These Hidden Home Sale Costs Will Steal $18,000 From You

These expenses associated with property sales are common, yet often overlooked. Don't let them catch you by surprise.

These Hidden Home Sale Costs Will Steal $18,000 From You Photo by nik7ch / Shutterstock.com

The housing market is on fire in many cities, meaning homeowners stand to make a pretty penny selling a home these days. Just don’t expect to keep all the money when you unload your home.

Selling costs will eat up a big chunk of it — $18,342, on average, according a recent analysis from Zillow.

These selling costs are common but often overlooked by sellers. They include expenses associated with preparing a home for sale — for example, painting, staging, carpet cleaning and yard work — as well as real estate agent commissions and transfer or sales taxes.

Folks in the U.S. who hire professional help spend an average of $4,985 preparing their property for sale, according to the analysis. Once the house sells, they spend an average of $13,357 on commissions and taxes.

Like property prices themselves, though, these costs associated with selling a home can vary widely across the U.S.

Within the 35 largest metropolitan areas, selling costs are highest in three California cities. Selling expenses total:

  1. $81,507 in San Jose, California
  2. $63,087 in San Francisco
  3. $44,251 in Los Angeles

Looking at the 35 largest metros, selling expenses are lowest in Midwestern cities. They total:

  1. $12,986 in Cleveland
  2. $13,010 in St. Louis
  3. $13,424 in Indianapolis

Keep in mind that these figures are all averages, though. This means you can walk away from a home sale with more money after selling costs if you do your homework.

For example, sellers who make shrewd choices about the home improvement projects they pursue before selling can increase their profit. And sellers who learn how to negotiate discounts on closing costs like real estate commissions likely will spend less than average on selling expenses.

To learn more, check out:

What has your experience been with home selling expenses? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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