What are the Costs of Selling a House?

It’s the first question homeowners ask when considering selling. And, it’s necessary because no matter how you try to sell a house, it’s not going to be without cost. Even if you go the FSBO or For Sale By Owner route, you’re going to pay out-of-pocket expenses. After all, there’s plenty of line items, which just might or might not include taxes. So, you should know about the home seller capital gains tax and if it will affect you. But, this isn’t the only expense to consider when selling a home.

What are the Costs of Selling a House?

First of all, you’ll need to get your home in showable condition. That means a whole lot of decluttering, deep cleaning and depersonalizing. Every room should be clutter free, including closets and pantries. Additionally, disinfecting every surface is necessary. And, you’ll need to store all your personal effects out-of-sight. Then, wash the windows, clean the floors and get the garage and/or shed organized. While this is a lot of work, it’s worthwhile.

“If you’re thinking of selling your home, you may be counting the profits based on your estimated home value and the balance on your mortgage statement. Before you get too excited, remember that putting your home on the market comes with its own costs. However, homeowners can use some creativity and comparison shopping to reduce their costs and boost their bottom line.” —Realtor.com

Basically, the house should look like a model home when it’s all said and done. In fact, that’s a great way to get the best results — visiting model homes and copying what you see. Take a weekend to tour a few model properties. Take plenty of pictures and you’ll learn quite a bit. You’ll also pick up on common practices and themes. Now, as for expenses, these come in different forms. Here are the most common costs of selling a house:

  • Pre-listing inspection. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve lived in a home. And, this unfortunately misplaced confidence is what ends up plaguing all-too-many sellers’ lives. There’s a good chance one or more issues are present, you probably just aren’t yet aware of them. So, do yourself a huge favor and get a pre-listing home inspection. This way, you won’t be unpleasantly surprised when the buyer’s home inspection reveals unknown problems. For a few hundred dollars, it’s definitely worth the expense.
  • Repairs and touch ups. Next, you’ll have to make repairs and give the entire house a little TLC. Make any necessary repairs, including those found through the pre-listing inspection. Also, brush a fresh coat of interior paint throughout the house. Consider painting the exterior, if necessary. At the very least, you should have the exterior power washed or pressure washed so it looks its best.
  • Landscaping. Did you know it only takes a person 7 to 10 seconds to form an impression of a house? That’s not much time and the first thing seen is the landscaping. Curb appeal counts for a lot, so don’t skimp on the landscaping. But, do not go all-out, either. Keep it simple so it adds beauty to the property. Strategically spread mulch, add some colorful flowers and get the yard in shape so it catches the eye.
  • Staging. If you are confident in your sense of style, you can stage your home. If you’re not, then at least know the most common home staging mistakes. The average cost for professional staging ranges between $700 to $1,800 but it returns between 5 percent and 10 percent. In some cases, that ROI is even higher and this makes it a really powerful marketing tool.
  • Closing costs. Although most people associate closing costs with buyers, sellers don’t walk away from the settlement table scot-free. Expect to pay about 2 percent of the sales price in closing costs. The good news is, you can negotiate some of those line items to lower your costs.
  • Real estate commission. The typical real estate commission is 6 percent of the sale price. But, it’s what you get in return that matters most. Homes sold through a professional agent sell for $240,000, compared to $185,000 for homes sold by owners. And, only 8 percent of all houses sold are FSBO. What’s more, more than 93 percent of buyers are represented by real estate professions.

If you are considering selling a house in Orlando’s Hunter’s Creek, or another community, contact us for the latest market information. We are local and experienced in all facets of residential real estate, here to help you, when you need it.