Sale by Surviving Spouse

Real Estate Agent with Shinsky & Assoc

Sale by Surviving Spouse

The IRS has given special consideration regarding the sale of their jointly-owned principal residence after the death of a spouse. If the surviving spouse does not remarry prior to the sale of the home, they may qualify to exclude up to $500,000 of gain instead of the $250,000 exclusion for single people.

  • The sale needs to take place after 2008 and no more than two years after the date of death of the spouse
  • Surviving spouse must not have remarried
  • Both spouses must have used the home as their principal residences for two of the last five years prior to the death
  • Both spouses must have owned the home for two of the last five years prior to the death
  • Neither spouse may have excluded gain from the sale of another principal residence during the last two years prior to the death
If you have been widowed in the last two years and have gain in your principal residence, it would be worth investigating the possibilities. Contact your tax professional for advice about your specific situation. Contact me to find out what your home is worth in today's market. See IRS Publication 523 - surviving spouse.
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Comments (4)

Matthew Francis
The Francis Team - Broomfield, CO

Thanks for the update and information on this.  I will definately add this to my list of buyer tools.  I appreciate you bringing this forward.  I myself have not run into the problem as of yet, but will probably at some point based on our current production

Oct 17, 2011 07:18 AM
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Nita-I haven't run into this situation as of yet, excellent information thanks for posting.



Oct 17, 2011 07:32 AM
Nita Shinsky
Shinsky & Assoc - Azle, TX
Broker, GRI, SFR, e-Pro

I wish I could say I've run into this problem but I haven't either :-). Maybe it will do someone good in the ActiveRain world. It's good information either way though.

Oct 17, 2011 07:37 AM
Tim Riddle
Tim Riddle Broker Associate,Marsha Hardin Real Estate - Azle, TX
SFR,TAHS, Azle ,Fort Worth Real Estate

Very helpful information. I have not run into this either,but sure could have a situation like this and be caught off gaurd

Oct 24, 2011 10:02 AM