Are you trying to sell your house for the very first time? If yes, then it is quite understandable that you are going through a period of confusion. Most of the homeowners will not brush up their home-selling skills until and unless they are deciding to purchase a new house. When you are selling your house, your prime motivation is to move to a new place.
Purchasing and selling of house are two different processes, and it involves different feelings and emotions. The very first thing that you need to do to maximize the potential of profit gaining from your house is to hire a real estate agent or a listing agent and then follow up the tips that are mentioned below.
Define Your Home Selling Goals
You will have to find a real estate agent with whom you can discuss your goals related to home selling and evaluate the specific situation. The circumstances and goals will impact the way you are selling your house. If you don’t have a lot of time in your hands, then there is a high chance that you would like to attract more customers by lowering your price in the initial stage. Whenever you are working with any top agent, then it will help you to maximize the probability of getting an optimal outcome by providing a proper recommendation.
Price Your Home Accurately & Correctly
Most of the homeowners will have the target of selling their house at a great price without spending a lot of time. It is essential to price your home accurately and correctly. You can compare your house with other houses that are present in your area and check whether your price is reasonable with the current market value. In this way, you will be able to make more profit. A lot of factors will affect the price of your house like how well-maintained your house is, the age of the house, the location of the house, etc.
Hire a Great Listing Agent
As the home seller, it is essential for you to understand the importance that the listing agent has. The task of selling a house is filled with hassles. These real estate agents have a better capability when it comes to selling a house. One needs to interview all the real estate agents properly and hire the one that can efficiently sell your property. It is an essential move for people who are not professional when it comes to dealing with real estate. Only a great listing agent will know about the market trends, home valuation, price negotiation, tax protocol, and legal documents.
Stage Your Home Like a Pro
It is essential to take advice from your real estate agent when it comes to preparing the house for sale. Many houses will look much better if half of the furniture is removed. If you want to get a good return from your house, then you can also paint your house and consider it to be a one-time investment. It is essential to perform home staging to boost the appeal of the house and its selling power. Make sure you are doing all the minor repairments.
Be Flexible With Home Showings
One needs to be very much flexible when it comes to showing your house. Most of the potential buyers will like to analyze your house by checking it from inside. If the house is already empty, then showing your house wouldn’t be a problem. If you want to avoid awkwardness, then you can definitely leave the house when the agent of the buyer shows up. Most of the potential customers will always prefer to look into the house without any interference, which might not be possible if a lot of people is living inside the house.
Respond Promptly to a Purchase Offer
After the person who is going to purchase the property from you have finalized your house, you will have to provide them with all the needed information and right documentation. Poor communication can lead to a delayed transaction. If you can hire a solicitor and a real estate agent, then you can complete the process without any problem.
Make sure you are creating a good note of all the things that are mentioned above. These six things will help you to sell your home in a less stressful and easier manner. Selling your home for the first time can be pretty much daunting, so make sure you are doing at with perfect planning. The expenses that you are going to do for preparing your house for sale must be included in the selling price of your home.
STOCK MARKET ANALYSTS DISCUSS HOW TO INVEST DURING A RECESSION
- Online tool looks back at how world markets recovered after the last recession in 2008
- Analysts take learnings from previous recessions to offer insight on how to invest during a period of instability
- Certain areas of the stock market can increase in value during a recession
The economic crash due to Covid-19 is a unique event, however stock market experts have taken learnings from previous recessions to predict the stocks that may increase in value during this time.
IG Markets, Europe’s largest online derivatives trading provider, has taken learnings from previous recessions, using historical data and online tools such as Decade of Trade, which visualises world stock market trends over the 10 years since the 2008 crash, to provide predictions about the areas of the stock market to watch during an inevitable recession.
Stocks to watch during a recession
Under expansionary circumstances, stocks that have strong growth prospects such as healthcare and consumer staple sectors, for the future typically command lofty valuations and produce high returns, as investors bank on the company’s ability to generate more income as time progresses. This phenomenon typically results in high price to earnings (P/E) ratios like those currently present in some of the market-leading tech stocks.
In the event of an economic downturn, however, these profit-hopeful stocks are often discarded as investors align their income assumptions with slowing growth and lower consumer spending.
On the other hand, stocks with stable – but often more modest – income generation tend to be more insulated from dramatic stock shocks that frequently accompany recessionary periods. These stocks are known as “defensives” and, broadly speaking, include the utility, healthcare and consumer staple sectors. Given their profitability profiles, they become an important collection of stocks to keep an eye on when the broader market encounters a rough patch.
Consequently, a portfolio comprised entirely of equities is remarkably vulnerable in times of recession, particularly at the onset when losses are often steepest. With that in mind, it may prove beneficial to look outside of the equity market for some of the best recession-proof investments.
Gold can be an investment during a recession
XAU/USD is widely regarded as a safe haven asset for its stable store of value and tangibility. Further still, gold can act as an inflationary hedge, making it an attractive investment in times of recession and in periods of lower interest rates when inflation may threaten to take hold. Gold has demonstrated an almost innate ability to retain its value during contractionary periods, thus making it an attractive investment in times of uncertainty.
The US dollar: an attractive currency during recessions
Sharing similarities with gold, the US Dollar also boasts safe haven attributes. Due to its role as the world’s reserve currency and the backing of the world’s largest economy, the US Dollar is both incredibly liquid and sought after. Issued by the Federal Reserve, the Greenback is arguably the safest currency in the world and has become a quasi-currency of exchange in many nations where domestic currencies have had their purchasing power fall, due to inflationary pressures or other economic woes.
Consequently, holding US Dollars during periods of uncertainty or turmoil is often viewed as an attractive alternative to other assets. Evidenced in the Great Financial Crisis when the United States dragged the rest of the world into a global recession, the US Dollar surged almost 25% during 2007 to 2009 even as the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to the floor.
The Dollar’s strength was largely owed to the fact that the Federal Reserve possessed ample liquidity and the US economy was soon in a position to recover while others were mired in recessions – some of which have never fully recovered.
Joshua Warner, Anaylst at IG Markets, said: “While there is a strong argument that a global health pandemic like Covid-19 has been on the radar of governments and institutions for decades, the lack of preparedness of most governments and businesses shows how unprecedented the current situation is.
“It is almost guaranteed that the UK will enter a recession in the coming months. The Bank of England (BoE) has said it is likely to be the sharpest one on record, while Chancellor Rishi Sunak has warned it will be a ‘severe recession the likes of which we haven’t seen before’.”
Peter Hanks, Junior Analyst at Daily FX.com, said: “With the benefit of hindsight and the lessons of the three most recent recessions, it can be argued the best recession investments are not stocks at all, but rather assets that retain their value even as growth slips. Therefore, if equity exposure is a must-have in your portfolio, the US Dollar and gold should also be given consideration – particularly for the risk-averse investor or one who suspects an impending recession.”
To learn more about the stock market over the last 10 years to understand future trends, please visit: https://www.ig.com/uk/special-reports/decade-of-trade
SECURING THE EVIDENCE FOR VAT AND TAX
Filippa Jörnstedt, Senior Regulatory Counsel at Sovos
Businesses are almost entirely digital in their nature. With sophisticated technology now in the reach of most, the measurement and reporting of business transactions have transitioned from slow, manual processes to being automated, allowing finance teams room to breathe. However, alongside the positives of these advancements, there also comes a responsibility to understand the wide-ranging requirements of governments worldwide when it comes to financial transparency.
Recently, we’ve witnessed a shift towards more continuous transactional controls and reporting schemes carried out in real-time, as governments look to reduce their VAT gaps and discrepancies in their economies. Historically, the pressure was on businesses to report their own transaction data, but with the new formats being used, governments are beginning to take matters into their own hands. This makes logical sense, as there is far more complex real-time data being submitted by businesses that governments have access to.
The figurative stick that is VAT control reform is often introduced together with a carrot: removing the need to collate and submit periodic reports, such as VAT returns, to the tax authorities. Ideally, this means less pressure on businesses. That is, until a problem surfaces, such as data being interpreted in the wrong way, or a dispute arising about the timing of a transaction. Often, these problems originate from reporting being mishandled or through the clearance of transaction data, so keeping a rigorously organised and in-depth record of financial information is imperative for businesses to avoid these problems. Aside from this, it allows them to substantiate any government reports and fix any issues. The difficult aspect, though, is how to build these archives in this way.
Digital paper trails
In previous iterations, financial employees were responsible for collating and archiving paper invoices, receipts and other data to provide evidence of their business activity. So, the process of archiving isn’t new, but it needs to reflect the digital times we find ourselves operating in. Simply put, this isn’t a manual task anymore, but many businesses have seemingly just moved to e-archiving without too much thought to just how crucial it is to get right. Modern tax authorities are asking for specific details behind each transaction, paying particularly close attention to time and date, so the archive cannot simply be moved to a digital filing drawer.
Looking at a recent example, India’s reporting requirements now involve invoice data to be sent to the authorities in real-time, for pre-approval and registration onto a state-operated platform. The invoice will only be considered valid following the generation of a unique Invoice Reference Number by the same platform.
Looking at this from an audit perspective, if a business is later questioned on a transaction then they need to be able to quickly find the correct evidence of that particular transaction, as well as any government response message in relation to that transaction, or risk major fines. Alongside India, also countries closer to home such as Poland and Finland are shifting the way they operate with invoicing and reporting, following Italy’s successful system change last year.
And this is a clear trend; audits into business activity are only going to become more precise and closer to real-time as further governments see the benefits of adopting these methods of tax control. Real-time reporting and mandatory e-invoicing makes sense more widely as these systems have proven to be very effective at reducing VAT gaps, with evidence of this going back decades in areas of Latin America.
An authority shift
As outlined, with further countries adopting real-time reporting or variations of this, the tax authority is becoming more central to processes as they receive and gather details on VAT owed by businesses. Reporting in this way makes sense, but pressure on finance teams to keep incredibly detailed data-trails is more important than ever. Tax authorities are increasingly building rich data records of their own as they are receiving more and more granular data in real-time. As a result, the source-of-truth no longer primarily lies with the taxpayer’s financial records, but instead with the tax authority’s ledgers.
To keep pace with this, businesses can no longer simply file away invoices digitally, but also need to record as much data as possible to corroborate the authorities’ records of their transactions. By doing so, they are building an evidence base to be able to dispute any queries or wrong decisions to safeguard their activity. Keeping this front of mind will make the process of addressing any problems far easier than relying on old, less-detailed archives.
Throughout the EU, there are many variations in archiving laws that need to be adhered to. German requirements are set out in their GoBD principles, but in Italy the regulations are far more technical and detailed, reflecting their tax setup. This Italian model asks businesses to provide a documented description of their archives, an overview of its process, but also a delegation plan to show assigned responsibility for those processes. This isn’t an easy set of requirements, especially with laws frequently changing.
The whole aspect of archiving has long been important, but now the stakes are higher; it’s not simply a box-ticking exercise. A complacent, old-school approach to both invoice and transaction data archiving could now result in severe repercussions for businesses. A robust digital strategy is vital.
Managing archives to reflect the new normal
Digitalisation does have the benefit of taking some of the pressure off businesses, but this switch in data authority from the business to the tax authority doesn’t mean less work. Regardless of where information is stored, e-invoices must be now kept centrally and be available at any time for those that may need them. Storing these individually, including specific supporting transaction data will mean faster access to relevant evidence for any issues that may arise. Fortunately, technology is now available to do much of the heavy lifting.
To keep up with continually shifting regulation and, importantly, keep compliant with it, businesses must examine how they manage their transaction data and how to ensure their VAT evidence locker is fully stocked. Because legislation may change, but compliance is always compulsory.
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