Tips for Dealing with a Persistent Homebuyer

As a home seller, it is essential to do everything possible to promote your house to the right groups of property buyers. However, as you approach the finish line of a home sale, you may encounter a “persistent” homebuyer. And if this happens, the home selling process may come to a screeching halt.

A persistent homebuyer may be more likely than others to demand home improvements or a price reduction to finalize a house sale. As a result, you may need to decide whether to accommodate this homebuyer’s requests, continue to negotiate with him or her or walk away from a potential home sale altogether.

So what does it take to deal with a persistent homebuyer? Here are three tips to help you do just that.

1. Understand the Housing Market

Are a homebuyer’s requests valid? If so, they are likely to be based on housing market data. Therefore, if you analyze the housing market closely, you can better understand a persistent homebuyer’s demands and proceed accordingly.

Take a look at the prices of comparable houses in your city or town. By doing so, you can determine how your house’s price rates against the competition.

Also, don’t forget to assess the prices of recently sold homes in your area. This housing market data will help you understand the demand for houses in your city or town and determine whether you’re operating in a seller’s or buyer’s market.

2. Stand Your Ground

A persistent homebuyer may be in a hurry to purchase your house. As such, he or she may push you to make rash decisions that may not be in your best interest.

For home sellers, it is important to take a step back and evaluate all aspects of any home selling decisions. And if you feel uncomfortable with a homebuyer’s requests, you should feel comfortable walking away from a possible home sale.

Ultimately, declining a homebuyer’s requests and walking away from a home sale is far from ideal. On the other hand, doing so will allow you to reenter the housing market and restart the home selling journey with a fresh perspective.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you’re unsure about how to deal with a persistent homebuyer, you’re probably not alone. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available nationwide to help you handle tough negotiations with any homebuyer, at any time.

A real estate agent understands the art of negotiation and can share his or her housing market expertise with you. That way, you can get the support you need to make informed decisions at each stage of the home selling journey.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will respond to your home selling queries as the property selling journey progresses. No question is too big or too small for a real estate agent, and this housing market professional is happy to answer your home selling questions time and time again.

Take the guesswork out of dealing with a persistent homebuyer – use these tips, and you can boost your chances of getting the best results from the home selling journey.

Tips for Selling Luxury Homes

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Your luxury home is a major investment, so it’s important to make sure that you’re approaching the selling process the right way. Selling a luxury home comes with certain challenges that you’re less likely to encounter with a non-luxury home. Luxury homes aren’t as numerous overall, so you’ll have to work harder to attract more buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors, only 13 percent of first-time and repeat home buyers purchased homes costing $500,000 or more, and only 9 percent purchased homes measuring 3,501 square feet or more. Keep the following tips on selling luxury homes in mind before putting yours on the market.

Get the Pricing Right

Determining the right price for a luxury home can be a challenge. You might not have other comparable homes nearby to help you figure out your listing price, or your home might have special features that could make it worth more. Asking for too much for your luxury home could mean that it ends up staying on the market longer than you expected, especially since the number of buyers for these homes overall tends to be smaller. Asking too little means you’re missing out on getting what your luxury home is worth. 

Think Twice About Open Houses

Open houses are a common part of the marketing process for non-luxury homes. However, you might not want to have them for you luxury home. Anyone can attend open houses, which means you’re likely to have people stop by who have no intention of making an offer on your home. In addition to wasting your time, these open houses could also make it easy for criminals to target your home. Instead of open houses, consider arranging private showings for buyers who have a genuine interest in purchasing your home and the financial ability to do so.

Use High-Quality Photos and Videos

When marketing your luxury home, make sure you use high-end cameras for photos and videos. The quality of these can have a huge impact on how successful your online and offline marketing efforts are. High-quality photos and videos are an important part of attracting buyers and making an initial favorable impression on them.

Find an Experienced Real Estate Agent

When you work with a real estate agent to sell your home, make sure that you find one who has experience in the luxury market. Selling luxury homes involves taking different factors into consideration compared to selling non-luxury homes. A real estate agent without this experience might have a more difficult time selling your home or overlook important ways to attract the right buyer. Real estate agents with in-depth knowledge of how to sell luxury homes provide you with valuable help when your home is on the market, including helping you determine the right price for it.

Accelerate Your Homebuying Timeline

You know that you want to buy a house, but you may have only a limited amount of time to conduct a home search and discover your ideal residence. Luckily, there are many things that you can do to speed up your homebuying timeline.

Now, let’s take a look at three tips to help you accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.

1. Refine Your House Search

A list of homebuying criteria is a must-have, particularly for a property buyer who wants to enjoy a quick, seamless house search. In fact, with homebuying criteria in hand, you can refine your house search and move one step closer to finding your dream residence.

As you craft a list of homebuying criteria, think about where you want to reside too. That way, you can further narrow your house search and focus exclusively on homes in your preferred cities and towns.

2. Get Pre-Approved for Home Financing

At first, it may seem like a lot of work to get pre-approved for a mortgage. But if you receive pre-approval for a mortgage, you may be able to avoid time-consuming home financing hurdles down the line.

Oftentimes, it does not take long to get the financing you need to buy a house. Banks and credit unions are available across the United States, and these financial institutions are happy to teach you about a variety of mortgage options. Then, you can select a mortgage that matches your financial needs and kick off your homebuying journey with a mortgage at your disposal.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you face a time crunch to purchase a house but don’t know how to start the homebuying journey, there is no need to stress. By hiring a real estate agent who can offer in-depth homebuying guidance, you can find your dream house in no time at all.

A real estate agent will do everything possible to ensure you can speed up the homebuying journey. First, he or she will learn about your homebuying goals and help you create a homebuying strategy. A real estate agent next will help you search for residences and assess houses in the cities and towns of your choice. And if you discover a house that you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase your ideal residence.

Let’s not forget about a real estate agent’s housing market expertise, either. A real estate agent understands how to navigate a buyer’s or seller’s market. As a result, he or she will make it simple for you to review houses that match or exceed your expectations. If you have concerns or questions as you pursue your dream home, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them as well.

Ready to streamline the homebuying journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly and effortlessly find a great house and make your homeownership dream come true.

What Is Step-Up Basis?

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Suppose you’ve inherited your parents’ longtime home. Suppose they paid $100,000 for it, and it’s now worth $300,000. Had they sold it while it was in their possession, they would have avoided paying capital gains tax due to the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997.

Now that it’s yours, has that tax avoidance opportunity been lost? If you sell it for $300,000, will you have to pay taxes on the $200,000 gain?

The answer is no, and the reason is step-up basis.

What is step-up basis?

When you sell an asset, you may owe capital gains tax. For example, if you buy stock for $10,000 and sell it 10 years later for $15,000, you owe tax on the $5,000 you profited. The original cost, the $10,000, is your basis, and you are taxed on your sale proceeds minus that basis.

If you buy stock, the original cost is your basis. But if you inherit stock, your basis is stepped up to what it’s worth when you inherit. If your mother leaves you that same stock, now worth $15,000, your basis is $15,000, not the $10,000 she paid. The IRS looks at it as if you acquired the stock for $15,000. If you sell it later for $18,000, your taxable gain is ($18,000 – $15,000) or $3,000.

Real estate works the same way. Going back to our example, your basis in the inherited home is $300,000, not the $100,000 your parents paid. If you sell it immediately for $300,000, you’ve made no taxable profit and you keep everything. You pay no capital gains tax at all. If you sell in a few years for $350,000, you pay tax only on the $50,000 difference. The appreciation that happened while your folks were alive never gets taxed.

Depreciation Benefit

If you decide to rent that house out (or if you inherit an apartment building) there’s yet another benefit. You can depreciate the dwelling at the step-up value, even if the previous owner used it as an income property and depreciated it. For that $300,000 building, you can deduct $10,909 a year from your rent income over the 27 ½ year depreciation period, rather than the $3,636 if your basis had been $100,000. You’d pay taxes on $7,273 less every year for a long time.

Step-Up During Your Lifetime

Under special circumstances you can take advantage of step-up basis on real estate when you give it away. You can donate property to a charity and deduct the step-up amount rather than your original basis. However, rules are strict. There are appraisal requirements, limitations based on taxable income and the charity must use the property in its work rather than resell it.

There is an even more specialized opportunity under the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to sell appreciated property, invest in a designated opportunity zone, and defer or avoid taxes on your gain.

In both of these specialized cases, you must follow stringent regulations. Don’t wade in without the help of an expert.