Huge hidden costs in home selling revealed

by Anna Sobrevinas22 May 2017
Nationwide, US homeowners could spend up to $15,190 in hidden costs when selling their home, according to a new analysis from Zillow and local services marketplace Thumbtack.

These hidden costs could come as a surprise, as 63% of today’s sellers are selling their homes for the first time.

Home improvements
“More than eight out of 10 home sellers make improvements before listing,” but those that prefer to outsource can expect to shell out more than $2,650 for expenses on cover staging, carpet cleaning, interior painting, lawn care and house cleaning.

Labor costs also vary – Los Angeles sellers pay a whopping $4,000 while sellers in Columbus, Ohio, only pay $1,500 for the same projects.

Closing costs
Agent commissions and sales or transfer taxes – the two largest closing costs – can reach up to $12,532 on the median home. Title insurance and escrow fees are also included.

“One of the biggest regrets sellers have is not starting the process early enough,” said Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow Group chief marketing officer. “For those planning to sell this year, take your time to research all the costs you could be responsible for and how they may affect your profit, or even budget for your next home. Partner with a great agent who can help you understand the nuances in your market – from what taxes or closing costs you should expect, to which home renovation projects can help attract the right buyer.”

“Sellers need to consider these additional, often necessary costs when planning to put their home on the market,” said Lucas Puente, Thumbtack economist. “While it’s clear these costs vary widely, often times the easiest way to ensure a home is fully prepared to be sold is to hire local, skilled professionals to help with basic home projects.”

Below are the top 10 metros with the highest hidden costs for home sellers:

Metro                                                             Average Total Hidden Costs of Selling
  1. San Francisco, CA                                 $55,105
  2. Los Angeles, CA                                    $40,808
  3. Seattle, WA                                           $37,629
  4. San Diego, CA                                       $35,236
  5. Boston, MA                                           $29,833
  6. Washington, DC                                    $29,667
  7. Sacramento, CA                                    $25,197
  8. Denver, CO                                           $24,082
  9. Portland, OR                                         $23,280
  10. Riverside, CA                                        $21,223

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