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8 Possible Unexpected Costs of Selling a Home

A good real estate team will cover many of these costs of selling a home and help you through understanding all of them.

When you need to sell your home, your mind is often focused on where you are moving to and the (hopefully) nice chunk of change you are going to make from selling your previous home. Especially if it is your first time selling your home, you are anxiously awaiting to learn what your profits are going to be.

With that being the case, many home sellers are unpleasantly surprised as they get further into the process and realize that selling a home is neither free nor cheap and that there are costs of selling a home.

To help save yourself from some nasty shocks, take a look at our

8 Possible Hidden Costs of Selling a Home

1. Landscaping

Particularly for the first-time seller, it is very easy to underestimate the power of curb appeal. Whether intentional or not, many people are caught by how the visual appearance of a home makes them feel.

Even just keeping the yard mowed and weeded, and maybe adding a simple flower bed to keep your yard from looking like a barren wasteland goes a long way in making your home appear welcoming and cozy.

But, of course, it does cost, especially if you have not been living in the home and are not in the area to do it yourself.

2. Cleaning & Painting

Similar to the above hidden cost, this one also has to do with appealing to the eyes and emotions of potential buyers. Even though the house will be empty and bare when the new owners move in, allowing it to look dirty, dusty and dingy when they come to see it will give them negative vibes.

Your house really needs to be scrubbed from top to bottom and decked out in fresh coats of paint.

A good move out clean will cost around $400-600 and a full interior paint should run between $3-8K.

On average, house cleaning plus full interior painting in the US averages up to $1100 combined.

3. Professional Photographer

As new real estate sites like Zillow demonstrate so well, a picture really is worth a thousand words. Most people seeking to purchase a home now start their searches online, looking for homes that look like a good fit.

Since that is now the case, more than ever before, getting quality photographs of your home is a key part of successful selling. Unfortunately, it’s not cheap. Most photo shoots will cost between $250-1000.

4. Staging

For our final hidden cost relating to aesthetics and emotions, we present staging. Staging is especially important if you have already moved completely out of the house.

As the all-important statistics suggest, homes that are staged to help potential buyers better visualize life happening in the home sell much better than homes that are bare and empty.

But it again, it’s not cheap, with the average cost to stage a home hitting around the $1600 – $2400 mark.

5. Utilities

A detail that many sellers overlook, especially when they are busy moving into their own new home, is the need to keep the utilities going at their old house.

No potential buyer is going to appreciate walking into a home they might by and having no ability to turn on lights to see the details better. It’s also not going to give them good feelings if they can’t feel and hear the air conditioning or heat working, both because the temperature inside might be miserable and because they are wondering whether those items work or if they will have to fork over more money to buy them once they move in.

6. Repairs

The importance of repairing damages and wear and tear cannot be overstated. While it will cost you up front to hire quality handymen or contractors to make them, it will be cheaper to do that than to have a buyer require that you dock off a chunk of the asking price since they will have to fix it.

7. Closing Costs

Probably a more familiar selling cost is the closing. Roughly 2% of your home’s selling price will be the cost of closing. At closing you will also pay for any unpaid property taxes, prorated water and sewage bills, and the rest of your mortgage.

8. Capital Gains Tax

Our final hidden cost is the capital gains tax. If you are managing to sell your home at a killer of a profit, don’t get too excited just yet. Uncle Sam will want some.

Not everyone has to pay this tax, just those whose homes have experienced significant appreciation. The tax is determined by the difference between the price you bought it for and the price you are selling it for, minus any cost you put into documented improvements (such as additions).

Closing Words

Whether you are looking to put up homes for sale in Edmonds or anywhere else, you’re bound to run into these unexpected costs of selling a home, so they are definitely something to budget for.

But it’s important to remember they are worth the expense. In the long run, these expenses increase the likelihood that your home will go from for sale to sold.

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