The majority of the time, We as Realtors find that Buyers are under the impression that the buyer pays for the Realtor and the majority of the costs. They do not realize the costs the Seller incurs. It is good to know because when a buyer is asking for concessions, it isn’t always that enticing for the Seller.
In talking with many new and previous sellers, often, they were unaware of the costs involved, which can take the wind right out of the sail. Often they are blind-sided due to lack of proper communication with the realtor or trying to do it themselves. Knowing what to expect and doing some pre-planning can help absorb some of the sticker-shock.
Costs Before the Home Sale may include the following:
1. Painting. A new paint job is the most cost-effective way of freshening up your house, inside and out. If you've recently painted, you’re probably all set—though if your color choices were bold or unique, you might want to tone them down with some crowd-pleasing neutrals. Your home stager, if you hire one (see below), can help advise on the best colors. It's possible to save money by doing some of the painting yourself. Hiring someone will quickly run into the thousands of dollars. Reported averages of $3 per square foot of paint are typical for both interior and exterior painting.
2. Window washing. Clean windows increase the amount of light entering the house and the overall impression of cleanliness. Because most of us neglect cleaning our outside or those "way up high" panes, we’re accustomed to dingy windows—making them sparkle will have a positive (and perhaps unconscious) impact on buyers’ perception of the house. Hiring someone may cost in the range of $150 to $300, This would depend on the number of windows, the height of your home, and whether some windows are in high or hard-to-access places. Or, if you have accessible windows (or feel comfortable with heights), you can wash your windows with a few simple tools.
3. Home repair. What fixes are essential (replacing cracked windows is a must or stained carpeting-huge should) and which (such as major remodels) should be left for the buyer to handle is a separate discussion in itself. There is practically no house that couldn't use some quick maintenance to make it look loved. Make the buyer’s home inspector’s job easy by taking care of some of the most common repairs inspectors encounter.
4. Home staging. Staging your home, or having a decorator help declutter, reorganize, and (in some cases) refurnish it after you've moved your stuff out, can impress buyers in a big way. Studies show that buyers tend to pay more for staged homes. If you enter into a contract with a professional home stager, expect to spend a few thousand dollars for services (a bit less if some of your furniture is usable).
Even if you decide to save money by staging your own home, you want to make it look its best. Some easy but effective measures include buying a new doormat, new plush towels for the bathroom, flowers for home showings, and more. Other likely possibilities include new couch cushions, area rugs, a lovely table runner, and artwork to replace a wall of kids' photos.
5. Landscaping. Buyers are increasingly interested in lawns, fenced front or back yards, or both. Put in some sweat equity and get it raked, pruned, and otherwise tidied up. If there is no landscaping or the dogs tore it up, plan to add some new greenery and flowering plants. (By the way, if you plant in containers, you can take the planter containers with you when you move; unless they're so big or integrated into the property as to be considered "fixtures.") and many sellers put in new sod.
6. Pre-inspection reports. I think this is such a great move. Having a professional inspect your house for either termite/pest damage or other structural matters before putting it on the market isn't required, nor expected in most parts of the United States. Buyers expect to pay for their inspectors, and in fact, might prefer to hire ones they know and trust. However, there are situations where you might want to have the house inspected before letting buyers in, for example, if you've owned the property for many years and wonder whether problems have arisen "below the hood" that you're oblivious to. Doing so also gives you a chance to fix issues before buyers can get upset about them. It says to them that you are an open book, plus it relieves the stress of any surprises. Inspections will run you around $400 and up, depending on the size of the house.
7. Lights and heat while the house sits empty. If you are moving out before putting your home on the market, expect to pay double utilities for a while. You'll want to leave the lights and heat on in the house for sale, or program them to stay on during hours that potential buyers and their agents might be stopping by the place. No one likes to enter a cold, dark house and fumble around for the light switches. Check your current bills for approximately what to expect.
8. Extra homeowners' insurance for the vacancy period. Check with your carrier: Your homeowners' insurance might not apply when the home is "vacant" (as defined by your policy). You can ask for a rider to cover any period of vacancy.
A recent analysis from Zillow and the home improvement site Thumbtack calculates the cost of selling a house, at a whopping $20,851, on average. More than two-thirds of those costs are transfer fees or sales taxes and agent commissions (discussed in part two). Still, when you add it all up, the preparation, the charges, and expenses that contribute to the overall cost can be surprising, especially for first-time home sellers.
If you would like to find out more about selling your house, feel free to contact me anytime.
I am Happy to HelpDixie Simon with Haven Real Estate Group509.385.4441