QUESTION: Getting list of buyers from broker is...


August 22, 1993

QUESTION: Getting list of buyers from broker is advised

When considering the selection of a broker when looking for a home to purchase, is it proper to ask for names and phone numbers of several people for whom he recently found a home -- and then call those people for a recommendation?

ANSWER: It's very proper and wise.

In many cases, a broker may be reluctant to reveal this information, being unsure just what those past clients might say. But if he or she is consistently productive in professional service and maintains good communications with clients, the broker will be glad to provide a list. It's just good business.

One broker, Ford Laurin, makes it a practice to immediately give prospective clients a complete list of buyers for whom he has found a home over the past couple of years, with their respective phone numbers and addresses of purchased homes.

"Give any of them a call. Ask them how they would rate the quality of my service," he tells prospective clients. It makes a powerful impression.

Denver expected to lead in rising home prices

Q: Where are home prices expected to increase the greatest amount this year?

A: Denver tops the list of expected home price increases, according to the current issue of Real Estate Perspective, a newsletter published by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate service.

For Denver, the projected rise in the median price of single-family homes this year is 6.6 percent. The expected increase is primarily due to an anticipated surge of Californians moving to Colorado, the report stated.

James M. Woodard

Copley News Service

(Send questions to James M. Woodard, Copley News Service, P.O. Box 190, San Diego, Calif. 92112-0190.)

Gift transfers can reduce a donor's taxes

Q: What is the tax rate for a gift transfer of real estate? Is the assessed value the basis of the tax?

Harry Furst, Glenwood Landing, N.Y.

A: Tax on real estate, even as a gift, is progressive. If the property is worth more than $10,000, it is subject to federal estate taxes. The value of the gift is based on the fair market value at the time of transfer, and only the donor is required to file a federal tax form (Form 709).

Gift transfers can help minimize a donor's taxes.

Everyone qualifies for a "unified credit" of $192,800 from the federal government. This means the first $600,000 of an estate worth less than $10 million is tax exempt.

Donors are allowed to give up to $10,000 annually to as many people as they wish without incurring any gift tax.

Someone with an $800,000 estate, for example, could avoid paying taxes on $200,000 by giving away $10,000 in one year to 20 different people.

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