Making the Home Sales Process Go Smoothly

When you think about your retirement years, do you imagine living in a new home or community? Whatever your choice of retirement haven, you may wish to sell your current home. To facilitate the sales process, consider the following points:

  1. If you have already begun looking for a new home, place your existing home on the market as soon as possible to help minimize the chances of simultaneously owning two homes—along with their associated costs.
  2. If you have decided to work with a real estate agent, ask friends for recommendations. Negotiate the commission prior to listing, and then sign for a limited period (such as three to six months). At that point, you may decide to switch agents.
  3. Establish a fair asking price so your property doesn’t sit on the market. For reference, obtain the recent selling prices of three properties in your area that are comparable to your own.
  4. Hire an attorney with experience in real estate sales. Your attorney can help protect your interests from the time a contract is signed until you receive the purchase check.
  5. Consult with your tax professional. Selling a home can impact your Federal and state tax returns. In general, you can exclude up to $250,000 in real estate gains ($500,000 for married couples filing jointly) on property that was your principal residence for at least two years.

Many retirees choose to sell their homes. Following these tips can help make the home sales process go as smoothly as possible for you.