I am a simple man. I think selling a home should be a simple process. You list it for sale, find an interested buyer, perhaps haggle over the price a little bit, and come to an agreement, right? That, I’ll guess, is how most real estate transactions go. Four basic steps. Done.
But ohh, the aftermath of complexity that one must endure to make happy the powers that be, namely, the Government! Not the least of which is the IRS. Everybody’s favorite acronym. In all but a few cases you have people to help you through all four of those basic steps involved with the sale, why not have “people” for everything else? “Expensive” you say. “And worth every penny” I say. Don’t even pretend to think you know all the rules pertinent to the sale of that home. I don’t. And it’s my job to know the rules. Just to illustrate this point, allow me to give you a peek into just what you’ll encounter if you decide to tackle this on your own.
From IRS Publication 523, “Selling Your Home”, we find:
If your home was foreclosed on, repossessed, or abandoned, you may want to see Pub 4681, Canceled Debts, Foreclosures, Repossessions, and Abandonment. If your home was destroyed, see Pub 547. If your home was condemned, see Pub 544. If your home was co-owned by your spouse, see Pub 555. If your home was sold due to a divorce, see Pub 504. If your home was used for business, see Pub 587. If your home was used as a rental property, see Pub 527. If you sold your home at a gain, or if you think you have a deductible loss, see Pub 544. If you have any taxable gain from the sale of your home, see Pub 505. If you’re not sure whether you have a gain or a loss, see Pub 551. If you sold your home and you are carrying back a note or seller financing, see Pub 537. If you paid points and haven’t deducted all of them, see Pub 936, and... if you want to just casually read about tax information for homeowners instead of watching your plaster crack, see Pub 530.
And that’s just the “Pubs”. Worth every penny? You decide.