Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay
All home sellers understand that there are some costs to selling a home, but not everyone realizes what they're expected to pay for (and how much the total will be). We'll look at the most common expenses and how they might affect your budget.
Real Estate Agent Fees
This is probably the first thing that comes to mind if you're selling a home. The standard rule is anywhere between 5 to 6% of the final sale price. Not all sellers will shoulder this cost, but the majority will. So if your home sells for $300,000, you should expect to hand over at least $15,000 to be split between the buyer and seller real estate agents. Please note that commissions can be negotiable, especially if you're selling in a popular neighborhood.
While none of these costs are strictly necessary, they can help you get your home ready:
- Repairs: If you're not planning to sell the house as-is, it's a good idea to spruce up the interior and exterior of the property. Even if you're only buying a few cans of paint and a roller, the costs can add up quickly.
- Home inspection: Buyers will typically do their own home inspection, but sellers who go above and beyond can give themselves an edge in a competitive market. If you're going out of your way to buy a home inspection, it can show you have nothing to hide. These inspections cost a few hundred dollars and may reveal structural problems that you were unaware of.
- Staging: Arranging your furniture to show off the best of the home can really inspire buyers to view its potential. Whether you dress up your home with cozy touches (e.g., cashmere throws, small bouquets, etc.) or more modern decorations, it can help attract the perfect buyer.
If you're moving out before you sell the house, you'll need to continue paying the utilities. You'll also need to check with your lender as to exactly how much you owe when you pay off the loan. Some lenders will charge prepayment fees upon early termination. You may also be asked to either pay or split the closing costs, especially if you're selling in a buyer's market. This can include anything from the title inspector fees to transfer costs. Finally, you may need to pay capital gains tax if your home skyrocketed in value or any lingering property taxes.
Some sellers end up paying closer to 10% of the total sale price of their home, a figure that can be difficult to swallow for many sellers. It's worth clarifying each cost so you always know what you're paying for.
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