Thinking of selling your home on Long Island? How will property taxes impact your ability to sell and how much you get for your home?
Trying to Sell in a Tough Market
While there are some encouraging stats about the Long Island property market, it can be a lot tougher to sell today than a couple of years ago. Property tax issues may make that even more difficult.
Buyers are definitely being more particular. Zillow reports that it is now taking an average of almost six months to sell a home in Nassau County, and almost 17% of sellers are slashing their asking prices. Suffolk County is faring just slightly better.
Once the annual summer rush settles down, expect homes sales statistics to be even less sizzling.
Selling a Home with High Property Tax Bills
Selling your Long Island home can be even more challenging if you have high property tax bills. Especially, if your tax bills are higher than neighboring homes for sale.
Most home buyers would like most of their housing payments to go toward actually buying the home, not just paying more taxes. It also gives little hope of ever feeling like you really own the home. You’ll always effectively have a high amount of ground rent in the form of those property taxes. You can’t even pass it on as an inheritance without just burdening your heirs with big bills.
Those in Nassau County will find this even more challenging with new tax assessments being phased in over the next few years. Buyers will have to purchase far below what they could qualify for in a home, as they have to account for those rising housing costs.
Who Pays the Property Tax Bills When You Sell Your Home?
When you sell your home, you are responsible for paying your property taxes up to the date you close. If you have also fallen behind on your property taxes, you’ll be responsible for paying any extra interest and penalties. Make sure you calculate this, in addition to any other transfer taxes, closing costs and Realtor commissions.
This presents a significant challenge, with 1 in 11 American homeowners already deep underwater and over 25% or more on mortgages above what their home is worth. These numbers are even higher on parts of Long Island. Even more are in negative equity if you count these other costs. It isn’t going to feel good to have to bring a check to the closing just to be able to sell your home.
Challenge Your Property Taxes
One of the best tools you have to solve these challenges is to appeal your property tax assessment and bills. With lower bills your home will be more attractive to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to afford to sell.