Posts Tagged ‘home selling’

What to do when your property won’t sell

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

There are times when even those of us who are using the “fixer upper and rental house” strategy need to sell a house, despite at one point  having sworn that we wouldn’t sell an investment  house till the cows came home.

A Clintastrophy

Sometimes we have to readjust our priorities, and as Clint Eastwood/Dirty Harry famously said, but apparently disregarded at the Republican Convention, “a man’s got to know his limitations.”

Maybe it’s because the location is just not that good, or you can’t get good tenants, or maybe the property requires too much attention in terms of frequent repairs. In my case, I sold one of my properties in 2010 because of all the above.

So, what do you do if you want to sell a property and it just won’t sell?

Here are a four things that I suggest you do to sell your property:

This house might be overpriced regardless of the price

1.) Check comparable properties in the area and make sure that you’re property is not over priced. If you want to sell faster, and we all want to sell faster, put the price slightly below other properties.

2.) Offer your house for sale and for rent at the same time. If the offers that come in are too low, you can keep it as a rental for another year or two until home values rise again.

3.) Hire a well established real estate agent to sell you house. When I first started my rental house business, I wanted to do everything myself, including selling my properties. Now, I realize that some things are best left to the experts, and this is one of them. A good real estate agent has a lot of connections, not only with potential buyers but also with other agents. They can attract a lot more buyers to the property than I could.

4.) Offer seller financing. Many buyers won’t qualify for traditional loans because of strict requirements and large down payments. This should allow you to sell for a premium price and get a higher interest rate. (Thanks to Chuck at Landlordinvestor for this tip.)

Now for my semi-weekly roundup of other articles that I find interesting in the blogosphere:

I liked the tips by landlordinvestor on advertising to find tenants entitled Running an ad in a weekly paper.

Over at Louisville Gals Real Estate Blog is a provocative interview with real estate investor James Vermillion.

Fearless Men have another batch of highly motivational quotes in Fearless Men Quotes/ Volume 2.

Jewel had an inspirational article in 10 Lies that Will Keep Your Dreams on the Shelf – #1. If you liked “The Artist’s Way,”  you’ll like this.

I could relate to Guilt Induced Frugality at Modest Money.

I was educated by Get an Oil Change Without Getting Ripped Off at Blue Collar Workman.

I relished the article Can Introverts Succeed As Leaders And Entrepreneurs: YES! at Untemplater.

Coming Soon!

How to Turn Your Home into a Rental House, Instead of Selling It

Tax Exemption for Serial Home Buyers/Sellers, Part 2

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

How it works

Utilization of this tax exemption is one of the safest investment strategy for the conservative investor who wants to take few risks, not to mention for fixer upper house investors. Under this strategy, the investors can quality for the least expensive loan, the owner-occupied loan. There is no need to worry about tenants destroying your rental property or not paying the rent. You completely control the investment by living in the property yourself. When you sell, you have the opportunity to bring in up to $500,000 tax-free money every two years.

Here is an example to show how the exclusion works, illustrated in Table 1. You and your wife file jointly and you continuously buy and sell homes over the years, each time purchasing a more expensive home as a replacement. Let’s say that you bought a house for $300,00. For the last 5 years you have owned the home and it is now worth $600,000, with $300,000 worth of accumulated gain. If you were to sell your home now for $600,000, without the tax exemption you would be subject to a capital gains tax on $300,000. The amount of taxes saved with the tax exemption would be $84,000. Table 1 also illustrates other amounts of gains.

Table 1
Home Selling under the Taxpayer Relief Act Exemption
(assuming a 28% tax bracket)

Home/ purchase price/sales price/ capital gain/ tax saved

#1/ $150,000/ $200,000/ $50,000/ $14,000
#2/ $200,000/ $300,000/ $100,000/ $28,000
#3/ $300,000/ $600,000/ $300,000/ $84,000

Ownership and Use Tests

To qualify for the tax exclusion, you must pass both the ownership and use tests. This simply means that during a 5-year period, ending of the date of sale, you have:

1.) Been owner of the house for 2 years (ownership test)
2.) Lived in the home for w years and it was your main residence (use test)

Maximum Amount of Exclusion

A total amount of $250,000 can be excluded if all of the following are true:

1. You meet the ownership test
2. You meet the use test
3. You did not exclude the gain from another home sale during the 2-year period

A total amount of $500,000 can be excluded if all of the following are true:

1. You are married and filed a joint return for the year
2. Either you or your spouse meets the ownership test
3. Both you and your spouse meet the use test
4. Neither you nor your spouse excluded gain from the sale of another home during the 2-year period ending of the date of the sale.

Can You Get a Partial Exemption?

Unforeseen circumstances may allow you to claim a reduced exclusion if either one of the following is true:

1. You did not meet ownership and use tests due to :
– a change in location of employment
– health problems
– unforeseen circumstances (see below).

2. Your exclusion would have been disallowed because you sold more than one home during a 2-year period, except that you sold the home due to :
-a change in location of employment
-health problems
-unforeseen circumstances

Unforeseen circumstances can include:

1. Death
2. Divorce or separation
3. Not eligible for unemployment compensation
4. Multiple births from the same pregnancy
5. Damage to the home from natural disaster, war, or terrorism.
6. Condemnation, seizure, etc.

In these cases, the amount of capital gains tax the could be excluded would be based on the number of months that the home owner lived in the home during a 24-month period. If a home owner couple lived in their home for 12 months, they could exempt 50% of the $500,000 exclusion, or $250,000.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a serial home buyer/seller using the tax exemption?

The next installment we will examine that question.

Serial Home Seller Tax Exemption, Part 3

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