the burden will fall on you, but you’ll need to dedicate time to completing the tasks on your closing to-do list.

To be certain your closing process will unfold smoothly, check your steps on a to-do list that you can also use to check off completed items.

Hire a real estate title insurance company immediately after reaching agreement with the seller/buyer. Sometimes the seller will choose the title company. This can be agreed upon during contract negotiations.

1-2 WEEKS AFTER SIGNING CONTRACT

• Arrange for escrow through a title company and deposit the buyer’s earnest money with the company.
• Be ready to give your information to the title company when they call or email you. This is important as they are putting all the pieces together.

2-3 WEEKS AFTER SIGNING CONTRACT

• Find your personal financial information that the lender will need (mortgage documents, property survey, insurance documents, etc.).
• Have a home inspection and any other inspections completed that may be needed.

3-4 WEEKS AFTER SIGNING CONTRACT

• Make final arrangements with the title company for additional information they or you need.
• Cooperate with the lenders requests, the longer it takes for you to provide information, the longer it will take to close your loan.

4 WEEKS BEFORE CLOSING DAY

• Hire a moving company
• Set a closing date and time with the title company.
• This is an exciting time in your life. Take care of the details that need to be handled to get to the closing table, and when the closing date arrives, you’ll be ready.


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: Haunted Houses in the Real Estate Market

The Basics of Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a set of legally-defined ways for individuals or businesses to settle debts without full payment, by following rules that govern their assets and financial actions for a period of time. There are two broad types, liquidation and reorganization.

Under liquidation, the party in debt agrees that their eligible properties and assets can be taken and sold to pay back debt. Some types of property are exempted.

Under reorganization, the party in debt retains their property, but commits to repay some portion of the debt, typically over time. While it provides relief from debt, bankruptcy has serious and long-term effects, affecting credit ratings, the cost of future borrowing, eligibility for financing and purchases, and more. Bankruptcy decisions in the US are Federal. The US Constitution authorizes Congress to establish ‘uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States’. States are allowed to define exempt and non-exempt properties, but they do not make bankruptcy judgements.


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: Haunted Houses in the Real Estate Market

Title Junction’s Christmas Angel Tree

Title Junction’s Christmas Angel Tree

Title Junction is partnering with The Salvation Army to host an Angel Tree for the 2019 Christmas season!

Angel Tree? What’s That?

The Angel Tree Program was created by the Salvation Army in 1979 to provide toys and clothing to children in need. In Lee County alone, there are over 28,000 children who live in poverty. Many of their parents don’t have the financial means to buy them any gifts for Christmas, so that’s where we step in!

Participating organizations and businesses (like Title Junction) hang Angel Tags from a Christmas tree, with each child represented by a numerical code along with information about their age, gender, clothing size, and what they want for Christmas. People can choose the Angel they want to adopt from the tree and then purchase gifts for their Angel.

This year, Title Junction has been entrusted with 40 Angels who each need to be adopted by a caring soul…like you!

How Do I Adopt an Angel?

1. Pick your Angel from the Angel Tree.

2. Buy new toy(s) and/or clothing for your Angel.

3. Drop off the new, unwrapped gift(s) in a bag with the Angel Tag attached at Title Junction by December 5th. If you have more than one bag, make sure to label them with your Angel’s code as well.

Then What?

Once Title Junction receives all of the new, unwrapped gifts for the Angels, the Salvation Army will take the gifts and distribute them to the families. You won’t know the identity of your Angel, but you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve brought joy and hope to a child this Christmas season!


For more information give us a call at 239.415.6574 or email us at marketing@title-junction.com.

Title Junction Office Address:
6214 Presidential Court, Suite F
Fort Myers, Florida 33919

Business Hours:
Monday-Friday
9am-5pm

Haunted Houses in the Real Estate Market

Haunted Houses in the Real Estate Market

Haunted houses are a staple of Halloween festivities—some people go out of their way to make their houses look as spooky as possible, while others pay money to walk through properties that range from eerie to downright horrifying. However, most people aren’t too keen on the idea of living in a haunted house on a permanent basis. The reasons can range from superstition to foreseeing trouble selling it down the line.

So what qualifies a house as haunted? Well, usually some sort of tragic event has to take place inside, such as a murder or suicide, which gives it a bad reputation and the designation of ‘haunted house.’ Whether the house is actually haunted is up for debate, but the stigma of the label does affect market value, and there are actually legal precedents in place pertaining to how they’re handled in the real estate market.

Depending on the area, sellers may be legally required to disclose whether the house they’re selling is ‘haunted’ or not, including the details of why. This precedent was set after a 1991 lawsuit known as the Ghostbusters ruling, where a woman unknowingly purchased a haunted house and then sued the seller for not disclosing its haunted nature.

Additionally, haunted houses tend to attract thrill seekers and paranormal enthusiasts, some of whom are more than willing to trespass to vandalize or otherwise disrupt the property.

So if you come upon a house that’s selling for less than comparable houses in the area and doesn’t seem to have any defects that would explain why, it’s worth double checking with both the seller and neighbors whether the house is considered haunted or not. It’s not likely, but hey, better safe than sorry, right?


At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: Shipping Container Homes: What You Should Know

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