General Information

How to Get Top Dollar in The Spring Market

How to Get Top Dollar in The Spring Market

Especially Helpful if you haven’t sold a house in a while

The best chance for selling your property is within the first seven weeks. Studies show that the longer a property stays on the market, the less the seller will net.

Below are some of the key things that you need to consider when pricing/marketing your home:

PRICING

It is very important to price your property at a competitive market value right when you list it. The market is so competitive that even over-pricing by a few thousand dollars could mean that your house will not sell. It’s interesting, but your first offer is usually your best offer. Here are reasons for pricing your property at the market value right from the start in order to net you the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time.

An overpriced home:

* Minimizes offers

* Lowers showings

* Lowers agent response

* Limits financing

* Limits qualified buyers

* Nets less for the seller

Common realtor stories hold that eighty percent of the marketing is done when we decide on what price to list your home. If you are unwilling to list at current market value, you would be better off not putting it on the market at this time.

CLEANLINESS

Most people are turned off by even the smallest amount of uncleanness or odor when buying a home. Sellers lose thousands of dollars because they do not adequately clean. If your house is squeaky clean, you will be able to sell your home faster and net hundreds, if not thousands of dollars more. If you are planning on moving, why not get rid of that old junk now so that your house will appear larger? Make more space. Odors must be eliminated especially if you have dogs, cats, or young children in diapers or if you are a smoker. You may not notice the smell, but the buyers do! Most agents have a difficult time communicating to their sellers about odor. If you employ an agent to get the most amount of money for you, please don’t take offense if he must confront you about odor problems.

ACCESSIBILITY

The only way any agent can show a house is to have access to your front door key(s)!

I and other top buyers agents will not show your home if both the key(s) and access are not easily available. We do not have time to run around town all day picking up and dropping off keys or organizing around your, your listing agent’s, theirs and their buyers’ busy schedules . We want to show and sell homes!

If it isn’t easy to show you’re helping your competition, because their homes are.

While I’m at it, when your home is being shown ┬áplease do the following:

* Keep all lights on

* Keep all drapes and shutters open

* Keep all interior doors unlocked

* Leave soft music playing

* Take a short walk with your children and pets

* Let the buyer be at ease and let the agents do their job

PAINT & CARPETING

Paint is your best improvement investment for getting a greater return on your money. Paint makes the whole house smell clean and neat. If your house has chipped paint, exposed wood, or the paint looks faded, it is time to paint. If your carpet is worn, dirty, outdated, or an unusual color, you may need to seriously consider replacing it. Many houses do not sell because of this problem. Don’t think that buyers have more money than you have to replace carpet. They don’t. They simply buy elsewhere.

FRONT YARD & CURB APPEAL

Your front yard immediately reflects the inside condition of your house to the buyer. People enjoy their yards. Make certain that the trees are trimmed so the house can be seen from the street. Have the grass mowed, trimmed and edged. Walkways should be swept. Debris cleared away. Remove parked cars. This all adds to curb appeal. If a buyer doesn’t like the outside, they may not stop to see the inside.

Do Brass Doorknobs Disinfect Themselves?

Do Brass Doorknobs Disinfect Themselves?

For centuries┬ábrass has been the metal of choice for door knobs. In recent years design trends have shifted to brushed nickel coated steel and recently to black coated steel. But there may have been a reason brass was popular for so long … it actually kills bacteria. As many infections can be spread by door knobs, it’s interesting to note that a brass knob (unvarnished) will disinfect itself in about seven hours. Steel, Stainless Steel and Aluminum knobs will never disinfect themselves.

This effect was discovered by Swiss botanist Carl von Nageli in the 1890’s and is known as the Oligodynamic effect. He studied how metal ions, even in low concentrations, are toxic to living cells and microorganisms, concluding that the metal ions of silver and copper and copper alloys interfere with their metabolism.

You might think that shiny stainless steel door knob would be a better antibacterial than a grungy-looking tarnished brass one. Think how many times you have seen stainless steel knobs in hospitals, they must know a few things about germs, right? In fact, brass (being a copper alloy commonly 65% copper/35% zinc) is germicidal. Stainless steel (being an iron alloy (88% iron/12% chromium) is not.

If you want to get the most disinfectant benefit from your brass door knobs you have to remove the coating that manufacturers put on them to keep them shiny. Paint stripper will do the trick. You’ll have to polish once in a while if you want them to be shiny, but they also look very nice if you let them age to a beautiful patina. Here’s to beautiful brass.

1031 Exchanges Can Save You Taxes

1031 Exchanges Can Save You Taxes

What is a 1031 exchange?

Under section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code, a real property owner can sell his property and then reinvest the proceeds in ownership of like-kind property and defer the capital gains taxes. To qualify as a like-kind exchange, property exchanges must be done in accordance with the rules set forth in the tax code and in the treasury regulations. The 1031 exchange can offer significant tax advantages to real estate buyers. Often overlooked, a 1031 exchange is considered one of the best-kept secrets in the Internal Revenue Code.

Who should consider a 1031 exchange?

If you have real property that will net you a gain upon sale (generally property that has been substantially depreciated for tax purposes and/or has appreciated in fair market value), then you are exactly the person who should consider a 1031 exchange.

There are 5 tax classes of property:

1) Property used in taxpayers trade or business.

2) Property held primarily for sale to customers.

3) Property which is used as your principal residence.

4) Property held for investment.

5) Property used as a vacation home.

Section 1031 applies to the first and fourth categories, and potentially the fifth category. Business use is defined as, “To hold property for productive use in trade or business.” Property retired from previous productive use in business can be qualifying property. Investment purpose defined as real estate, even if unproductive, held by a non-dealer for future use or increment in value is held for investment and not primarily for sale. Investment is the passive holding of property, for more than a temporary period, with the expectation that it will appreciate. Property held for sale in the immediate future is not held for investment.

What are the 1031 exchange rules?

The real property you sell and the real property you buy must both be held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment purposes and must be like-kind.

The proceeds from the sale must go through the hands of a qualified intermediary and not through your hands or the hands of one of your agents or else all the proceeds will become taxable.

All the cash proceeds from the original sale must be reinvested in the replacement property – any cash proceeds that you retain will be taxable.

The replacement property must be subject to an equal level or greater level of debt than the relinquished property or the buyer will either have to pay taxes on the amount of the decrease or have to put in additional cash funds to offset the lower level of debt in the replacement property.

Is There a 1031 Timeline I Have to Follow?

Yes, there are two “Periods” you have to follow exactly.

The Identification Period … Within 45 days of selling the relinquished property you must identify suitable replacement properties. This 45 day rule is very strict and is not extended should the 45th day fall on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

The Exchange Period … The replacement property must be received by the taxpayer within the “exchange period,” which ends within the earlier of . . . 180 days after the date on which the taxpayer transfers the property relinquished, or . . . the due date for the taxpayer tax return for the taxable year in which the transfer of the relinquished property occurs. This 180-day rule is very strict and is not extended if the 180th day should happen to fall on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

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