How much does it cost to sell a house?

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While most people save for and anticipate the costs associated with buying a home, not everyone realizes that selling a house also comes with its share of fees.

In some cases, these fees can as much as 10 percent of the home’s sale price. While many of these charges are negotiable and dependent on the state of the real estate market, sellers should plan on paying at least some of them.

Realtor’s commission
The real estate agent commission is often the largest fee a seller has to pay. In many cases, the commissions paid by the seller and buyer wind up equaling about 5 percent to 6 percent of the sale cost. That means a house that sells for $250,000 could end up costing an additional $15,000 in commission fees.

The commission fee is split between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent. Many homeowners are attempting to skip these high fees altogether by going the sell-it-yourself route. But taking this approach means you should be prepared to assume the agent’s responsibilities.

These can include negotiations, hiring a contract lawyer and taking care of the transfer of title.

Home repairs
If you’re thinking about selling your home, chances are there are a few repairs you could make to boost the appeal of your home and even raise its value. If you’ve been putting off painting a bedroom, repairing a staircase or fixing a leaky faucet, now’s the time to make those changes.

Inspection repairs
You may spend several hundred dollars on cosmetic fixes on your home, but if the buyer’s home inspection reveals any major problems, you might be responsible for paying to fix them as well.

Major repairs could be a financial setback, so it’s important to be prepared for them before you choose to sell, especially if you anticipate a problem with your home passing inspection.

Staging
Buyers like to have a clear picture of what the home will look like with their items in it. If your home is currently vacant or your possessions are outdated, you may want to hire a professional stager who can arrange furniture and accessories.

A 2015 National Association of Realtors study revealed that the median cost for staging was $675.

Utilities
If you plan to move out before you sell your home, you’ll want to continue to pay for your heat and electricity. A home without heat and lighting can be very difficult to show to buyers. Your current utility bills can give you an idea how much this will cost.

Mortgage payoff
The proceeds from your home sale will be used to pay off your mortgage, but it’s likely that the number on your mortgage statement might be a little less than what you owe.

You’ll likely have to add prorated interest you’ve accrued to the total balance. Additionally, your lender may penalize you for paying early if you have a prepayment penalty associated with your mortgage.

Closing costs and additional fees
While the closing cost to sell a house is typically the responsibility of the buyer, don’t be surprised if you are asked to foot the bill, especially if you are trying to sell your home in a buyer’s market (one which has an surplus of homes for sale).

Some of these costs may include homeowners association fees, property taxes, attorney fees, transfer taxes and title insurance. You also may be asked to pay an escrow fee, a brokerage fee and a courier fee. Altogether, closing costs can range from two percent to four percent of the selling price.

Many of the above fees are negotiable, and it is unlikely that a seller will be responsible for all of these. Still, it helps to be prepared. Knowing how much it will cost to sell a house can help you avoid disappointment when the time comes to put it on the market.

By Bridget Sielicki, Bankrate.com (TNS). Visit Bankrate online at  bankrate.com.

For more stories on selling a home, click here.

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