If you finalize the decision to sell your house in , then you must have checked what options are best for you. One is to list your property with the help of an agent. If you’re thinking about pursuing a listing, it will be wise to know the costs that typically come with listing your home beforehand.
Listing your home isn’t free. Whether your home is market-ready or not, you need to prepare to spend for up-front costs, and there is a lot of work you have to do. Before you list your home, think about the time, energy, and money that go into it and plan.
If a direct buyer gave you a great offer, can buy as-is, and close fast, you should reconsider listing the property. Here’s what it REALLY costs to sell your home in .
Commissions, Staging & Yard Work, Oh My!
Cleaning and Decluttering
The first thing you must do is clean your home from top to bottom thoroughly. Every room must be cleaned like a pro. Get rid of anything you don’t need and those not necessary. Dust off the surfaces after you declutter. It’s okay to do minor repairs if it’s essential. Here is what you should be doing:
- Clean the inside and out of all windows. If there are damages, replace it.
- Replace any damaged or cracked floor tiles and make sure grout and tiles are clean.
- Consider replacing large and space-consuming furniture with smaller ones to show extra space.
- Vacuum your home every day. If you have pets, pay particularly close attention to pet hair and odors.
- Open the windows to allow fresh air to circulate and eliminate any odor. Avoid using too many artificial fragrances.
- Use organizing drawers and closets in the kitchen and bathroom.
Of course, you can do the cleaning yourself, but if you don’t have time and energy to do it, it won’t hurt to hire a professional cleaner to do the job. They can clean every nook and cranny of the place until it sparkles. The home should be cleaned all the time in preparation for showings, open houses, supervise visitors, and in case any unexpected appointment comes your way.
Never, ever, ever neglect the yard when selling your home. This is as important as cleaning the interior of your home. Give the outside an inviting look as well. Ensure that the yard has excellent curb appeal and isn’t overgrown or filled with weeds. You will want to:
- Trim back trees and any shrubs or bushes and create clean edge lines.
- Mow frequently and weed the lawn and open areas.
- Power-wash the walkway, siding, and driveway to blast off grime and dirt.
- Plant flowers and appropriate plants. It’s okay even if you use potted plants; place some near the front door.
- Fix anything in need of repair.
- Add fresh paint to outdoor trim, mailbox, door, etc.
- Add seating and other staging elements to make the outside areas more welcoming and fresh.
The backyard should be warm, inviting, and well-manicured. The front yard is your first impression; make it a good one! It can either turn on or turn off your potential buyers. Just like the cleaning, you can do this yourself, but you will have some hard work ahead of you.
Storage & Moving
Once you put the house on the market, it’s just a matter of time before you have to leave for good. It’s a smart move to have all your items packed and stored. So if you have to move, you can easily have it ready. Having your items around the home can feel cluttered and dissuade buyers’ interest. They need to feel and envision how the place will look if their belongings are in place, not yours. Keep your stuff in storage boxes, or if it isn’t enough, you might need storage offsite.
If you are staying somewhere temporarily until your house sells, you will likely be paying rent in addition to your mortgage. (And don’t forget, two sets of utility bills.) Once your house does sell, there are the costs of moving. Will you have movers’ help? Will you do all the packing yourself? Will you need a truck? These are all costs to consider and factor into your budget, and you have to figure it out before you start the process of selling.
Listing Fees, Agent Fees, Administrative Fees and Notary Charges
You need to consider the fees you need to pay once you work with an agent. It will be hard if you’re not prepared for this. These charges are IN ADDITION to the commission you’ll pay to the agent. Agents will pass on several fees to you for marketing, listing, and administrative tasks such as clerical work and printing. You will face costs for notarization and other small charges that add up fast.
This is what you should be thinking about. Selling your home through an agent entitles them to a commission. Think 6% of your sale price. This can be more or less, but 6% is a good estimation. When calculating your asking price, make sure you factor in commissions and the other charges listed above.