Spring and summer are often the best seasons of the year to sell your home. When you sell your home, you would normally expect to pay broker’s fees and closing costs. However, hidden costs of selling a house could catch you by surprise if you aren’t prepared.
It’s a good idea to estimate the costs of selling a house in advance, including any unforeseen expenses such as repairs that need to be done before the sale is finalized.
Brokers can give you a ballpark estimate of closing costs. It’s common not to know the exact amount of closing costs until the day before closing, or sometimes even the same day.
Closing costs usually refer to charges from the title company for title insurance and the escrow fee for the sale. Additional expenses that could be included under closing costs are:
- HOA transfer fees
- Additional interest if there is more than a one day delay in closing
- Unpaid property taxes
- Other government fees
Cleaning and Storing Your Belongings
While your house is listed for sale, you will need to keep it “show ready.” Primarily, this means an investment of your time, spending hours of cleaning, organizing and disposing of unnecessary items. You should also expect to spend time away from home during showings.
You will want to have the windows, window treatments and walls all cleaned before the first prospective buyer comes. If you have carpeting, you will need to have it cleaned.
Other costs may include storage units, boxes, and storage tubs. These hidden costs of selling a house are a necessary evil to secure the best possible offers for your home.
Staging Your Home
You’ve probably heard about the old trick of throwing a tray of cookies in the oven before showing a home, but staging a home is more than that. You want your home to be a welcoming space from the moment potential buyers arrive in the driveway. This could mean updating your landscaping with new plants or repainting the front door.
You will need to spruce up indoors, too, with a few decorative touches. This could be as simple as new throw pillows for your couch or a few new plants. If you have a room with a wild color scheme, consider toning it down with a fresh coat of neutral paint.
If the home is already vacant, you may want to consider renting furniture from a staging company to make it more attractive to prospective buyers.
Contractors and Repairs
Most buyers will hire a home inspector to check out your home if they are serious about buying. The inspector will look for repairs that are needed with your home. Repairs could range from small ones costing a couple hundred dollars to major ones in the thousands for things like termite repair, mold remediation or foundation cracks.
The buyer will usually ask that the repairs are made before closing or ask that you will credit them the cost of the repair out of the sale price. It’s always a good idea before listing your home to hire your own home inspector who can point out any repairs that could be sticking points when selling it.
Knowing what the hidden costs of selling a house are ahead of time will help prevent any nasty surprises along the way.