Selling real estate is expensive. Most home sellers are well aware of the commission costs they will be responsible for paying when selling their home. While the commissions you have to pay when selling real estate is typically the biggest expense there are several other costs that can add up to just as much as the commission or more. In today’s post we’ll take a look at the big-ticket cost items to help give you a better idea of what it really costs to sell your house in Chicago.
Commissions, Staging & Yard Work, Oh My!
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.
Never, ever, ever neglect the yard when selling your home. Your will want to make sure your yard had 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!
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.
Improvements, Repairs, and Miscellaneous Fees
When you enlist the services of a real estate broker, they will expect you to present the property in top condition in order to bring you good offers. Typically, this means you’ll be responsible for hiring and paying contractors to take care of any required repairs as well as cosmetic improvements that may be recommended.
As the seller you will also be responsible for paying traditional closing costs such as title fees, survey, transfer taxes, transfer stamps, inspection repairs, attorney fees, and the list goes on.
This is the biggie. Selling your home through an agent entitles them to a commission. Think 6% of your sale price. This can be more or less, but 6% is a good estimation. When you are calculating your asking price, make sure you factor in commissions as well as the other charges listed above.