When selling your Charleston home, don’t rush into signing with an agent until you run some numbers and learn about all of your options. There are many costs of listing with an agent, sometimes a direct sell is a more lucrative choice. Educate yourself on all scenarios before you sign a listing agreement that binds you to an agent!
Here are just a few of the costs you might encounter when listing with an agent:
Commissions – 6%+ of the final sale price
Commission fees are usually paid in full by the seller. The percentage can vary but is typically around 6%. In addition to commissions, agents will often have administrative, agent and notary fees.
Inspections – At least a few hundred dollars
Typically a buyer will pay for the inspection as part of the closing costs, however, as a negotiation tactic, more sellers are picking up this cost themselves. After the inspection is done, repairs that must be made are negotiated between the buyer and the seller.
Appraisals – A few hundred dollars
Often times this will be the responsibility of the buyer. If a buyer is working with a lender, the lender will require the house be appraised before the deal is finalized. However, the appraisal cost can be negotiated, and ultimately be paid by the seller.
In some cases, sellers will have appraisals done on their own as a negotiation tactic for a sale. If any appraisal is done on your property, make sure you keep a copy for your records.
Cleaning – $0 to a few hundred
When selling your house, it needs to be clean. Like really clean. You should have a deep cleaning done on the house or clean it yourself from top to bottom. Open houses, surprise showings, and people stopping by to see the home will require the house be clean 24/7. If your schedule is already pretty busy, keeping your home in tip-top shape may require some outside help. The pricing will vary depending on the size of your home and the level of cleaning to be done. You can expect $100 and up per cleaning.
Staging – $0 to a few hundred
Maybe your home is already decorated with new hand towels, candles, bright colored throw pillows and selectively placed houseplants. If so, good for you! For the rest of us, really giving your home that “straight out of a catalog” charm will take a little work. This doesn’t have to cost a ton, there are some great ways to DIY or find deals at a big box store. No matter what you do, make sure you keep your space tidy and pulled together. If interior decorating isn’t your speed, have a friend help, or consult Pinterest. A few small pieces will bring a room together and make it really feel like a home.
Repairs – Varies
As mentioned above, repairs will need to be negotiated between a buyer and a seller. As a seller, if there are repairs you are aware of, it is best to acknowledge them and let potential buyers know these costs have already been calculated into your asking price. Come to the table with a credit for repairs so the buyer feels secure about purchasing the home. If new repairs come to light after an inspection, these will need to be taken care of and terms agreed to before the sale becomes final.
Bills While The Home Is On The Market – Varies (Can be hundreds or even thousands!)
Even if you have moved out of your home while you have it on the market, you will still need to keep the utilities on. When you list, there is no way of knowing how long it will take for your home to sell. It could be months! In addition, you are responsible for the property taxes and homeowners insurance up until the day of closing. If your home sits on the market for any amount of time, (as many do) these bills can add up to a small fortune!
There is an easier way to sell your Charleston home that won’t cost you a dime in commissions or fees! Shoot us a message here, or give our office a call to find out more! (843) 881-7171
You’ve likely heard about closing costs, but do you know everything that they include? Check out our closing cost “FAQ” to learn more about what closing costs are all about.
What Are Closing Costs Exactly in Charleston?
Closing costs refer to all of the fees that must be paid at the closing table. Depending on where you live, the fees and costs can vary. But generally, closing costs include, but are not limited to:
- Notary fees
- Transfer Costs
- Transfer Taxes
- Appraisal Costs
- Inspection Fees
- Origination Fees
- Recordings Fees
- Title Insurance
- Underwriting Fees
- Bank Fees
- Courier Fees
- Wire Transfer Fees
- Liens against the home will need to be paid to clear the title
- Credit Report Fees
- Administrative Fees
- Attorney Fees, If Applicable
- The balance of your mortgage or loans against the home
- Possibly repairs or pest control if this has previously been agreed upon
While the buyer will usually pick up a number of theses, it is important to note, that the seller typically pays 100% of the commission. This will be about 6%+ of the final sale price. Other than your possible mortgage balance, this is by far the biggest cost when it comes to costs at the closing table. Negotiating the other costs during the sale process is becoming increasingly popular. In an effort to lure in more buyers, sellers are more frequently picking up the tab when it comes to the closing costs.
As a seller, you will also need to pay your share of the year’s property tax, up until the day of closing. Any HOA fees or other community costs should be prorated and paid at this time as well.
What Are Seller Subsidies?
This is an amount negotiated between the buyer and seller. It is the percentage the seller agrees to pay towards the closing costs. For example, you can offer to put 3k towards closing to help relieve some of the costs for your buyer. Overall, paying these subsidies are often a small price to pay to bring buyers to the table!
Can You Avoid These Costs?
Yes! By working with a direct buyer who will pick up all costs associated with the closing! A direct buyer will not charge you a commission, as they are not an agent. Many times, direct buyers will offer to pick up all costs, which will save you money and hassle at the closing table.
Are Repairs Included?
This is another one that is negotiated between the buyer and the seller. If the home is in need of some obvious repairs, the seller will often take care of these before putting their home on the market. However, if an inspection shows additional repairs are needed, a buyer may make his offer contingent on repairs being made. A buyer and seller can work this out before going to closing.