All home sellers want to get the highest possible price… but what about those hidden costs that come along with selling a home? With so many steps, decisions and moving parts involved, it can be easy to lose sight of the real costs involved.
Costs of Selling a Home: What to Expect
When you’re calculating how much it’ll cost to sell your home, you’re probably focusing on the profits you’ll make based on how much you owe on your mortgage and your home’s estimated value. But there’s a little more to it than that.
Putting your home on the market comes with a few costs attached. Fortunately, knowing what to look for and taking steps in advance can help you minimize these costs — by taking steps early on or handling some tasks yourself — and maximise your selling price.
If you’re working with an estate agent, you probably already expect that you’ll pay a commission when the home sells, but what about the other costs of selling that aren’t as apparent? Here’s what to budget for:
- Prepping your home for sale: This may include painting, repairs, updates, cleaning, landscaping and staging costs. You may also need to rent a storage unit, purchase or rent furniture or accessories for staging, and hire a cleaning team to keep your home in tip-top shape so it’s ready to be shown whenever a potential buyer wants to see it.
- Inspections: Getting an inspection before you place your home on the market allows you to have a heads-up on any potential problems. This way, you can either choose to fix them now or have a counter ready at the negotiating table.
- Utilities and insurance: If you move out before your home sells, expect to pay double utilities. Why? Because you’ll want to keep the lights and heat or air conditioning on while your home is being shown. You’ll also still need to insure your home while you still own it.
- Closing costs: These costs tend to vary by region, so ask your estate agent what your portion may be well before the closing date.
- Taxes: You may be on the hook for local transfer taxes and capital gains taxes, depending on how much profit you make from the sale. Budget accordingly!
Fortunately, educating yourself as to these costs allows you to take action before the fact and avoid any unpleasant surprises. With a bit of planning and patience, you’ll take steps toward achieving that seamless sale and maximized profit that you’ve been dreaming of.
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