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Geraldine Nealy


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Buying and Selling Tips

 Selling a Home

If you’ve decided to sell your home, chances are you’re 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 you’re 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. 

Time Is Money -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. 
Check Your Curb Appeal A home that’s visually appealing and in good condition will attract potential buyers driving down the street. 

On the Inside - Strong curb appeal will lure potential buyers inside, where you have to live up to their expectations. 

Choose an Agent 

•They will promote your home to other agents and list your property in multiple listing services. 
•They will create, pay for and place advertising for you. They will schedule appointments to show your home to prospective buyers even when you are not there. 
•They can weed out buyers who will not qualify for a mortgage. 
•They can refer you to sources for insurance, inspections, legal counsel and financing. 
•They will help you negotiate with the buyer. 
•They can make suggestions to help make your home more attractive to a potential buyer. 

Set a Fair Price
Naturally, you want to get top dollar for your home. But, at the same time, you don’t want to scare off potential buyers with a price tag that’s too high. Setting an artificially high price may cause your property to languish on the market for months. Reducing your asking price later on may lead buyers to wonder if there is something wrong with your home. Here are some of the factors to consider in pricing your home. 

•Your location 
•Economic conditions 
•Supply and demand in the local housing market 
•Seasonal influences 
•Local schools 
•Average home prices in the neighborhood 
•Your home's extras -- pool, fireplace, central air, etc. 

To determine the value of your home, you probably will want the advice of a real estate agent or appraiser. Ask an agent to prepare a market analysis for you, showing the recent selling prices of three neighborhood properties comparable to your own. The agent can help you adjust for the unique features of your own property. 

Qualifying a Buyer 
Either you or your agent will want to quickly weed out potential buyers who cannot really afford to purchase your home. A number of factors will help determine whether or not you are wasting your time negotiating a sale. 

•The buyer's debt and credit history 
•The buyer's current income and employment 
•The buyer's cash position and availability of a down payment 
•The length of time the buyer needs before closing on your home 
•How interested the buyer appears to be in your home versus others 
Seek Legal Representation 
When selling your home—particularly if you are selling on your own—it’s a good idea to be represented by an attorney. Look for an attorney with expertise in real estate transactions. When a potential buyer puts an offer in writing and you accept it, the signed acceptance becomes the sales contract. Your attorney will be present at the actual closing to protect your interests and can assist you with the following elements of a 
sales contract:

The sale price 
•What is included in the sale price -- draperies, carpeting, light fixtures, heating oil, etc. 
•The amount of the down payment 
•The date of settlement and possession date 
•Contingencies to the sale--inspections (e.g. structural, lead-based paint, radon), required improvements, legal review of the contract by the buyer's or seller's attorney, etc. 
•The amount and length of the mortgage loan, interest rate and time limits to secure the loan 
•Determining which closing costs are to be paid by the buyer and which by the seller 

Tax Implications 
Selling a home can have a major impact on your federal and state tax returns. Check with your tax consultant on the factors that may affect taxes resulting from the sale of your home. For example: 

•Whether you purchased the home or acquired it by gift or inheritance 
•Whether you used your home partly for business or rental 
•Costs associated with selling your home 
•Home improvements or additions, which may help to offset capital gains 
•The sale of your home. In certain cases you can exclude up to $250,000 in gain ($500,000 for married couples filing a joint return) on the sale of property that was your principle residence for at least two years. Generally, you can use this exclusion every two years. 


You've successfully weathered the logistics of selling your current home, 


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