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Donate  REAL ESTATE for animals

Donating your house to the Sacramento Zoo is a great way to support the animals, educational outreach, and wildlife conservation. You can support the Sacramento Zoo with the gift of a real estate donation! Donate online or call 1-844-277-HOME.

All donations are handled by CARS (Charitable Adult Rides & Services), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit; the FAQ’s below refer to their policies. All donations benefit the Sacramento Zoo.

Can you accept real estate with a mortgage balance?

Yes, Sacramento Zoo will resell the property with its national auction partner and the proceeds of the auction sale will pay off the mortgage balance first, with the remainder going to Sacramento Zoo (after normal closing costs such as escrow, title fees, transfer tax, real estate commissions, etc.). Prior to the auction we will determine if the likely value exceeds the mortgage balance and we may have to reject any asset that does not have sufficient equity to result in cash proceeds to Sacramento Zoo.

Can I give a portion of the equity to Sacramento Zoo, or do I have to donate it all?

If your property has a high value, you may elect to donate a portion of the equity to Sacramento Zoo (falling under a Bargain Sale-IRS Section 170).

What type of real estate can be donated?

Any type of real property may be donated that has positive equity, clear title, and no environmental issues. Common property types are land, second homes, rental property, commercial real estate and estates. We do not accept timeshares or mobile homes.

Is donating real estate easy?

Yes! Our partner has a national real estate auction platform, and a national title company partner so we can quickly vet assets and convert them to cash without Sacramento Zoo ever having to own or operate the asset. Also, using the IRS Bargain Sale, Sacramento Zoo can accept real estate with mortgage debt and high value assets with a portion of the equity going to the Sacramento Zoo (and a portion in cash to donor). Donors don’t need to pay for anything and only need to fill out a seller disclosure and sign the deed at closing. We take care of everything else!

What tax deduction do I receive when donating property?

Real estate donations are based on the full appraised value, not the sale price. Capital gain tax may also be avoided (excluding the mortgaged portion or cash received). The deduction can be carried forward up to five years following the year of sale.

In most cases, you may deduct the difference between the cash received and the fair market value based on an appraisal specifically completed to assess the value based on IRS gift appraisal guidelines. You many not deduct proceeds that were applied to pay off mortgages or back real estate taxes.

How long does it take to complete a real estate donation?

Most donated properties will be completed within 90 days, and some as quickly as 14 days. Our goal is to maximize the value of the property.

Do I have to pay commissions or closing costs?

You do not have to pay any commissions. If your property is currently listed with a broker, Sacramento Zoo will pay the commission owed based on the list price, or tax assessor value if there is no list price. There are no closing costs to the donor and all unpaid liens will be paid off at closing. The donor is generally not asked to pay anything out of pocket and prepaid property taxes and assessments will be remitted back to the donor at closing.

Can either party cancel the donation agreement?

In short, it depends on the transaction. If Sacramento Zoo can’t achieve a resale sales price that results in a surplus, or if there are title or serious repair issues found, the nonprofit may terminate the donation agreement.

What if my property has environmental issues?

We have the ability to process properties with environmental issues, however, only high value assets would be considered due to the risk and complexity. We have investors specialized in environmental clean up and often issue indemnities to sellers via complex insurance placements.

Thank you for donating your house for animals!