How much does it cost to sell a house?

A lack of homes for sale gives sellers the edge in most real estate markets, but many home sellers are unaware that their home still costs money to unload. Some expenses are negotiable, but sellers should expect to pay all or part of the bill for the various costs of selling a home.

a large lawn in front of a house: house for sale

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House for sale

How much does it cost to sell a home?

Real estate commissions and other fees can consume up to 10 percent of the selling price of a home. Here is a breakdown of all the costs sellers should prepare for:


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Real estate commission

The real estate commission is usually the largest fee a seller pays – 5 to 6 percent of the sale price. For example, if you sold your home for $ 250,000, you could end up paying $ 15,000 in commissions.

The commission is split between the seller’s real estate agent and the buyer’s agent. In most cases (77 percent), these costs are borne by the seller, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

However, you may be able to negotiate a lower commission. Real estate agents are more likely to accept a lower price if the home is expected to sell quickly, the local market is strong, or the home price is relatively high.

Many homeowners try to avoid paying commissions by listing their home as an Owner For Sale (FSBO). If you do, you should be ready to take on the duties of a real estate agent, including displaying the space to prospective buyers, negotiating, hiring a lawyer to draft the contract, and transferring the property. According to the NAR, only 11 percent of home sales last year were FSBO sales.

Home repairs

If you are considering selling your home, there are likely things you could do to make your home more attractive, and possibly add value. If you’ve been putting off spicing up the exterior of your property, painting the inside, or fixing a staircase or leaking faucet, now is the time to make those changes.

“Getting the home ready for sale may require minor cosmetic jobs like painting and debugging, or major enhancements,” says Jorge Guerra, chairman of the Miami Association of Realtors in Florida in 2020. “Sometimes a new kitchen and bathroom can be added increase the value significantly. “

If the buyer’s home inspector finds issues like a damaged roof or poor installation, you may have to pay to fix those issues in order to close the deal. Major repairs can set you back financially. So be prepared for this before you decide to sell, especially if you expect to encounter problems during a home inspection.

Home inspection before sale

A pre-sale home inspection is strictly optional and can cost around $ 400 or more. Some sellers make the investment because they want to find out about structural or mechanical problems with the home before a prospective buyer comes to their home inspector.

Getting a pre-sale inspection allows you to do major repairs in advance without a buyer calling for them later or asking you to lower the price.

Discuss with your real estate agent whether a home inspection is recommended before the sale. Remember, if your inspection reveals material defects in your home, it is your responsibility to disclose them to a buyer, subject to your state’s disclosure laws.

Gallery: Buying a house in 2021? Here’s what you need to know (GOBankingRates)

Now that the New Year is in full swing, it's time to start shopping for a very big purchase - a new home.  This is an important step whether you are a first time home buyer or planning to trade from your existing home.  You want to be as informed as possible.  According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate fell to a record low of 2.79% in the week of January 14th.  While rates are expected to rise modestly this year, rates will remain low to encourage home buying and refinancing.  Find Out: What Homes In Your State Will Be Worth By The End Of 2021 With low rates comes a highly competitive real estate market as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people in their current area to move or look for more spacious homes Area.  For example, homes spent an average of 66 days in the market in December 2020, a 16% year-over-year decrease, according to  Listing prices also rose 13% to $ 340,000 while the number of active listings decreased 40%.  It may take patience, but if you are willing to invest the time and effort you will find the home of your dreams.  Read on for valuable advice from real estate professionals that will give you a competitive advantage and help you make the best choices for your financial future.  Last updated: January 19, 2021

Home staging

Buyers want to imagine what a home might look like after moving in. So, if you’re a seller, it’s worth doing some cosmetic repairs like fresh neutral colors and new floors. Improving curb appeal with fresh plants or flowers can also attract shoppers without costing too much, explains Grant Lopez, former chairman of the San Antonio Board of Realtors in Texas.

28 percent of the seller’s agents said they staged their homes prior to listing, according to NAR. While you can perform some staging tactics on your own, hiring a professional for the stage can pay off. Stagers do what is necessary to improve a home’s best features while minimizing the worst features. They rearrange furniture and accessories and defuse and depersonalize the house. You can even repurpose a room in ways that you would not have imagined.

The cost of a professional stager depends on the size of the home, the amount of work that is done, the length of time the home has been in the market, and other factors. Expect at least several hundred dollars.

“Staging is usually helpful when the house is vacant. Realtors use the furniture to showcase what that space can be,” says Guerra. “Depending on the furniture and the price of the house, (staging) can be very expensive.”


If you want to move out before selling your home, you will want to keep paying for water and electricity. A home without air conditioning, heat, and lighting can be difficult for buyers to show off. Your current bills will give you an idea of ​​how much it costs each month to leave the utility company until a new buyer moves in.

mortgage payment

The proceeds from your home sale will be used to pay off your mortgage, but it is likely that the repayment amount on your mortgage statement will be slightly less than what you actually owe. You will likely need to add prorated interest that you have accumulated to the total balance. Additionally, you may have to pay a fee if there is an prepayment penalty attached to your mortgage. Check your loan records or contact your current lender to find out if your loan includes this condition.

Selling one house and buying another? Use Bankrate’s Calculator to see how much home you can afford.

Closing costs and additional fees

In a real estate transaction, there are many closing costs to be borne by the buyer, but there are also closing costs for the seller.

Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to pay the bill for some of the buyer’s cost as well, especially if you’re trying to sell your home in a buyers market (which has a lot of houses for sale).

Some of these costs can include homeowners association fees, property taxes, attorneys’ fees, transfer taxes, and property insurance. You may also be asked to pay an escrow fee, a brokerage fee, and a courier fee.

“Sellers sometimes forget to budget for a title policy, which ensures the title is free and clear,” says Lopez. It’s usually included in the closing costs, but you may be able to negotiate who will pay for it.

In fact, many of these fees are negotiable and a seller is unlikely to be responsible for all of them. Still, it helps to be prepared.

Capital gains tax

Don’t forget to consider taxes. If you sell a home for more than you paid for it, it counts as a capital gain and may need to be reported on your federal tax return.

The good news is that many homeowners are eligible to exclude up to $ 250,000 in profit ($ 500,000 for married couples filing together) from their primary residence as long as they haven’t received the tax break on another home sale in recent years two years have used years. The tax credit applies if you have been your main residence for at least two years in the past five years.

Property tax

Sellers also need to remember property taxes, which depend on whether or not they take out their mortgage, Lopez says. Property taxes are usually paid in advance. The seller should pay the pro rata portion of the property tax with the deposited money by the key date.

However, if you’ve sold your home and you’ve already paid taxes for the year, you might actually get a discount on graduation. The buyer reimburses the seller for the part of the taxes already paid that is due after the reference date.

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