Understanding the costs of selling your home

Before you put your home on the market, take the time to understand the costs associated with selling it.

As a homeowner, you’re aware of how much it costs to buy a home, from the down payment to closing costs. What you may not realize is that selling your home can be surprisingly expensive and you’ll want to be prepared.

Primary costs

Closing costs are typically the largest expense for sellers and you’ll be responsible for real estate commissions, taxes and fees. These costs will be taken from the sale proceeds of the home at closing.

Real estate commission, the largest of your costs, typically ranges from 5% to 6% of the home's sale price and is paid by you, the seller. 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.

As for 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.

Other costs

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Getting prepared: 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 a lot of homes for sale and fewer 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 that can affect your wallet.

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

Preparing to sell your home