You have decided to sell your house on your own, and then you realize there will be some costs involved. So, wisely, you’re now asking yourself: “What expenses should I budget for if I sell my house on my own in Baltimore?”
And the answer may surprise you!
It is true that home prices are rising in quite a few markets nationwide. As a result, it may also be the case that your home has appreciated considerably over the years. But before you count your profits, you’ll need to factor in these obvious and some not-so-obvious costs of selling your house on your own.
What Costs Should I Budget for if I Sell My House on My Own in Baltimore
The Buyer’s Agent’s Commission Fees
Let’s get this one out of the way right off the bat. A lot of sellers think that in a strong seller’s market that they can sell the house themselves and avoid the standard realtor’s commission fees. But the truth is often just the opposite. Even if you sell your house on your own, you will still need to pay the buyer’s agent’s brokerage fees.
Most buyers aren’t interested in a house that has problems or that need repairs – and most houses have some kind of issues. Many times, sellers will need to do some repairs before they put their house on the market. And if the maintenance has not been kept up-to-date, these repair costs can end up being fairly substantial. A new roof, for example, can set you back by as much as $20,000.
Curb appeal is one of the most important aspects of any home. It is what gets potential buyers to stop their car, and call or come to the door. And landscaping is the number-one home improvement that provides the most bang for your buck in enhancing your home’s curb appeal. The cost of a thorough, full-blown landscaping job performed by a professional landscaping service runs, on average, just a little over $3,000. depending on the size of your yard.
Home Staging and Photography
Many people – when asked, “What should I budget for if I sell my house on my own in Baltimore?” – often neglect to factor in this important expense. But if you want your house to sell quickly and not sit on the market for months on end, you probably don’t want to neglect home staging and professional photography.
Home Staging involves setting up and arranging your home so that it appears as appealing and inviting as possible. And then to display the staging effectively online- which is where a large percentage of buyers begin their search- you will likely need some professional photos, which can range in cost from $500 to $1,000.
If you plan to move out of your current house into a new home, you can’t just shut the utilities off in the home that you are vacating and intend to sell. Buyers absolutely do not want to walk into a cold (or sweltering) and dark house. (Also keep in mind that if you turn off the electricity and air conditioning during the summer, you run a high risk of developing a mold problem and water leaks in the basement.) So, at the very least, you will need to keep the electricity on and probably the gas as well in the wintertime. If the house is one that you’ve been living in, then you already know what it will cost you to keep the utilities on.
Capital Gains Taxes
And then there are capital gains taxes. If your house has appreciated substantially, you may have to pay this tax (which is based on the difference between the purchase price and the sale price, minus the cost of documented improvements). There are, however, some pretty generous exemptions, but just bear in mind that Uncle Sam may take his cut.
So if you’re wondering, “What expenses should I budget for if I sell my house on my own in Baltimore?” you now know the answer is . . . quite a lot, actually.