The decision to sell a residence is rarely easy. There are many reasons why people put their homes up for sale. Some may need to move due to a change of employment. Others may want to live closer to family or just need a new start somewhere else.
Even though sellers can profit from the sale, the process isn’t free. Certain expenses are involved in most real estate sales. The exact amount and nature of those fees will vary from one transaction to the next.
Selling a home in Texas can take time. It may take several weeks or months from the time a house is listed until closing is finalized. There are specific steps that need to be taken, and different people will become involved at certain stages. You may also experience untimely delays or other issues. Patience, determination and a proactive plan of action can help you succeed.
Here are some typical costs that home sellers have to pay:
1. Repairs and maintenance
There may be certain items in need of renovation or repair before the house can be sold. Faulty air conditioners, decks that are in disrepair, and other issues should be addressed as soon as possible. They can add more resale value to the property and can help you to sell the home in a timely manner.
The exact amount that you’ll need to pay for these changes will depend on the work that needs to be done. Some jobs may only run a few hundred dollars, while others could easily cost several thousands of dollars or more. You can do everything yourself or hire professionals to complete the necessary tasks. If you employ others, ask for an estimate before any projects are started so that you can budget for them accordingly.
Before listing your house, you may want to spend some time examining the condition of your trees, plants and other landscaping. If you’re trying to sell in a crowded market, you’ll need to give people every reason to consider your home over other comparable properties in the area. This means you’ll have to trim tree branches and hedges, weed, mulch, prune and fertilize plants and trees as needed.
Landscaping costs can vary. They are usually around one to two percent of the home’s sale price at maximum. The expenses will be based on the nature and extent of the chores that are finished. It may be a lot of hard work, but it will make it easier to stage your home.
Proper staging is an important part of the sale process. Furniture and decorations are arranged to make the home more visually appealing to potential buyers. It’s important to make a good first impression!
Walls can be painted and washed and each room should be cleaned thoroughly. Any personal items that you won’t be taking with you when you move can be sold, donated or thrown away. Open the curtains and blinds to let in natural light. Family photos and other potentially sensitive information should be kept out of sight and reach from open house visitors.
You can do everything or professional stagers can be employed. Photos and videos of the interior and exterior of the home may be taken for use in marketing materials. Most staging can be accomplished at a cost of around one percent of the house’s sale price or less on average.
4. Moving expenses.
You may need to store your belongings temporarily, rent a moving van or hire movers before or after the closing has been completed. The exact costs will depend on what is done, how many items are being moved, and whether you’re moving a short distance or far away from your current location.
Most movers charge an hourly rate or a flat fee. Storage facilities can usually be rented by the day, week, or month. You could also store items at friends or family members’ houses for a brief period. You shouldn’t have to pay more than about a couple of thousand dollars to successfully move from one location to another.
5. Real estate agent commissions.
Realtor commissions are typically the largest expense that most home sellers will have to pay. Sellers are responsible for paying commissions earned by their agent and the buyer’s realtor. These commissions can be anywhere from around three to six percent of the home’s sale price.
If you’re concerned about this cost, there are a few actions you can take. You could decide to list your home as for sale by the owner. This requires more work, and you’ll still have to pay the commission for the buyer’s agent. You could hire a discount agent. You may save some money, but most of these agents usually provide fewer services.
Another option is asking your realtor to take a reduced commission. They may agree with your offer, especially if they are also working with you on finding another property to purchase.
6. Seller concessions.
Some sellers offer concessions to the home buyer in an attempt to have the transaction facilitated in a timely manner. They could be volunteered by the seller, or the buyer could ask for these items. For example, a buyer may ask for assistance with closing costs or in paying for the home inspection.
The dollar amount will vary according to the particular concessions that are made. Most seller concessions are usually less than three percent of the home’s sale price. It’s okay to help the buyer out. Just don’t get in over your head and make promises that you can’t deliver.
7. Closing costs.
Home sellers must pay certain closing costs. Transfer and recording fees, prorated property taxes and homeowners association dues, a fee paid to the closing agent and the buyer’s title insurance are the most common closing costs for sellers.
Texas doesn’t have transfer taxes at this time. If you’re using part of the proceeds from the sale to pay your mortgage balance, take a few minutes to read the loan contract. There may be penalties for paying the loan off early. Property taxes and any applicable association dues will be prorated according to when they are billed and when the home will be sold.
Title insurance covers the buyer in case any liens or claims are made against the property. Most title insurance policies can be acquired for around $500. As a whole, seller closing costs are usually about two percent of the house’s sale price on average.
Make sure that you’ve stopped all utility and other associated bills once the sale has been completed. This will prevent you from having to pay charges on two different residences. The buyer will need to set up services in their name at your former home. It’s time to move on and look forward to enjoying life in a new location.