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Home Selling

8 Minute Read

How Much Does It Cost to Sell a House?

8 Minute Read

A house with different costs written on it.

So, you’re ready to sell your home to start a new adventure, and you’re wondering, How much does it cost to sell a house? Some sellers might not realize the amount of money they could pour into their home sale until it smacks them in the face at the closing table. But that won’t be you!

To crush your home-selling goals and win with money, plan ahead for selling expenses by making a budget. We’ll show you the average costs that go into selling a house so you can batten down the hatches and sail through the stormy seas of real estate.

Ready? Set. Go!

What’s the Cost of Selling a House?

The average cost to sell a house is nearly 15% of its sale price—which includes agent commissions, home improvements, closing costs and moving fees. So if you sell a home for $250,000, you might pay around $37,000 to cover selling expenses.

The average cost to sell a house is nearly 15% of its sale price—which includes agent commissions, home improvements, closing costs and moving fees.

That may sound like a lot. But keep in mind, the cost to sell a house is different for every seller. In fact, you might be able to skip certain selling expenses, depending on your situation.

Find expert agents to help you sell your home.

Here’s what a home-selling budget might look like:

Home sale price: $250,000

Seller’s cost

Percentage of sale price

Agent commissions

$15,000

6%1

Major repairs

$11,2502

5%

Closing costs

$7,500

3%3

Home staging

$1,1004

<1%

Moving costs

$1,1005

<1%

Home inspection

$3506

<1%

Total selling costs

$36,300

15%

 

The numbers in this budget are only rough estimates of what a seller might pay when selling a $250,000 home. To get a better idea of how much these budget items will cost in your situation, let’s unpack each category.

Real Estate Agent Commissions

Okay, so when you sell a house, one of the main expenses will likely be the commission fee—a cut of your earnings that goes to the real estate agents who helped you seal the deal.

The standard commission is typically 6% of your home’s sale price—split between the seller’s agent and buyer’s agent (maybe 3% each).7 So if you sell a $250,000 house, $15,000 of that will go to the real estate agents (or $7,500 each).

Is it worth paying for an agent? Yes! Here’s why: Agents who eat, sleep and breathe real estate communicate the right expectations so you feel confident throughout the selling process. They help you prepare your home for buyers and give you a tried and true marketing plan to get your home sold on your timeline.

Agents also earn you the big bucks by providing muscle at the negotiating table. For example, in 2019, sellers who worked with an agent sold their homes for a median of $280,000—that’s $80,000 more than people who didn’t use an agent.8 Cha-ching!

Agents who eat, sleep, and breathe real estate communicate the right expectations so you feel confident throughout the selling process. Agents also earn you the big bucks by providing muscle at the negotiating table.

Home Inspection

A home inspection, which runs around $280–400, can uncover problems with plumbing, electrical systems, HVAC, the roof, or even the foundation a house is sitting on.9 That way, any issues you find can be fixed before trying to sell the house or accounted for in the sale price.

Typically, it’s the buyer who pays for a home inspection to avoid getting hoodwinked into buying a money pit. But if you budget for an inspection before listing your home, you’ll have a chance to fix things ahead of time. That way, home repairs won’t slow down the closing process—or cause frantic buyers to change their original offer.

A home inspection, which runs around $280–400, can uncover problems with plumbing, electrical systems, HVAC, the roof, or even the foundation a house is sitting on.9 That way, any issues you find can be fixed before trying to sell the house or accounted for in the sale price.

Major Repairs

Major home repairs cost about $4,000–18,500.10 This covers the needed repairs that come up during your home inspection. If your house is brand-spankin’ new, you probably don’t have to worry about this. But if your house was built by Pilgrims, it might need some work.

Last year, 73% of sellers made at least one improvement before selling.11They averaged around three improvement projects—like landscaping the yard, updating bathrooms and kitchens, replacing carpet or flooring, exterior painting, and redecorating.

Home Staging

Staging a home costs between $450–1,800.12 The purpose of staging is to transform your house into a warm, welcoming space buyers will want to call their own—which means bigger bucks for you on a faster timeline.

Staging costs include things like hiring a staging company, ordering cleaning services, renting furniture, installing brighter lighting, updating cabinets, and applying a fresh coat of paint. Keep in mind, these costs might be covered by your real estate agent as part of their marketing services.

Staging costs include things like hiring a staging company, ordering cleaning services, renting furniture, installing brighter lighting, updating cabinets, and applying a fresh coat of paint.

Closing Costs

According to Realtor.com, sellers typically pay around 1–3% of the home’s sale price in closing costs.13 The term closing costs refers to fees for services that help to officially close the deal on a house. For sellers, closing costs usually include paying for an attorney, title insurance company, title transfer and taxes.

Sometimes sellers offer to sweeten the deal by covering some of the buyer’s closing costs too. This is known as a seller concession. Last year, 20% of seller concessions included an offer to pay some or all of the buyer’s closing costs.14

Moving Costs

Moving out of your house could cost about $600–1,700.15 There are many ways to handle moving costs, such as—you guessed it!—renting a moving truck or hiring a moving company.

Remaining Mortgage Balance

If you’ve got a mortgage on your home, another closing cost you’ll pay is the remaining loan balance—which should be covered by what you make on the sale.

For example, let’s say after 10 years of paying down your mortgage you’re left with a remaining balance of $80,000. Now suppose you sell your home for $250,000. You use $37,000 of the sale earnings to cover selling expenses and $80,000 to pay off the mortgage. That leaves you with $133,000—a pretty sweet down payment for your next home!

If for any reason you’re upside down or underwater on your mortgage (meaning the loan balance is higher than the current value of your home), now probably isn’t a good time to sell your house. If you did sell, you wouldn’t earn enough money to pay off your mortgage—plus, you’d have to pay all those selling costs.

If you’re upside down, hang tight and keep paying down your mortgage—let the value of your home grow until you can earn enough from the sale to knock that mortgage out of the park!

How Can I Reduce the Cost of Selling My House?

Alright, charge up your power tools and grab the safety goggles because the first way to save on home-selling costs is by tackling home projects yourself—DIY-style! If you have a knack for things like landscaping, carpentry or painting, you could pluck some zeroes off your home repair and staging costs.

It’s also easy to save money on moving expenses. Start by decluttering the junk you don’t need and selling stuff you can replace after your move—fewer items to move means lower moving costs. Ask department stores for free packing boxes, and skip the cost of hiring a moving company by recruiting free help from friends. Be sure to thank them with extra-large pizzas!

If you’re relocating for a job, you could negotiate with your employer for a relocation package—financial assistance to use toward paying for things like agent commissions, closing costs and moving expenses. Thanks to their employers, nearly 90% of employees received some kind of reimbursement for their relocation costs in 2019.16 Woohoo!

Ready to Sell Your House?

If you’re ready to put the calculator down and start selling, get the ball rolling with a local real estate agent. For a fast and easy way to find the top-performing agent in your market, try our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program. We only recommend reliable agents who make it their personal mission to help you crush your real estate goals.

Find a top-notch real estate agent!

Selling a House As Is

To make a confident decision on whether to sell your house as is, consider what as is actually means, what the pros and cons are, and what’s involved with this type of home sale.

Reasons Why Your Home Isn’t Selling

Having trouble selling your home? Don’t worry. You can get to the bottom of it! To find out what might be wrong and how to fix it, here’s a list of common reasons why a home isn’t selling.

How to Stage a House That Sells

What if your home could look bigger without a costly add-on? What if a simple coat of paint could breathe new life into an outdated space? Home staging is not as hard (or expensive) as you might think!

Sell Your Biggest Investment With Less Stress

Find a Seller's Agent

Sell Your Biggest Investment With Less Stress

We know agents near you who can give you peace through the process.
Find a Seller's Agent

Sell Your Biggest Investment With Less Stress

We know agents near you who can give you peace throughout the process.
Find a Seller's Agent