Whether it’s an Open House, or simply presenting your home in the best light, it is necessary to view it from the eyes of a buyer! Any money spent in this area may result in increased profits and a faster sale.
Maximizing Curb Appeal
Before potential buyers even see what the home has to offer, they view its exterior. As a result, an unkempt or unattractive view of the outside of the home could potentially result in a missed opportunity. To show the house in its best light, consider the following:
* Move all materials, including garbage cans and gardening supplies, from the front yard and into a garage or shed
* Mow the lawn and weed and maintain all planted areas
* Replace any outdoor light bulbs that are not working
* Sweep walkways and steps, and remove all small items from the porch or patio
* Replace worn or badly stained door mats
Once a potential buyer enters the home, they need to determine if it will meet their needs and expectations. Give them the best view of the home’s interior by following these steps:
* Remove the home of any clutter by limiting decorative objects and clearing all unnecessary appliances from the kitchen countertops
* Rearrange or remove furniture to highlight the space in a room
* Review each room and clean or vacuum if necessary
These tips can help ensure you receive the highest price possible for your home.
It’s the age old adage, “they just want your money”. And so, time and time again, many people spend countless hours plotting and scheming to try to avoid calling a professional to handle whatever ails them in an effort to save some money. But more often than not, whether it’s the plumber, mechanic, or real estate agent, the sad irony is, eventually the call will need to be made.
Here is the reality, you can’t do it all. And you should not have a problem throwing some money at someone who can do it for you — and do it well.
Are there dishonest people out there who have no intention of providing you great service or have no desire to help you fix your problem? The answer is a resounding yes. However, there are also a number of honest professionals with great integrity who are gifted at what they do and earnestly desire to help provide a solution to your problem.
As it pertains to real estate, adding insult to injury, I have seen, and been a party to, agents who minimize their services and reduce their commission or value just to get a deal done or a listing in hand.
However, any real estate agent worth their weight will, again, have their full fee thrown at them in an instant if they are providing the client with what they deserve — efficiency, great communication, good customer service, and a deep understanding and knowledge of what needs to occur in the transaction. If an agent is all those things, as my grandma used to say “baby, you can write your own ticket”.
Case in point, I recently was involved in a transaction where the seller, before she hired me, tried for years to sell the home on her own because she wanted to “save some money”. In the process of saving some money, she intentionally neglected to pay the property taxes so that she was not paying out more money on the property than the other owners who would also get a piece of the pie when the home sold. However, she failed to consider the penalties and interest that would continue to accrue over the years. In addition, now the county was ready to foreclose on her home due to unpaid property taxes. How’s that for saving some money?
There was no magic bullet when I listed the home and it sold in a matter of days to a cash buyer thousands above list price. The market is hot, and I’m diligent…that’s the magic.
Here’s another example of “savings”:
A Seller’s Internet Inquiry (Q): My husband and I have been purchasing a house from private seller (lease to buy) and it is coming very close to the end of the contract what is involved in transferring the property to our daughters name. Are there taxes or county fees we must pay?
My Response (A): I won’t wallow in what you should have done. The details of your transaction really don’t matter at this point.
Truth is, I cannot advise you. As a REALTOR, I abide by the State of CA DRE laws and regs and am bound contractually to the terms and conditions which were created and ascribed according to the California Association of REALTORs and can be backed up by a slew of real estate attorneys on their payroll. If you had a question which fell under any of those terms, a REALTOR could advise you all day. And as an extra bonus, we would also have the legal power behind us to back you up.
When people opt to go outside of a traditional real estate transaction, ungoverned and unpoliced, they are taking a risk.
Your lease to buy agreement, if you have questions, should probably be reviewed with a real estate attorney, a title company, and a full-time real estate agent. It may not be too late to get the right entities involved.
It’s not worth it in the long run to try to save a little money. If you end up in court, you’ll end up paying way more than you tried to save.”
That’s really all there is to it. You don’t have to try to be captain-save-a-dollar when your real goal should be to have it done right. Let someone help you who knows what they are doing so that you can really save some money.
The Internal Revenue Service has some important information to share with individuals who have sold or are about to sell their home. If you have a gain from the sale of your main home, you may qualify to exclude all or part of that gain from your income. Here are ten tips from the IRS to keep in mind when selling your home.
1. In general, you are eligible to exclude the gain from income if you have owned and used your home as your main home for two years out of the five years prior to the date of its sale.
2. If you have a gain from the sale of your main home, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of the gain from your income ($500,000 on a joint return in most cases).
3. You are not eligible for the exclusion if you excluded the gain from the sale of another home during the two-year period prior to the sale of your home.
4. If you can exclude all of the gain, you do not need to report the sale on your tax return.
5. If you have a gain that cannot be excluded, it is taxable. You must report it on Form 1040, Schedule D, Capital Gains and Losses.
6. You cannot deduct a loss from the sale of your main home.
7. Worksheets are included in Publication 523, Selling Your Home, to help you figure the adjusted basis of the home you sold, the gain (or loss) on the sale, and the gain that you can exclude.
8. If you have more than one home, you can exclude a gain only from the sale of your main home. You must pay tax on the gain from selling any other home. If you have two homes and live in both of them, your main home is ordinarily the one you live in most of the time.
9. If you received the first-time homebuyer credit and within 36 months of the date of purchase, the property is no longer used as your principal residence, you are required to repay the credit. Repayment of the full credit is due with the income tax return for the year the home ceased to be your principal residence, using Form 5405, First-Time Homebuyer Credit and Repayment of the Credit. The full amount of the credit is reflected as additional tax on that year’s tax return.
10. When you move, be sure to update your address with the IRS and the U.S. Postal Service to ensure you receive refunds or correspondence from the IRS. Use Form 8822, Change of Address, to notify the IRS of your address change.
For more information about selling your home, see IRS Publication 523, Selling Your Home. This publication is available at www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).