Realtors to the rich have started getting a strange new kind of phone call.
Wealthy homeowners with properties for sale are suddenly demanding that the brokers get them a deal in the next five months. The reason, they say, is the fiscal cliff.
If the Bush tax cuts expire and capital-gains tax rates go up on January 1, sellers in the high-end real-estate market could owe millions more in taxes on their sales. As a result, many wealthy sellers are racing to close before 2013. Others who were thinking of putting their homes on the market next year or later are listing them this summer.
Call it “The Mansion Cliff.” Real-estate experts say that as more of the wealthy sell out of fear of a tax increase, they could drive up inventory and lower prices in the top of the real estate market, which has been one of the few bright spots in the economy. Any softening at the high end, or a spike in inventory, could ripple through the housing market and add new pressure to prices, although it could also increase sales volume.
“This has become a key issue for sellers,” said Stephen Games of Pacific Sotheby’s Realty in San Diego. “Sellers want to get a deal done before the election. They want to avoid the uncertainty.”Page 1 of 5 | Next Page