Putting a home on the market can be an expensive venture, so preparation and planning can help avoid unforeseen costs, which can add up in a hurry. Here is a look at some of the major outlays you could face while selling your home:
Sales commission: This is the percentage of the sale that will be charged by the real estate agent if you list the home. The total can be 4 to 6 percent of the sale price of the home. Keep in mind that many agents will negotiate regarding their commission to help facilitate a sale.
Closing costs: These are expenses that the seller picks up as part of completing the transaction. Included in these costs are transfer taxes, prorated property taxes and legal fees. The fees can be as much as 2 to 4 percent of the home’s sale price. In some states, you prepay property taxes, which could mean you’ll get a credit at closing rather than a bill. You could also receive a refund of advance escrow payments you’ve made on your homeowners insurance. Be sure to check with a lender rather than assume you’re going to receive the funds.
Mortgage payoff: This is the difference between your outstanding principal balance and the payments you will make before your sale date. Additionally, there could be a cost incurred at closing, if your loan has a prepayment penalty. Confirm your calculations with your lender.
Pre-sale repairs and/or cosmetic fixes: These vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the age of the home and how well you’ve maintained it. Cosmetic fixes can be as cheap as $50 for several cans of paint, or much more extensive. Experts advise homeowners to get a pre-sale inspection or appraisal to identify defects and cosmetics improvements that can make the home more appealing.
Moving expenses: This is one area people rarely think about until it’s too late. Again, these can vary dramatically depending on the distance you’re moving, the size of your home and storage costs. Consider talking to your tax advisor about whether you can deduct all or part of your moving expenses.
Miscellaneous moving expenses: These are items such as utility deposits or the cost of new items for your new residence. It’s best to make a budget. Finally, consult your tax advisor regarding factors that might affect your taxes resulting from the sale of your home.