Merry Silbaugh, ABR
Associate Broker   Cell 602-617-3245
How To Make The Most Money When You Buy or Sell Your Home!

How To Make The Most Money

When You Buy Or Sell Your Home!



Most People Lose Hundreds – Even Thousands of Dollars –

When They Buy or Sell Their Home

Because of a Few Simple Mistakes That Could Have Been Avoided!


Do me a favor. Try to remember a time in your life when everybody wasn’t trying to reach into your pocket and remove some of your hard-earned money?


You know what I mean.


It seems that everyone – the bank, the insurance companies, the credit card folks, our wonderfully efficient government; everyone is looking for a piece of the pie.  Your pie. It just doesn’t seem fair, does it?


And now that you are in the market to buy or sell a tremendous asset – your home – you better watch out…the money vultures will be coming out in force, hovering and circling, just waiting for you to make a mistake and…


…well, I don’t need to tell you the gory details.  You know.



* * * * *


Bill and Reta were silent on the way to John Capps’ office, their CPA.  The tension in the air of the car was thick and stifling, almost suffocating.


Bill rolled down the window a crack to ease the pressure.  It didn’t do any good.


Bill was too upset to think.  Reta was worried, more than worried about what the outcome to this meeting with John would mean to their future.  She couldn’t help it.


“Do you really think we have to pay all the money?  How could it happen, Bill?  Somebody should have told us!”  She bit her lip to stop it from quivering.


Bill just shook his head.  “I know.  I know.”  He reached over and held Reta’s hand.  It was all he could think to do.


John met them at the entrance to his office.  “Bill, Reta,”  he said.  “Come on in and sit down.”  He looked grim, a messenger with a tragic tale in his pouch.


“I’m really sorry, you guys,” John said, absently shuffling some papers around on his desk.  He looked Bill in the eye.  “You should have used a 1031 tax deferred exchange in the sale of that rental house.  But, as it stands now…I’m sorry, but you have no choice.  You’re going to have to pay capital gains tax of about $30,000.  There’s nothing we can do.”


Reta gasped and her hand unconsciously went to her throat.  She nervously fumbled at her necklace and glanced at Bill.  Bill stood and started pacing.  He attempted to clear his throat, but the lump that was threatening to cut off his air wouldn’t go away.


“Bill?  Are you okay?  asked John.


“Just what do you think,” cut Bill.  His mind raced.  $30,000!?  How could this be?  How could it happen? It seemed so unfair.


                                                            * * * * * *

Bill and Reta thought they were making a wise decision when they placed the investment property on the market.  


They knew there would be some capital gain issues, but they never thought in their wildest dreams that it would cost them $30,000 in cold-hard cash to sell. And they never knew that they could have avoided any capital gain tax.  It seemed outrageous.  Unfair.


And it is.  But there’s a lesson here.


In some cases, what you don’t know CAN hurt you.


In Bill and Reta’s case, it was simply a matter of now knowing how to properly time the marketing of their property to eliminate a major tax burden and liability.


And this is just one of many, many situations that can arise in the purchase and sale of a new home.  One of many.  Each of which can cost you dearly if you’re not careful.


So, how do you protect yourself?  Good question.


I wish I had a clear-cut, absolutely 100% foolproof answer for you – but I don’t.  The answer just isn’t that easy.  You see,


A real estate transaction, though often one of the most financially and

emotionally rewarding you will ever make, is also one of the most complicated.


And with the economy the way it is, with the Feds raising the interest rates every week or two (or so it seems), with the high inventory of available homes and the constant interruption by various regulatory agencies…


…well, let me say this:  things just aren’t the way they used to be; and we can’t count on them ever going back to relative simplicity of the good old days.


It is not going to happen.  Not in our lifetime, anyway.  Maybe not ever.



* * * * * *


Annette cringed as she wrote out the check, “$1,100, and for what?” she thought angrily.  “Rent.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I hate rent.”


Tom stood and anxiously watched the water level in the toilet as he leaned over and flipped the chrome lever to flush.  It was old hat now.  Habit.  “Oh man,” he thought, watching the water rise.  He quickly reached behind the toilet and twisted the water valve off.


“Annette!  It happened again.  Are you sure you called the landlord to come fix this thing?”  He kicked at it in frustration.


Annette walked into the bathroom “Here,” she said handling the plunger to Tom.  “Don’t you think we could start looking for our own place yet?  It’s been over four years sine we filed the bankruptcy.”


Ahh, come on.  We’ve been through this before, Annette.”  He plunged the toilet, splashing water everywhere.  “You know the bankruptcy stays on record of 10 years and besides that real estate guy said that nobody would give us a new mortgage.  What else can we do?”


“We could assume a mortgage.  You have all those books and courses and stuff, right?  We could find something if we tried.”


“We’ve tried, Annette.  Come on, give me a break, will you? And hand me a towel while you are at it.”


* * * * * *

Sound familiar?


The great American dream – to own your own home – is becoming more and more the great elusive dream.  Or so it seems.


Especially for younger couples.  Even couples well into their thirties.  Tragic, isn’t it?


Even worse, as in Tom & Annette’s case, the only thing standing in the way of realizing the dream of owning their own home is false, misleading information.


Not every real estate agent is the same.


Let’s face it.  The real estate industry has one of the highest “turn-over” rates of any professional occupation. Eighty percent of newly licensed agents quit within the first year and another 10% are gone within three years.


What this means is that at any one time, there are a multitude of brand new, eager, sincere, well-meaning agents in the world that – quite frankly – don’t have all the right answers.


How could they?  The educational requirements to obtain a real estate license are minimal at best – real education comes with experience.


And who suffers for it?  You do.  That’s who.


For instance, in Tom and Annette’s case, the real estate guy, well intentioned I’m sure, fed them false information and inadvertently helped stifle their dreams of home ownership.


It happens all the time.


A previous bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily preclude anyone from qualifying for a mortgage.  Bankruptcies DO stay on your credit record for 10 years, but they DON’T, in most cases, affect your ability to qualify for a mortgage after two years.


Another piece of misinformation often disseminated by newer agents is the “fact” that you need at least 10% down to qualify for a home.




There are a wide variety of loan packages available today.  So many in fact that virtually anyone who makes a living and brings home a paycheck can qualify for a home mortgage loan of one kind or another.


There are even Mortgage Credit Certificates often available to first-time homeowners.  (And ‘first-time” doesn’t necessarily mean the first time you’ve ever owned a home)! These MCC’s allow you to qualify for a larger home than your income would normally allow.


And the list goes on and on and on.


There is good information, and there is bad information.  Good information can help save you more, make you money, and make your dreams a reality.  Bad information can cost you thousands.


                                                            * * * * * * *


John hung up the phone.  This was the 21st time he had called the newspaper in as many weeks to run the ad for his home and at $60 a pop, John was beginning to question his decision to sell the house himself.


Mary and the kids had driven down the valley to spend the weekend with grandma.  It was the first weekend “off” she’d had in a long time.


John looked out his living room window and glanced down the street.  The Russells had listed their home with a realtor about six weeks ago. Now, John watched in envy as they and their agent celebrated on the front law.  A nice “SOLD” sign served as bright reminder of their success.


John sighed.  He hadn’t even shown the house to more than half a dozen couples, and the one offer he’d gotten in the mail was from an out-of-state investor offering a 20% discounted cash price.  Yeah, right.  Get real.  The whole thing was a little more than frustrating.


Even more frustrating, maddening even, was that John’s home was priced less than the Russell’s home.  Less!  It just didn’t make sense.


And John is not alone in his frustrated attempts to sell his house himself.


Because of the recent strong seller’s market and in an attempt to get the most money out of the transaction, many folks are attempting to sell their homes themselves.


And that’s great – if they can pull it off.  In fact, about 20% of the homes on the market are initially For Sale By Owners.




About 80% of those initial For Sale By Owners eventually enlist the services of a real estate professional to market their home – but only after they have invested a considerable amount of time, effort, and capital attempting to market it themselves.


Oddly enough, their desire to “save” money usually ends up costing them money.  Big money.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  It shouldn’t be that way.


But who can blame them for their desire to get the most out of their home, to pocket the most profit they can?


What you don’t know CAN hurt you.


Equally disturbing is the fact that what you DO know can hurt you…


…if it is wrong information that you gathered personally

…if it is wrong information inadvertently offered by a new, sincere, anxious to please but nevertheless a rookie real estate agent

…if it is correct information applied to the wrong situation or circumstance

…if it is correct information in relation to yesterday’s economy

…IF IT IS INCOMPLETE INFORMATION.  Information designed to persuade you to “sign on the dotted line,” information designed to “put the pressure on” so a commission can be earned NOW---without necessarily looking out for your best interests!


Not every real estate agent is the same.


And that is information you can count on.  You can also count on me to be a different breed of real estate professional.


I don’t believe in ever putting any kind of “sale pressure” on anyone just to get a deal.  I avoid that type of person.  I’m sure you do too.


And I also cringe at the thought of offering advice, disseminating professional advice and information, without the benefit of absolutely knowing you and your situation.


I think that is where some of my colleagues fall short.  They are after “the deal” more than they are after discovering the best solutions to address Your situation.


The only way I have been able to be as successful as I am, for as long as I have, is to be the exact opposite of the majority of the competition.


In other words…the pressure, the typical “you better do it now,” or “you better do it my way or it’s the highway” ways of conducting business are missing from my life.


I see myself as more of a professional real estate consultant than a typical real estate salesperson.  And I invite you to test me on this.


By virtue of the fact that you’ve read through this entire report – I know you have some questions or concerns or plans that you are getting ready to make concerning the purchase or sale of your home.


Call me, and let’s spend some time discussing YOUR situation and circumstance.  It sure couldn’t hurt.  It might even open some doors of opportunity for you.


And I truly promise to do nothing more than interview you, find out what your concerns are, and leave it at that.  The next step will be wholly up to you.




I promise.


So, please, call me while all this is still fresh on your mind.  No question is a bad question.  No concern is too little or inconsequential to be important.


And hey, what’s the worse thing that can happen?  You spend a few minutes learning?  There’s nothing wrong with that.

Oh, yeah, one more thing – I almost forgot!


Call me.  Let’s talk.




Merry Silbaugh, ABR, ASP, CRS, e-PRO, GRI


“Where The Service Is All About YOU!”




P.S. It doesn’t matter where you are today or what situation you currently find yourself in; it doesn’t matter if you are looking to buy your first home, or your second; if your need is to relocate out of state; selling a home yourself and simply have questions, or simply want to know if you should buy or sell – call me.  Information is power in this day and age.  I’d love to meet you and yours and discover what we can do to accomplish YOUR dreams, desires and goals.


P.P.S.  Yeah, you’re right…I guess that it would help to give you my phone number.  Here it is: 602-617-3245

ScottsdaleFountain Hills Arizona

RE/MAX Sun Properties
16704 Ave. of the Fountains 101 • Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
Associate Broker • Cell 602-617-3245