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Real Estate Q&A

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Things to know when buying or selling a home .

How should I select an agent? 

Pick an agent who is very experienced, has a proven track record, and is an expert in the area you want to live in. It’s important that your agent is a good listener and has a personality that you connect with. Your home is likely your largest asset, so choose your agent wisely. If your transaction becomes problematic, having the right agent is priceless. 

Why do real estate taxes vary so much from house to house? 

Real estate taxes are calculated based on city and county mileage rates multiplied by the tax assessed value. Taxes are not based on market value. Homestead exemption and the accumulation of Save Our Homes exemptions apply to owner occupants who resided in the home as of January 1 in the year of the sale. This is why the taxes vary from house to house. Once the sale occurs, the new owner will have to apply for Homestead Exemption for the following tax year. Save Our Homes can be transported to another home within a limited time period. 

Will I have to pay capital gains taxes? 
This question should be answered by your accountant due to your own personal situation. Generally speaking, you will not have to pay capital gains on a primary residence as long as you have owned and lived in the home you are selling for two of the preceding five years. Price and profit caps do apply, but you are not required to purchase another home to be exempt. 

What should I do to prepare my home for sale? 

For best results, hire a Realtor with an Accredited Staging Professional designation. Preparing your home should include making needed repairs, a thorough cleaning, decluttering, furniture and décor arrangement, manicuring yard and lawn, and changing paint colors to light neutral tones. 

When is the best time to sell or buy a home? 
Right now is an amazing time to sell your home because of the low inventory, but it is also a good time to buy due to the low interest rates. If you are looking to purchase a home, here is some advice: plan on owning the home for at least five years. If you can afford the payments, take out a 15-year loan. If not, try to make additional payments when possible. Doing this will increase your equity. Also make sure you select a home that will be a good investment. Location, floor plan, updates, and amenities will always drive your home value.

If you are selling your home, this is a great opportunity for you to do it at top dollar as long as you have the right guidance.  

Kim Coburn is a Realtor, Broker agent, certified Residential Specialist, and Accredited Staging Professional with RE/MAX Town and Country Realty. She can be reached at 407-341-1324 or
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