Selling Your Home in Idaho

Pro Tips for Selling your Home in Idaho

How to Stage your Home when Selling

Staging your home may require quite a bit of effort but it will greatly improve the type of offers you may receive from buyers who appreciate the perfected condition of your home.

Rent a storage unit
Deposit all excess junk, furniture, clothing, and unnecessary items. Remove 50% of all items from table tops, dressers, and counters.

Clean, clean, clean
Deep clean all bathrooms, appliances, carpets, walls, and windows. Buyers are drawn to spotless homes that smell clean.

Empty, then organize Closets
The buyers will feel the home had more room for their belongings.

Open all of the Blinds
Buyers love a lot of light. If some areas of your home are dark, add a lamp and leave all the lights on.

Remove Personal Items
Remove all personal pictures from walls, dressers, and mantels. Buyers want to decide where their family portraits with be placed.

Furniture Arrangement
Arrange the furniture to provide a spacious feeling. Consider removing furniture from rooms that are too crowded. Remove any furniture that looks old and tattered.

Consider adding fresh or silk flowers to a dining or living area.

Check for peeling paint or dirty walls. If it needs paint, do it prior to marketing. This includes cabinets, molding, and especially doors.

Tidy Up
Kitchen work areas need to be cleared of all appliances and knick knacks. Counter space is very important to most buyers. Clean and polish all woodwork and cabinets. Use a product that will make them look newer and shinier. Use wood soap to clean and a product like Old English to smooth out scratched wood trim and moldings. If marketing in the winter, be sure to take a look at your tired yard. Pick up all debris and cut down all of last years planting. Rake out flower beds, and if the lawn is looking exhausted, rake it too!

Idaho Housing Tax

Here are some tax facts to help answer questions you may have regarding the sale of your house, or the purchase of your new house.

Single homeowners can exclude the entire gain on the sale of a home up to $250,000. Married owners can exclude $500,000 if they file a joint return for the year, either spouse meets the ownership test, both meet the use test, and neither spouse is excluding a gain from the sale of another home after May 6, 1997.

All homeowners must satisfy 3 tests. The ownership test means the seller owned the home for at least 2 years of the 5-year period before the closing date. The use test means the seller used the property as a principal residence for 2 years of that 5-year period. And the waiting period test means the exclusion wasn’t used during the preceding 2-year period. Sellers are not required to purchase a replacement residence, as they were under the old law.

There is no limit to the number of times the exclusion will apply. There is no cumulative feature. For example, a married seller may exclude up to $5000,000 of gain on each home sale over a lifetime, provided all other requirements are met.

Since January 1, 1998, gains from all capital assets held for more than 12 months are taxed at the rate of 20% , or 10% for tax payers in the 15% tax bracket. If sellers qualify for the exclusion, the first $250,000 or $500,000 of the gain on the sale is not taxable. Any gain beyond the $250,000/$500,000, depending on their situation.

Job transferees who must sell their house in less than the 2 year period can claim a percentage equal to the percentage of the 2 year requirement they have satisfied. So if they owned and used the property for only 6 months, they would be entitled to a 25% exclusion (6 months = 25% of 2 years) of either $250,000 or $500,000, depending on their situation.

There are other situations where reduced exclusions are allowed. Owners who sell because of a change in health are treated the same as job transferees. The exclusion is available to those who owned their home on August 5, 1997 (the date the law became effective) and sell before August 5, 1999. Those sellers should see their tax consultant for more information.

Owners of a rental property, or a home formerly used as a principal residence, can qualify for the exclusion even if they no longer live there on the sale date, that is, provided they meet the ownership, use and waiting period tests. Also, owners of a rental property can move into their property for 2 years, convert the rental into a principal residence, and be eligible for the exclusion.