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Understanding capital gain on real estate

by Mary Kay Daughters/ Jeff Brown 09/17/2023

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Among the myriad costs associated with selling a home, taxes for capital gain on real estate can take up a significant portion. You'll have to pay capital gains tax depending on how long you've owned the property before selling it, and rates can vary by region.

Here is a basic rundown of capital gains tax to help you learn more:

Short-term versus long-term capital gains tax

When you start thinking about selling an investment property, one of the most important questions to ask is, “When did I purchase it?” Capital gains and losses can occur over short or long periods, and have different tax rules. If you've had the asset for less than a year, it counts as short-term.

How much capital gains tax can I expect to pay on real estate?

Short-term capital gains taxes use the same percentage as income taxes, which can be upwards of 37%. A long-term capital gain on a property you've owned for more than a year is taxed at a lower rate of 15% to 20%.

How real estate taxes work

State and local authorities collect taxes on real estate to support public services, school projects and other services - just like income tax. However, real estate tax rates are determined by multiplying current tax rates by the value of the properties. Tax rates vary among jurisdictions and may vary depending upon the assessed value of the home.

How to avoid capital gains tax on home sales

The simplest way to reduce the cost is to stay in your house for more than one year. This will take you from short term capital gain into long term capital gain, and a lower tax rate.

You can avoid capital gains tax by completing a 1031 exchange, which is a specific type of real estate transaction for investment properties. This is a popular method among real estate investors, but only works if the property you're selling is not your primary residence.

Taxes can be complicated, and real estate is no exception. However, understanding these basics will help you better navigate the real estate world and make the best financial decisions for your future.

About the Author

Mary Kay Daughters/ Jeff Brown

Thank you for visiting our website! We're the Realtor team of Mary Kay Daughters & Jeff Brown. Please be sure to look at our “Promotion Event Tab”, at top of page, for typical property marketing event examples. As members of the Greenwich, Darien & Connecticut State MLS Boards, we are your single-source Realtor team who has Shown, Listed & Sold many dream-homes, throughout Fairfield, Litchfield & New Haven Counties. 

We work hard to develop an understanding of your lifestyle & living goals to: 1). Assist you in finding & buying your dream home. 2). Estimate the market value of your home with a free Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), in order to sell your home. When Buying, we make your home search fun and keep your property information organized. When Selling, we use special marketing techniques and as a professional photographer, act as your personal public relations property promoter! 

Whether you're in the beginning of your real estate search or, you know exactly what you're looking for, or you want to sell, you'll benefit from our experience and area knowledge. Call, Email or Text us anytime! We would be honored to put our real estate experience to work, for you!