Moving out may bring fast home sale

DEAR BOB: I plan to sell my home. Should I stay in my homewhile trying to sell it? We could move into our new home and leave the one weare trying to sell vacant. Which scenario will help sell our home faster?–Dana P.

DEAR DANA: Your listing real estate agent is in the bestposition to advise you whether to stay or move during the sales process.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

The specific answer depends on whether your home shows wellwith you and your furniture still in the house. Or maybe it will show better ifyou move out, spruce it up with fresh paint and perhaps new carpets.

As a buyer, I like vacant houses because then I can easilyspot most defects. As a seller, I prefer to sell vacant houses after paintingand cleaning them, usually installing new wall-to-wall carpet. Vacant roomslook bigger than rooms occupied with furniture.

NO TAX DEDUCTION IF LOAN IS NOT SECURED BY YOUR HOME

DEAR BOB: To buy our first home, my wife’s parents loaned us$50,000. We have been faithfully repaying them monthly, including interest. Asthey are retired, they need the income. However, when we were audited by theIRS, our interest deduction for this loan was denied. The IRS agent said theinterest is not deductible because the $50,000 loan is not secured by amortgage on our home. Is this correct? –Gerry T.

DEAR GERRY: Yes. For home mortgage interest to qualify as anitemized tax deduction, the loan must be secured by a mortgage on yourproperty.

To qualify for an interest deduction, you should give yourwife’s parents a mortgage or deed of trust to secure their promissory note.Then you can deduct the interest you pay each year to them. For more details,please consult your tax adviser.

SHOULD HOME SELLER CREDIT BUYER FOR DEFECTIVE WINDOWS?

DEAR BOB: I just sold my house. The buyer had itprofessionally inspected. All went well, but the buyer asked me to replace acouple of windows that have condensation, probably due to a bad seal. My homeis 12 years old and in beautiful “mint” condition. I just put morethan $20,000 into it with a new roof, siding, appliances, and professionalpaint job throughout. I feel the buyer is being unreasonable, asking me to fixthe one and only thing wrong with my home. The house is selling for $350,000.Am I being unreasonable not wanting to pay for the windows? –Joe McC.

DEAR JOE: If the buyer’s purchase offer is acceptable,especially if the local home sales market is slow, why risk losing him over afew hundred, or even a few thousand, dollars?

Better than replacing those windows, however, is to offeryour buyer a “repair credit” at the closing, such as $500 or $1,000.Chances are the buyer won’t even replace those windows, but then you won’t risklosing the sale over a petty item.

The new Robert Bruss special report, “Probate PropertyProfit Secrets Revealed,” is now available for $5 from Robert Bruss, 251Park Road, Burlingame, CA 94010 or by credit card at 1-800-736-1736 or instantInternet delivery at www.BobBruss.com.Questions for this column are welcome at either address.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center
).

Copyright 2006 Inman News

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