Should I Stage My Home When Selling?

Should I Stage My Home?

There are so many decisions that need to be made when selling your home. You have to decide when to sell it, who to hire to sell it, what price to set, and on and on. Part of what makes selling inherently stressful is the ongoing decision making required.

Another question that might need to be answered is: “Should I stage your home, or sell it empty?”

Like so many real estate questions, the answer to this one is, “It depends.” Comforting, right?

The reason why there is not necessarily a clear answer here is that there are benefits and drawbacks that come with each option. Which one you ultimately choose will need to be based on your own preferences. You have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages and go from there. Selling a home empty vs. occupied has it’s positives and negatives as well.

What is Staging a Home?

Before you can even start to make a decision, it will be helpful to know what a staged home is in the first place.

If you have ever walked through an open house or a home for sale and seen a perfectly designed interior, with everything placed just so, you may have witnessed a staged home. 

A staged home is one that is filled with things to make it more appealing to potential buyers. There are professionals who specialize in staging homes for sale. They may bring in furniture, appliances, paintings, curtains—everything needed to create a particular look. Once they are finished, the home appears to be lived in. Many sellers feel this look is preferable to a big empty house.

Staging a home has become quite popular with builders across the country. They will have a “model home” which is used to showcase their options and craftsmanship. Staging puts the frosting on the cake by making the house feel like a home.

For some buyers, staging can help them conceptualize better how they will plan out their own furniture. For the average homeowner, professional staging may not be necessary. If you live in a gorgeous home to start with staging will make a negligible difference.

What’s important is that your home is prepared for the sale. An effort should be made to have it looking it’s best before the for sale sign hits the lawn. The prior reference has some simple staging tips to help your place looking acceptable.

Some Highlights:

    • The National Association of Realtors surveyed their members & released the findings of their Profile of Home Staging.
    • 62% of seller’s agents say that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market.
    • 77% of buyer’s agents said staging made it easier for buyers to visualize the home as their own.
    • The top rooms to stage in order to attract more buyers are the living room, master bedroom, kitchen, and dining room.

Final Thoughts

There are many decisions that need to be made when selling a home. Some sellers will need to decide whether to sell their home empty or staged. We look at all factors to help our sellers make the best decision.  We also work together with San Diego’s top staging company. They provide excellent service and have the best prices in all of Southern California.  If you have questions about staging or selling your home, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.  


Brought to you by San Diego Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Broker, Glen Henderson.  Glen has been a San Diego Realtor for over 16 years and has been involved in over 1,000 home sales throughout San Diego County.  Contact him today with any questions at 619-500-3222 or visit Premier Homes at

If you would like to Search Houses for Sale in San Diego, visit

The #1 Reason to Not Wait Until Spring to Sell Your House


Many sellers believe that spring is the best time to place their homes on the market because buyer demand traditionally increases at that time of year, but what they don’t realize is that if every homeowner believes the same thing, then that is when they will have the most competition!

The #1 Reason to List Your Home in the Winter Months is Less Competition!

Housing supply traditionally shrinks at this time of year, so the choices buyers have will be limited. The chart below was created using the months’ supply of listings from the National Association of Realtors.

The #1 Reason to Not Wait Until Spring to Sell Your House | Simplifying The Market

As you can see, the ‘sweet spot’ to list your home for the most exposure naturally occurs in the late fall and winter months (November – February). 

Temperatures aren’t the only thing that heats up in the spring – so do listings!

The #1 Reason to Not Wait Until Spring to Sell Your House | Simplifying The Market

In 2017, listings increased by nearly half a million houses from December to June. Don’t wait for these listings to come to market before you decide to list your house.

Added Bonus: Only Serious Buyers Are Out in the Winter

At this time of year, only those purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers.’ The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.

Bottom Line

If you have been debating whether or not to sell your home and are curious about market conditions in your area, let’s get together to help you decide the best time to list your house for sale.


Brought to you by San Diego Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Broker, Glen Henderson.  Glen has been a San Diego Realtor for over 16 years and has been involved in over 1,000 home sales throughout San Diego County.  Contact him today with any questions at 619-500-3222 or visit Premier Homes at

If you would like to Search Houses for Sale in San Diego, visit

Will I have to Pay Taxes When I sell My Home? Avoiding Capital Gains

Will I have to pay taxes when I sell my home?

This is one of the most common questions we receive from sellers that are concerned with paying capital gains when they sell a home.

You list your house for sale and hope for the best. Then fortune smiles on you and you sell it for a tidy profit. It can be tough to turn right around and give a healthy percentage of that profit to the Internal Revenue Service, but the IRS isn’t heartless. You may be able to keep most – if not all – of that money. You can exclude it from your taxable income using the home sale exclusion.

$250,000 to $500,000 Exclusion on the Sale of a Primary Residence

Unmarried individuals can exclude up to $250,000 in profit from the sale of their main home, and you can exclude $500,000 if you’re married and file a joint return with your spouse.

So if you’re single and you realize a $200,000 profit on the sale, you don’t have to report any of it as taxable income because this is less than the $250,000 exclusion amount you’re entitled to. If you realize a $255,000 profit or gain, you must report $5,000 of it as income.

The IRS details this further in Publication 523Selling Your Home

do I pay capital gains when I sell my house

do I pay capital gains when I sell my house


Of course, the exclusion isn’t automatic. The IRS imposes a few rules.

The 2-Out-Of-5-Year Rule

You must have lived in the home for a minimum of two years out of the last five years immediately preceding the date of the sale, which typically means you can’t use the exclusion on the sale of rental or business property. The two years don’t have to be consecutive, however. You might live in the home for a year, rent it out for three years, then move back in for 12 months just prior to its sale. The IRS figures that if you spent this much time under that roof, the home qualifies as your principal residence.

You can use this 2-out-of-5-year rule to exclude your profits each time you sell your main home.

Of course, this generally means that you can claim the exclusion only once every two years because you must spend at least that much time in residence, but some exceptions do apply. If you lived in your home less than 24 months, you may be able to exclude at least a portion of the gain.

A Change in the Location of Your Job

If you lived in your house for less than two years, you can exclude a part of your gain if your work location changed.

This exception would apply if you started a new job or if your current employer requires you to move to a new location.

Health Concerns

If you’re selling your house for medical or health reasons, document these reasons with a letter from your physician. This, too, allows you to live in the home for less than two years. You don’t have to file the letter with your tax return, but keep it with your personal records just in case the IRS wants further information.

Unforeseen Circumstances

You will also want to document any unforeseen circumstances that might force you to sell your home before you’ve lived there the requisite period of time. According to the IRS, an unforeseen circumstance is “the occurrence of an event that you could not reasonably have anticipated before buying and occupying your main home.” These events might include natural disasters, acts of war, acts of terrorism, a change in your employment or unemployment that left you unable to meet basic living expenses, death, divorce or separation, or multiple births from the same pregnancy.

The Partial Exclusion

You can calculate your partial exclusion based on the amount of time you actually lived in your home. Count those months, then divide the number by 24.

Multiply this ratio by $250,000 or by $500,000 if you’re married. The result is the amount of gain you can exclude from your taxable income.

For example, you might have lived in your home for 12 months, then you had to sell it because your employer asked you to relocate to a different office in another state. You’re not married. Twelve months divided by 24 months comes out to .50. Multiply this by your maximum exclusion of $250,000. The result: you can exclude up to $125,000 or 50 percent of your profit.

If your gain is more than $125,000, you would include only the amount over $125,000 as taxable income on your return. If you realize a $150,000 gain, you would report and pay taxes on $25,000. If your gain is equal to or less than $125,000, you can exclude the entire amount from your taxable income.

Suspension of the Five-Year Period for Military

If you or your spouse are on qualified official extended duty in the Uniformed Services, the Foreign Service or the intelligence community, you may elect to suspend the five-year test period for up to 10 years. An individual is on qualified official extended duty if for more than 90 days or for an indefinite period, the individual is:

  • At a duty station that’s at least 50 miles from your main home, or
  • Residing under government orders in government housing.

Reporting the Gain

Gain on the sale of your home is reported on Schedule D as a capital gain. If you owned your home for one year or less, the gain is reported as a short-term capital gain. If you owned your home for more than one year, it’s reported as a long-term capital gain. Short-term gains are taxed at the same rate as your regular income while the rates on long-term gains are more favorable: zero, 15 or 20 percent, depending on your tax bracket.

Calculating Your Cost Basis and Capital Gain

The formula for calculating your gain involves subtracting your cost basis from your selling price. Start with what you paid for the home, then add the costs you incurred in the purchase, such as title and escrow fees and real estate agent commissions. Now add the costs of any improvements you made, such as replacing the roof or furnace. Subtract any accumulated depreciation you may have taken over the years, such as if you ever took the home office deduction. The resulting number is your cost basis.

Your capital gain would be the sales price of your home less your cost basis. If it’s a negative number, you’ve had a loss. Unfortunately, you cannot deduct a loss from the sale of your main home.

If the resulting number is positive, you made a profit. Subtract the amount of your exclusion and the balance is your taxable gain.

Please, remember that this is not tax advice.  It does serve as a starting point for you and we highly recommend that you speak with a tax professional to fully understand all of the details before selling your home.

Contact your San Diego Realtor, Glen Henderson today if you have any additional questions regarding this article or in general about selling your home.

You can also visit and search all San Diego homes for sale at