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Is It Time To Sell?
Selling a house seems like a pretty simple matter, so you have decided to try to sell your own home. You decide how much you want to ask for your property, and then you call the local newspaper to insert a "For Sale By Owner" ad in the weekend classifieds. You then sit back and wait for the buyers to materialize.

What happens next? You may start getting calls right away, but not from necessarily from buyers. You may be inundated with calls from Realtors who say they have a buyer for your house. Other agents are frank enough to say they would like to talk with you about professionally marketing your home. Placing a "For Sale By Owner" ad is a great way to find a successful Realtor. If you are really committed to selling on your own home, you may learn a lot from meeting with professionals that could help you succeed. However, if you eventually decide to turn the marketing of your home over to a Realtor (as 94% of all FSBO's eventually do), you will have met several good agents from which to choose!

children have left the nest, and your four bedroom home now seems quite large. The maintenance of your house and yard requires more time and energy than you are willing or able to continue at this point in your life. Could it be time for a change?

This could be the perfect time for you to consider scaling down, and there are many options available to you. You may be able to find a beautiful townhouse community where the association takes care of the grounds and exterior maintenance. Many condominium developments provide services that you now have time to enjoy--pools and spas, tennis courts, gyms and other amenities.

If you sell your principal residence after May 6, 1997, the new 1997 tax bill gives you a break in capital gains tax. Married home-sellers filing jointly get to enjoy up to $500,000 in home sale gains tax-free, provided you occupied the property as your principal residence during two of the prior five years. Taxpayers who file singly (even if married) get a $250,000 capital gains exclusion. Home-sellers are eligible for the exclusions for gains made on sales as often as once every two years.

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