Understanding the costs of selling your home

Before you put your home on the market, it’s important to understand the costs associated with selling it.

As a homeowner, you’re familiar with how much it costs to buy a home. What you may not realize, however, is that selling your home can be expensive — and that you’ll want to be prepared for any surprises.

Here are the costs you should be prepared to pay.

Primary costs

Closing costs: Sellers, like homebuyers, are subject to pay closing costs. These are typically the largest expense sellers are expected to pay, and they include real estate commissions, taxes and fees. These costs will be taken from the sale proceeds of the home at closing.

Real estate commission: This is the largest segment of your closing costs, and it typically ranges from 5% to 6% of the home's sale price. This money is split between the buying and listing agents (and their respective brokers) for their services. Sometimes the split is 50/50, but it can vary based on a variety of factors.

Fees and taxes: You can expect to pay between 2% and 4% of the home’s sale price. Be aware that these costs can vary significantly by state.

Secondary costs

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Home repairs and improvements: Most sellers find themselves making home repairs and improvements before putting their home on the market. This can include staging, carpet cleaning, interior painting, landscaping and general repairs. If you’re in a buyer’s market with more homes for sale than there are ready buyers, you may find yourself spending more to make your home stand out.

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Home inspection: Another item to remember is the home inspection. Although this service is paid by the buyer, they can request repairs you may be required to pay to close the sale.

The more prepared you are for these costs, the smoother your home selling journey will be.

Preparing to sell your home