Express Cash Flow, Commission Advances

Should Realtors Get a Commission Advance?

Express Cash Flow, Commission AdvancesThe Commission Advance Conundrum

Like many businesses, a typical real estate brokerage may have a line of credit available when a cash crunch occurs.  The brokerage can meet its recurring administrative payroll, pay office expense, and maintain regular budgets for recruiting and advertising.  When transactions are slow, similar to a commission advance, the line of credit kicks in to offset expenses.

This arrangement is necessary for the brokerage business and businesses of all kinds to be successful. It is not hard to understand why it is also necessary for realtors as well.   Realtors also have teams that require regular payment, regardless of the agent’s production. Most have listings that require advertisement and promotion.  Since most agents are running their own business, they are also responsible for all of their own expenses, and that can get expensive.

The problem is, realtors who sell 24 houses a year do not typically sell two houses each month. Rather, there is a spike in production in April-September, and a sprinkling of transactions in all other months. During the slow months, agents have little alternative but to ask for an advance. If they go to their broker for this, tension can mount.

A Solution!

Realtors stuck in this situation often don’t know what way to turn, but just like in any business, there is a solution.  A commission advance company like Express Cash Flow can provide an external solution to this problem.  When a realtor goes to a third party company for a commission advance, what can be an informal arrangement becomes formalized.  An amount is given as an advance, for a specific period of time, and there is a fee for doing so.

There is also a clearly laid out extension fee schedule, leaving no room for ambiguity.  The best reason for using a third party commission advance company is that it removes the tension between agent and broker if a deal falls apart.

Yes!  Get A Commission Advance!

More realtors than one would think utilize commission advance services.  Some of the top producers whom are very well known and have massive marketing budgets use commission advances.  If you have aspirations of success, a commission advance should not stop you.

Top Real Estate Agent IRS Audit Triggers

Real Estate Agent IRS Audit Triggers

As the calendar year ends, every real estate agent will look back at how the year went financially.   Your income (or profit) is almost always in an inverse relationship with your tax obligations.  As a real estate agent, you will want to take as many steps as possible to avoid an audit.  With that in mind, here are the top audit triggers, and what you can do to avoid them.

Income Audit Triggers

  1. Income Numbers Don’t Match. Make sure your 1099’s match up to what you report to the IRS.  This is the fastest way to get a letter from the IRS because the IRS will automatically detect a discrepancy.
  2. You made a lot of money this past year. This one is simple, and it is good.  You want to make a lot of money as a real estate agent, that’s probably why you got in the business.  However, increasing your income also increases the amount of your income the IRS could stand to gain by auditing you.  If you are making a lot of money during the year, make sure you can prove everything that you are taking as a deduction.
  3. You made a lot less money this past year. This is not as good.  If you made a lot less money, an audit could be even more devastating.  If you are legitimately reporting all income, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about, but if there’s a chance you might not have reported everything (even by accident), this won’t look good in an audit.

Deduction/Employment Audit Triggers

  1.  As A Real Estate Agent, You’re Self Employed. If you are a real estate agent, this likely applies to you.  Even if you’ve set up your business as a corporation or an LLC , you will still fall into a higher risk category than someone earning a paycheck from a large company.  Be extra cautious about the deductions you take, an make tax liability payments promptly.
  2.  You deduct your home office and/or vehicle. You should!  But as a real estate agent, you have to do this one right.  You should get clear with your CPA on exactly how much is allowable for home office and vehicle deductions, as going over these thresholds can be a red flag that results in an audit, regardless of how much income you make.  Be very careful to follow these guidelines.
  3.  Meal/Entertainment Deductions. Yes, these deductions are allowable, but under strict guidelines.  Are you spending amounts that are “excessive” or “lavish”?  Are you spending amounts that are too large in proportion to your gross income?  All of these things can be red flags that trigger an audit, and you will find yourself in a difficult situation trying to justify these expenses.  Meals and entertainment costs are deductible up to 50 percent if they are ordinary and necessary to your business.
  4.  You were particularly generous this year! The IRS is always on the lookout for people who inflate their charitable donations and use a range based off a percent of income that is reasonable.

Bottom line if you have questions about a deduction that you can take ask your CPA, its better to then going through an audit.

About Us:

Express Cash Flow provides commission advances for real estate agents and brokers.  Check us out at www.ExpressCashFlow.com or call us at 844-818-2274.

#CommissionAdvance, #Real Estate, #Realtor, #businessCredit, #BusinessCash, #BusinessCashAdvance

Realtor Financing – Commission Advances

Real estate is just like any business: it requires capital. The solution:  Realtor financing.

Capital is needed for expenses such as business cards, advertising, office equipment, and transportation, just to name a few examples. Since capital, or cash, only flows into the coffers of a realtor upon completion of a sale, financing these kinds of expenses can be challenging. If you are a realtor and you find yourself particularly stretched financially between sales, there is good news. You can use real estate advances to finance your business.

Top Expenses of Real Estate Agents

Owning your own business comes with a roller coaster of highs and lows, both emotionally and financially. Real estate brokers and agents are not immune to these, and the costs of running a real estate business can add up quickly, especially considering how long transactions take (and they are only taking longer).

Here is a partial list of the cash it takes to be a real estate agent:

Before you stick that first “For Sale” sign in a yard, or show that first home to a potential buyer, you’ll need to spend between $1,500 and $2,000. You’ll need to enroll in a real estate class, typically from a state accredited provider. The costs will vary. In California, for example, courses range from $200 to $700. Once you’ve finished the course, you’ll need to take the licensing exam. In California, the licensing exam fee is $60. Many states also require fingerprinting and background checks, which range in cost.

Realtor Association Fees

You don’t have to join the local association of Realtors in your area, however, membership has its benefits. Members of the association sign a code of conduct, and typically, its board has a regulatory authority over its members. Your fees may include membership in a local organization as well as a state organization. If you live in a metropolitan area that bisects more than one state, you may have to pay membership fees to more than one state or locality. Your local Realtor association also hosts a multiple listing service, or MLS, allowing other agents to peruse the listings of their peers.  There is an annual membership fee to join the association. In most places, the fee costs between $200 and $500 per year. Real estate agents pay this fee once each year.

Multiple Listing Service Dues

You’ll have to be a member of the local association to use your area’s multiple listing service. In addition to the association membership fee, you’ll also need to pay an annual fee to subscribe to the MLS, As the listing service is linked to a geographic area, these fees vary by location.

Agency Fees

Real estate agents who are just starting out must either obtain a broker’s license themselves, or work underneath the supervision of an established brokerage. Many brokers will require that real estate agents contribute to office and franchising costs, and they do this in a variety of ways. The most common ways are to charge a monthly “desk” fee regardless of the agents production, or instead they’ll charge a % of each transactionthe real estate agent closes.

Equipment Costs

You’ll have some access to office equipment, but you’ll also need a top of the line mobile device and associated data plan. What’s more, you’ll also need a durable and efficient laptop, as well as a high end camera (nope, that one on your phone isn’t going to cut it) to take listing photos.   Yard signs, open house signs, lockboxes and lockbox keys also come with the territory.

Error and Omissions Insurance

This insurance protects you if a real estate contract or issue winds up in court. Costs vary per area and per brokerage.

Real estate agents typically spend $3,000+ to become licensed and start their business. Agentswill spend far more each year on marketing and general expenses to keep it going. Though costs vary from agent to agent and state to state, a commission advance service is one way to help fight the challenge of consistent expenses and, at least in the beginning, income that takes a while to become consistent.