In California, city and county transfer taxes have to be in U.S. dollars, so the conversion method would be the most likely way to complete a transaction. David Kelmenson of the Agency is the listing agent on a $6.995 million home in Los Angeles’ Brentwood neighborhood that is the firm’s first listing with Bitcoin as an accepted payment.
The idea came from a prior sale in which the Agency accepted a number of stock shares equal to the $30 million to $40 million price of the listing. “I like to say yes and see what’s possible,” Kelmenson says. “What’s the downside?”
One of the biggest downsides is the volatility in the value of cryptocurrency. As of press time, Bitcoin was trading at $6,766 per Coin, well off its high of over $19,000 in mid-December 2017.
This can create headaches when trying to value how many Coins to sell in order to equal the U.S. dollar value of a transaction. The U.S. government has attempted to define this value by adding Bitcoin shares to the list of taxable property on capital gains tax, as well.
Still, the speed at which cryptocurrency transactions can happen is attractive to some realtors. “You’re always waiting for the bank to issue a check,” says Triplemint broker Boris Sharapan Fabrikant. “Bitcoin would speed that up, and as a seller, that’s an advantage.” Instead of waiting 1 to 2 days for a standard bank-to-bank transfer, cryptocurrency transactions are almost instantaneous, as long as the involved parties choose to keep their currencies in their current form.
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