Secrets for Selling Your Home

Selling a house is a complicated process, no matter how good the real estate market is.  Whether you are a first-time seller or not, you will probably have a bunch of questions.  What is closing?  How much paperwork am I going to fill out?  How can I get the best price for my house?  How can I sell my house and buy a new one at the same time?

Secret #1: The kitchen comes first.  You are not actually selling your house; you are selling your kitchen-that is how important it is.  The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless and the best part of it is that you will probably get 85% of your money back.  It may be a few thousand dollars to replace counter-tops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated.  The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware.  Use neutral-colored paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style.  If you have a little money to spend, buy one fancy stainless steel appliance.  Why one?  Because when people see one high-end appliance, they think all the rest are expensive too and it updates the kitchen.

Secret#2: Take the home out of your house.  One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it.  The more personal belongings in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there.  Get rid of at least a third of your things; put it in storage.  This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes.  Consider hiring a home stager to maximize the full potential of your home.  Staging simply means arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.

Secret #3: Audit your real estate professional’s online marketing.  92% of home buyers start their house hunt online, and they will never even get in the car to come see your home if the online listings are not compelling; compelling means pictures.  Listings with more than six pictures are twice as likely to be viewed by buyers as listing that had fewer than six photos.  Be sure to ask your agent to only include attractive pictures and this means no ugly pictures of the toilet with its seat up.

Secret#4: Renovate wisely.  The average remodeling payback in the past ten years has dropped from 82% in 2003 to 60.6% this year, according to Remodeling Magazine. Bringing up the rear are a dedicated home office and adding a sun room.  Topping the list are steel entry-door replacements followed by fiber-cement exterior siding.  Sellers routinely underestimate the positive impact of simple home improvements such as repainting and minor fix-ups.

Secret#5: Sweeten the deal.  Another way to make the home and deal more attractive to buyers is to offer things or terms that might sweeten the pot.  For example, sellers that offer the buyer a couple of thousand dollars credit toward closing costs, or a credit for the purchase of new flooring receive more attention from house hunters looking at similar homes.  In a down market buyers are looking for a deal, so do your best to make them feeling they are getting one.

Secret#6: Make all necessary repairs.  Even minor things, such as a leaky faucet or chipped paint on a baseboard, can suggest to buyers that you might not be maintaining the house well in other ways, too.

Secret#7: Focus on curb appeal.  First impressions matter.  A house with chipping paint, overgrown bushes and patchy grass will not make a good impression.  You may have to spend money to make the exterior of your house more appealing, but it is money well spent if it gets potential buyers in the door.  If your house is in good shape on the outside, buyers will see it as one less thing they have to spend money on once they move in.

 

New 1031 Exchange Filing Requirements for California

New §1031 Exchange Filing Requirements for California
There are new annual filing requirements for taxpayers who use Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 to defer gain or loss when selling California property.  Effective January 1, 2014, all taxpayers who defer gain or loss by selling California property and acquire like kind non-California property will have to file a new California information return to track their deferred California sourced gain or loss.  This return will generally be required to be filed annually until deferred California source gain is recognized.  The new form is currently being developed cialis andorre acheter.

This new law will help taxpayers and the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) to keep track of California sourced gain from an exchange.  After exchanging California property for property outside the State many taxpayers later sell said property and their previous deferred California sourced gain is not reported to California.

As an example, let’s say an investor exchanges out of a property in California and there was a gain of $50,000.  Investor then purchases property outside of California deferring the gain.  The investor must now annually report the gain of $50,000 on the new California 1031 information return and when the investor eventually sells the non-California property the investor will have to pay taxes to California.

This new law applies to all individuals, estates and trusts and all business entities regardless of their residency status or commercial domicile.  This new information return is due on the same date that their California return is due.  For those taxpayers who fail to file this new form, the FTB may issue a Notice of Proposed Assessment to adjust their income for the previously deferred gain plus penalties and interest.

 

Get the App – Palos Verdes Dream Homes

Palos Verdes Dream Homes

 

Download the App Download the Palos Verdes Dream Homes App for iPhone <a href="http://itunes.apple vente de cialis en ligne.com/us/app/palos-verdes-dream-homes/id693986795?mt=8″ onclick=”__gaTracker(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘outbound-article’, ‘http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/palos-verdes-dream-homes/id693986795?mt=8’, ”);” title=”Get the App – Palos Verdes Dream Homes”>download from the app store
Download the App Download the Palos Verdes Dream Homes App for Android download from the google marketplace

Housekeeping Tips

Over the years of my career in real estate, I have learned some interesting housekeeping tips that you may not know about:

1.  Shower door cleaning: When I was in the process of getting my own home ready to market, I was trying to remove soap scum from my shower doors and failing at the task.  I gave up and called a tradesman to replace the doors.  The contractor told me how to clean them and I must share this information because it really works.  Spread shampoo (one without any conditioner in it) on the glass surface; rinse it off; and behold, it works like a charm!

2.  Cleaning sinks, tubs and toilets: There is a miracle product called “Bar Keepers Friend” that can be purchased at Home Depot, Lowes and other such stores.  All I can say is you will be amazed at how this product works.

3.  Maintaining hardwood floors: Usually, just dust mopping is adequate, but when the floors really need more help, I recommend using Murphy’s Oil Soap,  diluted as directed on the bottle.  Damp mop, but do not soak the floors.  Do not let the solution sit, but dry the floor immediately.  I get a towel and “skate” over the floor with it.

4.  Taking care of badly scuffed hardwood floors: One home I was helping an owner get ready for the market had hardwood flooring.  In one of the hallways the floor was really scuffed up.  The owner said he would probably have to re-do the floor, and expensive undertaking.  A quick, very inexpensive fix is to use Old English Scratch Cover, that comes in different shades.  I asked my client’s cleaning lady to try it; the floors looked like new; the home sold within a week.

 

 

 

 

 

Proposed Tax Code Reforms Could Harm Real Estate Recovery

According to the California Association of Realtors, in late June, the U. S. Senate announced plans to adopt a “blank slate” approach to reform the tax code.  A blank slate approach would eliminate all tax expenditures (including tax deductions such as the mortgage interest deduction, tax exemptions such as the capital gains exemptions on the sale of a personal residence, and the deduction of state property taxes).  Senators will have to request tax expenditures be added to the reform legislation, which would raise tax rates.  This approach allows the Senate Finance Committee to highlight just how much tax rates could be reduced by eliminating all the tax expenditures.  Senators have until July 26th to request that real estate expenditures be added to the reform legislation before the Finance Committee begins drafting a tax reform package.  What can you (we) do?  It is imperative that we have our voices heard and encourage Congress to “do no harm” to real estate.  Contact your representatives today.

Countdown to Home Buying

The market is improving; inventory is low.  Check this countdown list to make sure you are ready to purchase:

1.  Get Pre-approved.  You are pre-approved when your credit has been checked and confirmed and your income, assets and employment history have been verified.  Be careful; some so-called pre-approvals are not worth the paper they are written on.  I have received “pre-approval” letters from lenders and submitted them with offers to purchase only to find out later that the buyer was not able to obtain a loan.  Sometimes it is advantageous to work with loan officers at the bank with which you do business, as they have a vested interest in your continuing to do business with them.

2.  Temper your expectations.  Listing inventory in the Palos Verdes area and the entire South Bay is only 50% of what it was last year.  This means that if you want to stick to any sort of budget, you are not likely going to get everything you want or you will have to be patient.  Have a clear understanding of your needs, wants and wishes, so you will take action when the right home becomes available.

3.  Be ready to compete.  Unless you are willing to purchase a home an outlying area or in need of a lot of repairs, prepare yourself to make multiple offers and compete with other buyers in the market.

4.  Be prepared to act quickly.  When you find the home of your dreams, you need to be ready to rush to get it.  If you do not act quickly and start making preparations right away, you may find yourself left out in the cold when it comes time for your offer to be accepted.

5.  Watch your behavior at open houses.  Everything you do and say when in front of the listing agent (seller’s agent) or his representative will inevitably be shared with the seller and may come back to haunt you when your make an offer the purchase the home.  Both being too excited about the home or nit-picking the condition of the home can put you at a disadvantage at the negotiating table.

6.  Call your real estate agent.  Actually, this step should be first.  Contact me at 310-995-3754 or Katie@katiemuck.com as soon as you would like to begin the process!