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Tax Deductions Home Sellers Should know

Updated: Apr 11, 2023

When it comes to selling a home, a number of expenses can add up quickly. From real estate commissions to closing costs, it can feel like a never-ending list of fees that eat into your profits. However, there are some tax deductions that home sellers can take advantage of to help ease the burden. This article will explore some of the most common tax deductions for home sellers and how they can help you save money.

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In this Article:

Selling Costs

The real estate commission is one of the most significant expenses when selling a home. The good news is that this cost is tax-deductible. You can deduct the total commission paid to your real estate agent and any fees paid to a lawyer, appraiser, or other professionals involved in the sale. Remember that you can only deduct these costs if you paid them and the buyer did not pay them.

Home Improvement Expenses

Another potential tax deduction for home sellers is money spent on home improvements. While the cost of routine repairs and maintenance cannot be deducted, any money spent on improvements that increase the value of your home can be. This includes a new roof, updated kitchen, or finished basement. Keep all receipts and records of the work done, as this will be necessary when filing your taxes.

Property Taxes

Property taxes can also be deducted when selling a home. If you paid property taxes during the year you sold your home, you could deduct the portion of those taxes you paid up until the date of the sale. This deduction benefits sellers who sell their homes early in the year and have paid significant property taxes.

Mortgage Interest

Mortgage interest is another potential tax deduction for home sellers. If you have a mortgage on your home and sell it, you can deduct the interest paid on the mortgage up until the date of the sale. This deduction can be significant, especially if you have a large mortgage and sell your home early in the year.

Capital Gains Tax

When you sell your home, you may be subject to capital gains tax on any profit you make. However, some exemptions can help you avoid or reduce this tax. If you've lived in your home for at least two out of the last five years, you may be eligible for a capital gains exclusion of up to $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for couples. This means you can exclude up to this amount from your taxable income. Remember that this exclusion can only be used once every two years.

Items that aren't tax deductible

While there are several tax deductions that home sellers can take advantage of, it's important to note that not all expenses related to selling a home are tax-deductible. Here are some items that are not deductible:

  1. Home Staging Costs: While home staging can help sell your home more quickly and for a higher price, its costs are not tax-deductible.

  2. Home Insurance: The cost of home insurance is not tax-deductible, even if you paid it for the entire year and sold your home before the policy expired.

  3. Home Repairs and Maintenance: Routine repairs and maintenance costs cannot be deducted, even if they were done to prepare your home for sale.

  4. Homeowner Association Fees: Any fees paid to a homeowner association are not tax-deductible, even if they were paid to improve the community's common areas.

  5. Home Purchase Price: The price you paid for your home is not tax-deductible, even if you sold it for less than you paid.

By understanding which expenses are deductible and which are not, you can make the most of your home sale and avoid any potential tax issues. If you have any questions about which expenses can be deducted, consult a tax professional.


Selling a home can be a costly process, but there are several tax deductions that home sellers can take advantage of to help ease the burden. You can save thousands of dollars by deducting selling costs, home improvement expenses, property taxes, mortgage interest, and capital gains tax. If you're unsure what deductions you're eligible for, consult a tax professional or real estate agent. With some knowledge and preparation, you can make the most of your home sale and keep more money in your pocket.


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