Larry Costa REALTOR®
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Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 12/22/2017

A home showing can make or break your chances of selling your house. Therefore, you'll want to do everything possible to ensure that each home showing is a success.

Ultimately, there are several best practices for home showings that every home seller needs to know, and these practices include:

1. Clean and Declutter Your House

A tidy home is sure to garner homebuyers' attention. Comparatively, a messy house is unlikely to do you any favors in a competitive real estate market.

Allocate the necessary time and resources to clean your house. Mop the floors, wipe down the walls and perform assorted home interior cleaning. Also, don't forget to mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and ensure your house's exterior looks great.

In addition, eliminate clutter from your home as soon as possible. By doing so, you can show off the true size of your living space to potential buyers.

2. Remove Personal Belongings from Your Home

Although you may have many personal photographs and other treasured mementos scattered throughout your house, you should put these items away before a home showing. That way, you can make it easy for homebuyers to envision what life might be like if they purchase your house.

When it comes to personal belongings, it sometimes can be tough to hide these items. However, if you store your personal belongings properly, you can guarantee these items will maintain their quality and appearance until you sell your house.

Pack up any treasured belongings carefully. Then, you can put these items in a storage unit for safe keeping. Or, if a family member or friend has storage space to spare, you can always ask a loved one to store your personal belongings temporarily.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to host a successful home showing, you're not alone. Thankfully, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals know what it takes to transform an ordinary home showing into an unforgettable experience.

A real estate agent can offer expert recommendations to help you get your house show-ready. In fact, a real estate agent can put you in touch with the best home cleaning companies in your area. He or she also is unafraid to be honest and will share any home interior or exterior concerns with you.

Furthermore, a real estate agent will teach you about the real estate market. He or she can educate you about the differences between a buyer's and seller's market, respond to your home selling concerns and questions and much more. Thus, if you work with a real estate agent, you should have no trouble making informed decisions throughout the home selling journey.

Take the guesswork out of prepping your house for a showing – use the aforementioned best practices, and you can improve the look and feel of your house in no time at all.




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Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 12/1/2017

Want to list your house in the not-too-distant future? Ultimately, your house's curb appeal may have far-flung effects on your ability to sell your residence.

In most instances, a house with a dazzling front lawn is likely to make a distinct impression on potential buyers. This home may prove to be more popular than similar residences that are available, and as such, sell at or above its initial asking price.

On the other hand, a home with a messy, cluttered front lawn is unlikely to impress potential buyers. In fact, the front lawn may detract from the home's value, making it tough for a seller to maximize his or her earnings.

When it comes to enhancing your house's front lawn, it may be a good idea to hire a professional landscaper. Because if you have a professional landscaper at your disposal, you can get the assistance that you need to rejuvenate the front lawn of your home and enhance your residence's curb appeal.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you find the ideal professional landscaper before you list your house.

1. Shop Around

Many top-notch professional landscapers are available in cities and towns nationwide. If you evaluate assorted professional landscapers in your area, you may be better equipped than ever before to make an informed hiring decision.

Remember, as a home seller, it is important to do everything possible to enhance your house's curb appeal. And if you dedicate the necessary time and resources to find the right professional landscaper before you list your residence, you can improve your house's curb appeal and boost the likelihood of a fast, profitable home selling experience.

2. Ask Questions

A professional landscaper typically is happy to respond to your questions. Thus, you should not hesitate to ask lots of questions to a variety of local professional landscapers to ensure that you can find the right landscaper to fulfill your requests.

Don't forget to discuss your home improvement goals with various professional landscapers too. That way, you can compare and contrast myriad professional landscapers and hire a landscaper who can help you achieve the best-possible home improvement results.

3. Review Client Feedback

Client feedback about professional landscapers usually is readily available, particularly for landscapers who have completed a wide range of successful projects in the past. Therefore, you should search far and wide for client feedback to find a professional landscaper who can match or exceed your expectations.

A simple web search of a professional landscaper may provide you with access to client feedback. You also can request client referrals directly from a professional landscaper to learn what it's like to work with a particular landscaper before you finalize your hiring decision.

Lastly, if you need extra assistance as you search for a professional landscaper, you may want to consult with a real estate agent as well. A real estate agent can put you in touch with first-rate professional landscapers in your area and ensure that you can bolster your house's curb appeal before you list your residence.





Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 3/10/2017

Let's face it – selling your home is no simple task. As such, you'll want to find a real estate agent who can guide you through the home selling process and ensure that you're able to maximize the value of your residence. Ultimately, there are many reasons to find a real estate agent to help you sell your residence, including: 1. Industry Experience A real estate agent will possess comprehensive industry experience that makes him or her exceedingly valuable. This professional understands the ins and outs of the real estate sector and will be able to assist you in several areas. From determining the best price for your home to offering home improvement tips, a real estate agent knows what it takes to sell a residence in any real estate market, at any time. 2. Local Knowledge Selling a home in a big city can be very different from selling one in a small town. Fortunately, a real estate often recognizes the key attributes of selling a home in a specific area and will work with you to find interested homebuyers consistently. The local knowledge that a real estate agent possesses can make him or her a great resource, particularly for home sellers who are hoping for a fast sale. This professional will work with you throughout the home selling process, and ultimately, ensure that you are fully satisfied with the end results. 3. Expert Negotiation Skills A real estate agent represents you throughout the home selling process and will operate as a liaison between you and a homebuyer. That way, if a homebuyer wants to negotiate for a better price for your residence, your real estate agent can serve as a facilitator who can help you get the best price for your home. Negotiating can be a stressful, exhausting experience, particularly for home sellers who are offering their residences to homebuyers for the first time. Thankfully, your real estate agent will help you streamline any negotiations with a homebuyer. 4. Friendly, Professional Approach A real estate agent understands that the process of selling a home is rarely simple and is happy to respond to your concerns and questions at any time. Typically, a real estate agent will keep you up to date as he or she tries to find homebuyers. This professional will take a friendly, professional approach to promoting your home to a wide range of prospective homebuyers, hosting open houses and home showings and ensuring that you get the attention you deserve while you try to sell your home. With the right real estate agent to help you sell your residence, you can enjoy a stress-free journey through the home selling process – one that is likely to conclude with a home sale that satisfies your needs. Choose the right real estate agent as you prepare to add your home to the real estate market. By doing so, you can take the guesswork out of promoting your home to the right homebuyers and increase your chances of a quick sale.





Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 1/20/2017

Selling a home may seem simple at first, but negotiating with a homebuyer sometimes can be problematic. Fortunately, home sellers who understand the art of negotiation may be better equipped than others to accelerate the home selling process and optimize the value of their residences.

What does it take to become an expert home selling negotiator? Here are three negotiation tips for home sellers:

1. Stay Patient

It is easy to become emotionally attached to your residence, especially if you have lived in a home for many years. However, a home seller will need to do everything possible to keep his or her emotions in check during negotiations with a homebuyer.

In some instances, emotions can get the best of a home seller. And if this happens, a potential deal with a homebuyer may collapse.

For home sellers, the goal of a home selling negotiation is to maximize the value of a residence. Keep this goal in mind as you navigate negotiations with a homebuyer. By doing so, you may be able to maintain a calm, patient approach as you work toward selling your house.

2. Evaluate the Real Estate Market

Although you've allocated substantial time and resources to enhance your home over the years, the value of your residence may fluctuate based on the current real estate market's conditions. But if you conduct plenty of housing market research before you enter negotiations with a homebuyer, you can understand exactly what your home is worth today.

Conducting a home appraisal usually is a good idea. This appraisal will enable you to learn about your home's pros and cons and identify potential issues that may prevent you from maximizing the value of your property.

Furthermore, study the prices of comparable homes in your area. With this housing market insights at your disposal, you can enter a home selling negotiation with the information that you need to make data-based decisions.

3. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent

Home selling negotiations can be tricky, and for home sellers who want extra help, hiring an experienced real estate agent is essential.

An experienced real estate agent understands the ins and outs of home selling negotiations. As such, he or she will share expert negotiation insights with you to ensure that you can get the optimal price for your residence.

Your real estate agent will provide recommendations and suggestions throughout the home selling process and may even help you avoid negotiations altogether. Plus, this real estate professional is happy to negotiate on your behalf. That way, you can avoid the stress and anxiety commonly associated with negotiating directly with a homebuyer.

With an experienced real estate agent at your disposal, you may be able to accelerate your journey through the home selling process. Your real estate agent will keep you up to date about offers on your home and ensure you can get the best results possible.

Employ an experienced real estate agent, and ultimately, you can boost your chances of stress-free home selling negotiations.




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Posted by Larry Costa REALTOR® on 12/2/2016

A common question for sellers is if they will owe capital gains tax when they sell their home. The answer to that question: it depends. The capital gains tax law known as the Taxpayer Relief Act went into effect in 1997 but there is still a lot confusion over who pays what and why. If you sell your home you will not have to pay capital gains tax if:

  • You are selling your personal residence.
  • You have $250,000 in profit or less if you are single and $500,000 if married.
  • You have lived in your home for two of the last five years.
  • The home is not an investment property.
The capital gains exclusion can be used as many times as you like as long as it meets all of the above criteria. If you are going to make more than $250,000/$500,000 in profit you will be taxed at a 20% capital gains tax rate on the amount over the $250,000/$500,000 threshold. There are exceptions to the rule. You may be eligible for a tax break if:
  • You need to sell your home because a change in health.
  • You need to sell your home because of a long distance relocation.
  • You are in the armed services and moved to fulfill your service commitments.
Your individual tax situation may be different, so make sure to consult a qualified tax accountant or attorney.  







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