Realty Vision


Posted by Realty Vision on 12/24/2015

A common question for sellers is if they will owe capital gains tax when they sell their home. The answer to that question: it depends. The capital gains tax law known as the Taxpayer Relief Act went into effect in 1997 but there is still a lot confusion over who pays what and why. If you sell your home you will not have to pay capital gains tax if:

  • You are selling your personal residence.
  • You have $250,000 in profit or less if you are single and $500,000 if married.
  • You have lived in your home for two of the last five years.
  • The home is not an investment property.
The capital gains exclusion can be used as many times as you like as long as it meets all of the above criteria. If you are going to make more than $250,000/$500,000 in profit you will be taxed at a 20% capital gains tax rate on the amount over the $250,000/$500,000 threshold. There are exceptions to the rule. You may be eligible for a tax break if:
  • You need to sell your home because a change in health.
  • You need to sell your home because of a long distance relocation.
  • You are in the armed services and moved to fulfill your service commitments.
Your individual tax situation may be different, so make sure to consult a qualified tax accountant or attorney.  





Posted by Realty Vision on 11/5/2015

Buying or selling a home can be complicated enough but add in the lingo and you may feel like you are listening to a foreign language. Here are a few real estate terms decoded. Assessed Value- Assessed Value is the valuation placed on property by a public tax assessor for purposes of taxation. Closing Costs –Closing costs are all of the miscellaneous expenses paid by the buyer and the seller when a real estate transaction closes. These costs can include real estate commission, mortgage fees, attorney fees, transfer taxes, recording fees, and title insurance. CMA –CMA is short for comparative market analysis or competitive market analysis. A CMA compares the prices of homes sold, homes currently on the market and homes pending to a subject property. A CMA may be prepared for a buyer or a seller to determine market value. The CMA accounts for style, size, location and other factors that make the homes comparable. Contingency – A contingency is a provision of an agreement that keeps the agreement from being fully legally binding until a certain condition is met. Common contingencies are a buyer's contractual right to obtain a professional home inspection before purchasing the home or obtain mortgage financing. Deed-The deed is the legal document conveying title to a property. Earnest Money Deposit- The earnest money deposit is a deposit made by the potential home buyer to show that he or she is serious about buying the house. This is typically made at the time of the offer to purchase. Lock Box – A lock box is a secure key-holding device. It is used to hold a key for a home that is for sale. This allows cooperating real estate professionals to gain entry into the home. Entry is usually granted after obtaining permission from the listing agent or office. MLS – The MLS or Multiple Listing Service is an organization that collects, compiles and distributes information about homes listed for sale. Real Estate brokers are members of the MLS. Membership is not open to the general public. The MLS is used for real estate professionals to share information about homes for sale to other agents. MLS boards are local or regional. There is no nationwide MLS. Short Sale- A short sale is when the seller arranges with their mortgage lender to accept a price that is less than the amount they owe on the property. The lender typically agrees to forgive the rest of the loan. A short sale arrangement is made between the seller and the mortgage lender. Title Insurance – Title insurance is an insurance policy that protects the lender's or owner's interest in real property. Title insurance as it is named protects against claims against the title or from unexpected or fraudulent claims of ownership. Buyers typically pay for the lenders title insurance policy as part of the closing costs.




Tags: Real Estate   Jargon   Lingo   Terms  
Categories: Real estate   Selling Your Home  


Posted by Realty Vision on 7/16/2015

Selling a home in the age of Facebook, You Tube, Twitter, and mobile computing, changes the way homes are marketed.  No longer is the day when agents and buyers carry around flyers and brochures. Most home hunting happens from the palm of a hand. So, what is needed to sell your home in the digital age? Photos: Studies show that more photos can increase "the perceived value" of your home by about 13 percent. Video: Video marketing is growing by leaps and bounds. Recent statistics show that approximately 21 percent of buyers are viewing videos of homes for sale on online with that number increasing daily. Virtual Open House: Buyers can feel like they are walking through your home without ever stepping foot in the door. Virtual tour videos give buyers a 360-panoramic view. This won't completely replace the traditional open house but it will get more interested and qualified buyers in your door. Social media: Your home should be advertised on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and You Tube. Social media is like word-of-mouth selling on steroids. Information is seen by many people and shared on multiple social media sites causing the information to "go viral". Mobile: Your agent must have a website that displays your listing on a mobile device properly. With over 50% of internet searches being done from mobile devices, make sure your home's listing is mobile friendly. Print materials: Buyers still love to pick up a flyer when they are at your home. Make sure to have high quality flyers available for the potential buyer. Contact information: All online and printed marketing materials should have several ways to contact the agent and view your home. Things to include are a name, email address, phone number and social media contact information. Integrating old and new marketing strategies to sell your home will help ensure buyers on-and-off-line find your home's listing.





Posted by Realty Vision on 5/28/2015

The internet and the evolution of social media have forever changed the way marketers do business and this includes real estate. If you are considering selling your home you need a real estate proessional who understands the need for extensive online marketing. When looking to test a real estate professionals internet marketing ask some of these questions: Do you have a website? There are 245,203,319 internet users in the United States, that is 78.1 % of the population. According to the National Association of Realtors, 88% of homebuyers shopped online for a home. Do you have a mobile website that is enabled for iPhone, iPad and Android devices? 4.8 billion people now own mobile phones. Just 4.2 billion own a toothbrush. Do you have a blog? Social media sites and blogs reach 80% of all U.S. internet users. Do you have a Facebook business page? Facebook is the most important social media lead generation tool for b2c marketers with 77% saying they had had acquired a customer through Facebook. Do you market on Twitter? There are now roughly 100 million active Twitter users (those who log in at least once per day). Do you have a You Tube channel? YouTube has 490 million users worldwide (unique visitors per month). It generates an estimated 92 billion page views each month. The average user spends an average of 25 minutes on the site each time they visit. Do you share information on LinkedIn? There are over 57 million users on LinkedIn in the United States. You need a real estate professional who leverages all of these outlets to market your home.





Posted by Realty Vision on 5/21/2015

1. Basing the asking price on needs or emotion rather than market value. Many times sellers base their pricing on how much they paid for or invested in their home. This can be an expensive mistake. If your home is not priced competitively, buyers will reject it in favor of other larger homes for the same price. At the same time, the buyers who should be looking at your house will not see it because it is priced over their heads. The result is increased market time, and even when the price is eventually lowered, the buyers are wary because "nobody wants to buy real estate that nobody else wants". The result is low priced offers and an unwillingness to negotiate. Every seller wants to realize as much money as possible from the sale, but a listing priced too high often eventually sells for less than market value. An accurate market evaluation is the first step in determining a competitive listing price. 2. Failing to "Showcase" the home. A property that is not clean or well-maintained is a red flag for the buyer. It is an indication that there may be hidden defects that will result in increased cost of ownership. Sellers who fail to make necessary repairs, which don't “spruce up” the house inside and out, and fail to keep it clean and neat, chase away buyers as fast as REALTORS® can bring them. Buyers are poor judges of the cost of repairs, and always build in a large margin for error when offering on such a property. Sellers are always better off doing the work themselves ahead of time. 3. Over-improving the home prior to selling. Sellers often unwittingly spend thousands of dollars doing the wrong upgrades to their home prior to attempting to sell in the mistaken belief that they will recoup this cost. If you are upgrading your home for your personal enjoyment - fine. But if you are thinking of selling, you should be aware that only certain upgrades to real estate are cost effective. Always consult with your REALTOR® BEFORE committing to upgrading your home. 4. Choosing the wrong REALTOR® or choosing for the wrong reasons. Many homeowners list with the real estate agent who tells them the highest price. You need to choose an experienced agent with the best marketing plan to sell your home. In the real estate business, an agent with many successfully closed transactions usually costs the same as someone who is inexperienced. That experience could mean a higher price at the negotiating table, selling in less time, and with a minimum amount of hassles. 5. Using the "Hard Sell" during showings. Buying a home is an emotional decision. Buyers like to "try on" a house and see if it is comfortable for them. It is difficult for them to do if you follow them around pointing out every improvement that you made. Good REALTORS® let the buyers discover the home on their own, pointing out only features they are sure are important to them. Overselling loses many sales. If buyers think they are paying for features that are not particularly important to them personally, they will reject the home in favor of a less expensive home without the features. 6. Failing to take the first offer seriously. Often sellers believe that the first offer received will be one of many to come. There is a tendency to not take it seriously, and to hold out for a higher price. This is especially true if the offer comes in soon after the home is placed on the market. Experienced REALTORS® know that more often than not the first buyer ends up being the best buyer, and many, many sellers have had to accept far less money than the initial offer later in the selling process. Real estate is most sale-able early in the marketing period, and the amount buyers are willing to pay diminishes with the length of time a property has been on the market. Many sellers would give anything to find that prospective buyer who made the first, and ONLY, offer. 7. Not knowing your rights and obligations. The contract you sign to sell your property is a complex and legally binding document. An improperly written contract can allow the purchaser to void the sale, or cost you thousands of unnecessary dollars. Have an experienced REALTOR® who knows the "ins and outs" fully explain the contract you are about to sign. 8. Failure to effectively market the property. Good marketing opens the door that exposes real estate to the marketplace. It means distinguishing your home from hundreds of others on the market. It also means selling the benefits, as well as the features. The right REALTOR® will employ a wide variety of marketing activities, emphasizing the ones believed to work best for your home.







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