So, you have decided to roll up your sleeves and take on the task of selling your own house. Before you decide to list your house for sale and set an asking price, you’ll need to know what your net proceeds from the sale will be.
By taking on the work yourself you’ll be able to minimize the transaction cost required when selling a Chicago area home. Even though you will be doing all of the work yourself doesn’t mean that you won’t be responsible for paying costs when selling the house.
In today’s post we will take a look at some of the items you should budget for when selling your Chicago area house. This should be able to give you an idea of what yo expect to walk away from the closing table after everything is said and done.
What Should I Budget for if I Sell My House on My Own in Chicago
Most sellers think that since they are selling the house themselves and not hiring a listing agent that will not have to pay any commission when selling the property. While listing the property yourself may eliminate you to pay an agent to represent your interest your buyer may still prefer to use their own agent when buying the property. If your buyer insists on using an agent to represent them then you may be responsible as the seller for paying their real estate agents commission.
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.
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.
Staging and Photography
Many people – when asking, “What should I budget for if I sell my house on my own in Chicago?” – 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.
Staging involves setting up and arranging your home so that it appears as appealing and inviting as possible. 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.
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 Chicago?” you now know the answer is . . . quite a lot, actually.