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How to gift home equity

Updated February 21, 2017

A person selling a home to a person in their family will have the option of gifting some of the equity of the home. Often, the seller is discounting the cost of the home. This helps the buyer with the down payment and doesn't actually cost the seller in anything but equity. Any gift of equity will be acceptable as long as certain steps and guidelines are followed.

Check with the IRS first to establish how much will be allowed to give under current tax rules. You can adjust downward from there if you would like.

File a Gift Tax Return even though you won't be assessed any taxes until the estate is settled.

Understand that the gift of equity will serve as a down payment for the buyer. This will lower the loan to value so that your family member won't have to borrow as much. If your selling the property for $100,000 and you gift $10,000, then she will need a loan for $90,000.

Ask the lender if there are stipulations on whether or not she must provide a certain percentage of funds in order to qualify for the loan. Some lenders will require up to five percent.

Prepare to write a letter for the lender with your intent to gift the equity including how much and also that you do not expect repayment in any form for the gift. All standard loans will typically require this for the loan file.

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