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In Los Gatos, Jim Hamilton, who served as auctioneer, reminded members the money raised will go to needy children for presents during the holidays.

The month of October ushers in holiday festivities, beginning with Halloween. It is also the time when members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) help make sure the holidays are brighter for families in the communities where they work and live.

This week SILVAR’s Los Gatos-Saratoga District topped last year’s proceeds at its annual Pumpkin Auction, raising $7,000 for the Family Giving Tree for Operation Reindeer. California Association of REALTORS® 2005 President and District Chair-elect Jim Hamilton was able to encourage members to be generous this year and think of the children.

“Open your wallets, open your hearts. It’s for the kids,” said Hamilton.

Operation Reindeer, now coordinated by the Family Giving Tree, is a program that distributes gifts, including food certificates, to needy families and seniors in the community during the holiday season. REALTORS® and affiliates of the Los Gatos-Saratoga District have supported the program for more than 20 years.

Toward the end of the auction, Jim Myrick shared his own experience of being grateful as a child for receiving presents through the program. After sharing his story, Myrick invited members to stand up and pledge $10 each and followed with a “Heads or Tails” fundraising game. The generous contributions from members and the pledge of brokers Brian Crane with Intero Real Estate Services, Doug Evans with Coldwell Banker and Mark von Kaenel with Keller Williams Bay Area Estates to double members’ pledges brought the auction to the $7,000 amount.
READ MORE AND SEE PHOTOS HERE

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Here Greg Boudreau, who served as auctioneer in Los Altos, enticed members to bid by mentioning the prize the next auction item offered.

In Los Altos last Friday, SILVAR’s Los Altos-Mountain View District’s 6th Annual Pumpkin Auction did not disappoint members either. The event was festive with some members dressed in costumes and many auction items donated by local companies and individuals. The crowd was engaged and did not hesitate to raise their paddles when egged on by auctioneer and District Chair-elect Greg Boudreau. The District raised $5,500 for the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation, thanks to the generous donors and bidders, including members who donated to the Charitable Foundation without expecting an auction item in return.

The auction items included a wine and dine basket, children’s fun basket, teal hand-blown pumpkin, Dom Pérignon champagne, La Rochere champagne flutes, gourmet food items, Star Wars Steins Collectibles Set of Three and gourmet items, sets of Windsor Village platinum status wine with free wine tasting, an electric LED water vapor effect smoking pumpkin, and more. The top prize was a Tahoe Getaway – two-night stay at Tavern Inn condos in Squaw Valley, plus a $100 gift card for a meal at the Tahoe River Grill and lots of other goodies donated by Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty.
READ MORE AND SEE PHOTOS HERE

On top of these donations, at SILVAR’s Oktoberfest Happy Hour to Benefit the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation, members raised $4,000, bringing to total amount of donations to $16,000 just this month! The Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation thanks everyone who contributed at these events and all the event organizers.

The Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation is a trust that makes grants available to organizations from donations by realtors and affiliate members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®. The Charitable Foundation also awards $1,000 scholarships each year to 18 graduating seniors from public high schools in Silicon Valley.

 

 

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A REALTOR® workshop hosted by the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) early this month brought together board directors and representatives of neighboring REALTOR® and multicultural real estate associations interested in strengthening their leadership skills. “Learn to Be a Leader 2” is the second leadership workshop the local REALTOR® association has conducted that was partly funded by a National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Diversity Initiative grant.

Key speaker California Assembly Member Evan Low shared his views on leadership and his experiences as a former Campbell City Council member, mayor and state legislator. Low’s talk was followed by the NAR Leadership 300 course facilitated by Steve Francks, CEO of the Washington REALTORS® Association and NAR Leadership Academy instructor.

Low said the concept of leadership is subjective depending on the characteristics one likes, and it can have misconceptions, often bringing leaders in conflict with opposing sides. “We are put on a pedestal that sometimes is unattainable. We are supposed to have all the answers, but we are human also,” said Low.

Whether in a professional or community organization or politics, a leader should be able to communicate. “Make a person feel you are invested in them. It’s a people business that needs a personalized touch,” said Low.

No matter the differences, leaders should have respect. “A leader is someone who gains your respect because you know where his heart is,” added Low.

The California Assembly member indicated engagement is important, particularly in this environment. “We are all Americans, we are all human. We need to create an environment that supports all of us. We must be all together,” said Low.

READ MORE HERE

 

The REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program (RSVP), the community outreach project through which SILVAR members help seniors with household tasks they can no longer do on their own, took place this week. This year SILVAR partnered with the Avenidas Village (Palo Alto Senior Center) and offered the free service to senior homeowners who are members of the Avenidas Village Program.

On Wednesday and Thursday, more than 28 volunteers from SILVAR helped 18 senior households in Palo Alto. Some tasks RSVP volunteers performed for seniors included replacing light bulbs, changing furnace filters, washing windows, turning over mattresses, changing smoke detector batteries, yard work and some light housekeeping chores.

Seniors welcome the help each year. This year marks the 17th year of SILVAR’s RSVP program, yet not all seniors know about it. Joe, who is 83, and his wife Judy, 75, only learned about RSVP this year through Avenidas Village.

“When I heard about the program, I kind of wondered about it. I asked Judy if we should ask for help and she said, ‘Why not, we could certainly use the help!'” said Joe.

The couple, whose only child lives in Chicago, needed help moving furniture and clearing things in their home. On Thursday, the team of Dave Barca, Jeff Beltramo, Pamela Ghandour and Tom Huff got to work right away. Barca and Ghandour packed books, games and other items on the couple’s bookcase in boxes and helped move furniture, while Beltramo and Huff cleaned the couple’s gutters and yard.

Many seniors are very grateful for the help. One 89-year-old senior exclaimed, “This is like a fairytale where the elves come and help!”

“My windows are cleaner than ever before!” said another happy homeowner.

READ MORE AND SEE PHOTOS HERE

 

self-defense training

Trolan guides two members as they practice a self-defense move she taught them.

The business of real estate is risky because unlike other jobs, most REALTORS® work alone and show properties to strangers. As such, they become targets of crime. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 48 percent of all REALTORS® have felt physically threatened and uncomfortable during a showing. This is the reason why SILVAR past president and Region 9 chair Karen Trolan offers self-defense training for members every year.

“Training saves lives,” says Trolan. “Every agent, whether male or female, should know some self-defense. It’s good to learn some techniques that you can use if you ever need to.”

Trolan, who is wheelchair bound as a result of an accident many years ago, hasn’t let that stop her from self-defense training. She has a Kenpo Jujitsu 2nd degree black belt, Taekwondo 2nd degree black belt, and other high level martial art and self-defense skills, include Jujitsu, Escrima and Sword Arts.

Last Friday, assisted by her husband Steve, who has training in advanced nerve strike fighting, she taught 20 SILVAR members how to use their hands to strike a potential assailant on the upper half of their body and how to aim at parts of the body where they can do the most damage easily.

“The best thing you can do is run away screaming, but unfortunately, there have been agents that haven’t been able to get away. Talking your way out of it might work, but be ready with self-defense. Being able to fight back or getting out of a choke hold could mean life or death,” says Trolan.

“Prevention is the best self-defense,” adds Trolan.

Here are some safety tips to remember:

  • Let people know WHERE you are going, WHO you will be meeting, WHEN you will be back. WHAT to do if you don’t return and the ACTION to take if they cannot contact you.
  • Always meet a new person in a public place and get their ID.
  • Show strength in whatever you do. When you’re walking, look around; don’t look down. Always make eye contact. Speak in a loud voice because this gives the appearance of strength.
  • Refrain from announcing open houses and where you will be on social media.
  • Tell your clients not to show their home by themselves. Alert them that not all agents, buyers and sellers are who they say they are. Tell your sellers to refer all inquiries to you.
  • Remind your clients that strangers will be walking through their home during showings or open houses. Tell them to hide any valuables in a safe place. For security’s sake, remember to remove keys, credit cards, jewelry, crystal, furs and other valuables from the home or lock them away during showings. Also remove prescription drugs.
  • Pre-program important numbers into your cell phone. These may include your office, your roadside assistance service or garage, and 9-1-1.
  • Inform clients who are selling that while you are taking safety precautions, and that you’ve checked and locked the home before leaving, they should double-check all locks and scout for missing items immediately upon their return.

November 6 is quickly approaching, voter guides are going out, and lawn signs are up in full force. Local races are expected to be hotly contested, and at the federal level, we are expecting very close races. Several races in California could decide which party will control Congress.

For those who have not registered to vote, it is not too late to do so. California law allows voters to register up to 15 days before the election. That would make the deadline Monday, October 22. Registration cards need to be postmarked by that day to be eligible to vote on November 6.

You can register HERE. Click on the “Register to Vote Now” link.

 

Even though income and sales volume of REALTORS® have dropped slightly in the past year, membership in the National Association of REALTORS® has increased, as more younger agents continue to enter the industry. According to the “2018 National Association of REALTORS® Member Profile,” membership increased 6 percent from 1.22 million in March 2017 to 1.30 million in April 2018.

“Younger Americans are seeking business opportunities that working in real estate provides,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. But Yun also noted the overall trend is still a slightly older age profile.

Members of NAR account for about half of all active real estate licensees in the U.S. REALTORS® go beyond state licensing requirements by subscribing to NAR’s Code of Ethics and standards of practice and committing to continuing education.

“All real estate licensees are not the same. Only real estate licensees who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They display the REALTOR® logo on their business card or other marketing material,” explained Bill Moody, president of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®. The REALTOR® association has over 4,500 REALTORS® and affiliate members engaged in the business of real estate on the Peninsula and in the South Bay.

“REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are required to complete a two and a half hour Code of Ethics course every two years,” said Moody.

The NAR member survey found the median age of REALTORS® was 54 this year, slightly up from 53, the last two years. Sixty-three percent of realtors are female. The typical REALTOR® is a 54-year-old white female who attended college and is a homeowner.

Sixty-five percent of REALTORS® are licensed sales agents, 21 percent hold broker licenses, and 15 percent hold broker associate licenses. New members tended to be more diverse than more experienced members. Twenty-five percent with two years of experience or less were minorities, up from 22 percent last year.

According to Moody, the national survey reflects the profile of incoming members in the local REALTOR® group, which has over 4,500 members. “Our new members definitely reflect a younger and more diverse group of agents,” said Moody.

Impacted by low inventory, the typical number of transactions decreased slightly from 12 transactions in 2016 to 11 transactions in 2017. REALTORS® said the main factors limiting potential clients in completing transactions are difficulty finding the right property (35 percent), housing affordability (17 percent), and difficulty in obtaining mortgage financing (12 percent).

 

 

Khanna

U.S. Representative Ro Khanna met with members of SILVAR, the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR), and Bay East Association of REALTORS® at the SCCAOR office on Wednesday. Khanna represents the 17th Congressional District, which includes the cities of Cupertino, Fremont, Milpitas, Newark, San Jose, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale.

Khanna said he is proud of Silicon Valley because the region is the economic engine of the country and provides its citizens with many economic opportunities for growth and success. Khanna noted it is the valley’s turn to give back to the country and expand these economic opportunities to the rest of the country. Only then will the country be able to break out of its gridlock and be competitive in relation to the rest of the world.

“We have the best and the brightest. When you think of the valley, you don’t just think of the engineers and people in high tech. You also think of the electricians, the REALTORS®, dentists, doctors. It’s the community that works cooperatively toward economic achievement, which has resulted in economic success,” said Khanna. “We are privileged, our kids are privileged, because of all the opportunities we have living in the valley, but we aren’t going to make it as a nation if those economic opportunities aren’t extended to the rest of the country.”

Khanna’s goal in Congress is to create economic opportunities and a pathway for people regardless of where they live. To that end, Khanna shared his three concrete ideas to make this happen: 1) install high speed internet for all, which will enable anyone across the country to work for high tech and other companies that are based anywhere in the country, including California; 2) create technical institutes across the country, much like land grants, with two-year certifications in different industries to prepare people for real life skills; 3) provide tax incentives for companies to hire people in places that have been left out of economic progress.

READ MORE HERE

 

 

 

 

All REALTORS® MUST COMPLETE ethics training between the January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018 cycle or be suspended by NAR.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) requires that every REALTOR®, in order to maintain membership in the Association of REALTORS®, must complete a 2 1/2 hour Code of Ethics course every two years. This means all REALTOR® MUST COMPLETE the ethics training at some point between the cycle of January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018. Failure to comply with this required ethics training is a violation of a membership duty and will result in suspension and possible termination from the member’s primary Association.

It is this mandatory ethics training and membership with NAR that differentiates REALTORS® from real estate agents. Although both are real estate licensees, REALTORS® proudly display the REALTOR “®” logo on the business card or other marketing and sales literature. REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are expected to maintain a higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real estate.

REALTORS® can take the ethics training online through NAR. It’s easy and it’s FREE. Visit NAR CODE OF ETHICS ONLINE for more information on online classes and this mandatory NAR requirement. Code of Ethics training is also included in CalBRE license renewal requirements, so if a member has renewed their license between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018, their Code of Ethics requirement is covered.

If you have already taken Code of Ethics training for this period outside of California license renewal, via NAR or the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) or elsewhere, please email a copy of the certificate to your primary Association. If you are a member of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR), you can email a copy of your certificate to membership@silvar.org before the deadline of December 31, 2018. The next compliance cycle will start January 1, 2019 and end on December 31, 2020.

On Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations for a new provision allowing many owners of sole proprietorships, partnerships, trusts and S corporations to deduct 20 percent of their qualified business income. The new qualified business income deduction is available for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017. Taxpayers can claim it for the first time on the 2018 federal income tax return they file next year.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the deduction will have a significant, beneficial impact on members. NAR believes this deduction, which is included in the IRS and Treasury Department’s release of proposed regulations, will be 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. NAR will continue thoroughly reviewing the rule and will be releasing more information when the process is completed.

SEE IRS SUMMARY

SEE IRS RULE

NAR TAX REFORM SUMMARY AND RESOURCES

Although year-over-year home sales have fallen for the second consecutive month, appraiser Roger Miller with Taketa Miller & Associates recently told members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® that they shouldn’t be too concerned about recent changes in the housing market.

The housing market is “doing just fine overall,” said Miller.

In fact, Miller said this is the longest period of appreciation he has witnessed in his 40 years in business and he believes it will continue for a while.

Homes have appreciated an average of 20 percent in Silicon Valley. Miller indicated the year-over-year median home price is up 23 percent in Los Gatos and up 23 percent in Saratoga. In Mountain View, the median is up a whopping 25 percent, in Cupertino 19 percent, and in Sunnyvale and Los Altos 17 percent.

Miller said inventory has increased, but sales are down in some places and days on the market have lengthened from an average of seven to 10 days to one month in some areas. It’s not a bad thing, said Miller. It just means the market is settling down.

Watch the specific micro market you are in, said Miller. In places closer to Apple and Google, homes are still selling at a quick pace. In Cupertino, a 2,700 square foot home sold for $2.36 million in just nine days. In Sunnyvale, a $1.9 million home sold in nine days. In Mountain View, a 1,400 square foot home priced at $2.3 million sold in eight days.

The Silicon Valley appraiser said the market usually slows down from the second week of May because of graduations and summer vacation. With the school year starting earlier this year, he expects it to heat up again around the second week of August.

“Take a vacation and be ready to come back in mid-August,” Miller told the REALTORS®.

Miller said the local economy is especially good, with Google’s plans of expanding to San Jose. Unless the giant companies like Facebook, Apple, Google, LinkedIn and eBay are transported somewhere else, he believes the housing market will stay hot for some time.

“I don’t see the market coming down in a while. It’s a little down, but even as it settles down, it will settle down at a higher price,” said Miller.

November 2018
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