U.S. Homeowners Spend $15,000 in Hidden Costs to Sell a House

Selling a home not only takes time, but also costs money. To help with budgeting, Zillow and Thumbtack identified several common – but often overlooked – seller expenses.

From closing costs to home prep projects like carpet cleaning, U.S. homeowners can expect to spend more than $15,000 on these extra or hidden costs to sell the median home, according to Zillow and Thumbtack’s Hidden Costs of Selling Analysis.

Closing costs

The two largest closing costs are agent commissions and, in most states, sales or transfer taxes.

Nationally, sellers spend $12,532 for both closing costs on the median home. Sellers should also prepare for a variety of other smaller closing costs, including title insurance and escrow fees.

Home prep costs

Most sellers will complete at least one home improvement project before listing.

While some sellers prefer to complete these projects themselves, those who outsource can expect to spend more than $2,650 nationally to cover staging, carpet cleaning, interior painting, lawn care and house cleaning – five of the most popular seller home prep projects.

Location, location, location

As with all things real estate, these extra costs can vary significantly by region.

In San Francisco, homeowners can pay more than $55,000 on the median home to cover these combined closing costs and maintenance expenses – the highest among the markets analyzed.

Compare that to Cleveland, OH where home sellers pay just over $10,000 for the same costs.

Estimating profit

Even though selling a home costs money, most (73 percent) of sellers are still satisfied with the transaction, according to the Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends.

To estimate potential profit, sellers who have claimed their home on Zillow can use Zillow’s Sale Proceeds Calculator. It factors in the home’s sale price, mortgage balance and agent commissions, along with other common seller fees.

Curious how your metro stacks up for sellers? Here’s a breakdown of the metros analyzed in the report:

Looking for more information about selling your home? Check out our Sellers Guide.

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