Is it Really Worth Hiring a CPA?
Tuesday, April 05, 2016
Written By: Shavonne Martin

It’s every REALTOR’s most beloved topic… taxes!!! Many real estate professionals had a great 2015, whether brand new to real estate and especially seasoned agents. And yet, this time of the year when many agents are busy gearing up their production the last thing they want to focus on is organizing their business receipts and preparing their taxes. Most agents prepare budgets at the end of the year to allocate business expenses in an effort to stay financially responsible. However, somewhere between multiple offers and closings it becomes obvious that it is really worth it to hire a CPA.

Hiring a CPA can serve as a great resource and in most cases will provide systems and tools that will help track your spending. Additionally a CPA should be able to help you find deductions and tax saving solutions that you may not be aware of.  If your business purchases properties or does property management a CPA can provide reports which include development expenses, operational cost, and profit reports. A CPA can also develop cash-basis reports, income statements, lease abstracts and other finance-related items. CPA’s provide real estate investors realistic and effective financial and investment strategies.

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Setting the Stage for Affordable Housing
Tuesday, March 01, 2016
Written By: Shavonne Martin

For many listing agents, staging is an integral part of their marketing plan to get a home sold. According to the most recent Profile of Homes Staging, released by the National Association of REALTORS®, 47% of buyers are positively affected by home staging. Among listing agents, NAR reports that 34% stage all their homes, 13% stage homes that are difficult to sell, and only four percent stage “high-priced” homes.

Why do agents stage homes? 81% of agents interviewed believe that it helps potential buyers visualize the property as “their home”; 28% believe that it helps buyers overlook property faults. According to the same report however, 19% of agents who work with buyers, and 10% of agents who work with sellers believe that staging has no effect on the price of a home.

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What Does 2016 Have in Store for the WC?
Monday, February 01, 2016
Written By: Shavonne Martin

Williamson County is a hotbed of growth; anyone who has lived here, even if for a short period of time,  can testify that new housing communities pop up daily, there is roadwork on major throughways, and slightly longer commute times are a reality for Williamson County residents and are indications of a booming economy. The Texas State Data Center marked 2015 as the year that Williamson County surpassed 500,000 residents; showing a 16.8% increase in population from the 2010 census. This means that Williamson County now accounts for more than 25% of all population in the metro area. 

How does this growth affect real estate? From 2010 – 2015, the average of the monthly median home prices increased 31.5% (see chart to the right) and the number of homes sold nearly doubled (5,694 in 2010 and 9,621 in 2015).

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Your Association of the Future
Wednesday, January 06, 2016
Written By: Shavonne Martin

Happy New Year from the Williamson County Association of REALTORS®!

We are excited about the work we are doing at the Association for our members and are confident that the “Best is Yet to Come.” WCREALTORS is currently working on a complete redesign of the WCLIFE website. WCLIFE - Life in Williamson County is your guide to selling, buying, and relocating to Williamson County. We are excited for a number of reasons:

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Changing of the Guard
Friday, December 04, 2015
Written By: Jack Stapleton

The great honor of leading this Association in 2015 has been mine, and I am profoundly grateful and thankful for the opportunity. This year has been an unbelievable experience of learning and growth for myself, leading an association of hundreds means there are a lot of people that need to be heard, many people with strong opinions, some will voice them with thunder while others with a whisper. It is important that leaders listen to those who speak with thunder, and listen even closer to those who whisper. In a member driven Association, every voice counts, and every voice matters.

The year is quickly coming to a close. December has arrived and has done so in the blink of an eye. December symbolizes the changing of the guard and the process begins of handing over the torch. Although, we still have much work to do, this has been a year of great accomplishments in which I am very proud and humbled.

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It’s About Time
Wednesday, November 04, 2015
Written By: Jack Stapleton

U.S. House speaker, Paul Ryan, gavel in hand, stepped into his new office to discover it was stained with a heavy odor of cigarette smoke. His predecessor, John Boehner, was a heavy smoker and had regularly smoked in the office for years.

The topic of health is personal to Ryan and is known for being fitness-conscious and for good reason. His father died at age 55 of heart disease. Heart disease runs in Ryan’s family and both his father and grandfather died in their fifty’s. Ryan was sixteen years old when his father died and has since been practiced regular intense cross-training fitness programs so he can maximize his longevity and time.

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The Benefits of Membership
Thursday, October 01, 2015
Written By: Jack Stapleton

2015 has been an exciting year for WCREALTORS. Our Association has been hard at work this year tackling tough issues, supporting our local communities, and offering the finest educational opportunities possible. Membership is up over 18%, and WCREALTORS has surpassed the 1600 member mark.

Market conditions have seen the same increase across Williamson County, with the median sales price increasing from $175,000 to $245,000 over the past four years. In addition to an increase in sales prices, transaction numbers are steadily increasing. Williamson County is home to a plethora of economic development, new construction, new restaurants, and retail stores which are breaking ground all over the region, and we have a strong and steady buyer demand.

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A Central Texas MLS?
Monday, August 31, 2015
Written By: Jack Stapleton

Part of our duty in Association leadership is to continually explore new and innovative ideas that will help our members achieve their goals and maximize their income. The MLS is the single biggest piece of technology REALTORS® have in their toolbox and it is critical that our MLS solution be continually reviewed to ensure we are recommending the best state of the art technologies for both the short term and long term needs of our Members.

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You Can Make a Profound Difference
Saturday, August 01, 2015
Written By: Jack Stapleton

REALTORS® do a lot for our respective communities all across our nation. We donate our time, our money, our experience, and our talents to help those in need. For many, they take their name tags off and join together in the name of the Association, and for others they do it on our their own.

As our membership numbers across Texas continue to climb, it is ever more important for us to educate our newcomers on our Core Standards. In 2015, the National Association of REALTORS® began requiring all state and local REALTOR® Associations to align with a new set of Core Standards including raising the bar on advocacy and consumer outreach. Of course, when doing anything charitable it should come from an innate desire to thanklessly give back, but there is also a necessity for both increased promotion of these activities and member attendance.

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AMP & Project Upstream
Thursday, July 02, 2015
Written By: Jack Stapleton

I was present for the unveiling of AMP and Project Upstream to the REALTOR® leadership this past May at our Regional Caucus in Washington D.C.

We were told during the Caucus that the NAR Board of Directors were scheduled to vote that afternoon on a proposed expenditure of up to $12 million dollars over three years to fund the project.

They had only a few minutes to explain the importance of the project and brought in the CEO of RPR to explain further. We were told that a group of both large and small brokerage offices were actively vetting companies to develop a national single MLS backend-data repository sidestepping the MLSs and their long tangled messy history.

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