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Are you thinking about selling your home in Bay Street Corridor? Have you been thinking of selling it by yourself instead of hiring a real estate agent? There are several advantages of selling your home yourself, but there are disadvantages as well. To make it easier for you to make a decision find the most important pros and cons below.

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The most important PRO for selling your home yourself inĀ Bay Street Corridor is MONEY. Selling your home without the help of an agent means more Money in your pocket! By selling it yourself you save the commissions and fees. – We are not talking about pennys, we are talking about THOUSANDS of dollars which you would have to pay an agent. Another advantage is that you are able to decide the times for open houses and showings. It is also completely up to you where and when you want to advertise. Unlike a real estate agent who is selling many houses, you can focus on YOUR house, because you are only selling your own house. It is obvious that you will have more interest in the sale than an agent.

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Most people understand that a Buyers Agent is the agent that represents a buyer through a real estate transaction and the Sellers Agent represents the Seller during the transaction. Often, buyers do not understand exactly what "Limited Agency" (sometimes referred to as Dual Agency) is and how it will impact their sale or purchase. In Utah, the exact definition of Limited Agency taken directly off a Limited Agency Consent Agreement from Utah Association of REALTORS® reads:

"A Limited Agent represents both seller and buyer in the same transaction and works to assist in negotiating a mutually acceptable transaction. A Limited Agent has fiduciary duties to both seller and buyer. However, those duties are "limited" because the agent cannot provide to both parties undivided loyalty, full confidentiality and full disclosure of all information known to the agent. For this reason, a Limited Agent must remain neutral in the representation of a seller and buyer, and may not disclose to either party information likely to weaken the bargaining position of the other; such as, the highest price the buyer will pay or the lowest price the seller will accept. A Limited Agent must, however, disclose to both parties material information known to the Limited Agent regarding a defect in the Property and/or the ability of each party to fulfill agreed upon obligations, and must disclose information given to the Limited Agent in confidence, by either party, if the failure to disclose would be a material misrepresentation regarding the Property."

Many clients often point out the fact that the Agent will be making double the commission. This should not be a consideration for either party involved in Limited Agency. You must remember this agent will make commission on their listing no matter WHO sells it, and if the Agent is already working with the buyer, then anything the buyer purchases the Agent will make commission on that as well. Essentially any deal could be a "double commission" when an agent works with both buyers and sellers independently. So it is unfair to make the Agents commission a factor or a negotiation tool, for either party.

Limited Agency... should YOU participate? I suppose it depends on how well you know your Agent. Will you get the best deal? Possibly. You may have to rely on some of your own instincts and research to determine what the best deal will be, as you will not have full disclosure and advice from your limited agency real estate professional.

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If you are a homeowner, you will be entitled to tax breaks when you sell your home. It is possible to profit up to $250,000 if you file your taxes singly. If you file jointly, you could get $500,000. To make things even nicer, you will owe nothing to the IRS. There are a few caveats that are involved. You must have been the owner of the property and must have used that same property as your primary residence for at least 2 of the 5 years preceding the sale of the home. While this seems fair, what happened if you sold your home after only owning it for two years? In 2002, the IRS released new regulations that changed the original rules.

If you are in the situation of owning and residing in the home for less than 2 years, you can avoid the tax by claiming a reduced gain exclusion. This is fairly easy to qualify for. If you do qualify, the amount will most likely be large enough to protect the entire gain, even though the sale was made prematurely. If you are eligible, the amount would equal the $250,000 or $500,000 times a fraction. The numerator of the fraction would be the period of time that you owned and used the home and the denominator would be the two years that is required. For example, if you and your spouse owned and resided in your home for 22 months, the reduced exclusion would be $500,000 multiplied by 22 months over 24 months, which would equal $458,333. The reduced exclusion applies when the premature sale is a result of a change in employment, health issues or unforeseen circumstances.

Additional tax treatments are available if you use your home for business or rental property. The entire home, including the rental and business areas will qualify for the gain exclusion. The only difference in this case is that you must pay a tax on the gain if it was attributable to depreciation deductions that had been claimed after May of 1997. Keep in mind that the business or rental property must be located within the primary residence.

As long as you meet the eligibility requirements, you can earn considerable tax savings when you sell your home. Selling prematurely should be avoided if at all possible, but if a situation does arise, you will not lose as much as you think.

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