While many people save for and anticipate the costs associated with buying a home, not everyone realizes that selling a house also comes with its share of fees.
In some cases, these fees can equal 10 percent of the home's sale price. While many of these charges are negotiable and can fluctuate depending on the state of the real estate market, sellers should plan on paying at least some of these expenses.
Understanding the costs involved in selling a house can help prevent sticker shock when it comes time to close the sale.
The real estate commission is often the largest fee that a seller has to pay. In many cases, these commissions can total 5 percent to 6 percent of the sale cost. For a $250,000 house, that would be about $15,000.
The commission fee is split between the seller's agent and the buyer's agent. Many homeowners are attempting to skip these high fees altogether by going the sell-it-yourself route. If you take this approach, though, be prepared to assume the Realtor's responsibilities.
These duties can include negotiations, hiring a contract lawyer and taking care of the transfer of title.
If you are thinking about selling your home, chances are there are a few repairs that could be made to boost the appeal of your home and even raise its value.
So if you have been putting off painting a bedroom, repairing a staircase or fixing a leaky faucet, now is the time to make those changes.
You may spend several hundred dollars on cosmetic fixes on your home, but if the buyer's home inspection reveals any major problems, you might be responsible for paying to fix them as well.
Major repairs could be a financial setback, so it's important to be prepared for them before you choose to sell, especially if you anticipate a problem with your home passing inspection.
Buyers like to have a clear picture of what the home will look like with their items in it. If your home is currently vacant or your possessions are outdated, you may want to hire a professional stager who can arrange furniture and accessories.
A 2015 National Association of Realtors study revealed that the median cost for staging was $675.
If you plan to move out before you sell your home, you will want to continue to pay for your heat and electricity. A home without heat and lighting can be very difficult to show to buyers. Your current utility bills can give you an idea of how much this will cost.
The proceeds of your home will be used to pay off your mortgage, but it is likely that the number on your mortgage statement might be a little less than what you owe.
You'll likely have to add prorated interest you've accrued to the total balance. Additionally, your lender may penalize you for paying early if you have a prepayment penalty associated with your mortgage.
Closing costs and additional fees
While the closing cost to sell a house is typically the responsibility of the buyer, don't be surprised if you are asked to foot the bill, especially if you are trying to sell your home in a buyer's market (one which has an influx of homes for sale).
Some of these costs may include HOA (or homeowners association) fees, property taxes, attorney fees, transfer taxes and title insurance. You also may be asked to pay an escrow fee, a brokerage fee and a courier fee. Altogether, closing costs can range from 2 percent to 4 percent of the selling price.
Many of the above fees are negotiable, and it is unlikely that a seller will be responsible for all of these. Still, it helps to be prepared. Knowing how much it will cost to sell a house can help you avoid disappointment when the time comes to put it on the market.
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