youve decided to sell your Reno Nevada Real Estate, chances are youre
caught up in a host of emotions. You may be looking forward to moving up to a
new dream house or facing the uncertainty of a major move across country. You
may be reluctant to leave your memories behind or eager to start new adventures.
Whatever turbulent feelings youre experiencing right now, there
are plenty of practical matters that need your attention. Keep in mind the following
considerations to help the whole process go more smoothly.
IRS offers Tax-Free Capital Gain from a Home Sale
In 2003, the IRS issued new liberalized rules interpreting the
law that allows tax-free capital gain on the sale of a principal residence, and
a federal court issued the first ruling interpreting Internal Revenue Code 121.
IRC 121, enacted by Congress in 1997, offers up to a $250,000 principal-residence
tax exemption for an individual and up to $500,000 for
a married couple filing jointly.
To qualify, the sellers must
have owned and occupied their principal residence an "aggregate" two
of the five years before the sale. Occupancy need not be continuous, nor must
the residence be the seller's principal residence at the time of sale.
example, if the seller owned and occupied the home for two years, and then rented
it to tenants up to three years, the sale qualifies. The exemption can be used
repeatedly, but not more than once every 24 months.
The method of holding
title is not important. For a married couple to claim up to $500,000 tax free,
only one spouse's name need be on the principal residence title, providing both
meet the occupancy test. Or, if title is held in a living trust, new IRS regulations
clarify that the full tax exemption is still available.
Gone are the pre-1997
principal-residence tax rules involving the need to buy a replacement home and
the once-in-a-lifetime "over 55" age restrictions.
a good idea to place your Reno Nevada Real Estate on the market as far in advance
as possible of purchasing a new one. If you find a new home first and then try
to sell your present home, you may wind up with two mortgages. If this does happen,
ask your real estate agent or banker about a bridge loan to help you make the
double payments. Lenders use the same criteria for offering bridge loans as they
use for mortgages. Should you qualify for a bridge loan, beware of the expense;
during the term of the loan you must continue to pay both mortgages. Shop around
for the best terms.
Keep in mind that when people move, sell and buy,
there usually is a domino effect. Closing and moving dates have to be coordinated,
and the more firmly everyone commits to a window of dates and sticks to them,
the better for all involved. Put all agreements about dates in writing, and protect
yourself by negotiating financial penalties for failure to comply.
Your Curb Appeal
A home thats visually appealing and in good condition
will attract potential buyers driving down the street. Use this checklist to view
your property through an outsiders eyes.
Are the lawn and shrubs well maintained?
Are there cracks in the foundation
Does the driveway need resurfacing?
Are the gutters, chimney
and walls in good condition?
Do the window casings, shutters, siding or doors
Are garbage and debris stored out of sight?
Is the garage
On the Inside
Strong curb appeal will lure potential
buyers inside, where you have to live up to their expectations. Fortunately, there
are plenty of easy improvements you can make to your homes interior without
spending a lot of money. Cleaning is No. 1. Your windows, floors and bathroom
tiles should sparkle. Make sure you have clean heating and air conditioning filters.
Shampoo dirty carpets, clean tubs and showers, repair dripping faucets and oil
squeaky doors. Keep your home neat, clean and picked-up at all times. It may not
seem fair, but a peek in the oven may be the hallmark by which a buyer judges
how well you have kept up your home.
Remove unnecessary clutter from
the garage, basement, attic, closets and straighten stored items. Also remove
any items that might make a statement that would be offensive to others who may
not share your same views, beliefs or sense of humor. If your home is crowded
with too much furniture, consider putting some things into storage. If a room
needs a fresh coat of paint, use a neutral off-white. Think, too, about how your
home smells. You may be used to the smell of a pet or cigarettes, but such odors
can be a strong turn-off to others. Be certain to remove valuables such as jewelry
and other items from view. It might be wise to put these items in a safe deposit
box before showing your home.
Finally, set a mood for the buyer. Make
your house homey with live flowers and fresh guest towels in the bathroom. Place
scented potpourri around the house or, on the day youre expecting a potential
buyer, pop a batch of frozen cinnamon rolls into the oven for a welcoming aroma.
Remember, cosmetic changes do not have to be expensive. In fact, costly home improvements
do not necessarily offer a good return on your investment when you sell.
Its attention to the basicsanything that says this home has
been carefully maintainedthat will help you get the price you want.
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#1 Exclusive BUYER AGENT in
the Reno/Sparks Area
FIVE years in a row, per Volume of Sales
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