As Bankrate.com notes, the real estate commissions alone for selling a $250,000 home can run as much as $15,000, and that doesn’t include quite a few costs that most homeowners don’t expect.
The cost of selling a house can be high, eating up a big chunk of any profit you might make. To avoid a big disappointment it’s important to be aware of these five unexpected costs.
While painting will cost you around $3 per square foot, assuming you do it yourself, it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to polish up your home inside and out. It shows potential buyers that you care about your property and it’s likely to pay for itself in the end, especially if you choose neutrals that tend to please the crowds, rather than unusual or bold colors.
Staging isn’t cheap, with the cost around $1,000 on average, but it’s really a must for sellers to help make the home more appealing to interested buyers by removing personal items and clutter, adding more attractive decor, and perhaps rearranging furniture. It can make dark, drab spaces feel brighter and more homey. You’ve seen the pages of those glossy magazines and shows on HGTV – that’s what your home should look like before it goes on the market, which is why it’s a job best left for the professionals.
After your home is staged, the necessary photos that will be taken will look so much better, helping to maximize exposure, providing the “wow” factor that those buyers are looking for.
Planning to move out before you sell your home? You might think you’ll be able to save on those utility bills, but it’s important to keep the electricity and water on. If your real estate agent can’t turn on the lights, heating or air conditioning, it’s going to be difficult to show. Plus, with power and water on, buyers will know that the home is fully operational and it can even prevent possible problems, like keeping it free of mold during a humid summer and keeping the lawn lush and attractive. If there’s no water, a dead lawn seriously detracts from curb appeal.
A pre-inspection report isn’t something that’s required, however, it may be a good idea to get one anyway, especially if you’ve owned your home for many years and may not be aware of potential hidden problems. While it will cost you a few hundred dollars, it will give you the opportunity to get them repaired before turning off buyers and possibly prevent something that could kill a sale.
Of course, your belongings won’t move themselves no matter how much we’d all like that to happen. Don’t forget to include moving costs, whether you plan to rent a truck and do it yourself or hire a professional moving company. Going the DIY route is much cheaper but it’s also a whole lot of work. If you’re relocating for a job, you may be able to deduct reasonable moving expenses, easing the financial pain of hiring a pro.