Costs are probably the furthest thing from your mind when thinking about selling your home. But they shouldn’t be.
On average nationwide, the cost of getting a home ready to sell is around $15,000 – and that doesn’t include some of the more deeply hidden costs. Consider, then, these 5 hidden costs sellers need to know.
5 Hidden Costs Sellers Need to Know in Garner
1. Transfer Taxes
The plain fact of owning your home doesn’t always give you the right to sell it with no strings attached. It may be the case that your particular municipality, county, or state will demand some of the money.
A real estate transfer tax is a tax on the transfer of real property in a sale. It allows local, county, and/or state governments to get their hands on some of the money that changes hands in the sale of a home. While the exact amount depends on where you live, this tax generally ranges from 1% to 4% of the home’s sale price. The good news is that it’s a common practice for buyer and seller to split the cost of the real estate transfer tax.
2. Capital Gains Taxes
If you sell your home for a substantial profit, you may be subject to capital gains taxes. You can, however, exclude up to $250,000 in gains for a single year if you are a single filer and up to $500,000 in gains if you are married and filing jointly. But these exclusions come with some conditions.
The property you’re selling must have been your primary residence, and you have to have lived in it for two of the five years running up to the sale date. And if you claimed another exclusion for a home sale during the previous two years, you generally aren’t eligible for another one.
3. Certificate of Occupancy Fees
This is one of the more deeply hidden costs sellers need to know about. In some localities, you have to get a certificate of occupancy to sell a home. The certificate states that the home is safe and habitable and so is suitable for occupancy.
Although the fee is generally small, around $50, meeting the criteria to obtain the certificate may cost you. In some places, a municipal representative will conduct an inspection to ensure your home is up to code in every area. If it isn’t code compliant, then you will have to make – and pay for – the needed repairs and updates.
4. Staging and Photography Fees
Many times, sellers just don’t think about staging and photography as among the hidden costs sellers need to know about. But if you don’t want your house to sit on the market for months on end, you should probably shell out some cash for these services.
Staging involves setting up the interior of your home to make it appear as appealing and inviting as possible. Then, of course, you’ll need to display that staging to best advantage in online listings with professionally taken photos. Photographers generally charge anywhere from $500 to $1,000 for such services.
5. Utility Costs
If you intend to move out or have moved out the home you’re selling, you can’t just turn off the lights and gas to save a few dollars. Buyers don’t want to tour a cold/hot and dark house, and inspectors will have to have the power on the test appliances and HVAC systems. One of the hidden costs, then, is that of keeping the utilities on.
What this all amounts to is that the hidden costs sellers need to know may add up to quite a bit more than you expected.