You’ve decided to sell your house on your own, and you realize there will be some costs involved. So, wisely, you’re now asking: “What should I budget for if I sell my house on my own in Atlanta?” And what are the average costs to sell a house?
The answer may surprise you.
It is true that home prices are rising in quite a few markets nationwide. It may also be the case that your home has appreciated considerably over the years. But before you count your profits, you’ll need to factor in these obvious and not-so-obvious costs of selling your house.
What Should I Budget for if I Sell My House on My Own in Atlanta
How much do I pay my realtor for selling my house?
Let’s get this one out of the way right off the bat. A lot of sellers think that in a hot market they can sell a house themselves and thus avoid the standard commission fees. There is a lot that goes into selling a house, there fore there is a very good reason why the commission fee is so high. First off the average commission when selling a house is 6% and additional 2-3% is closing costs to sell a house in Atlanta GA. The commission is divided between the selling and buying agent. Even if you sell your house on your own, you still have to pay the buyer’s agent’s brokerage fees. So if you choose to market, show and do all the paperwork that a seller agent is required to do, your still obligated to pay 3% to the buyers agent. If you are not willing to pay the selling agent, you will loose all the potential buyers who are using an agent to find their home.
Listing your house on MLS
When using a real estate agent to represent you in selling your home you don’t have to think about marketing your house. But, if you decide to sell it on your own this is a very important step which will determine if you sell your house or not. The fee to list your house is already included in the commission so most people don’t realize that there is a cost to list a house on the MLS. Don’t worry, you don’t have to get a realtors license to list your property there is usually a flat fee to list on the MLS. Fees vary depending on the company you use but on average the fee is $500.
Most buyers aren’t interested in a house that has problems – and most houses have some kind of issues. Most of the time, most sellers have to do some repairs before they put their house on the market. And if the maintenance has been allowed to lapse, these repair costs can be fairly substantial. A new roof, for example, can set you back by as much as $20,000. Roofs on average last between 25-30 years depending on the quality and the ware and tare from local weather. When selling a house on the market, before a bank will finance a house an inspection has to be performed and passed. The purpose of the inspection is to make sure the bank is not financing a house that will need too much work. Especially if the loan is FHA (meaning the bank owns a larger part of the home) this puts more of the burden on the bank.
Curb appeal is of utmost importance: it’s what gets potential buyers to stop and then come in the door. And landscaping is the number-one improvement that most enhances curb appeal. The cost of a thorough, full-blown landscaping job performed by a professional landscaping service runs, on average, just a little over $3,000. These are the expenses that are not calculated in, especially if the house needs a lot of neglected maintenance.
Staging and Photography
Many people – when asking, “What should I budget for if I sell my house on my own in Atlanta?” – often neglect to factor in this expense. But if you don’t want your house to sit on the market for months on end, you probably shouldn’t neglect staging and professional photography. If this expense is really too much with todays phone cameras can actually do a very good job. Take a few tutorials on youtube to get a little familiarized on how to get a great shot.
Staging involves setting up and arranging your home so that it appears as appealing and inviting as possible. Another very important factor when staging a house is, decluttering. Make sure the home is clean, decluttered and inviting. The purpose when selling and staging a house is to allow the buyer to envision themselves living in your home, so remove too many personal items. This is also a great time to start packing away pictures and odds and ends. Don’t under personalize, your goal is to make the house inviting but also leave enough room for the buyer to invasion themselves there. And then to display the staging in online listings, which is where a large percentage of buyers begin their search, you will likely need some professional photos, ranging in cost from $500 to $1,000.
If you plan to move out of your current house into a new home, you can’t just shut the utilities off in the home you vacate and intend to sell. Buyers absolutely do not want to walk through a cold (or sweltering) and dark house. (Also keep in mind that if you turn off the electricity and air conditioning during the summer, you run a high risk of developing a mold problem.) So, at the least, you will need to keep the electricity on and probably the gas as well in the wintertime. If the house is one you’ve been living in, then you already know what it will cost you to keep the utilities on. These are added expenses you need to think about when selling your house.
If all the above expenses are really starting to add up and creating a stress on you, then it may be a good time to start considering another option of selling your home instead of doing it the traditional route. Selling your house to a cash buyer that buys homes as-is with all the neglected maintenance can be a very good option. Look into sell your house for cash article, and find out if you want to sell to a cash buyer.
Capital Gains Taxes
And then there are capital gains taxes. If your house has appreciated quite a bit, you may have to pay this tax (which is based on the difference between purchase and sale prices, minus the cost of documented improvements). There are, however, some pretty generous exemptions, but just bear in mind that Uncle Sam may take a cut.
So if you’re wondering, “What should I budget for if I sell my house on my own in Atlanta?” you now know the answer is . . . quite a lot, actually.