DEAR BOB: I plan to sell my home. Should I stay in my home while trying to sell it? We could move into our new home and leave the one we are trying to sell vacant. Which scenario will help sell our home faster? –Dana P.

DEAR DANA: Your listing real estate agent is in the best position to advise you whether to stay or move during the sales process.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

The specific answer depends on whether your home shows well with you and your furniture still in the house. Or maybe it will show better if you move out, spruce it up with fresh paint and perhaps new carpets.

As a buyer, I like vacant houses because then I can easily spot most defects. As a seller, I prefer to sell vacant houses after painting and cleaning them, usually installing new wall-to-wall carpet. Vacant rooms look bigger than rooms occupied with furniture.

NO TAX DEDUCTION IF LOAN IS NOT SECURED BY YOUR HOME

DEAR BOB: To buy our first home, my wife’s parents loaned us $50,000. We have been faithfully repaying them monthly, including interest. As they are retired, they need the income. However, when we were audited by the IRS, our interest deduction for this loan was denied. The IRS agent said the interest is not deductible because the $50,000 loan is not secured by a mortgage on our home. Is this correct? –Gerry T.

DEAR GERRY: Yes. For home mortgage interest to qualify as an itemized tax deduction, the loan must be secured by a mortgage on your property.

To qualify for an interest deduction, you should give your wife’s parents a mortgage or deed of trust to secure their promissory note. Then you can deduct the interest you pay each year to them. For more details, please consult your tax adviser.

SHOULD HOME SELLER CREDIT BUYER FOR DEFECTIVE WINDOWS?

DEAR BOB: I just sold my house. The buyer had it professionally inspected. All went well, but the buyer asked me to replace a couple of windows that have condensation, probably due to a bad seal. My home is 12 years old and in beautiful “mint” condition. I just put more than $20,000 into it with a new roof, siding, appliances, and professional paint job throughout. I feel the buyer is being unreasonable, asking me to fix the one and only thing wrong with my home. The house is selling for $350,000. Am I being unreasonable not wanting to pay for the windows? –Joe McC.

DEAR JOE: If the buyer’s purchase offer is acceptable, especially if the local home sales market is slow, why risk losing him over a few hundred, or even a few thousand, dollars?

Better than replacing those windows, however, is to offer your buyer a “repair credit” at the closing, such as $500 or $1,000. Chances are the buyer won’t even replace those windows, but then you won’t risk losing the sale over a petty item.

The new Robert Bruss special report, “Probate Property Profit Secrets Revealed,” is now available for $5 from Robert Bruss, 251 Park Road, Burlingame, CA 94010 or by credit card at 1-800-736-1736 or instant Internet delivery at www.BobBruss.com. Questions for this column are welcome at either address.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center
).

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription