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Selling a home is an emotionally challenging and time-consuming process. Everyone will try to give you advice thinking they’ll help make the process easier. Within a very short time, you may start to feel drained. It’s very easy for a first-time home seller to make a lot of mistakes. However, with a little knowledge, you can avoid the pitfalls. Here are some things you should know before you sell your home.

Document the Important Information for Your Realtor

Your realtor should have all the crucial information required to sell your home. If you have done repairs, make copies of the receipts and give them to your realtor. Also, use the information to fill out your Property Disclosure. The disclosure gives you a chance to show buyers the improvements you have made in your home.

Some other useful information you should disclose to your realtor includes the age of the water heater and central air conditioning and any permits (such as deck permits, fence permits, and shed permits). Ensure all building violations are cleared and all pending city/town permits are closed out.

In addition, make sure your property’s paperwork is readily available. This includes

  • The title deed or mortgage form
  • Utility bills
  • Copies of rental agreements/satisfaction letter
  • Tax bills
  • Contact details for utility companies



Know the Current Tax Laws

The sale proceeds from your home are taxable. Fortunately, homeowners are given tax breaks by the IRS. The major requirement is that you must have lived in the house for at least 2 years in the last 5 years. The existing capital gains exclusion amount is $500,000 for married couples who file together and $250,000 for singles. Capital gains are calculated based on your house’s selling price after removing your tax basis, the selling costs, and the closing costs. Take time to talk to your accountant about any other tax issues you should know.

Wow Potential Buyers by Listing Outdoor Features

Everyone loves relaxing outdoors when the weather is nice. If your house has outdoor features like a swimming pool, a gazebo, an outdoor dining area, an irrigation system, or a fireplace, list them. Some buyers really value these features. The more information you give buyers, the more interested they will be in your home.

Gather Information About Your Neighborhood for the Buyers

Each neighborhood has a story: some host 4th of July Parades, some are known for their manicured gardens, while others are known for their family-friendliness. Gather information about what makes your neighborhood unique and present it to your realtor – so it can be presented to homebuyers. Some buyers buy homes for unique reasons; pique their interest by telling your neighborhood’s story.

Don’t wait till buyers start showing interest in your home to start gathering all the important documents and information. After gathering all the relevant information, prepare yourself financially and mentally for unexpected scenarios. Put a lot of effort into the home-selling process and an offer will soon come.