Cary Real Estate Home Sales

Choosing an Agent -- Real Estate Agent Interview Guide

If you're looking to sell your home, then the following questions are important:

  • What is the average sales price of the homes the real-estate agent lists for sale? Knowing the real-estate agent's niche allows you to better affect a match with your needs.
  • What is the average sales-to-list-price ratio for the real-estate agent's and the firm's listings? This gives you an idea of how well the real-estate agent performs both in terms of negotiating on behalf of their clients, and in terms of his or her market knowledge in setting a listing price.
  • What is the average number of days on the market for the real-estate agent's listings during the past year? This helps you assess the impact of the firm's marketing plan.
  • Does the real-estate agent prepare a written market analysis? Having an objective written analysis in hand gives you a better idea of the appropriate listing price for your home.
  • What is the real-estate agent's marketing plan? Make sure the marketing plan suits your needs and properly positions your property.
  • How does the real-estate agent follow up with clients? and how will the real-estate agent communicate with you and how frequently? Establishing effective lines of communication helps make the stressful process of selling a home a more pleasant experience.
  • How many years of experience do you have? Work with an experienced agent with a solid track record of sales in your area.
  • How would you assess the current market for selling? A good agent will give an unbiased evaluation of the state of the market, and will know how to get the best price for your home.
  • How long have you sold homes in this area? Agents who specialize in your area are more likely to deliver a larger number of potential buyers to your door.
  • Could you give me a list of your satisfied clients as references? Make sure the list contains owners of properties in similar neighborhoods and/or price ranges

Roadmap to Downsizing

What do you do when the children leave home?

These days’ huge numbers of baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are at that point in their lives when the empty-nest looms. Perhaps it has already arrived. Today, downsizing is becoming more prevalent than ever before.

There are a number of important factors that may contribute to the decision to downsize and to move into a smaller home.

Often both partners work in a household, so of course there is less need for, and interest in a large house. People may also want to free up some of their cash equity and have less responsibility for a large home. At this point in life adopting a more relaxed lifestyle is often a priority. Retiring from work is a strong motivator to downsize as well. With less income, and more time, a change of scenery and reduced responsibility may appeal.

Why pay utilities on a larger home and worry about the maintenance and upkeep of that home, not to mention the cleaning you feel obliged to do regularly, whether or not the rooms are being used?

Lawn and garden maintenance can also be an added burden and expense as well in a larger home. The children are gone and who's going to mow the lawns and get rid of the rubbish? If you find yourself asking these questions, call us, you may be ready to sell.

Information on Capital Gains

The capital gains law now allows homeowners to avoid paying taxes on the first $500,000 of profit if they are married or on the first $250,000 if they are single.

You must have lived in the home as your primary residence for two of the last five years. You are allowed to use the provision as often as you like, as long as it fits in that two year period.

Any gains above the limit will be taxed at the current 20% capital gains rate - down from the prior 28 % rate. The old law provided a $125,000 "one time" tax free exclusion on profits for home sellers 55 or older. This no longer is used, but those who have used it will be allowed to use the new provisions without penalty.

Under the old law you could roll over gains if you bought a more expensive house. If you sold a more expensive one and purchased a less expensive one you were liable for gains tax. Under the new law this provision is no longer in effect.

The above information is simply a guideline and is not intended as tax advice. Please consult your tax attorney or accountant for specific advice regarding your situation.

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