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Tips to Homeowners

February 22, 1987|ARMAND L. FONTAINE | Fontaine is president of the Western Regional Master Builders Assn. and a director of the American Building Contractors Assn

Question: I have been trying to sell my home for several months without a real estate agent and have had very little success. I have tried newspaper ads, but have received few calls. Could you give me some tips for writing a good classified ad?

Answer: A good real estate agent can save you money because he or she can do a good job merchandising your property.

However, if you are marketing a home yourself, I suggest that you compare all the features of your home with those advertised by professional real estate organizations.

When advertising in a classified section of a newspaper, concentrate on the local section that covers the area where you are situated. The newspaper people who will take your ad are usually very helpful in designing an ad that gets results.

The material included should interest people in your property. Such headlines as "Moving Out of State," "Probate," "Foreclosure," will interest many buyers who are looking for a bargain. Features that people are looking for can also stimulate interest. Among these would be a swimming pool, spa, gourmet kitchen and fireplace.

Q: With the new tax law there will not be much of an advantage in home ownership if the maximum tax is 28%. I can rent a home for less than what the interest payments on the property alone would be per year.

A: Based on tables published by Coopers & Lybrand, the following are the "effective" income tax rates on taxable income for 1987: 0-$3,000 (11%); $3,000-28,000 (15%); $28,000-45,000 (28%); $45,000-90,000 (35%); over $90,000 (38.5%).

In 1988, the schedule falls to 0-$29,750 (15%); $29,750-71,900 (28%); $71,900-149,250 (33%) and over $149,250 (28%). The benefit of the 15% bracket is completely phased out when the taxable income exceeds $71,900 for a joint tax return.

Based on this, the tax savings will still be considerable for most individuals.

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