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CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Real Estate > Selling a Home

Selling a Home Cost

How Much Does Selling a Home Cost?

low costLow: 4-8% of house valuehigh costHigh: 10% of house value
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  Typical costs:
  • Combined actual selling costs can be as much as 10 percent of the selling price, or $20,000 on a $200,000 home if you use a Realtor or real estate agent; and 4 to 8 percent or $8,000-$16,000 if you sell it yourself to save the agent's commission, according to[1] . A lot depends on geographic location and which fees are the seller's responsibility in your area. Some costs are open to negotiation between buyer and seller, and between seller and agent.
  • An agent's sales commission averages 5-6 percent nationwide, or $10,000-$12,000 for a $200,000 home; transfer taxes, property taxes, legal fees and other closing costs run $4,000-$8,000; there may be a prepayment penalty on your existing mortgage; to avoid surprises later on, many buyers pay $150-$350 for a home inspection before putting their property on the market; making things look good can start around $300 for paint, hardware, living room carpet and a bit of landscaping, to $2,000-$4,000 or more to do extensive painting, flooring and/or landscaping, and to fix obvious problems; and renting high-end furniture and decorative touches to "stage" your house can run $500-$3,000 or more for a 90-day period, depending on the quality and quantity needed.
Related articles: Refinancing a Mortgage, Closing a Home, Homeowner's Insurance

What should be included:
  • Commissions are split between the listing broker, the listing agent who works for the broker, the selling broker and the buyer's agent who works for the selling broker. A full-service agent studies comparable sales in the area and factors such as a busy or quiet street, local schools and more to help set the asking price; advertises and markets the property extensively; and oversees all the paperwork, from conveying a buyer's offer and your possible counter-offer to final closing. Agents recommend mortgage companies, attorneys, inspectors, painters, carpenters, carpet cleaners and other services; often an experienced agent will have ongoing relationships with the best contractors in the area.
  • Whether a specific closing cost is paid by the buyer or seller varies by location, and can even differ between counties in the same state. For example, in certain areas buyers pay for title search and insurance, in other places it's paid by the sellers and in some regions the cost is split between the two. (Title search and insurance runs about $450-$600 but can be as low as $100 in one state and $900 in another.) Contact your state department of real estate for specifics.
Shopping for selling a home:
  • Get referrals to sales agents from The National Association of Realtors[2] .
  •[3] explains why sellers should pay for their own home inspection; for referrals visit[4] .
  • There's a range of ways to save on real estate commissions. gives an overview of the options:[5] , has monthly rates ranging from $90-$900;[6] and[7] offer a menu of specific services at set prices; and[8] pays rebates of $100-$2,250 for using one of its brokers.
  • It's possible to negotiate a lower commission;[9] gives an overview while argues that a lower-than-usual commission means fewer agents will show the property or show it last to their prospective buyers.
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