The Cost of Selling a House

You’re ready to sell your home and hoping you’ll walk away with some cash. While your market value matters, so do your expenses. 

So, what is the cost of selling a house? 

If you’re using a realtor to sell your home, the realtor commission will likely be your largest cost. You’ll also want to consider other costs such as repairs, upgrades, staging, landscaping, closing costs, and moving costs. Everyone’s situation is different, so expenses will vary from house to house. 

There’s always the option of selling without a realtor, which might eliminate a big chunk of expenses. However, here are some ballpark costs of selling a house, so you know what to generally expect.

What are typical Realtor’s Fees like in Georgia?

The average realtor’s commission in Georgia runs at about 6 percent. The seller is usually expected to shell out the entire 6 percent, since the buyer is having to put down a large down payment. The commission is typically split between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent. So if you’re selling a home in Georgia for $200,000, expect to pay about $12,000 in realtor’s commissions.

What Other Costs or Fees is the Seller Responsible for?

Seller’s Concessions: Aside from paying the realtor’s commission, the buyer may ask you to cover other fees. They may ask for help with inspection fees, processing fees, and closing costs as part of the deal. These “seller’s concessions” can run anywhere from 1.5% to 2% of your home’s value. The buyer’s requests, however, cannot exceed more than 3%, 6%, or 9% of the sales price, depending on the amount of their down payment. The max percentage for concessions on an FHA loan is 6% and a VA loan it’s 4%.

Closing costs: When you close on your home, expect to pay a few fees, including closing fees to your realtor, attorney’s fees, recording fees, transfer taxes, and outstanding property taxes. You’ll also be expected to pay the balance of your mortgage upon closing. Keep in mind that if you’re paying your loan off early, your mortgage provider may require you to pay a prepayment penalty. If you’re making a profit on the home, these costs will typically be deducted from the proceeds you receive at closing. If the sale price doesn’t cover your mortgage balance and fees, you’ll have to bring money to the table at closing.

Buyer’s home warranty: You, the seller, may decide to include a buyer’s home warranty, which would cover anything from appliance replacements to plumbing and HVAC. A home warranty typically costs anywhere from $300 to $600. Although this expense is optional, adding a home warranty to the deal may put the buyer more at ease with purchasing your home. 

How Much Does Staging a Home Cost?

Staging involves making a home more attractive to buyers by repositioning furniture, decorating, and making other alterations to make the home more attractive to buyers. This critical step in the home-selling process can make a big difference in how quickly your home sells and how much you sell it for.

Is it Worth Staging a Home?

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) survey, close to 30 percent of sellers’ agents reported a 1% to 5% increase in the offer price for a home when they staged it for showings. Another twenty percent of sellers’ agents reported that staging the home increased home values by 6% to 10%. Keep in mind that staging costs will vary significantly depending on the caliber of service you use and how much staging your home needs.

Minimal Staging Projects:

Some homes need minimum staging that won’t cost a lot of money. You may need to declutter or move furniture around to accentuate the space in your home.

  • Deep cleaning carpets: $80 to $500
  • Decluttering: $30 to $80 per hour; free if you do it yourself 
  • Moving/Repositioning furniture: $60 to $80 per hour; free if you do it yourself

Larger Staging Projects:

  • Professional staging company: $2,000 to $3,000.
  • Landscaping: Variable depending on the size of the project. Mulch, trimming shrubs, tree removal, and planting a garden can cost anywhere from $300 to $3,000.

What Home Repairs Are Worth Investing In and How Much Do They Cost?

The cost of repairing your home varies widely depending on your home’s condition and what needs to be repaired. Because damages and repair issues are proven to impact the sale of homes, you should know which items are typically worth repairing before putting your house on the market. While renovating a dated kitchen might be cost-prohibitive, you might want to zero in on smaller renovations that can add value to your home. 

  • Roof replacement: $5,000 to $10,000 on average
  • HVAC replacement: $4,820 to $9,350 on average
  • Termite damage repairs: $3,000 on average
  • Electrical panel replacements: $1,100 to $4,000, depending on the number of amps
  • Mold or water damage repair: $500 to $26,000, depending on the extent of damage

How Much Should You Expect to Pay in Moving Costs?

Moving costs will also vary with how far you’re moving, how much stuff you’re moving, and what services you’ll require.

  • Moving company: $65.00 per hour, on average. Your total costs can increase if you require more services aside from loading and transportation. Packing services, packing supplies, and long-distance moves can add to your expenses. The average cost of hiring a moving company to move you across the country is $2,500.
  • Disposal Services: $1.50 per square foot, on average. You might also have to pay for disposal services to get rid of bulky items or a large amount of items. Most homeowners spend between $150 to $350 for junk removal. Read here to learn more about the costs of cleaning a hoarder home.
  • Storage Services: $66 to almost $135 per month, depending on the size of the unit. 

In summary, the best thing to do is to calculate expenses using different scenarios: 

  1. Selling with a realtor, which usually entails staging, repair, and prepping the house.
  2. Doing a for-sale-by-owner, which eliminates the commission to the seller’s agent but would still entail staging, repairs, and preparation expenses.
  3. Selling the home to a property investor who would buy your house as-is. Although you might get a below-market rate offer depending on the condition of the house, going this route would eliminate realtor, cleaning, staging, and renovation costs.If you’re having to move quickly for a job or trying to avoid foreclosure, a property investor may be your fastest solution to sell your home. Since no financing is involved, most property investors are able to close within a week’s time.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to sell your home as-is, call Arbor View Properties for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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