When you sell your home you are transferring real estate, which will require proper documentation in county records. If you are selling your home on your own "For Sale By Owner" scenario or with a real estate agent, you will want to make sure that proper legal procedures are followed. You will want the contract (as well as the closing documents) to be properly reviewed to make sure that you are protected under Florida law.
First, know your market and be ready to sell. Sellers should determine a reasonable sales price by taking a study of the market in their area. Sellers should also make sure that their property is "ready" to sell, this means making sure that the property is up to code and without defects. This also means knowing what you will be selling, for example, will personal property (i.e. mounted TVs, vacuum cleaners, etc.) also be included in the contract for sale?
Title and surveys will also be needed and you will have to determine who pays for title insurance. The party responsible to pay title insurance will be assigned in the contract, however, in certain counties, such as Miami-Dade and Broward, the buyer chooses the title company and pays for the title insurance. Other costs to factor include, costs to cure title or survey defects (if any), documentary stamp taxes, recording deeds, association estoppel fees, municipal lien search, and other applicable fees.
Homeowners may be able to exclude all or part of the gain from the sell of their home. Under our tax code, homeowners who sell their main residence and have a gain from the sale, may be able to exclude up to $250,000.00 ($500,000 for spouses who are married filing jointly) of that gain from income. In order to exclude the gain, the seller must have owned the residence for five years and must have used the residence as their main home for the last two years. Sellers who own more than one home can only exclude the gain from the sale of their main home, and must pay taxes if they have gain from the sale of any other home that is not their main home. Unlike selling at a gain, in the event that a homeowner sells their main residence at a loss, they will not be able to account for this loss, since the loss is not deductible. For more information on selling your home read the Internal Revenue Service's publication titled Selling Your Home, here. If you are ready to sell and are looking for a Florida attorney to protect your interests, our attorney are ready to assist you.
Article by Bonie S. Montalvo, Esq
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