How to Sell Washington DC Real Estate Quickly

Filed Under: Washington DC Real Estate    by: Steve Kayhill

Selling your home in today’s marketplace can be challenging. With the right approach you can sell Washington DC real estate quickly and for a reasonable profit. Follow these simple steps to ensure your property comes up on the wish list for multiple buyers.

Step One – Get Professionals On Your Side

You’ll need to hire an experienced Washington DC realtor to attract qualified buyers, conduct your transaction and answer your questions along the way. Ask for recommendations and opt for a real estate agent with proven expertise and a personable, yet professional nature.

Besides hiring a realtor, it may also be a good idea to bring in your own home inspector. Getting the jump on this process allows you to correct any issues before the house goes up for sale. Taking care of repairs and maintenance is critical to a quick sale. But you should also be aware that if the inspector uncovers a problem you are unable to fix, you may be required to disclose that information to prospective buyers.

Step Two – Set a Reasonable Price

Taking into account the advice of your real estate agent, the market conditions and your own financial needs, now is the time to come up with a reasonable price tag. Remember that your property will be measured against others within your Washington DC neighborhood, so price the listing accordingly.

Consider any potential hesitations that buyers may have about your home. Is it a little cramped or in need of updating? Is the location inconvenient to public transport or on a busy thoroughfare? You need to set the price with these conditions in mind, thinking like a buyer and emotionally detaching yourself from your home.

Step Three – Clean Out and Home Staging

Once you have hired an agent to list your Washington DC real estate, taken care of anything your home inspector uncovered and set a reasonable price, it’s time to get the property ready. Starting from the inside and moving all the way out to the yard, you need to clean out most of your personal items and make the property shine.

Repaint rooms in neutral colors, clear away clutter and clean out your closets. Rent a storage unit to hold your out of season clothing, seasonal equipment and other unnecessary items. Many professionals recommend removing some of your personal photos and other knick-knacks. This allows potential buyers to easily envision their own family in the home, rather than feeling like a visitor in yours.

Cut the grass and have the garden cleaned up as well, to create an attractive first impression. Wash the siding and clean the windows for maximum visual impact for all visitors, whether they attend an open house or come by for a private showing. The outside of your home is just as important as the inside – tidy up the yard, even when selling your home in the winter.

By following these three easy steps, you can expect to sell your Washington DC real estate quickly. Hire professionals to help you out, set a good price and clean up the property for potential buyers. Your hard work will surely pay off.

Tips on Setting the Fair Market Price For Your Washington DC Real Estate

Filed Under: Uncategorized    by: Steve Kayhill

washington_dc_real_estateSellers need to decide on a fair market price before putting their Washington DC real estate up for sale. This vital figure plays a major role in determining the quality of buyers, how quickly the house sells and the resulting profit. It takes time and thought to come up with a fair figure, and your Washington DC realtor should be there to offer valuable help.

Tip 1 – Look Around the Neighborhood

Check out the properties for sale on your street and in the surrounding neighborhood. Pay special attention to those that have sold, including how long they were on the market. Those statistics offer one of best gauges for setting the fair market price of your property.

You’ll want to position your property properly in the local market. Too high and buyers will bypass your home for that bungalow down the street; too low and you’ll lose out on potential profits. Ask your realtor to look into the features and specs of other properties up for sale, then compare yours to help decide where it stands against the competition.

Tip 2 -  Consider Your Own Schedule

If you have plenty of time to sell your home, you also have greater flexibility in terms of price. A home coming in at the bottom of the available price range will sell quickly, whereas overpriced homes may remain on the market for an extended period of time. Days on the market is not the only way to measure the price, but it does give you a good feel for the price expectations of buyers and agents.

On the other hand, if you have to sell your home fast that requirement should be reflected in the price. Knock a few thousand dollars off of the expected price and you’re more likely to close a quick deal. Remember to set your price with wiggle room, since you’re bound to come up against negotiation.

Tip 3 – Leave Emotion Out

Many sellers turn to emotion when setting the fair market price. Some people are very attached to their home, other couples are selling their home due to divorce or family emergencies. While it can be extremely difficult to eradicate emotion from this important event, strong feelings may cloud your reason.

No matter how much your emotion wants to get involved, leave it out. Let observation of the market and logic dictate the best selling price. Your financial needs should also be left out; buyers and agents are not concerned with clearing away your debt or creating a nest egg for your retirement.

It may hurt to hear it, but sentimental memories have no place in price assessments either. Maybe your son took his first steps across the living room floor or the family’s beloved goldfish is buried in the backyard. Those may be valuable memories for your family, but they have no bearing on the asking price.

Your realtor has the knowledge and information available to set the optimum fair market price for your Washington DC real estate. Make this process simple and straightforward and the entire transaction will run smoother.

Understanding the Tax Implications of Washington DC Real Estate Transactions

Filed Under: Washington DC Real Estate    by: Steve Kayhill

washington_dc_real_estate_taxesBuying or selling Washington DC real estate is a financial transaction. And many financial transactions have tax implications that those involved need to be aware of in order to make informed and wise decisions.

Remember that real estate agents are not tax specialists. Although they may have plenty of experience with this type of deal, the tax laws change regularly and real estate agents cannot be expected to keep up with those changes. These alterations to the existing tax law are to be expected, especially in the current economic and governing climate.

What Are the Most Common Tax Implications of a Real Estate Deal?

Selling your home may allow you to turn a profit. It is the cash in pocket that captures the attention of the IRS – and needs to be reported on your tax return. There are, however, certain allowances currently in place that may allow you to exclude some or even all of those profits.

Gathered from information posted on the IRS website, keep in mind the following considerations when selling your Washington DC real estate:

  • If you have lived in the house as your main or principle residence for at least two years of the five years prior to sale, you may be entitled to an exclusion.
  • If you own two or more properties, only the main residence can be excluded.
  • If the exclusions eliminate or cover the profit made you do not need to report it on your income tax.
  • If a profit is realized above the exclusions limits you will need to fill out a Form 1040, Schedule D covering Capital Gains and Losses.

Likelihoods In the Current Market

Today’s market conditions are not exactly conducive to gains. Most people are simply happy to sell, although there are certainly circumstances where a gain is made and the above tax implications apply. Property investors are still making gains on real estate and those who have hung onto homes or land over a long period of time may turn a profit, even in the toughest economic times.

For those real estate transactions that do not realize a profit (meaning you sell the property for less than the original purchase price), there is little to affect your taxes. Inform your tax professional while filing your return and have the figures and paperwork ready to back up the claims. More often than not it will be a non-issue.

Buyers should make sure to keep their paperwork in order, if only for the purpose of claiming the exclusion when it comes time to sell. Ask your real estate agent what types of bills and contracts are needed for future tax returns and be sure to keep their contact information handy should that day come.

Profits are a reality in the world of real estate – they may even be the goal for many buyers and sellers. There could be tax implications when selling your Washington DC real estate, but the various IRS exclusions can lower your final tax bill and allow you to keep the profits in your own wallet.

How to Shop for Washington DC Real Estate the Easy Way

Filed Under: Washington DC Real Estate    by: Steve Kayhill

washington_dc_real_estateThe real estate market of today moves quickly. And without the right support your dream property could be snatched up before you even get a chance to bid. From first time homebuyers to seasoned homeowners, everyone wants to know how to shop for Washington DC real estate the easy way. This simple, albeit fast-paced, method delivers effective results for both buyers and sellers.

Get a Washington DC Realtor On Your Side

Start with having the best players on your team. You may think that the vast selection of commission-free, for-sale-by-owner organizations make it easy to shop for real estate without a realtor. But that assumption often results in missed opportunities and disappointment. Having an experienced real estate agent is even more important in today’s rapidly changing market.

What factors will influence your choice of agent? Always opt for someone with experience in the local region. This gives them insight into the particular dynamics of each neighborhood, including the school systems, shopping, traffic and community associations. This knowledge will help guide you to the very best location for your new home.

You also need someone who understands your situation. They should speak your native language and be familiar with your unique needs. Perhaps they have worked with some of your friends or family members and come with an enthusiastic recommendation. If you are moving into the DC area from across the country ask for recommendations from local connections such as your new employer or nearby friends.

Start Looking Right Away and Continue Looking

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when shopping for Washington DC real estate is not persevering. The earlier you begin shopping, the more properties you will have a chance to view. And don’t stop browsing, viewing and shopping, even when you think that you have found the perfect home. Deals can fall through quickly and by putting the shopping process on hold you are bound to miss out on numerous opportunities.

Keep your realtor on speed dial and stay in constant contact about new listings, viewings and any changes to your current situation. Some families find that their needs and wants evolve as the shopping process continues. Perhaps what they felt was essential loses the critical label. Or something they thought was flexible becomes written in stone. All of these needs should be communicated to the real estate agent promptly, giving them the information needed to match you with ideal properties.

Be Ready to Act Quickly

Having your financing and other details of the transaction taken care of ahead of time is vital to a fast sale. Be sure to arrange any mortgage information and approvals beforehand, obtaining preapproval if possible and securing the terms desired.

If you have another property to sell, it is a good idea to have that on the market while you are shopping. This means you run the risk of selling your current home without having another to move into, but the other side of the equation is equally risky. By waiting until you have purchased a house to sell your current property, you may end up with two mortgages or lose the new home based on the conditions of the sale. Talk to your agent to decide on the best course of action, but in any case you will need to be ready to act fast when the right property comes along.

With a team of support that includes an experienced real estate agent and prearranged financing, you will be ready to shop for Washington DC real estate the easy way. The market is moving and the perfect property is out there.