Are you trying to sell your house, but you’re not quite sure how much you will have to spend out of your pocket? Determining closing costs before listing your house on the market can help you get the most bang for your buck when accepting a good offer from a buyer.
Closing costs are a combination of prepayments, local property taxes, fees, lender costs, title fees, settlement company fees, and other items that must be paid for before you can sell your home.
Working with a reputable real estate agent can help house sellers ensure they reach their target market, stage their property, list their house accordingly, and negotiate properly.
We tell you the necessary steps to determine the average closing costs for your home based on a specific geographical area, property type, and other factors.
Average Closing Costs for a Seller
How much can you expect to pay as a seller? The average price of the home closing costs for a seller typically fluctuates between 8% and 10% of the total home sale value.
The seller is the person in charge of paying these closing costs. Unfortunately, the closing costs for a house seller are higher than that of the buyer since they have to cover the listing agent’s commission and the buyer’s agent’s fees. These two fees combined reach nearly 6% of the total home value. Compared to the buyer’s closing costs of just 2%, this can be thousands of dollars more in the long run.
Plus, adding the property taxes and necessary fees can increase the total closing costs by 2-4%.
The only benefit of closing costs for sellers is that this amount is typically automatically deducted from the home sale at the time of the real estate transaction, ensuring first-time home sellers are not confused during the home buying process.
Types of Closing Costs
There are a few very common closing costs that can affect the purchase price of a home that house sellers should be aware of before listing their home on the market:
- Real estate agent commission — A real estate agent commission is the majority of your closing costs, averaging between 4 and 6%. In some house sales, the seller must also pay the buyer’s agent’s commission.
- House sellers can reduce these closing costs by listing their own homes or using discounted real estate agents.
- Transfer tax — Transfer tax is the amount of money a seller will have to pay the title company to transfer the title between properties during the closing stages of the home sale. The median transfer tax fluctuates based on geographical location. For example, the transfer tax in Denver, CO, is over $1,000 lower than that in San Jose, CA, or New York.
- Owner’s title insurance — A home seller must pay between $1,000 and $4,000 for the owner’s title insurance to transfer to the new owner. Sometimes, the title transfer also requires a lender’s title insurance fee. This helps prevent issues with the government, local agencies, creditors, or subcontractors during a title search.
- Escrow fees — House sellers have to pay escrow closing fees. These flat rate costs are usually between $500 and $2,000, depending on the location of the home. In most transactions, the buyer and seller split the escrow account and closing fees.
- Homeowners Association fees — Another standard closing cost that sellers must cover is HOA fees, sometimes including a transfer fee to the new owner.
- Attorney fees — An attorney has their price based on their prepaid rate. If you live in a state where an attorney is required to oversee a sale, you must use this professional in place of an escrow company.
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Most Expensive Closing Costs
Although there are different types of closing costs based on the location and the type of sale, there are a few very expensive closing costs that sellers should be aware of:
- Realtor commission — Realtor fees are the most significant contributor to high closing costs. The realtor commission typically ranges from 4% to 6% based on the agent’s fees, location, property type, and the buyer’s agent’s commission fees. This is a huge factor, so sellers should consider agent fees before choosing a real estate business. Sellers can save tens of thousands of dollars by choosing an agent with a pre-negotiated listing fee of less than 2 or 3%.
- Transfer fees — The other expensive closing cost that can be lessened through seller techniques are transfer fees. Transfer and recording fees can be as high as 1% of the final home’s sale price, which can be thousands of dollars. The transfer taxes vary based on location and negotiations with the buyer.
Although closing costs can be expensive, knowing the most you can about these fees is essential. Cash home buyers in Houston can help you through this confusing payment process!
Least Expensive Closing Costs
Although a seller’s closing costs can add up to tens of thousands over time, there are very inexpensive closing costs that may not break the bank. Check out these closing costs you need to know about:
- Escrow fees — An escrow company is responsible for finalizing your home sale and taking you and the buyer through the step-by-step process. This company is the middleman in charge of closing the house sale and distributing the necessary legal documents. In some cases, the buyer pays half of the fees. Choose a low-priced escrow company to help reduce the necessary fees by hundreds. Plus, communicate with the buyer beforehand to ensure you split the escrow fees 50-50.
- Seller’s attorney fees — Another inexpensive closing cost is the seller’s attorney fees. In 21 states in the U.S., home sales require an attorney to mediate the closing of a house. Most real estate attorneys will have a pre-set rate for sellers before you list the home. Ensure you find an attorney with a lower hourly rate or a flat fee. The price typically ranges from $750 to $1,500, so looking for an experienced attorney with a lower rate is a good way to save money.
- HOA fees — Your Homeowners Association fees can be very low, but they are still required. Speak with your local HOA to find out the necessary payments beforehand.
Benefits of Consuming Closing Costs as the Seller
There are numerous advantages of consuming closing costs as a seller instead of letting someone else take the reigns:
- Faster closing – If you are in the midst of the home selling process, you want your house off the market as soon as possible. Not only does this help relieve your stress, but it also means it is more desirable to buyers. People want to buy a new home — if it has been on the market for weeks, it appears unwanted. Listing your home, selling your house fast, and reducing closing time are great ways to get the best deal on your home and speed up the closing date.
- Focus on a new step! — After selling your house quickly, you can focus on the future! Chances are you want to move into your new home, plan some new home repairs, decorate your property, and settle in. Speeding up the closing process can help you do just that.
- Win-win deal — If a seller pays the closing costs, this is great for both the buyer and seller! If the seller foots the bill for most of the fees, this helps the buyer save on their new property AND the seller can speed up the closing process.
- Motivation — Lastly, a seller that pays the closing costs shows the buyer they are keen to sell the house quickly. This can help the buyer get a good deal and lead to a quicker negotiation than a seller who is heckling and slowing down the closing process.
As you can see, closing costs can significantly increase the total costs of selling a house. By understanding the most expensive seller’s costs, and how to reduce fees and taxes, you can save a LOT of money during the house sale process!
Closing costs typically range between 4 and 6%, based on a few factors. Understanding how much you will pay for agent fees, commission, market fees, and other items can help you determine the necessary amount.
The largest closing cost is real estate commission — but savvy sellers can keep these costs as low as possible by doing some research beforehand to find reputable, low-cost, and experienced agents in their local area.
If you are unsure of the home sale process, or just need some guidance, Four 19 Properties can help you along the way. Are you trying to get your house off the market as soon as possible?
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