Attorneys At Law

Attorneys practicing in and around the Chicagoland area. Experienced in the practice areas of Real Estate Law, Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Litigation, Social Security Disability, Business Law, & Estate Law.

Attorneys At Law - Attorneys practicing in and around the Chicagoland area. Experienced in the practice areas of Real Estate Law, Mortgage Foreclosure Defense Litigation, Social Security Disability, Business Law, & Estate Law.

More Americans Using Real Estate Agents

Real estate agent with keys

In a study that surprised many, a larger percentage of Americans than ever are using real estate agents to buy and sell their homes. 

Conventional wisdom had been saying for years that the internet and new technologies were going to result in fewer people turning to real estate agents for help in buying and selling their homes.

It was assumed this would be especially true for Millenials, that they would turn to websites and apps to buy and sell their homes.

However, the opposite has turned out to be true. Millennials are actually more likely to use a real estate agent today than Baby Boomers are.

 

Key Findings

Home lending daysThe most noteworthy finding in the study conducted by Harris Insights & Analytics was that in 2018, a full 90% of consumers used real estate agents to buy and sell their homes.

That was the highest percentage of agent-assisted buyers and sellers that this ongoing study has recorded.

That 90% figure was a 5% increase over 2014, when 85% of consumers used real estate agents to buy and sell their homes, and a 9% increase from 81% when this ongoing survey was first done in 2001.

 

Real Estate Agent Usage by Age Group

For several years there has been a discussion about how Millenials would change the home buying and selling market.

Home for sale

It has been assumed that that generation would abandon using real estate agents in favor of searching for homes using only websites and web apps.

However, the data in this study showed that Millenials were extremely likely to use a real estate agent.

According to study data, 91% of buyers and sellers from ages 18 to 34 used real estate agents in their transaction.

Surprisingly, Millenials were even more likely to use a real estate agent than Baby Boomers (ages 54-72) were. Just 81% of consumers ages 55 and older reported having used a real estate agent in their transaction.

Gen Xers (ages 35-50) were the most likely to use a real estate agent, at 94%.

 

Real Estate Agent Usage by Education and Income

Another key finding was that higher educated and higher income earners were the most likely to use a real estate agent.

94% of people with a college degree used the service of an agent. Only 83% of those with a high school degree used a real estate agent.

98% of people earning $75,000 or more used a real estate agent, while only 79% of those who earned $50,000 a year or less used an agent.

 

How Consumers Choose an Agent

How does this increased number of people using real estate agents choose one?

“Referrals from people I trust” was the most common answer. A large majority, 69%, of said a referral was either extremely important or very important. A full 92% said it was important in their decision.

The second most common answer was “agents who had listings like my home”. 64% of consumers said this was a factor.

62% said “looking at websites with ratings of agent’s performances” was a factor.

“Having a personal relationship with the agent” came in fourth with 57%.  In fifth place at 52% was “member of a Realtor organization.

 

Realtors Are Important, But So Are Websites

How People Find a Real Estate AgentThe majority of consumers still depend on a real estate agent to buy or sell a home.

However, websites have become extremely important for consumers when searching for homes or realtors. 92% of consumers reporting using websites for information about real estate agents.

 

Top Websites for Finding Real Estate Agents

  • Realtor.com
  • Zillow.com
  • Google.com
  • Facebook.com
  • Loopnet.com

Most Visited Real Estate Websites

  • Zillow.com
  • Truglia.com
  • Yahoo! Homes
  • Realtor.com
  • Redfin.com

 

About the Study

The new housing consumer study was conducted by Harris Insights & Analytics.  It was underwritten by the California Association of Realtors, The CE Shop and REAL Trends.

The study measured the responses of 1,000 people who had bought or sold a home during the previous six months of 2018.

 

Sources
More Americans are using real estate agents than ever before – Houseingwire
Top 15 Most Popular Real Estate Websites May 2018 – EbizMBA
Buyers and Sellers Still Need You – Realtrends
90% of all Buyers and Sellers Used an Agent, Up 9% From 2001 – Realtrends

 


* Advertising Material: To the extent that the information in this post is interpreted as attorney advertising in accordance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct or within the meaning of state bar rules from all other localities, this statement is made pursuant to those rules.

Specialties: Specialization claims are prohibited by Illinois Supreme Court Rules and we do not claim to be specialists. The content of this e-mail is organized and presented for the sole purpose of general information. None of the included content should be construed as legal advice. Viewing this e-mail or e-mailing the account holder does not create an attorney-client relationship. NOTICE: This page may be considered advertising material.


 

The Law Offices of Lora Fausett P.C. provides estate law representation, including power of attorneyliving willsprobate law services, trustswills, and more.

Located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and serving clients in DuPageCookKane, Will, and Kendall Counties.

For Information Call 630-858-0090


Home Ownership Expo

Home Buying Expo - Aurora, IL - November 3, 2018

Home Ownership Expo – November 3, 2018

The City of Aurora and community partners want to help you prepare for homeownership.

We’re offering educational workshops to help you prepare for homeownership! Industry experts will provide presentations during two concurrent workshop tracks; one in English and one in Spanish. Over 20 exhibitors will be available to answer your questions throughout the morning.

 

Don’t miss out on:

  • Free continental breakfast
  • Trolley tours around Aurora
  • Raffle prizes (must be present to win)

 

THIS IS A FREE EVENT!

 

Workshops include:

  • Understanding Credit
  • Down Payment Assistance Programs
  • Mortgage Loan Process
  • Home Selection Process

 

Event Details:

Date: November 3, 2018
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Address: Prisco Community Center – 150 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora, IL 60506

Registration is required and must be completed by October 31st

 


>>> Click here to register for free


 

Home Buying Expo - Event Details

 

Join us for FREE educational workshops (concurrent tracks in English and Spanish) and over 20 exhibitors that can help answer all your home buying questions!

We’ll provide FREE continental breakfast and trolley tours of local businesses and initiatives coming on-line in Aurora.

Doors open at 9:00 a.m. at Prisco Community Center located at 150 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora, IL.

While this event is offered at no charge to you, registration is required for each attendee over the age of 18. Each attendee over the age of 18 is entered for a chance to win a raffle prize. Other requirements may apply. Must be present to win.

 

Thank you to our sponsors!

Gold Sponsors:
Fifth Third Bank
First National Bank
Huntington Bank
The Neighbor Project

Silver Sponsors:
Country Financial
NICAR

Bronze Sponsors:
Adriana Hartmann, Allstate
Associated Bank
Ponce & Reyna Agency, Farmers Insurance

 

>>> Register Now!

 


* Advertising Material: To the extent that the information in this post is interpreted as attorney advertising in accordance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct or within the meaning of state bar rules from all other localities, this statement is made pursuant to those rules.

Specialties: Specialization claims are prohibited by Illinois Supreme Court Rules and we do not claim to be specialists. The content of this e-mail is organized and presented for the sole purpose of general information. None of the included content should be construed as legal advice. Viewing this e-mail or e-mailing the account holder does not create an attorney-client relationship. NOTICE: This page may be considered advertising material.


 

The Law Offices of Lora Fausett P.C. provides real estate law services including loan modificationsbuying and selling legal assistanceshort sales and deeds in lieumortgage foreclosure defense, and more.

Located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and serving clients in DuPageCookKane, Will, and Kendall Counties.

For Information Call 630-858-0090


How to Maximize Social Security Benefits for Surviving Spouses

 Retirement Benefits

This story originally ran in Chicago Tribune:

Retirement: How to maximize Social Security benefits for surviving spouses

Many retirees know that spouses can coordinate their claims to boost their total benefit payout from Social Security.

But many may not realize that if they are widowed before claiming benefits, they may also have options to maximize Social Security by coordinating the timing of claims for their own retirement benefit and a survivor benefit.

Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration isn’t likely to fill them in on this strategy.

A report this year by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General found that 82 percent of surviving spouses taking benefits could have received a higher monthly benefit by restricting their application to survivor benefits only and delaying their retirement benefits up to age 70.

Related Post: How Much Will I Get From Social Security if I Make $100,000?

Social Security AdministrationAs a result, the Social Security Administration underpaid about $132 million to more than 9,000 beneficiaries age 70 and older, and it will underpay about 2,000 more beneficiaries who are under age 70 about $9.8 million annually once they reach age 70, according to the report’s projections.

While changes in the law a few years ago affected strategies for coordinating spousal benefits, those changes didn’t affect survivor benefit strategies.

“You do still have the option to take one benefit and delay the other benefit,” says James Mahaney, vice president of strategic initiatives for Prudential Financial.

 

Social Security Retirement CoupleSurviving spouses need to consider whether they can maximize benefits by taking the survivor benefit first and later switching to their own benefit or by taking their own benefit first and then switching to a survivor benefit.

You can claim a survivor benefit as early as age 60 (age 50 if disabled), but it is reduced if claimed before the survivor’s full retirement age.

It won’t grow past the survivor’s full retirement age — the most a surviving spouse receives is 100 percent of the benefit the deceased spouse received or was eligible to receive at his death.

But the survivor’s own retirement benefit — which can be taken as early as 62 at a reduced amount — can grow beyond her full retirement age. Each year she delays her own retirement benefit past full retirement age, her benefit grows 8 percent a year up to age 70.

Once you figure out which benefit could grow the largest, you’ll likely want to delay that benefit. Be aware, the benefit amounts and the age you claim will make a difference.

 

Example

End of Life PlanningLet’s say a widow at her full retirement age is due a $2,000 survivor benefit or her own benefit of $1,800.

With a full retirement age of 67, she could earn 24 percent in delayed-retirement credits if she takes her own benefit at age 70.

She could claim a reduced survivor benefit worth $1,430 a month as early as age 60 and take that until she switches to a boosted benefit of her own at age 70, worth $2,232 a month.

If she lives to age 90, she would receive a total of $707,280 in benefits. (All totals exclude annual cost-of-living adjustments.)

If she instead takes her own reduced monthly benefit at 62 worth $1,260 and then switches to the full monthly survivor benefit of $2,000 at age 67, her total payout by age 90 would be $627,600.

That’s about 11 percent less than the first scenario, in which she earned the delayed-retirement credits.

 

(Rachel L. Sheedy is editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Send your questions and comments to moneypower@kiplinger.com. And for more on this and similar money topics, visit Kiplinger.com.)

(c) 2018 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

This story originally ran in Chicago Tribune and was written by Rachel L. Sheedy, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Walking on beach image by Max Pixel

 


* Advertising Material: To the extent that the information in this post is interpreted as attorney advertising in accordance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct or within the meaning of state bar rules from all other localities, this statement is made pursuant to those rules.

Specialties: Specialization claims are prohibited by Illinois Supreme Court Rules and we do not claim to be specialists. The content of this e-mail is organized and presented for the sole purpose of general information. None of the included content should be construed as legal advice. Viewing this e-mail or e-mailing the account holder does not create an attorney-client relationship. NOTICE: This page may be considered advertising material.


 

The Law Offices of Lora Fausett P.C. provides estate law representation, including power of attorneyliving willsprobate law services, trusts, wills, and more.

Located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and serving clients in DuPageCookKane, Will, and Kendall Counties.

For Information Call 630-858-0090


The Most Common Estate Planning Mistake

Estate Planning This Way

Estate Planning is an important step for planning how your assets are distributed to your heirs.

In the article below, we discuss how to avoid one of the most common estate planning mistake so your loved ones can avoid this costly headache.

 

This story originally ran in Forbes:

How To Avoid One Of The Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes

There’s a mistake families at every level of wealth often make when they go through their estate planning process, and decide how to allocate money to their heirs and to charity.

An extremely common practice is to list charities as part of a will, or revocable trust, and in many cases (perhaps most)—that’s a mistake.

Property tax bills Kane & DuPage CountyWhat you need to consider is the inherited value of the holdings after tax. Throughout their working lives, most people have some form of retirement account: an IRA, 401k, thrift savings plan (TSP), etc. Those assets usually don’t pass through a will or a trust but by beneficiary designation.

So let’s examine how most people have set up their plans, and look at an alternative tweak that can make sure as much of their assets as possible go where they intend.

Most people leave their IRA assets to their spouse and kids, and if they are charitably inclined they allocate some dollars to charity through their wills or trust.

Here’s how that looks:

 

Common Scenario

A couple has a $1 million home, $1 million in after-tax savings account, and $1 million in an IRA. And upon the second spouse to pass, the $1 million in an IRA and the house to go the kids. Of the after-tax savings, the estate donates $100,000 to charity, and the remainder ($900,000) goes to the kids.

The problem here is that as the children receive the IRA funds, and whether they take the IRA distributions immediately or over time, these funds are income-taxable to the kids. What if they handled this an alternative way?

 

Alternate Scenario

First Time Home Buyer Mortgage WorkshopSame couple – $1 million home, $1 million after-tax account, and $1 million IRA. The couple leaves $100,000 of the IRA to charity. The kids receive the $1 million in savings and the home and $900,000 of the IRA.

Why is this special or better? By donating to charity from the IRA, the couple is donating the least tax-efficient assets to charity. What most people don’t realize is that when a charity receives these dollars, they don’t pay any tax on the funds.

If this family makes this change, they accomplished the same result of the charity receiving 100K, but ensure that the kids will receive more on an after-tax basis.

Related post: Millennial Estate Planning – What You Should Know

Keep in mind there are two forms of coordinating this. The will or trust is typically drafted or amended by an estate planning attorney. The IRA beneficiary designation is a simple form filed with the brokerage firm or through their employers. It’s important to make sure you coordinate the two to prevent confusion and make your intentions clear.

Social Security Retirement CoupleOne important disclaimer—this change doesn’t make sense with a Roth IRA of a Roth 401(k). Since these distributions to the heirs will be free of income tax, it does not make sense to leave these funds to a charity.

 

The purpose of estate planning is making sure that your money flows where you intend. Usually the government is last on that list. By tweaking not who gets what, but who gets which, there’s a chance for more to pass to the people and organizations most important to you.

Related post: End of life planning essentials

 

This story originally ran in Forbes
Original unaltered sign image by Max Pixel


* Advertising Material: To the extent that the information in this post is interpreted as attorney advertising in accordance with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct or within the meaning of state bar rules from all other localities, this statement is made pursuant to those rules.

Specialties: Specialization claims are prohibited by Illinois Supreme Court Rules and we do not claim to be specialists. The content of this e-mail is organized and presented for the sole purpose of general information. None of the included content should be construed as legal advice. Viewing this e-mail or e-mailing the account holder does not create an attorney-client relationship. NOTICE: This page may be considered advertising material.


 

The Law Offices of Lora Fausett P.C. provides estate law representation, including power of attorney, living wills, probate law services, trusts, wills, and more.

Located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and serving clients in DuPageCookKane, Will, and Kendall Counties.

For Information Call 630-858-0090


Illinois Real Estate License Law Changes 2018

Real Estate red tape

Photo by Max Pixel

 

In 2018 Governor Rauner signed two new bills focused on licensing rules for real estate brokerages, appraisers and real estate professionals in Illinois.

These new laws are designed to reduce red tape, paperwork, and compliance costs for real estate businesses.

The changes will not only help real estate brokerages but home buyers as well.

Read the full story below that was originally published in Chicago Agent Magazine:

 

Illinois real estate licensure rules get revamped

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law Aug. 13 two bills focused on licensure rules for the state’s real estate brokerages, appraisers and other real estate professionals. Drafted with support from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) as well as the Illinois Realtors Association, the governor’s office said the new laws will reduce red tape and compliance costs for real estate businesses.

Home for saleHouse Bill 5210 is a win for small business and licensed professionals in Illinois,” Gov. Rauner said, referring to one of the bills signed into law that focused on revising brokerage licensing requirements. “It is another step forward in our goal of reducing the amount of red tape, paperwork, and regulatory burden that puts our business owners and our state at a disadvantage.”

Under the new rules included in H.B. 5210, brokerage firms will be able to submit licensing information for all registered offices and employees at the same time, rather than submit separate forms for each individual office. The process of submitting, updating or renewing licenses will be made easier with the state’s recently unveiled online services portal.

According to Kreg Allison, director of the Division of Real Estate at the IDFPR, these new rules for brokerage licenses will not only reduce the direct costs of compliance by eliminating duplicitous application fees. Even more significant, he says, is the time that brokerage firms will save by getting all the steps required in the license renewal or revision process out of the way at once, using a single online platform to make changes in real time.

Illinois home with tax lienStreamlining the brokerage licensing process is good news for consumers as well, Allison says.

“Now consumers will be able to look up a licensed firm and find everyone affiliated with that firm, including each of its offices and who manages those locations,” Allison says. “The data is going to look much better and be easier to find as we move everything online.”

Gov. Rauner also signed H.B. 5502, aimed at increasing the number of licensed real estate appraisers operating within Illinois. According to Rep. Tony McCombie (R-Savanna), increased education and licensure costs have contributed to a shortage of appraisers in the state. Allison explained that the new law would allow appraisers to maintain their license to operate in Illinois indefinitely while introducing other rule changes that encourage greater numbers of licensed real estate appraisers in the state.

These latest bills and the digital records initiative are part of a continuing effort by state officials to streamline professional licensing requirements for all regulated industries.

“On behalf of more than 47,000 Realtors throughout Illinois, we support this effort and appreciated the opportunity to work with IDFPR in crafting and passing this legislation,” said Illinois Realtors CEO Gary Clayton in a statement. “This is a sound policy initiative that will streamline the regulatory process for Illinois businesses.”

This story originally appeared in Chicago Agent Magazine and was written by Andrew Morrell