Get Ready, List, Sell, Don’t Skip a Step!
Some sellers start at step 2, list their home and hope buyers will like what they see. How many times have you heard the saying “it’s all in the prep work.” Ever paint a piece of furniture and skip the first step, clean and prime the wood? The results, looks like your 5 year old painted it. Don’t skip a step…the “ready” step known as cleaning, de-cluttering and maybe a few repairs/improvements. Get Ready! First speak with your real estate agent and ask them what changes or improvements they feel should be made before you list. Remember, they not only know the market but they have a different perspective. When we live in a space long enough we tend not to notice things like the crack in the drywall or the piece of molding missing.
You need to detach and think of the house as a commodity for sale. Don’t skip a step! Again, the first step is to de-clutter. When you are finished, de-clutter some more!! You need to show the value of your home not your belongings.
Get Ready, List, Sell, Don’t skip a step:
- Clean out the storage spaces like the attic and garage. Donate, trash or sell (maybe you can make a few extra dollars).
- Remove all non-essential furniture. Show the square footage of your home Make it easy for potential buyers to move around your home.
- Bedrooms: Only have essential bedroom furniture in the room (i.e find a new home for the treadmill). Have a trunk or closed basket to put kid’s toys in. Have the carpets cleaned.
- Bathrooms: have grout cleaned or re-grouted, update plumbing and lighting fixtures if needed (this goes a long way).
- Kitchen: Organize and clean cabinets inside and out (yes buyers will open your cabinets). Clean all major appliances including range hood, deodorize dishwasher, garbage disposal, washer and dryer too.
- Closets: leave all closets ½ full. What tops a buyer’s wish list? More Storage! Give it to them.
- Living Room: Depersonalize, this goes for the whole house. Remove family photos, you want people to picture themselves in your home, not you.
- Curb Appeal, create some. Hey if you can’t them in the door none of your efforts will matter. Keep it simple, neat and welcoming. A few potted plants and freshly painted front door goes a long way. Of course any peeling or chipping paint should be addressed as well.
The biggest bang for your buck, PAINT!! Transforms and refreshes a room like nothing else.
Let the selling season begin!
The first official day of spring was March 20th! As you might know spring is the busiest home selling and buying time of the year.
Spring is a time of renewal. Here in the Northeast, snow starts melting, flowers and trees start blooming and homeowners get busy! Cleaning and de-cluttering to get their home on the market.
Here are some major advantages to listing your home in the spring.
- Warmer weather invites people to venture out. Sunday drive = seeing for sale signs.
- Daylight Savings Time: The more daylight you have the more houses that can been seen in a day.
- Curb appeal is at its best. You never get a second chance to make a first impression (especially on a Sunday drive by). Houses photograph better, and therefore look better online. If they see the home first online and it doesn’t look good they most likely will not schedule an appointment to see it in person.
- Pricing: Prices are higher in the spring when there are more houses on the market. It seems counterintuitive but the price is driven by season and the school year.
- There are better valuations. This goes hand in hand with the price. Appraisers are looking at what recently sold first. Therefore the more houses that sell in the spring (for that larger price) the better the valuation is.
- And if you time it right, a summer closing so you can move into your new home before the school year starts.
Ever wonder who might buy your home, who your market is? Millennials (ages 25-35 years old) make up 68% and Generation X (ages 35-49) 29% of first time homebuyers. These groups also make up 59% of all home buyers in general.
For those who sold their home this year, it’s important to understand how selling your home may impact your tax returns, now that tax season is upon us. The following information explains how capital gains work for those who have recently sold a home. For those of you that are unaware of what capital gains are, its simply profit made from a capital asset such as stock, bond, or in our case, real estate.
If you sell your primary residence, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 of gain – $500,000 for married couples – from your federal tax return. To claim the exclusion, the IRS says your home must have been owned by you and used as your main home for a period of at least two out of the five years prior to its sale.
There are a few catches: You also must not have excluded gain on another home sold during the two years before the current sale. However, special rules apply for members of the armed, uniformed and foreign services and their families in calculating the 5-year period.
If you do not meet the ownership and use tests, you may use a reduced maximum exclusion amount. But only if you sold your home due to health, a change in place of employment, or unforeseen circumstances.
An extra perk? If you can exclude all the gain from the sale of your home, you do not report it on your federal tax return. If you cannot exclude all the gain, or you choose not to, you must use Schedule D of Form 1040, Capital Gains or Losses, to report the total gain and claim the exclusion you qualify for.
How about for those with more than one home?
You can exclude the gain only from the sale of your main residence. 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 usually the one you live in most often.
The Green Team home base is in Warwick, but our client’s properties expand all over New York and New Jersey. I have seen a large raise in homes for sale in Warwick, Florida, and most other places in Orange County which is why I am passing this information on to you reader! If you have any questions on capital gains, don’t hesitate to call or stop by.