Tracy Johnson's Blog
If you are preparing to sell your house, you need to be honest with yourself and others. That way, you can increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home selling experience.
Ultimately, it pays to be an honest home seller for a number of reasons, including:
1. You can establish a competitive price for your house.
It is important to understand that what your house is worth today is unlikely to match what you paid for it, regardless of when you bought your home. Fortunately, an honest home seller is realistic about his or her house's value and can plan accordingly.
Generally, an honest home seller will allocate the necessary time and resources to conduct a home appraisal. Because with an appraisal report in hand, this home seller can establish a competitive price for his or her house based on actionable data.
2. You can identify home problems before a buyer does.
If a home seller tries to hide home problems from a buyer, the consequences could be significant. In fact, a seller may put a potential home sale in jeopardy if he or she fails to be forthright and honest with buyers from the get-go.
For example, consider what might happen if a buyer submits an offer on a house and discovers myriad home problems during an inspection. In this scenario, a buyer may ask the seller to perform various home repairs or request a price reduction. Or, a buyer may choose to walk away from a home sale altogether.
As a home seller, it helps to take an honest approach to inform potential buyers about the condition of a house. If a residence requires assorted repairs, a seller may want to complete these repairs before listing his or her residence.
Comparatively, a seller can always include information about a home's condition in a house listing. If a seller does so, he or she can help buyers make an informed decision about a possible home purchase.
3. You can avoid rash decisions throughout the home selling journey.
An honest home seller usually is calm, cool and collected throughout the home selling journey. This seller understands the pros and cons of his or her house, and as such, can take an informed, logical approach to make the best-possible decisions.
Perhaps most important, an honest home seller is unafraid to receive negative feedback about his or her house. As a result, this seller may be better equipped than others to avoid rash decisions during the home selling journey.
There are many great reasons why a home seller should strive to be honest at each stage of the home selling cycle. Of course, if you need extra help as you sell your house, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well.
Typically, a real estate agent will provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations and suggestions. He or she will even help you get your house ready for the real estate market. And with this housing market professional's support, a home seller can move closer to achieving his or her desired results.
Selling a house may prove to be a long, complex and stressful process. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to increase your chances of enjoying a seamless house selling experience, such as:
1. Craft an Engaging Home Listing
A home listing allows you to make a positive first impression on prospective buyers. Thus, you should spend some time crafting a house listing that will hit the mark with buyers.
There is no need to stretch the truth in your home listing. Instead, provide clear, concise and relevant details about your home. This ensures a buyer can make an informed decision about whether to pursue your residence.
Also, it often helps to include high-resolution photographs of your home in your listing. These images can help a buyer envision what life may be like if he or she purchases your house.
2. Upgrade Your Home's Interior and Exterior
If your home is filled with assorted knick-knacks, antiques, and photographs, you should remove these items for the time being. By doing so, you can minimize the risk that clutter will negatively affect a buyer's perception of your house when he or she sees it in person.
Don't forget to enhance your home's curb appeal, too. If you mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other lawn care tasks, you will help buyers fall in love with your house. Also, be sure to repair any damaged windows or siding to further boost your house's curb appeal.
3. Establish a Competitive Initial Asking Price for Your Home
The housing market is competitive, and failing to price your home aggressively from the get-go may make it tough to enjoy a seamless property selling experience. If you learn about your home and the local housing sector, you can establish a competitive initial asking price for your listing.
Oftentimes, it helps to conduct a home appraisal. This allows you to receive a home valuation from a property expert.
You also may want to assess the local housing sector. Review the prices of available homes in your area that are similar to your residence. Then, you can use this housing market data to help you determine the optimal initial asking price for your home.
For sellers who want to streamline the home selling journey, you will want to employ a real estate agent. If you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive comprehensive assistance at each stage of the process.
A real estate agent is committed to your success, and he or she will work with you to help you achieve the best possible results. This housing market professional will learn about your home selling goals and help you plan accordingly. In addition, a real estate agent is happy to respond to your home selling concerns and questions at any time.
Want to enjoy a seamless home selling journey? Use these tips, and you could reap the benefits of a fast, profitable house selling experience.
In a nutshell, if you have owned a home for five years and lived in it for at least two out of five years, or if you’ve owned the house for two years and lived in it the entire time, a single person has a $250,000 tax exemption. If you are married, as a couple, you have a $500,000 exemption. Any gains over those amounts are taxable. You should always discuss the sale of your home with a tax attorney, especially if you used the house for business or rented it out, as you may not be able to take the exemption on homes used for business or as a rental.
Figuring the Tax
Before you can estimate how much tax you might owe, you need to calculate the cost basis for the property. Figure the tax by completing these steps:
Figure the Cost Basis
Add the price you paid for the property to the cost of any significant improvements. Subtract any casualty and theft losses, closing costs you paid when you bought the house and allowable depreciation. You might be able to subtract some closing costs. If you inherited the property, the initial investment is the fair market value on the date of the death of the person who willed the house to you.
For gifted properties, if there is a gain, you use the donor’s adjusted basis in the cost basis equation. If there is a loss, the cost basis is the fair market value on the date you received the property as a gift or the donor’s adjusted basis, whichever is less.
Figure the Capital Gain
Once you have the cost basis, subtract it from the sale price of the house. For example, if you paid $500,000 for your home and you are now selling it for $1,000,000, you have a capital gain of $500,000. If you are single, you will pay tax on $250,000. If you are married, the exclusion is $500,000, which wipes out the $500,000 profit.
Reducing the Tax Owed
You may be able to use the Section 1031 exchange if you are selling a home used for business or that was rented out as long as you buy another house for business or to rent out. The new purchase cannot be for personal use and the exchange must be for “like-kind.”
The regulations for a Section 1031 exchange are limited and may be confusing. Always retain a tax lawyer or accountant to help you with your taxes, especially if you are buying and selling an investment property. If you are selling a million dollar plus home and you use it as your personal residence, you should still contact a tax lawyer. Depending on your finances, the tax lawyer may be able to help you avoid some of the tax.
The good news: a homebuyer has made an offer on your house and is ready to purchase it as quickly as possible. On the other hand, there's the bad news: this homebuyer has many requests that need to be fulfilled to finalize a home sale.
Unfortunately, a stubborn homebuyer can put a home sale in jeopardy. But a home seller who understands how to deal with a stubborn homebuyer effectively may be able to boost his or her chances of a seamless property sale.
Now, let's take a look at three steps that every home seller can use to deal with a stubborn homebuyer:
1. Focus on the End Results
For most home sellers, the end goal of selling a home is getting the best price for your residence, regardless of the current real estate market's conditions. As such, if you remain focused on your ultimate goals, you may be better equipped than others to deal with a stubborn homebuyer.
If a stubborn homebuyer submits a variety of requests, allocate the necessary time and resources to consider each request closely. Then, if you find the requests are overwhelming, you can always submit counter-proposals.
Lastly, don't forget that you can always walk away from a home selling negotiation that appears to be going nowhere. And remember, if a negotiation with a stubborn homebuyer goes south, you can relist your residence and restart the home selling journey.
2. Consider the Homebuyer's Perspective
Why is a homebuyer acting stubborn? Open the lines of communication with a homebuyer, and you may be able to find out the root of a property buyer's stubbornness and proceed accordingly.
A homebuyer may have concerns or questions about buying your residence. Fortunately, if you maintain open lines of communication with a homebuyer, you can address these concerns and questions without delay.
Also, be aware of the homebuyer's perspective as you proceed along a property selling negotiation. Although a homebuyer may make requests along the way, it is important for you and a property buyer to find common ground. If you feel uncomfortable with a homebuyer's requests, you should be unafraid to walk away from a home selling negotiation altogether.
3. Ask a Real Estate Agent for Extra Help
If you're unsure about how to approach a stubborn homebuyer, there is no need to worry. Conversely, meet with an expert real estate agent, and you can find out how to move one step closer to getting the best price for your residence.
An expert real estate agent will be happy to provide honest, unbiased recommendations about how to collaborate with a stubborn property buyer. Next, you and a stubborn homebuyer can work together to complete a home sale.
Plus, an expert real estate agent may act as a liaison between a property seller and buyer. This housing market professional can learn about both sides and what they are looking for in a home sale and take the necessary steps to deliver the ideal results for all parties involved.
Take the guesswork out of dealing with a stubborn homebuyer – use these tips, and you can boost your chances of navigating a successful home selling journey.
Let's face it – hosting an open house may seem like a major hassle. Cleaning a home and getting it ready for an open house could prove to be costly and time-consuming. Plus, despite your best efforts to prep for an open house, there are no guarantees that the event ultimately will help you sell your residence.
Although hosting an open house initially may seem difficult, the advantages of holding an open house generally outweigh the disadvantages. In fact, there are many reasons why you should host an open house, and these include:
1. You can gain a competitive edge.
The real estate market is fierce, especially for sellers who are competing against one another for buyers' attention. Fortunately, an open house can help you gain an advantage over the home selling competition, as it enables you to show off your residence to large groups of potential buyers in a short period of time.
When it comes to selling a home, it helps to explore any competitive advantage that you can get. And if you host an open house, you may boost your chances of differentiating your home from the competition and generating lots of interest in your residence.
2. You can make it easy for buyers to picture what life would be like if they purchase your home.
A detailed home listing can make a world of difference for buyers. Yet a home listing alone probably won't drive buyers to instantly submit an offer to purchase your residence. Thankfully, an open house provides buyers with a stress-free opportunity to check out your house and determine whether to proceed with an offer.
Of course, during an open house, buyers can picture what it would be like if they own your residence. And if buyers like what they see, it may be only a matter of time before you finalize a home sale following an open house.
3. You can increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.
As a seller, you should strive to promote your residence to as many potential buyers as possible. With an open house, you'll be able to do just that.
An open house makes it simple to showcase your residence to dozens of prospective buyers at the same time. Meanwhile, the event empowers buyers to learn about your residence and gain deep insights into the condition of your house. And if a buyer is impressed with your residence after an open house, the likelihood increases that an offer could come your way soon that leads to a fast, profitable home sale.
As you try to sell your house, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. A real estate agent knows the ins and outs of selling homes and can teach you everything you need to know about how to host a successful open house. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can help you achieve the optimal results at each stage of the home selling journey.