Listing a home can be much more costly than many homeowners realize. Many of the costs incurred during a home sale happen at the end when money is exchanged and the property changes hands.
Maintenance, Staging, and Curb Appeal
These costs, which can range from tens to thousands of dollars, are sometimes optional. However, homeowners who fail to update their home before putting it on the market may see lower bids than homeowners who stage their property (or none at all). It can be hard to decide what needs to be done to a home before putting it on the market.
Priority items typically include:
- Deferred maintenance: Make repairs that you’ve been putting off. A broken air conditioner, cracked window and other glaring maintenance issues can lead to lower offers and reduced buyer interest in a property.
- Curb appeal: Do a little landscaping and yard work to make your home more attractive when buyers pull up. Plant colorful annuals, have any dead or dying trees removed from the yard, and buy a nice potted plant to put near the front door.
- Staging: Staging can involve repainting the rooms, buying new curtains and investing in home organization systems to make the house more organized. Staging areas like the kitchen can go a long way in impressing picky buyers, but costs can certainly add up on this single part of the house.
Some home sellers or realtors will take their own photographs when it’s time to list a property. However, professional photography can put a home in a better light, thus encouraging interest from potential buyers. Plan to pay as much as a few hundred dollars for real estate photography.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to get a home inspected before trying to sell. Knowing what’s going on in a house can help you head off problems before they begin. Home inspections can cost a few hundred dollars, but the inspection can lead to expensive repairs that may need to be done before selling since you now have knowledge of their existence.
Costs of Letting a Home Sit Vacant
If the home doesn’t sell right away, there are a variety of costs that can be incurred over time. Property taxes, homeowners insurance, utilities and maintenance all cost money over time. Depending on how long the house sits vacant, this can amount to hundreds or thousands of dollars.
When the house sells, costs are incurred for the transaction. These costs will vary, and sometimes in slow markets, sellers pay those costs. Any remaining mortgage and property taxes will be paid off at the time of sale. In addition, approximately 2% of the sale price of the home will usually go toward closing costs, which include:
- Mortgage processing fees
- Notary fees
- Transfer taxes
- Escrow fees
- Home appraisal
A home warranty is often offered to buyers to sweeten the deal and make the home sale more appealing. These plans may vary in scope and cost, but often cost for a home warranty will range between a few hundred to over $1,000. Home sellers can shop around for the best deal.
Real Estate Commissions
Finally, home sellers typically pay for the real estate commission, which is split between the two real estate agents. This will amount to around 5-6% of the cost of the house. Like the other costs, this is taken out of the profits made when the house sells.
For more information about how much money it costs when listing a home, give us a call or check out this information guide. He or she can lay out more specific expenses and discuss your budget to ensure that the sale of the home is something that you’ll be able to afford.