Home sellers spend an average $15,190 on common, yet often overlooked expenses associated with placing a home on the market, including closing costs and home improvements, according to a recent analysis by Zillow.
Over 80 percent of sellers spend on improvements to their homes before listing, with the most popular being carpet and/or house cleaning, interior painting, lawn care and staging, totaling an average $2,658. Sellers also typically spend elsewhere, such as on closing costs that include real estate professional commissions and sales or transfer taxes, totaling an average $12,532. (Note: Closing costs vary considerably by location—see chart below.)
“One of the biggest regrets sellers have is not starting the process early enough,” says Jeremy Wacksman, chief marketing officer at Zillow Group. “For those planning to sell this year, take your time to research all the costs you could be responsible for and how they may affect your profit, or even budget for your next home. Partner with a great agent who can help you understand the nuances in your market—from what taxes or closing costs you should expect, to which home renovation projects can help attract the right buyer.”
“Sellers need to consider these additional, often necessary costs when planning to put their home on the market,” says Lucas Puente, economist at Thumbtack, which also conducted the analysis. “While it’s clear these costs vary widely, often times the easiest way to ensure a home is fully prepared to be sold is to hire local, skilled professionals to help with basic home projects.”