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.

How Your Washington DC Realtor Can Use Social Media For a Quicker Sale

Filed Under: Washington DC Real Estate    by: Steve Kayhill

washington_dc_realtorThere’s no doubt about it – social media has transformed the real estate industry. Your Washington DC realtor should utilize this powerful tool to connect with potential buyers and get the word out about your property. On the other side of the equation, homebuyers and their realtors use social media to browse efficiently and narrow down the field. Follow these tips to make sure your real estate transaction utilizes this form of media to the max.

Finding a Realtor

You can draw on social media to browse for, investigate and hire a realtor when buying or selling Washington DC real estate. Profile pages on Facebook or Twitter provide information and allow you to gauge the level of interaction each realtor engages in.

Remember that social media is only one avenue of communication, so a realtor that uses it sporadically may have a strong record of telephone and email communications. But if you prefer to connect through social media, look for a real estate agent that also works that way. Chances are you will find a better fit.

Shop Using Social Media

Homeowners and realtors use channels like Twitter and Facebook to post listings. While it may not be streamlined and easily searchable, you can find private listings and those properties listed with agents side by side, making comparisons easier. Try using hashtags in Twitter to attract attention and access archives. And input tags or keywords into your favorite search engine to find listings quickly.

Use online classifieds as well as web-based local listings. If your Washington DC realtor regularly uses these sources to browse they can share information and discoveries via your social media connections, providing details instantly. You can, in turn, respond and sort through the potential properties quickly.

Organize your viewing schedules via social media as well, gathering information about open houses and contacts easily. Keep your mobile handy when going through a house to have ready access to posted information and the ability to compare it with what you see at the viewing.

Sell Using Social Media

Everything from homes to cars, personal belongings and services are posted on various social media channels. The more places your property listing appears in, the better exposure it will have and the faster it will sell. Ask your real estate agent if and how they use social media to spread the word.

Realtors may have their own page of listings or recommend that you post the details on your personal profile. Think about other ways to spread the word using the casual and professional networks that have been established. You never know who your friends, neighbors, coworkers and professional connections know. Many channels also provide feedback from buyers, allowing you to better gauge how the market is reacting to your listing.

Think about community profiles, municipal listings and other connections that can be made via social media and utilized to sell your home. Innovative approaches get the most attention. With the help of your Washington DC realtor, you can use social media to buy and sell a home quicker.

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.

Renovation Projects Your Washington DC Realtor Will Not Recommend

Filed Under: Washington DC Real Estate    by: Steve Kayhill

washington_dc_realtorRenovations and home improvements can be a good idea when your property is up for sale. These investments may help to close the sale quicker or bring in a higher return. But there are certain projects that your Washington CD realtor cannot recommend, mainly because they will make your home less appealing and more difficult to sell. Find out what you need to stay away from and make the home selling process smoother.

Adding Bold Colors

Repainting is a wise idea when your home is up for sale. This quick and affordable project will give your home a fresh look and appeals to many buyers, unless you choose a bold color. Covering the walls in bright red, bold green or even a deep yellow will put off most people and severely limit your buyers. Even though paint is easily recovered, most homebuyers want to purchase a property that they can comfortably move into.

Adding colored bathroom fixtures is another bad idea. Although it may be trendy and suit your own tastes, it’s always best to stick with neutral colors for the sink, tub and toilet. Ditto for the flooring and any bathroom tiles.

Installing New Carpet

Although this may seem like a good plan, especially if your existing carpet is worn and aged, wall-to-wall carpeting is becoming less attractive to homebuyers. Because carpet can trigger allergies and is often considered incompatible with pets, a home with carpeted rooms (even newly carpeted rooms) may lose out over one with hardwood or laminate flooring.

It’s a better idea to have your existing hardwood floors refinished or to install new laminate. Even low-end laminate flooring will be more attractive than carpet to many homebuyers. And laminate flooring can be installed as a weekend DIY project.

Built Ins of Any Sort

You may be a sucker for built in bookshelves and maybe you’ve always dreamed of a built in stereo system, but not every homeowner has the same tastes. What is convenient and attractive to you is not necessarily going to be seen as such by other buyers. Most Washington DC realtors will tell you the same thing – stay away from built in features as much as possible. Not only do they limit your buyers, but they can also make staging more difficult.

Fancy Appliances

You might think that the latest and greatest appliances are an immediate trigger for potential buyers. But the truth is that many of these appliances will not pay out in the end. You won’t recoup what you paid for them after the sale and this type of home improvement does not generally make or break the decision for buyers.

It could be that homebuyers have their own appliances or at the very least, their own idea about what constitutes a high-end appliance. You may appreciate the space age look or feel that every home needs a large capacity washer, but their opinions are likely to be different. And then the thousands of dollars spent on those new appliances will go to waste. If new appliances are needed it is best to buy midrange and invest the balance of the money elsewhere.

Your Washington DC realtor is likely to recommend a few home improvement projects that will help to close the sale quickly and for a decent price. There are certain projects that will not be on that list though, and you are best to heed their professional advice. It is offered in your best interest.