You’ve decided to sell your house on your own in order to avoid paying the standard commission fees, but you know some costs will be involved. Wisely, you’re now asking: “What should I plan to budget for the sale?” The answer may surprise you.
It’s definitely true that home prices are continuing to rise in many markets nationwide. It may also be the case that your home has appreciated considerably over the years. However, regardless of the market, it’s important to factor in the obvious – and the not-so-obvious – costs of selling a home.
What Should I Budget if I want to Sell My House on My Own?
Many sellers believe that in a hot market they can easily sell a house themselves and consequently avoid the standard commission fees. But keep in mind, even if you sell your house on your own, you will still have to pay the buyer’s agent’s brokerage fees.
Most buyers aren’t interested in a house with a lot of deferred maintenance or that has other problems – and naturally most houses have some kind of issues! Usually sellers have to do some repairs before they put their house on the market. And if the maintenance has lapsed in different ways, even if they’re subtle, these repair costs can be fairly substantial. A new roof, for example, can set you back by as much as $10,000 depending on the size of your home.
Curb appeal is of one of the most important things to consider when selling your home. It plays a big part in attracting potential buyers to keep reading your listing or to schedule a viewing. Landscaping is the #1 improvement that most enhances curb appeal. The cost of a thorough, full-blown landscaping job performed by a professional landscaping service runs on average a little over $3,000.
Staging and Photography
Many people – when thinking about their sales budget often neglect to factor in this expense. If you don’t want your house to sit on the market for long, you probably won’t want to 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’ll 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 can run the 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 know what it will cost you to keep the utilities on while your home is on the market.
Capital Gains Taxes
And then there are capital gains taxes. If your house has appreciated over the years, 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 Omaha?” you now know to do the math to confirm it’s worth it.