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Union Bank

Selling Your Home

Image Description.   Newly renovated local home.

Selling your home marks the beginning of an important journey, often influenced by a need for more space, a desire to downsize, or a relocation. Understanding and managing the emotional and financial aspects of selling a property rich in memories and investments is vital.

Preparing to Sell

Homeowners decide to sell for various reasons: needing more space, downsizing for simplicity, or relocating for work or lifestyle changes. When you are ready to sell, you must make your home as desirable as possible for potential buyers—first impressions are critical. Decluttering and sprucing up your home can significantly impact its appeal. Addressing minor repairs and aesthetic improvements can also add value.

Effectively marketing your home is essential to attract the right buyers and secure the best deal. Here are some tips on getting the property in front of the right people:

Find a real estate agent that can provide access to additional marketing resources and networks, including listing your property on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which increases visibility

  • Tailor to your target audience, highlighting aspects of your home and neighborhood that are most appealing to potential buyers in that demographic
  • Use high-quality photographs and a compelling listing description that emphasize your home's unique features and benefits
  • Utilize online platforms and real estate websites to reach a broader audience
  • Host open houses and private showings for potential buyers to experience the space firsthand, creating a more personal connection

Pricing and Offers

Setting the right price for your home involves understanding market trends and researching comparable homes. Overpriced homes can deter buyers, while underpriced homes may result in financial loss. Consider current market trends and the condition of your home. Consulting with a real estate professional can provide expert valuation and advice based on extensive market knowledge and experience.

Once offers start coming in, evaluate each one on their buyer qualifications, contingencies, and your closing timeline. Respond promptly to offers, be flexible but not a push-over when negotiating, and use your real estate agent's expertise to navigate the process. Aim for a mutually beneficial outcome that makes the sale advantageous for you and the buyer.

The Costs of Selling

Understanding the various costs involved is crucial for a successful transaction. The most prominent expense is typically the real estate agent's commission, which ranges from 5% to 6% of the sale price. This fee is split between the buyer's and seller's agents and covers the costs of listing, marketing the property, negotiations, and closing the deal.

Additional costs include staging and home preparation expenses. Before listing, sellers often invest in minor repairs, painting, and landscaping to enhance the home's appeal. Staging, which involves furnishing and decorating the property to attract buyers, can also add to the costs.

Closing costs are another significant expense, comprising various fees and taxes associated with the sale. These include title insurance, transfer taxes, escrow fees, and prorated property taxes. You should also be prepared for potential capital gains taxes if the sale price exceeds the property's cost basis. Sellers must factor in these costs early to set a realistic price and budget accordingly.

Capital gains tax is applied on the profit made from selling a property, but some exemptions can reduce the tax burden. For instance, in the United States, if you lived in the home for at least two of the last five years before the sale, you may be eligible to exclude up to $250,000 of the gain if filing as a single taxpayer, or up to $500,000 if filing jointly.

Besides capital gains tax, there are other tax considerations if you are selling an investment property. Depreciation recapture tax and local/state taxes may apply and vary by location. Consult with a tax professional to understand the tax implications and minimize tax liability.

After Selling

Planning your move is the final step in the home-selling process. Begin by researching and hiring a reliable moving company or vehicle well in advance, ensuring they fit your budget and scheduling needs. Establish a detailed timeline for packing, transferring utilities, and addressing any necessary repairs or cleaning in your current home, aligning these tasks with your closing date to ensure a smooth transition. Finally, prepare for your arrival at the new house by familiarizing yourself with the area and planning the layout of your belongings to make the unpacking process more efficient and less stressful.

Selling your home is a journey filled with opportunities and challenges. By understanding each step of the process and preparing accordingly, you can navigate this path with confidence and success. 

Speak with a Union Bank Mortgage Banker

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a Union Bank Mortgage Banker, call 800.974.3273. 
To access the Financial Wellness Center, simply log into your Digital Banking Suite and click on the Financial Wellness Center card on your dashboard. Not a Union Bank customer? Contact the Virtual Branch to open an account today. 
While we hope you find this content useful, it is only intended to serve as a starting point. Your next step is to speak with a qualified, licensed professional who can provide advice tailored to your individual circumstances. Nothing in this article, nor in any associated resources, should be construed as financial or legal advice. Furthermore, while we have made good faith efforts to ensure that the information presented was correct as of the date the content was prepared, we are unable to guarantee that it remains accurate today.

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