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.
1. Realtor’s commission (seller's responsibility)
By far - this is often the largest
fee that a seller has to pay. In many cases, these commissions can total
5 to 6 percent of the sale cost. For a $250,000 house, that’d be about
$15,000. The commission fee is usually equally 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 can include negotiations, hiring a contract lawyer and taking care of the transfer of title.
2. Home repairs (seller's responsibility)
If you’re 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. If you’ve been putting off
painting a bedroom, repairing a staircase or fixing a leaky faucet,
now’s the time to make those changes.
3. Inspection repairs (seller's responsibility)
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
Buyers like to have a clear picture of what the
home will look like with their items in it. If your home is 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your possessions are outdated, you may want to hire a professional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’ll 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 how much this will cost.
6. Mortgage payoff
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
7. 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 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