Discover the total cost of selling your home
Selling a house is expensive and, to give yourself the best chance of selling quickly and at the right price, takes considerable time preparation. The standard cost of selling your home includes closing costs and property taxes, but there are other costs to consider, too.
The main costs of selling a house
Closing costs for sellers usually add up to 8%-10% of the house’s sale price. Closing costs consist of:
- Agent commission
- Transfer tax
- Title insurance
- Escrow fees
- Property taxes
- Attorney fees
You can expect to pay 5% to 6% of the price of your house in commission to be split between your (seller) agent and the buyer’s agent.
You will usually pay a further 2% to 4% in additional fees. These additional fees include a title insurance policy for buyers (a cost typically covered by the seller). Title insurance will set you back somewhere in the region of $1,000 to $4,000.
Escrow fees range from $500 to $2000 and cover the costs of a third-party company which handles the disbursement of funds from the sale. This cost is split between the seller and buyer, so your half will be approximately $1000.
Sellers are responsible for paying property taxes up to the closing date, so a prorated charge is added.
In some states, sellers must hire an attorney to oversee the closing process. Attorney fees are typically $500 to $1500.
The hidden costs of selling your house
Getting your house ready to sell
US homes spent an average of 56 days on the market in August 2020, according to Realtor.com’s August 2020 Market Summary Report. Average days on the market varies from neighborhood to neighborhood and is dependent on many factors — but you can boost your chances of a quick home sale by spending a little money upfront to get your home ready for sale.
Putting your belongings in storage
Declutter. If your home is crammed full of things you just can’t bear to part with, you should consider paying for storage. A 5ft x 5ft storage unit (big enough for a few boxes or small items of furniture) could set you back as little as $60 a month.
We’re not talking about a swift surface wipe here — we mean deep-cleaning. Of course, you can glove-up and do this yourself, but for $100-$200 you might prefer to hire a professional.
Tidy up your outdoor space. At the very least, mow the lawn! The COVID-19 pandemic has seen homebuyers’ priorities shift and gardens are a BIG selling point following this year’s lockdowns and shelter-in-place guidance. Spending $150 on presentation can make all the difference.
While not absolutely necessary, paying for a pre-inspection report gives you a heads-up on any issues that might be flagged in the buyer’s inspection report. It provides an opportunity for you to address any issues that might prevent a sale or lower your property value.
It makes sense then to carry out repairs prior to listing your property, because repairs put buyers off, and even if you do manage to find a buyer who will undertake the work, they’re not going to pay top-dollar: they’ll be asking for concessions.
Buyer concessions are on average 1% of the sale price. To close a sale, buyers often negotiate concessions to cover the cost of post-inspection repairs or taking out a home warranty.
Vacate your home
Empty houses sell faster. Vacating your home and paying for temporary accommodation maximizes the times your realtor can show buyers round, as well as saving you the hassle of repeatedly having to run around tidying up pre-viewing.
Stage your home
Professional staging services cost around $500 for an initial consultation and $1500 for the staging itself.
Photos book viewings — it is worth paying a professional to ensure your home is portrayed in the best light (literally and figuratively)!
- Consider ALL the costs of selling your home.
- The total cost of selling your home is typically 8-10% of the sale price.
- Closing costs consist of approximately 6% commissions, plus around 2%-4% in real estate fees, attorney fees, property taxes and transfer taxes.
- Hidden costs include home improvements, property marketing, and buyer concessions.
- It is worth spending on your home to improve your chances of selling
When calculating the costs of selling your home, it’s easy to overlook small but necessary costs like hiring a window cleaner or having your carpets professionally cleaned. Yet, these little touches will help you sell your home faster and for more.