5 Hidden Costs of Selling a Home That Catch Sellers Off-Guard

Selling a house may seem straightforward on the surface, but many aspiring home sellers are often surprised by the amounts they have to cough up right before closing a sale with a buyer. In fact, analysis by Zillow and Thumbtack reveals that the average cost of selling a home hovers at around $20,851—two thirds of these costs is made up of transfer or sales taxes as well as agent commissions.

But what exactly bloats these figures? There are the obvious costs like sales or transfer taxes, but there are also “hidden” or unexpected costs that go into the mix. Here are some to take note of:

1. Real Estate Commissions

Unless you’re confident in your ability to sell your home on your own, you’ll need to employ the services of a real estate agent. Hiring one may easily be the largest cost of selling your home. The commission you’ll end up owing them is usually six percent of the sale price, which makes an average of $11,790 given the $196,500 median home value.

2. Home Preparation

In its live-in state, your home may not be the most appealing place to move into. This is where home preparations come in.

Whether it’s a fresh coat of paint for your interiors (average of $1000), a complete overhaul of your landscaping (average of $3300), or having your home professionally staged (average of $1200), making your home presentable to buyers is going to cost quite a bit of money.

3. Repair Costs

Several things in your home may need repairs or replacements, including leaking faucets, broken gutters, and aging insulation among others. The magnitude of how much work your home needs before selling depends entirely on your situation. Just remember that things like faulty plumbing, broken doorknobs, electrical maintenance, carpet stains, and the like may sum up to thousands of dollars shaved off the amount you expect to earn from the sale.

4. Home Inspection

Before you start pouring in thousands into home repairs and beautification, you might want to consider getting a professional to give your home a proper look. Home inspectors are specifically trained to go through a house and spot defects like frame construction problems with electrical, plumbing, heating, and cooling systems. In most cases, it’s the prospective buyer who seeks and pays for the help of an inspector. However, if you’re serious about getting your house in tip-top shape to maximize your sale, you may want to have it inspected ahead.

5. Closing Costs

While it’s usually the buyer that covers these costs, some sellers offer to handle closing costs as a way of persuading buyers to close the deal. Closing costs can include property and transfer taxes, title insurance, HOA and escrow fees, as well as the various other legal fees involved in selling a house. In total, these usually amount to range of 2 percent to 5 percent of the sale price.

In many cases, home sellers may have to accept that some of these costs are inevitable and will likely take a chunk off the amount you stand to earn from the sale (around 10% on average). If you would rather sell your home right away as-is, consider selling it to an investor like Blue Hen Homebuyers. We buy all kinds of houses, regardless of their age or condition. Call our offices today at 910-802-2222 to learn more about how our services can help you.

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