There is no such thing as a Free Lunch. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that Listing your home with a real estate agent isn’t exactly free. There are costs, to-do lists and projects that require a lot of work that goes into preparing your home for a sale. Before you list your home, think about the time, energy and money that will need to be invested. In this article we’ll tackle what it REALLY costs to sell your home in Stockton.
Commissions, Cleaning, Repairs, De-clutter & Yard Work
First thing is first. The home has to be thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom. Windows should be done inside and out, grout and tile cleaned, baseboards and molding, and all of the obscure areas such as window sills and ceiling fans. If you have pets, pay particularly close attention to pet hair and odors. Of course, you can clean yourself, but you will not be able to do it with the accuracy and efficiency of a pro. In addition, keeping the home clean for showings, open houses and surprise visitors can take a lot of time and energy.
Brace yourself, because making repairs is the most costly part of preparing a house for sale. It doesn’t matter how old the house is, buyers in today’s market are not prepared for taking on projects. They want the houses that are move in ready and expect the Seller to pick up the cost.
In real estate, statistics are important and repairs, believe it or not are tied directly to the value of a house. Forget about hiding any needed repairs with paint, the microscope is coming and your house will most certainly be under one once you accept an offer. Even if you are selling the house as is 98% of all home buyers will want at least two or more home inspections and will expect the seller to pay for any needed repairs.
- General Home Inspection
- Wood Destroying Pest Inspection
Painting is always touted as one of the most important and easiest of all home repairs, and yet painting is often the most neglected. Home buyers are not interested in your passion for purple or green. They want to walk into a house and feel its warmth. They do not want to take on the previous homeowners love of the color wheel from Lowe’s or Home Depot. If the colors are not neutral, change them.
Never, ever, ever neglect the yard when selling your home. Your will want to make sure your yard has excellent curb appeal and isn’t overgrown or filled with weeds. Just like the cleaning, you can do this yourself, but you will some have some hard work ahead of you. You will want to:
- Trim back trees and bushes.
- Weed the lawn and open areas.
- Plant flowers and appropriate plants.
- Fix anything in need of repair.
- Add fresh paint to outdoor trim, mailbox, door, etc.
- Add seating and other elements of staging to make the outside areas more welcoming
The backyard should be warm, inviting and well manicured. The front yard is your first impression, make it a good one!
De-Cluttering, Storage & Moving
Even if you are still living in the home, once you put it on the market, it is smart to get some of your personal items packed and stored, ready for your move. Having your personal items around the home can make it feel cluttered and dissuade buyers from having interest. While your home is listed, you will need somewhere to keep your stuff. This might require storage offsite. If you are staying somewhere temporarily until your house sells, your will likely be paying rent in addition to your mortgage. (And don’t forget, two sets of utility bills.)
Once your house does sell, there are the costs of moving. Will you have movers help? Will you do all the packing yourself? Will you need a truck? These are all costs to consider and factor into your budget.
Listing Fees, Agent Fees, Administrative Fees and Notary Charges
Working with a real estate agent also brings a plethora of fees and charges you may not be prepared for. (These charges are IN ADDITION to the commission, which we talk about below.) Agents will pass on a number of fees to you for marketing, listing, and administrative tasks such as clerical work and printing. You will face costs for notarization and other small charges that add up fast.
This is the largest fee of all and the Seller pays it all. Selling your home through a real estate agent means a commission. A whopping 6% of your sale price. The commission can be more or less, but 5% to 6% is a good estimation. When you are establishing your sales price, make sure you factor in commissions as well as the other charges listed above.