Planning to sell your home? There are plenty of costs that go along with it, and knowing what you’ll need to pay ensures that you don’t get caught by surprise. You’ll obviously need to pay whatever amount remains on your mortgage. In addition, you should budget 10 percent of your home’s price for additional costs. Your selling costs could be less, but this is a safe amount that will keep you covered.
Here are the selling costs you can expect, along with a few optional costs.
Commission for Your Real Estate Agent
Expect your real estate agent to charge between 5 and 6 percent of however much your home sells for. While that’s the standard amount, you may be able to negotiate something lower or a flat rate instead of a commission. You should look up plenty of agents and ask people you know for recommendations. Once you find one, get a contract that stipulates their commission amount.
Keep in mind that cheaper isn’t always the better choice. You also need to consider which agent you trust to sell your house. It doesn’t do you any good to save 1 percent on your agent’s commission if it takes them months to sell your house.
Title insurance is necessary to protect the lender and the buyer for any home sale, and it kicks in if the title company finds any problems with the ownership record of the home. The buyer purchases a policy for the lender and the seller purchases a policy for the buyer. This typically runs between $500 and $1,000.
Taxes and Fees
You need to pay your prorated share of that year’s property taxes. If you just paid them, you won’t owe much, but if they’re due soon, you’ll need to pay the bulk of them. There could also be a local transfer tax, depending on your area, which is a tax to transfer the home’s title. This is usually between 0.01 and 2 percent of your home’s selling price.
Fees for a homeowner’s association (HOA) work the same way as property taxes, as you’ll need to pay a prorated amount in membership fees. There could also be a fee to transfer the HOA membership from you to the buyer.
Note that the amount to pay off your mortgage likely won’t be the amount listed on your statement as the balance due, as paying it off early means you won’t pay as much interest. There could be a prepayment penalty, though. To know exactly what your payoff amount will be, contact your lender.
Home inspections are common, and your buyer’s inspection could turn up issues. The buyer could request that you cover the cost of certain repairs by taking it off the asking price of the home, although this is less likely if you listed the home as-is.
There are a few extra items that you may consider to sell your home faster. If your home is older, you may want to pay for six months to one year of a home warranty that will cover major repairs. These typically cost a few hundred dollars.
The nicer your home looks, the more people will want to buy it. While tidying up could be sufficient, your home will look best if you have it staged. Home stager rates can vary quite a bit, but they’re usually between $250 and $1,000.
Buyers have closing costs of their own to handle at the end of the purchasing process, including fees for getting a mortgage, the cost of the home inspection and appraisal expenses. To sweeten the deal, you can cover a portion of those costs.
None of those extras are necessary, so you’ll need to decide how much you want to spend selling your home. If homes are selling quickly in your area, it makes sense to wait a couple weeks and see if your home sells before putting any extra money towards selling it.