The 13 Unexpected Costs That Surprise Home Sellers
Selling a house seems straightforward: prepare your home for sale, find a buyer, sign the paperwork, and receive your money. However, it’s not as simple as it seems. There are many unexpected costs associated with selling a home that surprise sellers. Let’s delve into the top 13 costs that often catch home sellers off guard.
1. Real Estate Agent Commissions
The biggest cost for most sellers is the commission for the real estate agents involved in the sale. Typically, this is around 5-6% of the selling price, split between the seller’s and buyer’s agents.
2. Home Inspection Repairs
Buyers will likely have your home inspected before purchase. Any significant issues that come up during the inspection may need to be addressed before the sale can proceed, which could cost thousands depending on the nature of the repairs.
3. Home Staging Costs
Staging a home can make it more appealing to potential buyers. This may involve minor redecorating or could mean renting furniture and décor. The cost varies depending on the size and condition of your home and whether you hire a professional stager.
4. Professional Cleaning
Ensuring your home is spotless before showing it can lead to faster and higher offers. Hiring professional cleaners can cost a few hundred dollars, depending on the size of your home.
Curb appeal plays a significant role in first impressions. Money spent on freshening up your home’s exterior with landscaping can be significant, especially if you’re hiring professionals.
6. Pre-Sale Home Appraisal
While not always required, some sellers opt for a pre-sale home appraisal to determine the value of their home. This typically costs between $300 and $500.
7. Seller Concessions
Sometimes, to secure a sale, sellers may agree to concessions such as covering closing costs, offering a home warranty, or carrying out specific repairs, all of which can add to the cost of selling.
8. Closing Costs
While buyers typically shoulder most closing costs, sellers may be responsible for items such as transfer taxes, attorney fees, and title insurance fees, among others.
9. Moving Expenses
Whether you’re hiring professional movers, renting a truck, or buying boxes and packing materials, moving isn’t free and is often more expensive than people anticipate.
10. Capital Gains Tax
If your home has significantly appreciated in value, you may have to pay capital gains tax on the profit from the sale. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
11. Mortgage Payoff Costs
If you sell your house before you’ve paid off your mortgage, you’ll need to use the proceeds of the sale to pay off the rest of your loan. In some cases, there might be a prepayment penalty.
12. Utility Bills
You need to keep all utilities on while your home is on the market. This includes the period after you move out and before the new owner moves in.
13. Costs of Buying Your Next Home
While it’s not a direct cost of selling, it’s important to remember the expenses related to buying your next home – such as down payment, moving costs, and possibly overlapping mortgage payments.
Selling a home can be a rewarding process, but it’s essential to understand all the costs involved. Knowing these costs can help you budget appropriately and reduce the likelihood of unwelcome surprises. Always seek professional advice if you’re unsure of any costs, so you can sell your home with confidence and peace of mind.
Soldier to Soldier