The real estate market has come a long way - with stability and low interest rates leveling the playing field for buyers and sellers alike in 2013.
At Susan Manners Team, Prudential Fox & Roach REALTORS, , we have recently seen multiple offers on listings in top condition and priced right.
We are servicing buyers of all kinds in increasing numbers - from investors to first time home homeowners (so much cheaper to buy than rent right now) ; from empty nesters downsizing to growing families needing to expand their living space.
If you are selling in 2013, there are some tax implications and characteristics unique to your home and neighborhood you may want to consider.
Should you be making money on the sale of your home, you can exclude the gain from your taxable income if you have owned and used it as your primary residence for two out of the last five years. You may be able to excluded $250,000 of the gain from your income; $500,000 on most joint returns.
To bring top dollar consider contacting your realtor early on in the process to discuss updates and staging.
Some improvements are worth more than others. We are here to help you make those decisions.
Professional staging continues to be a "must," in 2013. At the very least, you enhance your home’s salability with a new coat of paint in neutral tones (this does not mean cold white). Wallpaper and textured walls are personal statements from which most buyers shy. Depending on your skill set, there is a big difference when DIY versus a professional job.
Staging includes how furniture is placed, with the emphasis on “less is more,” to allow buyers and agent to walk through with ease. Buyers need to imagine their belongings in place. In the kitchen, matching appliances can go a long way, even if you don’t have the latest and greatest style of kitchen cabinetry. Updated bathrooms, unless the home is being sold below market price, are often expected. This does not mean you need top of the line faucets or shower heads or fancy marble counter tops.
Dirty or worn carpet needs to be replaced and hardwood floors need to shine. Overall, a clean home will outperform one with cat boxes that need emptying and crowded counter tops.
Curb appeal – the first 30 seconds someone drives by your house - is key. Make sure the lawn is tidy, with junk removed, bushes trimmed and weeds pulled. And remember the front door, where buyers can stand while the Realtor works to open the door. Check not just for cleanliness, but also , chipped paint or stain.
If there are any foreclosed properties in your development keep an eye on them and report any problems regarding vandalism, overgrown yards or trash.
It pays to be a “good neighbor” and keep the neighborhood as well as your own home tidy. Realize that things like the business of your street, noise, school district, and housing style can matter. For example, if you have a 45 year old 3-bedroom ranch that sets among 5 year old 5-bedroom Colonials, you might not get as high a price compared to a location of like homes.
The best advice is to contact a seasoned professional . Realtor who has experience is several market cycles. The business of buying and selling homes continues to change and just like finding the best doctor for your ailment, you want the right Realtor with your purchase or sale.
Overall, 2013 promises to be a great year to both sell and buy a home. Let us know how we can help you achieve your real estate goals.