Costs and fees to prepare for when you sell your house

cost and fees when selling your house
Selling your house is ultimately a rewarding experience. But before you get too excited about putting money in your pocket, it is important to understand that you will also need to spend first.

As much as 10% of the final sale price can go into essential steps and processes that will help you to turn in the best profit possible from your property.

In this article, Warner Robins Home Search discusses the key expenses you need to shell out for throughout the home selling process.

Cleaning, repainting, and repairs

Getting your home back to its most presentable condition requires a serious deal of attention and effort. While you can do your part in cleaning up the clutter around your house, it would be more efficient to hire professionals for deep cleaning work – especially for parts of the house that may be difficult or potentially dangerous to clean like your roof or upper level windows.

Look into the essential repair needs around the house, too. Even the slightest faucet leak, creaking door, or flickering light can make an interested buyer think twice about choosing your listing.

Furniture and appliance updates or upgrades

Worn-out furniture and outdated appliances might cancel out all of the effort you put into your home’s cleaning and repairs. Some strategic updates can help boost the appeal of your property. Consider the following:

  • Choose high-end furnishings and top-of-the-line appliances to use exclusively for your marketing needs. Use these only to make your listing photos and advertisements look more appealing. Ultimately you will be able to maximize your purchases after you sell.
  • Opt for more affordable pieces that match the look and feel of your freshly cleaned and repaired living spaces. Sweeten the pot by including these upgrades in the sale. This might help you sell the property faster or negotiate toward a more favorable final price. As a bonus, because you did not have to pay too much on these updates, you can recoup more of what you spent for them.

Pre-sale home inspection

Having your home inspected early in the selling process is optional, but it’s a smart investment on your part as a home seller.

A pre-sale inspection allows you to identify and address hidden structural or mechanical issues around the property. This will also help you avoid delays or cancelation of the sale, or giving your buyer leverage to renegotiate toward a lower final sale price.

When you are aware of these problems, you can get the necessary repairs and upgrades done and even boost the value of the home as a result. The inspector’s report will also serve as a reliable basis for your asking price, which should come in handy at the negotiation table.

Closing costs

Closing costs comprise a variety of fees that are required to facilitate the completion of the sale. These expenses, typically amounting to 2% to 4% of the final sale price, are often covered by the buyer. However, it is also common for sellers to offer some of these as concessions to expedite the closing process.

The particulars of the overall closing costs paid by either party depends on how negotiations turn out between them.


Some taxes may also cut into the proceeds you receive from your home sale, depending on your arrangements with your buyer.

  • Transfer taxIn Georgia, real estate transfer taxes are based at $1 for the first $1,000 and at the rate of 10 cents for each additional $100 (or fractional part of $100).
  • Property taxIf you have not paid your property taxes for the year, you will pay a prorated amount as your share for owning the property up to the date of closing. However, you may be eligible for a rebate if you paid your taxes for the year ahead of the completion of your home sale.
  • Capital gains taxIf you earn more than $250,000 on your home sale (or $500,000 if you are married), this tax may apply to you.

Mortgage payoff

If you are still paying off a mortgage on the property, the money you earn from the sale will be used to pay what is left of the loan balance. Be sure to review your loan documents or consult your lender to determine the accurate amount and terms that apply to your situation.

Real estate agent commission

Agent commissions amount to 5% to 6% of the final sale price. The commission is split between your (seller’s) agent and the buyer’s agent.

Miscellaneous costs to consider

In addition to the above, the following may also be included among the incidental expenses you need to cover during the home selling process:

  • Utility bills, such as power, heating, and water, if the house is left vacant but available for viewings
  • An additional homeowner’s insurance rider for any vacancy period for the property
  • Moving costs

Want to learn more about the process of selling a house? Read our complete guide here. For more information and assistance from the best local real estate experts in Middle Georgia, contact Warner Robins Home Search today.