is one of the biggest financial decisions a person can make in their lifetime. The process can already be complicated if the seller is buying a home at the same time, having to relocate by a certain date, or if the seller is downsizing because of trouble making mortgage payments. The COVID-19 crisis adds complicating factors, from uncertainty about the real estate market in the future, leading sellers to accept low offers quickly; to concerns about strangers walking in and out of the seller’s home, creating personal safety concerns.
There is no definitive answer to the question of whether or not you should move forward with the sale of your home during the COVID-19 crisis. As you weigh the pros and cons of selling your home, remember the best decision you can make includes hiring an experienced real estate attorney before you make a decision about listing your home. In the Lake County area, our attorneys can talk you through the pros and cons of selling during these unprecedented times and will likely have insights into concerns you were unaware of.
Should you decide to move forward with your home sale, our attorneys can continue to guide you through the process, handling aspects of the sale with which you may be unfamiliar.
Reporting to the IRS
Did you know all home sales must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)? Furthermore, some sales require the seller to pay capital gains taxes to the IRS, but certain exceptions apply, such as when the seller has occupied the home for the preceding two years.
Additionally, you cannot deduct a loss on the sale of your home from your tax obligation. You will want an experienced attorney on your side during the process to ensure you do not move too quickly and accept a low offer.
Agreement with Realtor
You may think you only need a realtor to sell your home, but agreements or contracts with realtors can be complicated and should be reviewed by an attorney. Always have your attorney review a listing agreement with a realtor before signing.
Conditions of Offers and Counteroffers
A potential buyer will make an offer to you in writing, and sometimes the written offer will include terms or conditions. Accepting a written offer creates a binding contract, so always have an attorney review the written offer to ensure you understand the conditions attached. Furthermore, if you need to make a counteroffer, you should have your attorney help construct and draft that as well. This will save you from future trouble, as a contract with incomplete terms could lead to questions, disagreements, and potential legal costs down the road.
Your attorney will schedule the closing and ensure all necessary boxes have been checked, including ensuring your existing loans have been paid off, obtaining a title company, and scheduling inspections, ensuring all necessary disclosures have been included, pro-rating your taxes, and preparing all necessary conveyance documents. An attorney can also work with you should there be any unique factors differentiating your home from a standard single-family home.
With the stress and uncertainty of the COVID crisis, if you are considering listing your home in the Lake County area, let an attorney reduce the stress of selling your home.
Contact a Lake County Real Estate Lawyer
For more information about selling your home, contact the experienced North Chicago real estate attorneys at Newland & Newland, LLP. Call us today at 847-549-0000 to schedule a free phone consultation at any of our five locations. We also offer consultations via FaceTime and video-conferencing. We are eager to assist you throughout each step of the sale process.