Bob Jablonsky & Associates Blog

Home Sale Tax Exclusion for Realtors

by | May 3, 2021

Most real estate sales involve the selling of personal residences.  The question of whether the profit on the sale is taxable often not only comes up to me as a tax professional, but I also find that Realtors get that question as well from potential sellers.  Today, we’ll touch on the general rules of the topic.  My goal isn’t to make you a tax expert, but to allow you to give some general guidance to your clients.  For specific questions, I’d recommend that  you send them to a tax professional that you work with. 

What Are the Rules?

There are three Basic rules for the Exclusion of Income on a Sale of a Principal Residence:

  1. Only one principal residence is permitted at any one time,
  2. The property must have been the taxpayer’s principal residence for 2 of the last 5 years, and
  3. The Exclusion is $500,000 for married persons filing jointly and $250,000 for all other filers.

What If I own more than one Home?

What if I own a 2nd Home or have a Rental Property?  See above for what qualifies today.  Unless it is your “Principal Residence” and you’ve lived in the house for 2 of the last 5 years, it doesn’t qualify.  However, you can utilize the exclusion more than one time.  Let’s take a look at how you can use these rules to your benefit.

Let’s say I own my residence and an investment property, and plan on retiring and moving in 3 years to another home and/or location.  There’s nothing to stop me from selling my qualifying residence today, using the exclusion, and then moving into my investment property for two years, and selling that property with another qualifying exclusion.  You can do something similar with a 2nd home or a home office that might normally be taxable.  By planning, your client can legitimately save a substantial amount of money on their taxes, and have that money in retirement, and you can be their hero.

Need a Tax Professional to Team up With?

If you are a Realtor, or other Small Business owner, who needs professional help with your taxes, keeping your books properly, or dealing with any IRS issues, give me a call at (972) 821-1991 or send me an email at  Learn more about us at

Bob Jablonsky is the founder of Bob Jablonsky & Associates. He has spent his career helping taxpayers resolve tax issues and get back on track with the IRS. In addition to tax resolution his firm also prepares hundreds of tax returns every year for both individuals and small to mid-sized businesses.

Bob is an IRS Enrolled Agent (EA), which is an elite credential issued by the Internal Revenue Service to professionals who demonstrate special competence in federal tax planning, individual and business tax return preparation, and representation matters. An Enrolled Agent license is the highest credential awarded by the IRS and is recognized across all 50 states. Additionally he is a CMA, or Certified Management Accountant, a designation for financial controllers and CFOs (Chief Financial Officers), as well as an Advanced Certified Quickbooks Pro Advisor.

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