Hidden Costs of Selling a House

Back to all articles

July 23rd, 2019

You might hope that selling a home will leave more money in your pockets, but there are costs of selling a house that can make that difficult.

How Much Does It Cost to Sell a House?

Probably more than you expect. 

Selling fees can cost approximately 10 percent of the home’s sale price


If you’re interested in selling your home soon, be prepared for the following expenses.

Real Estate Agent Commission

Real estate commissions are one of the biggest expenses for sellers. Averaging about 6% of the home sale price, this fee is paid to both the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent and it averages about 6 percent of the sale price.

While there are some discount agents who may be willing to negotiate their commission fees, most experienced realtors will not.

Home Inspection

Home inspectors identify structural problems in the home and serve to protect the buyer from major maintenance issues upon moving in. 


This cost is often paid by the buyer, however, it’s not uncommon for buyers to ask sellers to cover the cost. 

The average cost for a home inspection is about $315.

Home Repair and Maintenance Expenses

In order to get top dollar for your home, it’s best to make repairs to the home before putting it on the market. 

Depending on the age and state of your house, those repairs can range from minimal to major updates. 


These updates include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Interior painting (approximately $1000-$1500) 
  • Carpet cleaning (approximately $100-$200)
  • Replacing broken or outdated hardware
  • Repairing holes or dents in walls (approximately $187)
  • House cleaning (approximately $165)
  • Window washing (approximately $208)
  • Window treatment cleaning (approximately $225)
  • Exterior power washing (approximately $275)


Sellers also have to keep in mind that a home inspector may find additional items which need to be repaired prior to the home sale.

Landscaping Costs

According to a landscaping study conducted by Virginia Tech, curb appeal can impact a home’s selling price by as much as 12 percent. Further, a well-manicured yard could also help the house sell quicker.


A complete yard of landscaping can cost hundreds of dollars. But even for sellers who aren’t ready to invest that much into the exterior of the home, the yard must at least be mowed routinely while the house is on the market. This can easily cost $100-$200 while the home is listed.


Utility Costs

It’s important to remember that you will need to continue to cover the cost of utilities while your home is on the market, even if you aren’t currently living there, including gas, electric, and water. 

Lights will be required for evening or rainy day showings. Running water will also be required for showings.

Additionally, having lights on in a vacant home may help deter criminal activity.


Staging Costs

Staged homes have been proven to help homes sell quicker. Good staging helps accentuate the home’s features and can help potential buyers envision themselves living in the space comfortably and functionally.

The average home staging costs $675, according to a recent survey from the National Association of Realtors. 


Lawyer Fees

You may need to pay an attorney to help prepare and oversee the home’s sale, including closing documents. Depending on the firm, this fee can vary greatly.

Closing Costs

Closing costs typically include:

  • Property taxes
  • Title insurance
  • Transfer taxes

These expenses are typically covered by the buyer, but once again, occasionally buyers will ask sellers to cover the closing costs as a condition of the home purchase.

Further, there are fees on the money in escrow, which is typically split between the buyer and seller. 

Additionally, you will have to pay prorated amounts on your home’s recurring fees, such as HOA fees and your property taxes.


Mortgage Payoff Fees

If you still have a mortgage on your house, the proceeds from the sale will go toward paying off your mortgage. Not only will you still have to pay some of the interest on that loan, but you may also incur a prepayment penalty for early payoff. 

Your profits will be what is left over after all fees and costs are deducted. 


Know How Much It Will Cost to Sell Your Home

If you’re ready to sell your house but don’t want to deal with the financial burden of prepping, listing, and maintaining it, consider selling your house as-is to a cash buyer like Homestead Road.

Discover how much you can save on closing costs and other home-selling expenses by contacting us today!