1. Real Estate Agent Commissions – Cost: 2.5-6% of Sales Price
A talented real estate agent can be crucial in the successful sale of your home, and definitely deserves their hard earned commission. A great agent will assist with invaluable market knowledge, marketing and showing the home, and taking care of all the details associated with the transaction. However, it’s important to understand as the seller that you are also responsible for paying for the buyer’s agent’s commission.
2. Closing Costs – Cost: 2% of Sales Price
Unfortunately, the costs associated with closing on a real estate sale don’t end with the commission owed to the agents. The escrow process is a complicated one. There are escrow fees, attorney fees, recording fees, transfer and conveyance fees, home warranties, and more. These fees can really stack up, but in a profitable home sale are usually considered “the cost of doing business”. However, if you’re in a more complicated or over leveraged situation, it’s important to budget for these expenses.
3. Cosmetic Improvements – Cost: $2,0000-$10,0000
It’s important to remember that when you put your home for sale on the market, it’s often times competing against completely new or remodeled homes. Although your property may be in good physical condition, some cosmetic updates can make a huge different to your curb appeal and in generating interest from buyers. Some great low cost improvements with big returns include lighting, landscaping, and fresh paint. (To learn about more ways you can improve your home to increase the value, check out our article, “5 Affordable Repairs to Increase the Value of Your Home”)
4. Structural or Environment Repairs – Cost: $1,500-$45,000
Especially if you are looking to get top dollar for your property, it’s likely that when listing with an agent your buyers will need to qualify for a mortgage. In order to qualify for a mortgage or please your buyers, there may be structural or environmental repairs you need to make to the property. These repairs can include the roof, septic, electrical work, entryway, or any stairs. Before doing any major repairs, make sure to consult an experienced real estate professional in your area.
5. Staging – Cost: $500-$1,500
With the majority of new home searches coming from the internet, either coming straight from buyers on websites like Trulia, Redfin, or Zillow or from agents perusing the MLS for their clients.
6. Taxes – Cost: $?
Taxes for your specific property can mean a wide breadth of types of payments. You may need to bring the property taxes up current, pay taxes on the profit of the sale of your home, or more. Make sure to check into the specifics in your state, as well as consult a professional to understand the tax implications of selling your home.