6 Commonly Overlooked and Underestimated Costs of Selling Your Home

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November 4th, 2021
6 Commonly Overlooked and Underestimated Costs of Selling Your Home

If you are thinking about or in the planning stages of selling your home, you likely already know it’s going to cost some money as well as time, even in a seller’s market. From basic touch ups and repairs to other eyesores that may need to be updated, work must be done to not turn off or turn away potential buyers as many people have difficulty envisioning the potential versus the current state. This could range from outdated fixtures, cabinet and countertop finishes, dated flooring, stained carpets, unappealing wall colors, and wallpaper or appliances which date the home. While it is the seller’s choice to update the home prior to selling, updates may be needed to upgrade and neutralize your home to appeal to a broader range of buyers to hopefully bring in higher offers. However, beyond the more obvious costs, there are several overlooked and underestimated costs of selling your home that you may not be aware of. These small fixes can quickly add up, so it’s important to factor them into your selling budget before you start preparing your home for a market sale.


The Deep Clean

Before you start showing your home, it needs to be in pristine condition. In many cases, this may require bringing in professionals. Potential home buyers are going to inspect every nook and cranny in your home, so you need to make sure all these areas are looking their best. In addition to hiring a cleaning agency, which will cost you about $16 per hour, you should hire a professional carpet cleaner for carpeted rooms. Carpet cleaning services average at $50 per room.


Minor Repairs

If you have a droning furnace, loose doorknobs, or creaking floors, you should consider repairing these alongside your major repairs. The “character” features of your home may not appeal to potential buyers. While some may consider these to be “charm” or “character,” these quirks you’ve not addressed and learned to live with may be a turnoff and even in some cases a deal breaker for some buyers. Costs will vary, so research the repairs you need and be sure to get quotes from several professionals to ensure you are getting the best value for your money.


Curb Appeal

While you’re focused on improving the interior of your home, don’t neglect the exterior. When your home hits the market, it must have curb appeal or buyers willing to pay top dollar may pass up the opportunity to do a viewing. A fresh coat of paint at least for doors and shutters and a healthy and well-kept landscaping—including a lawn and garden cleanup—all help boost your home’s curb appeal and attract top-notch buyers. For homes with asphalt driveways, a new black topcoat can really enhance the look and appeal of the home. Painting and landscaping costs will vary depending on the size of your home and what’s being painted, but it can add up quickly. Sometimes you can do it yourself to reduce costs. For a typical asphalt driveway for a two- or three-car garage, a new coating can run anywhere from $150 to $250. A lawn cleanup depends on the condition and size of the lawn but can easily run a few hundred dollars for labor alone, not including materials whether that be mulch, pine straw, rock, or sod.


Disposal Fees

Preparing your home for sale means getting rid of a lot of things you’ve been holding on to. In many cases, homeowners need to rent a dumpster to collect all the items to be disposed of. A dumpster rental can cost anywhere from $25 to $300 per day, depending on the size, and this price increases the longer you need it. If you exceed your weight limit, you will also be responsible for the excess disposal fees.


Mortgage Prepayment Penalty

Selling your home doesn’t give you an automatic out from your mortgage as some mortgages may have a prepayment penalty. In many cases, homeowners perhaps don’t recall or didn’t understand that the mortgage paperwork they signed with the lender had language regarding a prepayment penalty. This is more common on variable rate mortgages where the penalty is typically three months’ worth of mortgage payments plus a fixed fee of around $500. For fixed-rate mortgages, the penalty is much higher. Check with your mortgage lender for more information to understand if you are subject to prepayment penalties so you can understand the fees and plan for them.


Moving Costs

It’s easy to forget the real cost of moving when you are planning to prepare your home for listing. Often the assumption is that a truck will be rented and friends and family will help when in fact this scenario may not be the case. It’s always a good idea to get an estimate from a moving company so you know what it will cost if you go that route. While rates vary depending on the work being performed and the locality, a good rule of thumb might be to plan to pay about $200 per hour. On average, a move across town can be under a few thousand dollars if you pack your own belongings, while an in-state move can easily exceed $3,000. If you are moving out of state, the average cost typically increases to more than $4,000. These moving costs can be prohibitive for some families, so be aware and ensure you have the resources to relocate after finalizing the sale of your home.


Save Money with DIY

Although some of these items are non-negotiable, you can save money by taking on some of the work yourself. If you or someone you know is an experienced cleaner, you may be able to shave some fees off the deep clean. Giving a couple of rooms in your house a fresh paint job is typically something you can do yourself, if you’re comfortable, to save on the cost of labor. If someone in your family is a mover, landscaper, or handyman, perhaps you can hire them at a friends-and-family rate to perform minor repairs, enhance your home’s curb appeal, and transport belongings to your new location.


Avoid Hidden Costs with Homestead Road

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by these hidden costs and just want someone else to take the responsibility of selling off your plate, consider selling your home to Homestead Road. We’ll buy your home as-is, so you won’t need to worry about replacing your appliances or painting your walls. Many of our previous clients have also appreciated the ability to leave all unwanted items behind, and we will handle the donation process at no additional cost. When you sell to us, you get to focus on your next chapter without all the hassles and stress of selling. Even better, everything is done at your pace, and you never receive any pressure to sell.